Insurance Decisions

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Kim had some decisions to make. Her husband’s work was offering various medical insurance plans, and each year the employees had the opportunity to choose a different plan.

She waded through comparison charts of deductibles, co-pays, and covered services. Did they dare choose a higher deductible, saving themselves money on the monthly premiums? What if something catastrophic happened? But then again, they had never yet reached their deductible, so it might not matter what she chose.

This past year they had a few expenses. Some were co-pays for seeing their own doctor. But there was the time their daughter ended up in the ER because her own doctor couldn’t see her; the schedule was too full. The co-pay for the ER visit was high, and they got an extra bill for some things that weren’t covered by insurance. Oh, it was so frustrating dealing with medical insurance!

There was another option. She had been intrigued with the Direct Primary Care practice that Dr. Herrington had started. It sounded refreshing. She didn’t deal with insurance, but instead, patients paid a monthly fee, and in exchange they got unlimited office visits and communication. Kim’s friend already went to that practice, and she had been seen three times in the past two months, getting prompt personalized service for no extra cost. It sounded like an ideal situation.

But what about the monthly fees? Could Kim’s family swing it? She called Pine Creek Family Medicine, asking if her husband’s Health Savings Account pre-tax money could be used for the membership fees. Yes, it could be used. Hmm… that would reduce the overall cost. And with Dr. Herrington providing such prompt service, they could hopefully avoid the ER. Yes, Kim thought, I think we should go for it.

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