If you can’t afford “Affordable Care” and do not have employer-provided health insurance, what are your options when you need to see a doctor?
The answer may be to find a physician who offers “concierge” or direct care (also referred to as membership medicine, cash-only practice, direct practice, or boutique medicine). Doctors who use this business model charge patients a monthly or annual membership fee or retainer for unlimited office access (usually including 24-hour email and/or telephone accessibility), and bill patients for tests and supplies that are used.
This business model is a win-win for doctors and patients – both parties avoid having to deal with insurance companies and the associated high costs, paperwork, and red tape.
Stormy, if you ever need hospital care, maybe you can bring a few chickens and vegetables you've grown on your windowsill to trade for anesthesia and blood transfusions.
"finding a physician who offers “concierge” or direct care"?
I know a lot of physicians and the few who have begun to offer concierge service are the bad ones I wouldn't trust for any med. care. Their concierge service was offered for 1500 bucks a year above and beyond health insurance.
Maybe your ideas work in a rural state.....where rattlesnake anti-venom still costs 45k per treatment, but you can find a local Cajun voodoo doctor too dance around shaking rattles and smearing charcoal and grease on your forehead.
Wolf, as an afterthought. Your comment on 'bad' doctors reminded me of my experiences in Vietnam. Having been schooled in the Army's basic and advanced medical training course at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and having known the grade scores of the many graduates, I can tell you one thing. There were never any complaints of the caliber or quality of medical treatment from wounded G.I.'s. They were thankful a medic, regardless of school scores, came to their aid. Complaining of the 'quality of health-care' is a luxury afforded only to the wealthy. America may some day soon welcome that medical practitioner who graduated last in his class.....with a chicken and a few veggies in exchange for aid might be a bargain.
wolf, you've replied with criticism, but you haven't answered the question, nor provide another option...'If you can’t afford “Affordable Care” and do not have employer-provided health insurance, what are your options when you need to see a doctor?'
Your 'bad' doctor may be the only medical practitioner left after all the 'good' doctors give up practicing medicine. I have a few customers who happen to be doctors. I have no idea how 'good' or 'bad' they are. I leave that opinion to the 'experts'. But most think owning a Hot Dog truck would be a better alternative in making money that their practice brings in. I would think they would do better 'dancing and shaking a rattle' than boiling hot dogs. 45K for a snake bite is big bucks.
We had a concierge doctor for 10 years along with regular Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We gave it up as premiums sky rocketed and opted with a primary care doctor. It was basically a luxury for us at the time, easy anytime appointments, almost no waiting in the office. If I was a hypochondriac, it pays off since you can go see a doctor on an almost limitless basis. What I learned is that I didn't make that many more doctor visits than I do now. Which is one or 2 times a year unless there is something being treated.