Employer-sponsored healthcare plans are beneficial to employees who qualify, as the employer typically covers much, if not all, of the cost of those plans for employees entitled to benefits. However, a growing number of workers in the US economy do not qualify for benefits. They are part-time or contract employees who need healthcare but are not able to participate in their employers’ plans. Direct primary care (DPC) coverage may be the solution for those employees.
It’s been estimated that about half of construction workers and more than thirty percent of restaurant workers are uninsured. In addition, workers who do not qualify for benefits include drivers, nurses and retail workers. Essentially, anyone who works less than the amount necessary to qualify or who works on contract may be a non-benefited employee. DPC healthcare can be secured individually for a relatively low cost. In addition, groups of non-benefited employees may be able to participate in a DPC at a discount.
The DPC healthcare model is affordable for most, with monthly membership fees typically ranging from $50 to $100. There are generally no additional fees for office visits and often the membership covers basic laboratory services. Employees may also be able to save money on diagnostic tests and prescription medications through the DPC practice.
DPC practices are growing in popularity. They offer primary care services in addition to more personalized services, such as after-hours communication with the physician and longer visit times in the office. Non-benefited employees may want to supplement their DPC membership fee with a high-deductible catastrophic insurance plan, for hospitalizations and more expensive, non-covered procedures.
Given the rising costs of healthcare – and the costs and limitations of traditional insurance plans – participating in a DPC practice may be the best solution for non-benefited employees who are not eligible to participate in an employer-sponsored plan. Employers can also entice quality employees or contract workers by offering DPC memberships – or at least suggesting it as an option.