We have been busy with educational events over the last few months and have had many questions about Mission Direct Primary Care membership. Check out the video or the transcript for our answers. Click here to see our full FAQ.
In this video we talk about:
- How much does a Mission Direct Primary Care membership cost?
- What discounts are available?
- Can you use your HSA to pay for membership?
- Do you still need health insurance if you have a Mission Direct Primary Care membership?
- What are some alternatives to traditional health insurance?
- How do we serve our patients after hours?
- What happens if a Mission Direct Primary Care member needs to see a specialist?
Elizabeth: I am Elizabeth Hallgren and …
Dr. Hallgren: I’m Dr. John Hallgren coming to you live from Mission Direct Primary Care world headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
Elizabeth: We are a family medicine clinic that operates on the membership model. As many of you know, we do not bill our take insurance, so your monthly membership fee is what you pay for all of your primary care with us. We have just wrapped up a bunch of information sessions and question and answer sessions. We did kind of a roadshow with how to understand your healthcare options and finances both with a couple of live events and an online event.
Elizabeth: So what we wanted to come to you today for was just to real quickly wrap up a couple of the key questions we had that came up more than once and share those answers with you and just continue to be a resource as you search for your healthcare options and try and become an informed healthcare consumer because it’s really one of our main goals is to increase the number of people who understand how the dollars of health care work and to really promote price transparency.
Dr. Hallgren: Yep. And figure out how to best situate yourself for a Facebook live.
Elizabeth: Well that’s one of our goals too, is how not to look crazy on Facebook. So Dr. Hallgren.
Dr. Hallgren: Yes Ma’am.
Elizabeth: Are you ready?
Dr. Hallgren: I’m ready.
Elizabeth: For the lightning round.
Dr. Hallgren: Ready for lightning round.
Elizabeth: So our monthly membership fee is very transparent, $99 for the first adult, $79 for the second adult in the family, $39 per kid, $49 if you have fledgling adults still under your financial house. And so that would be 20 to 26. Are there any discounts available?
Dr. Hallgren: Yep, sure enough. So, first of all, I’m a veteran and if you’re a veteran, we offer a 10% discount on the monthly fee. If you are in a position where you can sign up for the full year at a time, then we offer a 10% discount and also waive the enrollment fee for that. So in terms of individuals, that’s the discounts we offer.
Elizabeth: Yep. An annual discount of 10% and waive the enrollment fee and for veterans 10% discount. Okay. How about HSAs, we got a lot of questions about HSAs and how we interact with those. What’re your thoughts?
Dr. Hallgren: HSAs are, one of the frustrating elements for a lot of reasons, but particularly with direct primary care, people often ask, can you use your HSA funds to pay for a primary care membership? The short answer is no. The IRS we think incorrectly interprets the ACA law and qualifies it as an additional healthcare plan. And basically, no, you can’t use your HSA funds.
Dr. Hallgren: I also personally think that HSA funds, if you have them, are not the best use or the best way to pay for your Mission Direct Primary Care which are predictable, affordable membership costs. I think it’s better to just pay for that out of your regular personal finances and keep the HSA for something unexpected, that is expensive.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And it’ll help you have kind of that war chest set aside for when you need to pay either for your deductible to pay for a large, you know, catastrophic event or if you have a diagnosis and you need imaging, expensive labs, specialist visits to have those tax differed dollars is really powerful tool. Right.
Dr. Hallgren: And some people’s employers fund their HSA yearly. So, in that case, it might make financial sense to use it to pay for a Mission Direct Primary Care membership. The promising news is that there are bills both in the Senate and the house to fix that issue. And hopefully, you will see those move through, and just make it a non-issue going forward.
Elizabeth: So if you want to talk more about HSA, so give us a call and we can certainly talk about that.
Dr. Hallgren: Or call our senators and your congressmen and say, Hey, we want this to change.
Elizabeth: Oh, that would be the second best choice. And so one of the other questions we got frequently where if they have a membership with us, do they really need insurance?
Dr. Hallgren: Yes, you do need insurance. We are the solution for the predictable, relatively predictable and affordable elements of your healthcare. But there are the unpredictable and expensive elements of healthcare. Like you get hit by the proverbial bus or you get cancer. We don’t take care of those things in our clinic and you’re going to need to go to the hospital or have a prolonged treatment course. So yes, you need a financial risk mitigation tool, either traditional insurance, some of the less traditional insurance products or a health share to make sure that those things are covered.
Elizabeth: Yep. And we talked about those quite a lot. So check out our blog if you want some options because we’re really focused on education over there about what some alternatives are.
Dr. Hallgren: And there are lots of alternatives out there. I mean there’s, there are things that are pretty reasonable at least.
Elizabeth: And if you’re looking to have a conversation with an insurance pro about these things, we don’t sell insurance obviously, but I do feel comfortable making some referrals, so give me a call and I can refer some good people your way.
Dr. Hallgren: There are people out there who can help you.
Elizabeth: And who have their minds and business in the right direction to really be consumer friendly.
Dr. Hallgren: Serving their customers in a genuine way. Well, seriously.
Elizabeth: I know, you just crack me up.
Dr. Hallgren: What’s next?
Elizabeth: After hours. What happens after hours?
Dr. Hallgren: I go home.
Elizabeth: Then what happens?
Dr. Hallgren: So if you’re having issues after hours, we do, one of our big things is we offer 24/7 access to medical advice through us. The clinic is closed on nights and weekends, but you can always get in touch with us. Lots of stuff can be taken care of virtually and we offer that same virtual service during hours too. If you just want to call us on the phone or do a video chat during regular hours, you can do that.
Elizabeth: And it works for access and works really well if you’re traveling, if you’re on vacation or travel a bit for your job, you know that having that access where you don’t have to try and navigate an urgent care or find a provider in the new city.
Dr. Hallgren: Had that thing just this weekend. Patient was out driving out of state and had an issue come up. They called us, we were able to take care of it over the phone and got their prescriptions right there when they needed it and no big deal. And it was all included in their membership.
Elizabeth: Yep. Specialist visits. This is our final question.
Dr. Hallgren: Lot of questions. So specialist visits are a thing for sure. We really work hard if you’re going to be paying cash, we work hard to partner with specialists who are cash pay friendly. They’re cognizant that cash pay is a benefit to them cause it’s a lower administrative burden in serving their patients, I mean there are lots of folks who really would prefer to do things this way. So we work hard to find those guys and we are having some success and continuing to have some more successes as time goes on.
Elizabeth: And also talk about the kind of the, the thing that I think in a fee for service practice, frequently specialist visits are referred as much as a time management tool as they are a need based tool and here you really work to make sure that if when they do go see the specialist that you have done the pre-work and have teed them up to have a really productive visit that really maximizes their value for that specialist visit.
Dr. Hallgren: Correct. Yeah. Several elements to that. A, the way we structure our practice gives me the time and flexibility to really practice to my full scope of care, meaning I’m going to be able to manage the large majority of what you might have going on. In those cases where I can’t though, again that time allows me to really maximize the workup so when you go see that specialist they’re not going to be duplicating unnecessary tests. They’re going to have a very specific question to be answering for you. So you’re going to get more value out of that referral than often most people do.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And then like you said, you really do have to have the time to act and to practice your full scope. So a lot of things people get referred out too, my favorite example is getting moles removed. A lot of times out of a traditional fee for service, I mean family practice clinic, you’ll get referred out for that to a dermatologist and but they are a simple office procedure which you’re trained to do and you can do that here and it’s included in your membership.
Dr. Hallgren: Yep, exactly. And if we send, if it’s something where we need to do a biopsy, we’ll send that off. That’s not included in membership, but you’re going to know exactly what that price is before we send it out. So again, affordable and predictable here.
Elizabeth: Yep. So thank you for all of your support and our first six months of practice. It’s kind of crazy how fast it’s gone. These are just some of the questions we got. If you have any of your own questions, please leave them in the comments or give us a call. (402) 509-8964 and we’d love to talk to you about it. You know, like I said, we were just really trying to build better consumers of healthcare here and help people and provide a service where people can access excellent primary care at affordable, predictable prices.
Dr. Hallgren: Hey Justin, if you’re still on tell Heidi we said hey.
Elizabeth: So thank you for your time and like I said, any questions you have, please just leave them in the comments and we will get back to you.
Dr. Hallgren: Yep. Thanks. Have a great Christmas and New Years.
Elizabeth: Merry Christmas and all of the holidays that are being celebrated.
Dr. Hallgren: Yes.
Elizabeth: All right. Bye. Bye.
You can catch us on Facebook Live every Thursday at 12:15 for a short informative discussion about direct primary care and being an informed health care consumer.