• Joyce Knieff, ND, LAc

Tired of Insurance? Try Medical Cost Sharing Instead

More people in the US are losing their health insurance then ever before due to unemployment. With one of the highest medical costs in the world, you'd think that it'd be impossible to afford medical care without health insurance in the US. But what if there was an alternative that didn't involve the confusing navigation of copays, deductibles, and prior authorizations? Turns out, that's just what medical cost sharing is.

What is Medical Cost Sharing?

Medical Cost Sharing is a different model to pay for your health care than traditional health insurance. With Medical Cost Sharing, you share the costs of your medical care with a cost sharing community. Members share a given amount of funds on a monthly basis, and then are able to draw from the community funds as medical needs arise. The cost-sharing community typically has much more freedom of choice for the member than traditional health insurance, usually allowing you to choose the providers that you want to work with without having to worry about whether or not they are "in-network." This is because the medical cost sharing community pays for your healthcare as if you where a cash-pay patient. since you are "paying cash," you can choose to see anyone you'd like.

Because the community is encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle, the monthly costs to a medical cost sharing platform are also usually lower than insurance premiums. While there is sometimes an "initial unshareable amount" that you spend on your healthcare before dipping into community funds, this is also much more likely to be lower than the typical insurance "deductible."

A Wrap-around for Direct Care

As we've shared in our FAQ section, the main drawback of just holding a membership with our clinic is that we are mid-level providers that aren't equip to tend to emergency medical needs. While we do a great job at keeping chronic conditions at bay and constantly optimizing your health, we are much less able to properly address serious injuries or sudden medical emergencies. This is where medical cost sharing steps in and completes the picture.

Being able to share your costs with a cost-sharing community means that you will be able to pay for large medical bills when they arise. This essentially makes medical cost sharing a "wrap-around"for direct care practices - it makes the healthcare plan complete, covering both your everyday medical needs and your emergency medical needs.

Direct Care + Medical Cost Sharing: You Perfect Health Formula

So why partner with a Direct Care practice when you could just join a medical cost sharing platform? Well, for starters, by working with a Direct Care practice like Yggdrasil Naturopathic Medicine, you will still get to work much closer and get much more comprehensive and personalized care than you would with a fee-for-service practice. This is because Direct Care practices usually limit the pool of patients they see. Because you contribute to their practices on a monthly basis, doctors in a direct care practice are much less likely to be pressured into seeing as many patients as they can, which can compromise their care. Instead, Direct Care doctors can spend all of their attention on making sure your health is the best as it can be, without worrying about keeping the lights on in their practices.

Moreover, because Direct Care practices are so much better at keeping tabs on your health, medical cost sharing platforms often give a discount for your monthly contribution if you are part of a Direct Care practice. Having you be part of a Direct Care practice makes it worth it to them, because you are much less likely to need catastrophic care resulting from poor health.

Yggdrasil Naturopathic Medicine partners with Zion Health and Sedera Health as medical cost sharing wrap-arounds. When you sign up for a membership with Yggdrasil Naturopathic Medicine, you have the choice to sign up with Zion Health or Sedera Health at the same time.

#MedicalCostSharing #InsuranceAlternative #DPC #DirectPrimaryCare

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