Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The No Insurance Club: Innovative Prepaid Medical Plans That Restore the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The No Insurance Club on FOX:


What's the No Insurance Club?

For an annual fee of just $480 for singles ($580 for couples and $680 for families) The No Insurance Club offers affordable pre-paid health care plans that cover basic medical services from a participating board-certified physician, with no deductibles, no additional premiums, and no co-payments. Services vary slightly depending on your location, but a $480 individual plan with this Atlanta physician covers 12-16 annual office visits, flu shot, pregnancy testing, EKG, an annual checkup, one sports physical, vision test, among other services, see full list here.

The No Insurance Club creates an entrepreneurial Internet marketplace where patients and doctors can enter directly into a patient-doctor relationship, without going through a third-party. Prices for basic medical care are completely transparent, and patients receive most basic health services cheaply. They can still get catastrophic health care coverage separately at competitive, reasonable rates to cover major medical expenses.

Meanwhile, the doctors in this direct arrangement with patients can unshackle themselves from the bureaucracy of insurance companies or the government (Medicare and Medicaid), and they no longer need to have basic procedures approved by an insurance or government bureaucrat. Physicians are no longer burdened with having to send in mountains of bills to insurance companies and Medicare, and carry a collections department to make sure the bills are paid. So it's a real win-win outcome for both the patients who receive affordable health care with transparent prices, and the doctors who are now in a direct medical and financial relationship with patients instead of with insurance companies or the government.

So while Congress debates a government takeover of the entire U.S. health care system, entrepreneurial businesses like The No Insurance Club are providing health care to Americans for about the same monthly cost as a cell phone. Oh, and do you have any pre-existing conditions? With The No Insurance Club, that's not a problem.

27 Comments:

At 10/20/2009 3:52 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Sorry, but if I have to pay for it myself, I am simply not interested. (end sarcasm)

 
At 10/20/2009 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH, oh, insurance without a license. Government will stop it.....

 
At 10/20/2009 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't join the club unless all the doctors were members and renounced their insurance policies. If I go naked, you go naked. Bet the doctors have health insurance policies.

Bill

 
At 10/20/2009 7:59 PM, Blogger W.E. Heasley, CLU, LUTCF said...

Interesting article.

Agree with the observation that No Insurance Club along with a high deductible major medical plan could work out to a very affordable solution.

There is a group insurance product known as “Mini Med”. Mini Med is the opposite of Major Med (Major Medical). It only pays up to $20,000 of benefits annually. Is very akin to the Benefits Schedule of the No Insurance Club, pays some other more elaborate treatments (has a schedule) but caps benefits at $20,000 annually. The premium is very modest.

 
At 10/20/2009 8:47 PM, Anonymous American Delight said...

To echo Angela...

Sorry, but if government isn't the solution, I am simply not interested. (end sarcasm)

 
At 10/20/2009 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take whatever the physician ordered for himself.

 
At 10/20/2009 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is unfair as noninnovative people are left out. Surely the feds will remedy that problem.

 
At 10/20/2009 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that this plan does not cover lab tests, which in many cases can run a lot more than the Doctors visit.
Interestingly this the set up of the Original UK plan to pay its general practice Doctors, a capitation plan where the DR gets so much a patient not a fee for service basis. The plan is also closer to the HMO than other plans. Note that the plan is trying to market itself to Companies as a part of their Health care plan, so its really a no fee for some services but fixed fee plan.

 
At 10/21/2009 1:46 AM, Anonymous Chad Harris said...

Hey Mark, thanks for the post. I have seen a real break out of innovative ideas along the lines of the No Insurance Club, with some other home grown doctors programs and some that have real national potential like pricedoc.com with a geekier approach to the same problem we are going after.

I think W.E, is right, adding catastrophic to a low price, fixed fee preventative bundle is the future. One size fits all just does not fit any more. It's no different than getting fed up with driving to a store to pay $16.95 for a CD. Then when given the chance, rip 3 of the best songs for .99 each and dump it to your iPod.

Napster has not hit health care yet. It is starting because the bottleneck will only get worse which raises the reward.

I was at a conference recently in DC when a health care lawyer presented why over a third of all surgery on American bodies will be outside the USA in less than 10 years. You could tell which ones in the audience where orthopedic surgeons by the look on their faces.

Ironically, most of the payments to overseas facilities will be by American insurance companies.

Chad

 
At 10/21/2009 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As part of healthcare reform, we should permit medicare to cover out of US surgeries. Let's have some competition.

 
At 10/21/2009 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is a non-story. General practitioner visits are a tiny part of medical costs. $680 prepaid for a year just that - a prepayment plan. If you actually need anything -i.e. specialists, lab tests, drugs, MRI, surgery, Physical therapy, it isn't covered. I have a better idea - just skip the General Practitioner visit altogether. $680 for unlimited triage - Whoohoo!

 
At 10/21/2009 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, a prepaid plan that covers most everything you don't really need a doctor to do. As a primary care physician I believe the optimal combination is a Catastrophic coverage plan and a HSA.

Interesting to note that he gives a "discount" on the cosmetic procedures. This looks like good marketing to me.

 
At 10/21/2009 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

optimal combination is a Catastrophic coverage plan and a HSA

Agreed. And why are those either discouraged or not available under the plans being considered by Congress?

 
At 10/21/2009 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I don't fully understand how this all works, but it looks to me like a HMO type of plan. Dr's get paid the premiums regardless of patient visits? Thus incentive for Dr's to not see these patients, or up sale them to things not covered.

It sounds good, but a nonguaranteed income (ie fee for service) encourages better care and preformance.

dave

 
At 10/21/2009 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And why are those either discouraged or not available under the plans being considered by Congress?"

Not only are they not encouraged, in some of the plans HSA's are banned. I suspect this has more to do with control. HSA's leave way to much control in the hands of the individual. It precludes our fearless leaders from claiming credit for the good while blamming Pres. Bush for the bad.

 
At 10/21/2009 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even better is to NOT have insurance at all and come to Mexico when you need (non-emergency) medical care or dental work. It is so inexpensive that your airfare and hotels will be neglible compared to US prices. And, you don't need prescriptions for medicines that are also very cheap. We have been flying to Mexico since the 80's for ALL medical care. And now we live here!

 
At 10/21/2009 7:53 PM, Blogger Sam Earle said...

Some states, like New Jersey, have outlawed catastrophic health insurance. Here, you have no choice but the full-blown insurance that costs more in premiums each year than you would pay in a lifetime for private-pay medical care. The answer is to get government the hell out of the medical business entirely.

 
At 10/21/2009 8:02 PM, Anonymous benefits are not for taxpayers said...

just look at the congressional plans, they all look like hmo's. I guess congress is the only group of people in the US that thought the hmo plans were good and need to be revived. Congress is not proposing healthcare reform, it is looking for more ways to get money sent to Washington. Same with Cap and Trade.

 
At 10/21/2009 9:51 PM, Blogger save_the_rustbelt said...

Even without a billing and collections department, there is no way to pay the bills in a medical office if the majority of patients are on this plan.

Somewhere there are more details we need to know.

 
At 10/22/2009 4:03 AM, Blogger W.E. Heasley, CLU, LUTCF said...

Many of the comments above are missing the point of the title of the original post: “Restoring the Doctor-Patient Relationship”.

“No Insurance Club” has that aspect.

 
At 10/22/2009 8:07 AM, Blogger TF said...

I don't understand why the pres. won't simply remove the restrictions on insurance cos. allowing them to compete across state lines. In a free market everyone knows that competition ALWAYS brings cost down.THESE INSURANCE COS.DON'T WANT TO BE DRIVEN OUT OF BUSINESS BY A GOV. RUN HEALTH CARE PLAN.(which is exactly what will eventually happen). SOME STATES HAVE ONLY A HANDFULL OF COS.TO CHOOSE FROM!!IF ALLOWED TO COMPETE, PREMIUMS WILL FALL.

 
At 10/30/2009 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new online news source, Concierge Medicine Today, is now available for physicians interested in this relatively new practice model. Check out: www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com or www.twitter.com/conciergemd

 
At 11/06/2009 6:11 PM, Blogger Dean said...

No Insurance Club is great until you need a $400 per month prescription or wind up in the hospital for a few weeks and get a $50,000 bill like my fiance had last year when she developed serious pneumonia.

 
At 11/09/2009 8:51 AM, Anonymous Phoebe said...

Seems like most of the posters have not thought it through. Of course you also need a major med policy for serious matters. But the access to a 'good' physician is priceless, and $50 a month is a bargain. Chump change.
Where do I sign up? Clearwater FL.

 
At 11/09/2009 2:00 PM, Blogger James said...

Good stuff. Thanks for the info. The best result was, look for something that has the lab tests, drugs, specialists, MRI,and Physical Therapy in it - unless, those features are covered in a "catastrophic" coverage that is a separate policy. Sounds reasonable to create a 'hybrid'.

Jim H

 
At 11/25/2009 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people seem to have not understood this. This is not an insurance plan. The NIC basically is acting as a "finder" to find uninsured patients for the doctors. Of that fee, part of it goes to the NIC as a "finder's fee." The rest goes to the doctor. This becomes a contract between you and the doctor -- they are giving you 12 visits for the fee. If you use them, thats around $33/visit. I dare you to find a better deal. It isn't an insurance plan, so it doesnt cover labs. Remember, this is $480/year. Not $480/Month. Also, when you self-pay doctors like this, you get much better service. They say "oh, you're a Member of our practice!" and the red carpet rolls out. Because in Primary Care the insurance companies are now the low-ball, non-paying customers that the doctors don't want to really deal with (or their patients).

 
At 12/12/2009 7:23 PM, Blogger LC David said...

This is a really informative post it tells us that "The No Insurance Club: Innovative Prepaid Medical Plans That Restore the Doctor-Patient Relationship".
Thanks for an informative blog post.

 

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