To Rent or To Buy: That is the Question
Depending on your age and income, and whether or not you are shopping for a car or a place to live, the answer to this question may vary. If you enjoy getting a new car every few years then leasing is clearly the way to go, but if you really like your car then buying would be the better choice. You will likely take better care of the car because you actually own it and have zero interest in having to make new car payments once it is fully paid. Same goes for renting an apartment versus buying a home. When you rent you are just simply handing over money to a landlord to live there. There are benefits to it such as maintenance and landscaping being covered, and if you only plan on being there a short time then renting is a great idea. However, if you are looking to have a long term or permanent place to live then buying is the way to go. You are investing in the roof over your head, your yard, and the upkeep of your property. In the long run it is a much better investment.
See chart from Trulia.com here for a visualization of how buying saves in the long run:
So I ask this question: why would anyone not want to do this for their healthcare, especially primary care which is the heart of medical care? This is nothing against the many great physicians that are employed and contracted with 3rd party payors, but when your primary care physician is being paid by a third party you are technically renting/leasing them. Maybe they will drop or be dropped by that third party? Maybe they will burn out and fade away which is happening all across the country? Maybe you will get lucky and just like the old days they will stay in one place and be contracted with your third party payor for years to come? Yes they took an oath to care for you which they do to the utmost of their abilities, but technically, given that they are being paid by their employer through your insurer they aren’t technically working for you
So what if you could own the relationship with your primary care physician and have them work only for you rather than leasing it? What if you- the patient/consumer- were the only party determining the worth and value of your doctor and the care that he/she provides instead of a third party that knows zilch about you as a person? What if you could have a mutually beneficial relationship with your personal physician based on respect and trust that exists in sickness and health? And what if you could have all of this investment for less than a coffee a day? After all isn’t your health, peace of mind, and wallet worth the investment? If the answers are yes then Direct Primary Care is here and here to stay. Lets take primary care and medicine back one doctor and patient at a time. You can rent DPC for a year and if you really like it- just like Chevy Chases’ rubber gloves in Fletch- it comes with an option to buy 🙂
Value and Perspective
So the main question we get asked a lot by former and prospective patients regarding DPC is “why should I pay you when I already pay insurance”? This is a very good question and I think I have a very good response- what value does insurance give you? Insurance value should be that you pay as little as possible upfront (the premium) in the hope that you never have to use it. That way, you get to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket rather than in the hands of an insurer. You then have the money in your bank account if– god forbid- something catastrophic happens. Yes, you may have to pay a deductible but this is again a “what if. ” Insurance is supposed to protect you when the big unexpected stuff happens not the everyday stuff. Think of it this way: do you pay your contractors, plumbers, landscapers, etc with your home insurance?? Do you pay for gas, oil changes, mechanical issues, tire rotations, etc with car insurance?? The easy answer is no! So my question is why are we paying for affordable, routine primary care with 3rd party insurance? Instead, why not:
1. pay a Direct Primary care doctor an affordable monthly fee to cover all of your primary care needs (no copays, no deductibles, no hidden fees). Even better we have negotiated cash pricing on routine labs, imaging studies, and most common medications (our cholesterol panel cost $4.00)
2. Carry a lower premium high deductible plan with an HSA account (tax free savings in your bank!) and be protected against the big stuff if and when it happens- i.e. hospital, surgery, cancer, heart attack, accidents, etc
3. Have your own personal primary care physician available to 24/7 through any form of technology- text, cell, Skype, even twitter! We work for you- not insurers or the government. And I include visits to the hospital and do home visits for 30-50 dollars.
So there is the value now lets look at the perspective. Our maximum monthly rate is $125 for age 65 and over. Here are some examples of “value/perspective” to ponder:
1. This year the average household cable TV bill in the USA is $123 per month
2. Average cell phone bill $73.00 per month
3. Dinner at Uno’s for four averages $60 without tip
4. Going to a movie averages out to a minimum of $60 including tickets and food for a family of four
5. A filet at Abe and Louis is $48
and here are the final two- which people have daily- that amazes me….
6. A regular size latte at Starbucks is 3-4 dollars.
7. A medium hot coffee with bagel and cream cheese combo at Dunkin Donuts is $3.69
I will leave the math to you the readers. Hopefully, my analogies and the value that we provide for people are clear. What is more important than your health?
If you wish to read further about what a typical family of four pays out of pocket in the USA for their “employer-based” insurance premiums, copays, deductibles, coinsurance, etc please read the following link below. Or I can save you the time and tell you: $23,215.00. I think we provide high value, transparent, affordable care to our patients. So I leave you with a final question: Does your insurance provide this?