Top 10 Non-Insurance Healthcare Payment Options

Stop the (healthcare) madness!  I often lecture (both when asked and not) about one of the most defective, yet easily correctable parts of our healthcare system.  That is…our penchant for insuring risks that are neither catastrophic nor unexpected in cost or aspect.  The administrative costs associated with processing lower cost healthcare claims slows down the system, and inflates already high premium costs.  Here are just a few examples* of “risks” that most health insurance plans insure and thus provide benefits for, when out of pocket limits are reached:

  1. $4 – prescription drugs (or in many cases, price points that are below $4)
  2. $132 – Physical therapy visit (follow up visit to an initial evaluation)
  3. $168 – Physician office visit (primary care provider; established patient)
  4. $65 – Chiropractic adjustment (spine)
  5. $19 – Complete blood count (CBC)

* Source: Healthcare Bluebook; location – Omaha, NE 68136.

It just doesn’t make good financial sense to purchase insurance and pay premiums to insure such risks…and there are many more examples.  So called “high deductible health plans” or HDHP’s are a great alternative to traditional, “copay based” health insurance plans, and generally have lower premiums.  Remember, insurance is designed to protect one from a financial loss resulting from an unanticipated, and sometimes, catastrophic loss.  The aforementioned examples are neither.

So, here is a list of my “top 10 non-insurance healthcare payment options”:

  1. Flexible Spending Account (aka Flex, Section 125 plan, Cafeteria plan, FSA)
  2. Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
  3. Health Savings Account (HSA)
  4. Health Insurance Account – non-tax preferred, non-government sanctioned spending account
  5. Retail Healthcare (embedded within many grocery stores and pharmacies)
  6. Grocery store pharmacy offerings – $4 (30 day)/$10 (90 day) 
  7. GoodRx (www.goodrx.com) – access coupons, vouchers, and lowest cost pharmacies in any geographical location
  8. Direct Primary Care (DPC) – prepaid primary health care
  9. MDsave (www.mdsave.com) – pre-negotiated vouchers for certain, specific types of care from contracted/participating healthcare providers
  10.  Virtual Care (aka tele-health, tele-medicine)

I’ve blogged about most of the above options in the past, so feel free to use the “blog search” feature within our website to learn more about some of these lower cost, practical ways to pay for certain healthcare expenses…and help stop the madness!

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