· In most cases, to use a concierge docs services, you need to belong to either a PPO or a corporate health insurance plan that allows you to choose your doctor. (HMOs don’t work in conjunction with concierge practices.) And, the concierge doc you choose must be a participating provider within the plan’s physician network.
· Whether you are self-employed, like me, and have an individual policy – typically a PPO you pay for monthly -- or work for a corporation that picks up some percentage of your health insurance, you are responsible for the co-pay for all office visits to your retainer-based doc, except the annual comprehensive wellness exam.
· Concierge docs provide immediate and comprehensive consultation, and can often treat routine ailments without referral to a specialist. Patients who sign on with concierge docs often find that they can select a high-deductible policy – what is known as catastrophic medical insurance – thus reducing monthly payments. Making this choice means that you have financial protection, in case of catastrophic expenses resulting from hospitalization, specialists and medications.
· A high-deductible policy is a good choice ONLY if you have access to sufficient funds to cover the deductible and the maximum out-of-pocket for office visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations
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