Concierge Medicine: Your Questions Answered

In the October 2012 issue, we investigated whether it was worth spending $1,500 or more a year on a physician who truly pays attention to you. Here, everything you need to know about what it would cost, what's included and how to find a concierge doctor that's right for you

by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin
woman doctor and patient image

·         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

Learn more about concierge medicine here, as published in theOctober 2012 issue

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