Appropriated Press: Officials in Washington have confirmed that car insurance companies will now be required to pay for gas. "Transportation is a fundamental right of all Americans. Therefore gas is a fundamental right of all Americans," said one congressman. Consumer groups are split on the issue. Some embrace the savings to American families, others see the ghastly (gassly?) auto insurance premium hikes coming down the pike, and they are also aghast (agassed?) at the new federal mandate coming in 2017. This rule will require that all Americans own cars that get more than 35 miles per gallon or pay a tax penalty. One insurance company has let on that it will require its beneficiaries to only buy gas from "Gas It Now" stations, and only 87 octane at that! Motorists can get gas at other stations, but they'll have to pay full price, as well as a 10-cent-per-gallon penalty. Said one angry consumer: "I'm going to have to drive thirty five miles to get free gas?! It's just not worth it to me. I'll just pay for it myself!" The auto insurance lobby's next target is oil changes. Legislation is currently being considered that will establish an oil change Public Option. "We want all Americans to enjoy the same oil change experience at the same low prices. They won't notice the extra taxes," said one lobbyist, who chose to remain anonymous. Starting next year, car insurance companies will also be required to cover extras like window tinting, designer chrome wheel rims, supercharging, and premium sound systems. "I don't think I'll need stuff like that for my 1980 Ford Pinto, but that doesn't seem to matter, does it?" said yet another alarmed consumer.
Ok, here ends the farce. None of the above is true. But do you see what I'm "driving" at? This is the state of health insurance in our country! Your car insurance (thankfully) only pays for catastrophic stuff. It doesn't pay for everyday stuff, like gas and oil changes. It isn't required by law to cover things you would never spend money on. And your life insurance doesn't reimburse you for organic produce. Why should health insurance be any different?
There is a movement growing in America. It's called private medicine -- doctors choosing to contract directly with patients and not with insurance or the government. Patients benefit (they enjoy better access, longer visits, and lower prices) and doctors benefit (they're off the insurance treadmill and so they get the time they need to deliver great care). And one of private medicine's most popular manifestations is Direct Primary Care (DPC). In DPC, patients pay a low monthly fee to become members of the practice, and in return enjoy same day appointments, no fees for visits, easier access by phone, text, or email, and after-hours availability.
CovenantMD is Lancaster's first Direct Primary Care practice, and it is launching in January 2016. DPC is a great way to "carve out" the common, lower-cost stuff, while reserving insurance for the less common, expensive stuff. Open enrollment on healthcare.gov is coming November 1st. For those that enjoy employer-sponsored insurance, your employer is probably already considering health plans for 2016. Now is the time to realize the quality and the savings of Direct Primary Care! Find out more by visiting www.covenantmd.net. Or give us a call at 717-287-1983.
Dr. Rohal is a family doctor and the founder of CovenantMD. He lives in Landisville, PA with his wife and three children.
Here's a shoutout to two Direct Primary Care doctors that first acquainted me with the "car insurance analogy," Josh Umbehr, M.D., of AtlasMD and Jon Izbicki, D.O. of Izbicki Family Medicine.