A new health care company in Washington State is trying a new method: primary care without a health insurance plan. Qliance deals only with patients through a “direct practice”, where each person pays a monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to primary care physicians.
According to the company, the simplified billing structure allows general doctors more time to focus on their patients’ health. Qliance recommends that consumers and employers buy catastrophic, high-deductible health insurance(such as an HSA) to supplement their program. The total cost of premiums will likely be as much as 50% lower than that of comprehensive coverage.
The firm has some rich and famous backers behind it: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Drew Carey, and Michael Dell from Dell Computers have contributed a total of $6 million. In addition, the healthcare reform law allows direct primary care systems like Qliance to participate in affordable health insurance exchange markets. We’ll see if they are a success as they plan to expand.