KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – The pandemic has caused some families to re-examine the health care they receive and how they pay for it.
For Joy and Angel León, this meant giving up traditional insurance for their two children, Ines and Santiago.
“For us, the affordability of insurance just wasn’t there,” explained Joy.
She said traditional insurance through her husband’s employer would have cost the family around $ 750 a month.
Bloom pediatrics and lactation in KCK offered them a solution that they believe could save thousands of dollars.
The practice, owned and operated by Dr. Lauren Hughes, offers direct basic service. It charges $ 65- $ 125 per child per month, depending on the child’s age. For this fee, families receive unlimited medical visits and many other services such as sutures, strep tests, and developmental screenings.
“Instead of paying for the insurance that tells you who you see and what treatment you get, you pay the doctor directly,” said Hughes.
León compared the plan to Netflix.
“We can call her or write to her and see her every day and it would be the same as having our annual visit,” she said.
Hughes recommends that patients continue to have a disaster preparedness backup plan for emergency rooms and other contingency expenses. The Leons have such a plan.
“Insurance should be for these catastrophic things. If you are hospitalized or need an operation, you need insurance for these things,” said Hughes.
Hughes runs her own clinic with no receptionists or other employees. She said she also had contracts with other providers to get low-cost x-rays and prescriptions for her patients if needed. She makes house calls often.
“I sewed and stapled Friday and Saturday nights when other doctors weren’t open,” she said.
Hughes compared direct primary care to “old-school” practice. She added that part of the appeal for her as a health care professional is that she feels like her clients have more access.
“I think most doctors want to be able to do this,” she said. “Basic care and childcare can be better. You just have to look for it.”
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