Think You Can’t Afford Health Care for Your Employees?
As a business owner, you’re probably aware that health care can be extremely expensive. It’s a line item that most small businesses simply cannot afford, so it’s a benefit typically not offered. This can be a deterrent when it comes to hiring the right people and keeping your current staff healthy.
A Huffington Post article reported that “around 30 percent of small business owners buy coverage from insurance companies on their own, while just 40 percent of small business owners get job-based health insurance, either from their own company or through a family member.”
Once upon a time, according to Ehi Oyabure, business manager for KarisMed Family Medicine, health insurance used to be like your home or car insurance. It was for critical care or emergencies and priced accordingly. But, according to Oyabure, that model changed during the 1980s and the cost of health care has been on the rise ever since.
Introducing the Concierge Approach to Health Care
The concept of concierge or retainer-based medicine was introduced in 1996 in Seattle by Dr. Howard Maron of MD2 International (“MD Squared”). Patients pay an annual or monthly membership fee and have unlimited access to their doctor. Doctors see fewer patients, spend more time with their patients and focus on preventative care. Doctors offering this type of care do not accept health insurance. It is membership or retainer-based; cash only.
While this type of health care service is growing, it’s not without its detractors. It’s been said that this system is only for the wealthy. That it pulls doctors away from seeing lower-income patients. Congress took issue with the concept of concierge medicine in 2005. A bill making it illegal for doctors to charge a retainer fee never passed.
KarisMed in Katy, Texas is one of the area’s newest concierge clinics and is making health care affordable for small business owners. They offer:
- Zero copays
- Same day appointments
- Telemedicine and house calls
- Free annual exams
- Unhurried doctor’s visit
Oyabure says at a typical doctor’s appointment you wait 45 minutes to see a doctor for 10-15 minutes. Concierge medicine says your wait to see the doctor is minimal and your visit is at least 30 minutes.
What It Costs
KarisMed offers three different memberships—standard, deluxe and premium. Standard is $99 per month, deluxe is $149 per month and premium is $199 per month. Add children or legal dependents age 21 and under for an additional cost. Small business owners get a 20% discount on memberships based on the number of employees enrolled. Some small business owners absorb the total cost while others share with employees. According to Oyabure, some employees pay as little as $20 out of each paycheck and enjoy excellent health care for themselves and their families.
The KarisMed model is small business owner friendly! It allows business owners to offer health care benefits to their employees and potential new hires.
Click here for a partial list of Texas doctors and clinics offering concierge/retainer-based medical services.