October 15 marked the beginning of open enrollment for health insurance in California and many Orange County residents are scrambling to find alternative plans as Covered California rates continue to increase. In 2019, Covered California pricing is expected to rise an average of 9%, while some plans may soar as much as 32%. As rates fluctuate, alternative insurance options such as direct primary care or religious sharing groups, which often offer better pricing and coverage than traditional insurance, are becoming more of a mainstream and functional choice for many individuals.
Californians are now free to source alternative insurance options, independent of costly employer or private plans, now that the “individual mandate” is cancelled and penalties will not be applied for going without traditional coverage. Religious sharing group co-operatives have become more widespread thanks to their lower out-of-pocket expenses for individuals and families. However, because it is not regulated like traditional insurance, coverage for certain procedures and pre-existing conditions can be denied.
Alternatively, many people are discovering the benefits of belonging to a direct primary care (DPC) practice which works as a membership to a private medical practice where patients pay a monthly fee based on age. With DPC, patients have access to their own doctor around the clock through in-person appointments, phone calls, texts, emails, and video chat. Many DPC offices provide additional in-house services that can prevent unnecessary hospital trips and reduce healthcare spending while improving overall care.
Huntington Beach resident, Britt H, skipped a costly ER trip by directly reaching Dr. Matt Abinante, owner of Elevated Health, when her son’s ear began to bleed late in the evening. Dr. Abinante was able to diagnose the problem over the phone and call in medications to a local pharmacy, saving countless hours in the ER waiting room and thousands of dollars for the visit.
Elevated Health is the largest, fastest growing direct primary care practice in Southern California. They offer more doctors per patient and a host of patient benefits such as unlimited visits, wholesale lab pricing, various in-office procedures, and wholesale medication. “Our goal is to keep you as healthy as possible, while saving you time and money. We remove the barriers of traditional insurance and provide you with a modern take on the personal, old-fashioned care missing in today’s healthcare industry,” explains Dr. Matthew Abinante.