Nextgen Solutions to Keep Families Healthy According to KFF, annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5 percent to an average of $20,576 in 2019. Workers’ wages grew 3.4 percent, and inflation rose 2 percent over the same period. Families were already struggling to keep up with the costs of healthcare before a global pandemic. In addition to cost barriers, some families also lack the motivation or know-how to improve their health. Here we’ll examine how to make family health and fitness more fun and more affordable. Make it a Team Sport Working together as a family to be healthier leads to more successful outcomes. Instead of making a healthy diet and exercise seem like a chore, approaching it as a celebration makes it easier to sustain healthy choices over time. Make health and fitness a family effort, so reaching those health goals becomes a fun team activity. Learning new flavors, cooking together, and finding healthier food alternatives can be a fun family enterprise. Instead of thinking of it as an uncomfortable lifestyle change, make learning new exercise routines or outdoor activities into another form of entertainment. By challenging and supporting each other, family members set each other up to reach fitness goals. Making health and fitness experiences positive helps strengthen family bonds and helps households grow together instead of apart. The family that plays together stays together. With activities like hiking, biking, walking, swimming, or outdoor games, clans develop new skills and healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Take Advantage of Affordable Healthcare When it comes to establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor, families have struggled in the past due to long wait times to see a doctor, the continually increasing costs, and poor customer service. People often forgo seeing a physician because they don’t want to deal with the hassles or feel they can’t afford it. In recent years, direct primary care (DPC) has emerged as an affordable healthcare alternative to help families stay healthy. Unlike traditional family practitioners, DPC practitioners keep smaller patient panels, so they are available to provide more personalized care. Most are available for same-day appointments, email or texts, and virtual visits. Direct primary care has also eased the financial burden associated with getting primary care to keep health conditions from developing into more severe disease states if not treated early. DPC is a monthly healthcare membership that allows members to see a primary care physician as often as necessary for a low monthly fee. Members can schedule unlimited appointments with no copay or a minimal cost, depending on their plan. DPC Doctors Work for You When doctors must meet insurance requirements, they work for the insurance companies instead of their patients. This requirement translates into rushed appointments that ignore thorough medical history conversations, long wait times due to overscheduling, and unfulfilling customer experience. With DPC, families get a doctor who will take the time to know them and their medical history. Instead of waiting weeks to get an appointment or a return call, patients get peace of mind from knowing their doctor is just a simple text or call away anytime day or night. They also eliminate the hassles of dealing with insurance requirements, expensive deductibles, and ever-increasing copays. Research shows that members who maintain an ongoing relationship with a DPC provider have better health outcomes. Milliman, Inc. recently published a study called “Direct Primary Care: Evaluating a New Model of Delivery and Financing.” They found that DPC members visited emergency rooms 40 percent less over two years. They also reported that DPC members were admitted to the hospital 26 percent less over that same two-year period. If a family uses DPC to supplement their insurance coverage, less E.R. visits and hospital stays mean exponential savings. With DPC, families get economical and reliable primary care services to help maintain health for a lifetime. If you’d like more information on how DPC can help keep families healthy, contact Healthcare2U.