DPC: The Foundation of Cost-Effective Health Plans

The world is experiencing unprecedented changes in the workforce, and employers are adapting their benefits strategies to keep up. Organizations are reviewing their retention strategies because providing top-notch benefits is a vital component of creating a company culture that attracts and retains the best talent. Companies are looking to their benefits agents for solutions to help them become an employer of choice.

Businesses of all sizes have struggled to provide robust healthcare benefits without having to pass the costs on to employees. In addition to high deductibles and copays, traditional insurance plans can also weigh down a health plan with unlimited claims that impact profits. This is one of the major reasons direct primary care, or DPC, is quickly becoming the foundation of cost-effective health plans.

Direct Primary Care Can Mitigate Claims

Layering direct primary care into traditional insurance products causes them to perform better and increases employee satisfaction. Because DPC is not insurance, it can be layered into any health plan at any time of the year to begin limiting claims exposure.

DPC shields employers’ health plans, whether it be fully insured, self-insured, high deductible, Minimum Essential Coverage, health share, or others by diverting claims for acute care, chronic disease management, and urgent care away from the plans.

In 2020, Milliman, Inc. published a study called “Direct Primary Care: Evaluating a New Model of Delivery and Financing.” They found DPC members visited emergency rooms 40 percent less over two years. They also reported that DPC members were admitted to the hospital 20 percent less over that same two-year period.1

The study also summarized the overall DPC fee-for-service claim cost savings for a group of employers. Take a look at the savings on this chart for another example of why direct primary care is the go-to strategy to contain health plan costs.2

Primary Care Saves Money and Lives

Primary medical care is so essential that if everyone in the U.S. saw a primary care provider first for care, it would save the U.S. an estimated $67 billion every year.3 Those savings are compelling, but how can that translate into possible savings for employers?

One study found that for every $1 increase in primary care spending, it resulted in $13 of savings in overall health care spending.4 Another study uncovered that people who have a primary care provider save 33 percent on healthcare compared to their peers, who only saw specialists.5

DPC is an excellent solution for employees because of the low monthly membership fee and minimal out-of-pocket costs to visit a primary care physician. It is also a win for employers because it diverts claims away from health plans to protect the bottom line.

Education is Key

Physical wellness and financial wellness don’t have to be mutually exclusive for employees. By giving them a brief overview of the importance of primary care and showing them how easy it is to use their Direct Primary Care benefits, employers can help their workforce stay well while also protecting their own bottom line from absenteeism, presenteeism, and escalating health claims.

Because employees have been conditioned to believe that traditional health insurance is their only option, they won’t understand how to use a direct primary care membership unless they are educated. When implementing creative plan designs, employee education is key to the success of the health plan.

If you’d like more details about why direct primary care is a necessary component for cost-effective health plans, the e-book 5 Reasons Direct Primary Care is a Top Benefits Strategy is available for download.

If you are looking for more information to deliver to clients, contact Healthcare2U for educational pieces for employers and employee flyers that explain how to utilize DPC.

Sources

  1. Fritz Busch, Dustin Grzeskowiak, and Erik Huth, “Direct Primary Care: Evaluating a New Model of Delivery and Financing,” 2020, 7.
  2. Fritz Busch, Dustin Grzeskowiak, and Erik Huth, “Direct Primary Care: Evaluating a New Model of Delivery and Financing,” 2020, 41.
  3. Stephen J. Spann, MD, MBA, “Report on Financing the New Model of Family Medicine,” NCBI, November 2, 2004, accessed June 23, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1466777/
  4. Oregon Health Authority, “Patient-Centered Primary Care,” accessed June 23, 2021, https://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/dsi-pcpch/Pages/index.aspx
  5. Franks, K. Fiscella, “Primary care physicians and specialists as personal physicians. Health care expenditures and mortality experience,” National Library of Medicine, August 1998, accessed June 23, 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9722797/

5 Reasons Direct Primary Care Is a Necessary Ingredient for Health Plans

There are significant hurdles facing employers who want to provide meaningful benefits to their growing workforce. There’s a great deal of buzz surrounding cost-containment strategies, but you can’t create real solutions without examining these hurdles and customizing plans based on the needs of individual clients.

Direct primary care (DPC) addresses many of the pain points employers are currently experiencing. From escalating costs to geographic barriers, traditional healthcare options have left much to be desired. Here we’ll examine five reasons DPC has become an option employers and their employees don’t want to live without.

DPC Reduces Claims Exposure for Employers

Because DPC isn’t health insurance, there are no claims to impact the employer’s bottom line and no deductibles for the employee to meet before getting necessary care. Direct primary care saves employers money by diverting acute care claims, chronic disease management, and urgent care from their health plans. For care performed by a primary care physician (PCP), no claims are generated on the employer’s health plan, and there are no bills for members after receiving care.

DPC Minimizes the Costs of Chronic Disease Management

With the right DPC membership, employees can get primary care and chronic disease management without generating monthly claims for their employer. Members get affordable access to a primary care physician, and the savings for multiple employees over time can lead to exponential savings for large and small employers.

DPC Allows Employers of All Types to Provide Benefits to their Employees

With small margins, small employers and service-sector businesses struggle to provide health benefits to employees. Service workers often earn low wages, so paying expensive premiums and deductibles is not feasible.

Direct primary care is an affordable healthcare solution for small employers, the gig economy, non-benefits eligible, part-time workers, and the service sector. DPC offers unlimited primary care for a low monthly membership fee with no premiums or deductibles to meet.

DPC Supports Nationwide Employers with Remote Workers Across Multiple States

With a nationwide direct primary care provider, members can access primary care physicians in every state, face to face or virtually, for one low membership fee. This membership takes flexibility to a whole new level for today’s mobile workforce.

DPC Delivers the On-Demand Healthcare Experience that Millennials Want

Millennials have created a generational shift toward on-demand healthcare because younger patients prioritize the delivery speed and availability of appointments. This group can learn the benefits of developing a long-term relationship with a PCP in a direct primary care environment with little education. They still get speed and availability, but they can keep their health history in one central location.

Informative Resources

If you’d like more details about why direct primary care is a necessary component for cost-effective health plans, the e-book 5 Reasons Direct Primary Care is a Top Benefits Strategy is available for download.

Also, the video DPC: The Foundation of Cost-Effective Health Plans provides more insight on how DPC can help employers offer top-notch benefits that attract and retain the best talent. Companies are looking to benefits brokers for solutions to help them become an employer of choice. This open enrollment season is an excellent opportunity to share why direct primary care is an affordable healthcare option for companies of all sizes.

If you’d like more information on affordable, nationwide DPC memberships, contact Healthcare2U.

 

Benefits as a Recruitment Strategy [Cost-Effective Solutions Such As Direct Primary Care Provide Customizable Benefits]

According to Tom Sullivan, VP of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small businesses struggle to recruit qualified staff and continue to bear the burden of worker shortages. The burger chain White Castle recently reached out to 550,000 past applicants from as far back as 2017 to try to fill open positions.

poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife found that 24 percent of small businesses planned to increase pay to attract new employees. Other tactics include remote work, more flexible working hours, and better benefits.

A recent study by HR platform provider Ease examined the challenges facing small-to-medium businesses as the pandemic recedes. The study found that as employers sought to retain and recruit workers, they offered more voluntary benefits.

It’s not surprising that workers are interested in better benefits given the events of the past year. The looming possibility of serious illness, hospitalization, or fatality became painfully palpable for many workers. These threats motivated many to choose voluntary benefits during the 2021 open enrollment period to help protect their families and their income should they face more difficult circumstances in the future.

Health Costs are Increasing

The Ease study of small-to-medium businesses also noted an increase in medical plan premiums and medical costs overall during 2020. The average company in their study saw a year-over-year increase in individual medical premiums of nearly 6 percent, while family medical premiums increased almost 4 percent, on average.

The following health costs also saw an increase in 2020:

  • Overall, health care prices rose nearly 2 percent.
  • The cost of physician services increased nearly 2 percent.
  • The cost of hospital services rose 3 percent.

The Cost of Turnover

Another expensive issue plaguing employers of all sizes is turnover. The costs of employee turnover vary depending upon the role and the nature of the business. Still, some studies estimate that each time a company replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average.

A CAP study found the following averages to replace an employee:

  • Jobs earning less than $30,000 a year = 16 percent of annual salary
  • Jobs earning $30,000 to $50,000 a year = 20 percent of annual salary
  • Highly educated executive positions = 213 percent of annual salary

Improving benefits is also a way to reduce employee turnover, especially for small businesses.

A Cost-Effective Solution is Here

Attracting and retaining qualified talent is tricky, but offering benefits to make employees feel valued is significant. Small businesses often feel they can’t provide health benefits for their staff because insurance premiums and deductibles are cost-prohibitive. Add on the insurance claims that impact profits, and the cost of a meaningful health plan can quickly escalate beyond control.

Now there is a powerful alternative to traditional health insurance plans. It’s called direct primary care (DPC). Instead of paying monthly premiums or deductibles, this health membership offers unlimited visits to a primary care physician for a low monthly membership fee. The membership can be paired with an insurance policy or provided on its own.

DPC has been a game-changer for small businesses. This low-cost alternative allows employees of small companies and the service sector to get the healthcare necessary to keep themselves and their families healthy. When it comes to using health benefits as a recruitment strategy, direct primary care makes it easy. Employers don’t have to wait until open enrollment to implement DPC. They can sign up any time of year to offer health benefits to their staff.

If you’d like more information on how direct primary care can help employers stand out in a competitive landscape, contact Healthcare2U.

 

The Importance of Health Screenings [Direct Primary Care Memberships Provide Access to Routine Healthcare]

According to a recent survey by Prevent Cancer Foundation, 35 percent of Americans have missed routine cancer screenings due to COVID-19 fears.

Another 43 percent of Americans have missed medical appointments because of the pandemic. Health experts sound the alarm that this trend could have fatal consequences.

Pandemic or not, many people have a reactive approach to maintaining good health as some only seek medical care when something goes wrong. This practice can allow conditions to progress to a state that is either no longer treatable or extremely expensive to treat.

Experts say it’s better to be proactive about your health. Part of that includes taking advantage of the health screenings that are available with your primary care physician.

Health Screenings

Annual Physicals Are Important

Doctors recommend that people of all ages have a physical exam done by their primary care physician every year. This appointment is a wonderful opportunity for physician and patient to discuss overall health and wellness status and goals. It’s also the perfect time to share any symptoms that your doctor may need to investigate further. Many times, physicians can detect and treat conditions before significant symptoms appear.

A physical is a vital tool that allows physicians to determine which areas of your health need extra attention to prevent disease states later. It’s essential to know your numbers from blood pressure to blood glucose levels and body mass index to keep them within a healthy range.

Allowing health issues to escalate or go unchecked for years can lead to serious health problems. Having an annual physical is a powerful step toward preventing severe conditions and taking control of your health.

Cancer Screenings

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the most important modifiable determinants of cancer risk are weight control, dietary choices, and physical activity levels for people who do not use tobacco. In addition to making healthy nutritional choices and exercising, the ACS also recommends screenings to prevent various types of cancer.

  • Cervical Cancer – The ACS recommends various surveillance strategies, such as pap smears, and options based on a woman’s age, screening history, and other risk factors.
  • Prostate Cancer -The American Cancer Society recommends that asymptomatic men with at least a 10-year life expectancy speak with their physician about screening for prostate cancer.
  • Breast Cancer – The ACS recommends that women undergo regular mammography screening for the early detection of breast cancer.

These are just a few of the screenings recommended by the American Cancer Society. In any case, it’s essential to have an open dialogue with a physician to determine if or when you should be screened for cancer or any other condition. If your primary care physician doesn’t provide these screenings, they can refer you to someone who does.

Easy Access to Primary Care

In the past, people skipped annual physicals or visits to the doctor because they lacked health insurance or expensive copays, and deductibles made their coverage too expensive to use. Fortunately, more innovative healthcare solutions like direct primary care (DPC) have made visiting a primary care physician easy and affordable for everyone.

This healthcare membership differs from insurance because it provides unlimited access to a primary care doctor for a low monthly membership fee. This membership often includes annual physicals as well as other screenings and chronic disease management for diseases within manageable ranges.

For more information on how DPC can provide affordable access to preventive healthcare, contact Healthcare2U.

 

Helping Employees Understand Their Benefits

A recent survey by Voya Financial revealed 35 percent of employees do not fully comprehend any of the benefits they’ve selected. Things seem to be even more perplexing for younger workers, with 54 percent of millennials admitting they don’t understand their benefits.

As benefits offerings become more and more complex and even more costly, employees want more education from their employers. They want to know that they have chosen the right coverage for their families at the best possible price.

Even if the employer offers cost-effective benefits like direct primary care (DPC), if employees don’t know what it is or how to use it most effectively, everyone misses out on the savings. Here we’ll examine simple ways to educate employees about their benefits and why it’s crucial.

Understanding Mitigates Stress

Unfortunately, employees view open enrollment with a lot of trepidation because they are unsure of what they’re signing up for.

Employee Benefits & Healthcare

Even though benefits like direct primary care have been around for many years, people are just now beginning to understand the real power of membership compared to traditional health insurance. Here are some frequently asked questions about DPC that employees may need clarity on.

Employee Healthcare

Providing Resources is Easy and Effective

Its clear employees need information and support from employers to alleviate stress leading up to open enrollment. Sixty-five percent of employees surveyed by Voya said they want help from their employers to better understand their benefits year-round, not just during open enrollment.

With this short video and other resources, helping employees comprehend their direct primary care membership benefits can be seamless.

If you’d like to help your clients or employees better understand DPC, download the FAQs about Direct Primary Care.

 

The Consequences of Delaying Medical Care

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Public Radio recently conducted a study about the challenges Americans faced receiving healthcare over the past year. They found 20 percent of U.S. adults postponed medical care or had no access to healthcare.

Many people said their doctor’s office wouldn’t see them as the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals and medical providers. Others reported they didn’t feel safe going to a doctor’s office, but 40 percent said financial barriers prevented them from seeking care. Some simply couldn’t afford healthcare, while others struggled to find doctors who would accept their insurance.

Delays Can Have Serious Consequences

Even people with chronic conditions reported a delay in receiving care. Allowing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol to go unchecked for a year is extremely dangerous. Countless patients were also forced to postpone elective surgeries. Of the one in seven adults who delayed or were denied an elective procedure during the pandemic, 54 percent reported negative health consequences as a result.

Experts estimate the delays in screenings could lead to 10,000 colorectal and breast cancer deaths over the next decade. From missed physicals and routine checkups to major surgeries, the impact of delaying care is now coming to light. Waiting to receive medical care is not only detrimental to a patient’s health, but it can also be extremely damaging financially. As conditions escalate, it can lead to more complicated surgeries, extended hospital stays, more medications, and higher costs.

Direct primary care (DPC) can easily eliminate all these barriers to care through a nationwide organization like Healthcare2U.

Delaying Medical Care

 

DPC Filled in the Gaps

Long before the world ever heard of Covid-19, people were catching onto the benefits of a DPC membership. But over the past year, the convenience, easy access, and low membership cost proved very valuable for many across the U.S.

Telemedicine became the bridge between the past and the future of healthcare. When many doctors were forced to shut their doors because of safety concerns, the many direct primary care providers who already offered telehealth and virtual services stepped to the forefront. Many DPC providers seamlessly transitioned to providing primary care in a primarily virtual setting.

Telehealth, virtual DPC, nationwide availability, and prescription discounts are just a few of the perks Healthcare2U’s direct primary care members enjoy. In addition to these benefits, early-stage chronic disease management has been a vital component of DPC memberships, especially over the past year.

With the necessary monitoring, communication, and medications, a primary care provider can prevent chronic disease states and other conditions from worsening. And with such affordable membership rates, locations in every state, and no out-of-pocket costs for telemedicine or virtual visits, the barriers to receiving timely medical care have been eliminated.

Direct primary care was created to help people avoid deteriorating health and escalating costs for medical care. For more information on unlimited access to nationwide DPC, contact Healthcare2U.

 

Exploring Healthcare Coverage Alternatives

Charlie Geiselhart, CRO of Healthcare2U, speaks with Daniel Litwin about how more companies and people are considering new, out-of-the-box solutions for affordable healthcare coverage

Podcast: Digital Disruption
Publisher: MarketScale
Host: Daniel Litwin with special guest, Healthcare2U’s CRO, Charlie Geiselhart

 

Inaccessibility to low-cost health insurance is a fact of life for many people, as well as employers who want to offer part-time and 1099 workers solutions. Where can people turn to when they want affordable healthcare coverage? Charlie Geiselhart, CRO of Healthcare2U, spoke with Daniel Litwin about how more companies and people are considering new, out-of-the-box solutions.

When faced with selecting a healthcare coverage plan for employees, companies may have options, but they may not always be viable. Healthcare2U is a membership-based, direct primary care organization that provides employers, brokers, and patients with complete primary and urgent care nationwide.

“From an employer’s perspective, there are alternatives out there, but they’re costly,” Geiselhart said. “The high-deductible plan’s been out there for a long time. For an employee, it’s expensive to buy coverage. It’s expensive to use coverage. So, a lot of people are going without coverage.” Geiselhart said that, with all the choices available, it can be challenging to navigate the space. “The layperson doesn’t understand how insurance operates, so what we’ve decided to do is do a lot of handholding through our coverage and our program that allows them to make one phone call and access care,” Geiselhart said.

This access, Geiselhart said, is essential. When it comes to issues surrounding healthcare coverage, costs, etc., the average person wants help and needs advice and expertise regarding navigating a world they typically spend their time avoiding. Healthcare brokers recognize that they have traditional coverage offerings for many employers and employees. Still, those traditional offerings leave a large pool of people off the table. Those left outside looking in still want access to healthcare coverage.

“There are a lot of brokers operating in the traditional sense, but there are new and exciting alternatives that a lot of brokers haven’t explored,” Geiselhart said. Healthcare2U is one such possibility.

Healthcare2U is the nation’s fastest-growing hybrid DPC provider.

Healthcare2U is a membership-based, hybrid direct primary care (DPC) organization that ensures employers of all sizes and structures have nationwide access to affordable, consistent, and quality primary care over 40% below the average cost of traditional DPC practices operating in the market today. Through our proprietary Private Physician Network (PPN)™, Healthcare2U promotes healthy living by detecting, treating, and managing acute and chronic conditions before the onset of serious illness. Healthcare2U is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is available nationwide. For more information, visit www.healthc2u.com.

Interested in learning more? Let’s get in touch

Major Shifts in Healthcare [Implementing Long-Term Strategies for Telemedicine and Virtual Care]

In 2020, the healthcare industry was forced to reimagine care delivery and dive headfirst into telehealth and virtual health solutions. Research and consulting giant PwC recently released a new annual report titled “Top health industry issues of 2021: Will a shocked system emerge stronger?” After surveying 2,511 American consumers, 128 health plan executives, 153 healthcare provider organization executives, and 124 pharmaceutical and life sciences executives in August and September 2020, PwC concluded the healthcare industry should be prepared for major shifts ahead. These shifts include offering a growing variety of health services virtually and investing in patient navigation.

A Variety of Virtual Healthcare Services

In 2016, only 56 percent of employers covered telehealth benefits. In 2020, that number exploded to 95 percent. Even those employers who may have been hesitant to buy into telehealth or virtual services had to reconsider in the face of a global pandemic that forced everyone to alter the way they lived, worked, and consumed health services.

As medical providers suddenly found themselves stretched beyond limits, there was no time to evaluate what made the most sense for care delivery and patient experience. However, the sudden thrust to telemedicine served as a valuable experiment. PwC sought to provide some insight to help healthcare organizations navigate the telemedicine explosion post-pandemic.

PwC researchers say, “In the year ahead, the industry will work to determine which virtual visits make the most sense, and where and how they should take place.” According to the report, providers say specific areas are expected to find even stronger footing in the virtual world, starting this year.

Provider Organizations Must Help with Patient Navigation 

Another major shift in the healthcare system surrounds using virtual care to orchestrate care delivery for patients. PwC researchers say, “Tying virtual to in-person visits seamlessly is important for reducing leakage and maintaining ancillary services, follow-up appointments, and prescription levels.”

They concluded that providers could improve patient care and mitigate dropped handoffs by better integrating virtual patient visits in a care pathway. Fifty-one percent of consumers surveyed by PwC said they wanted a care coordinator or navigator to help orchestrate virtual and in-person care and provide support services.

Thus, 68 percent of provider executives surveyed plan to implement more care navigators and coordinators this year. The first point of contact for consumers is most likely to influence shepherding those patients through the healthcare system.

Now that provider organizations have had time to catch their breath, it’s time to begin implementing long-term strategies. As the healthcare landscape grows more and more competitive, there are a few ways healthcare providers can distinguish themselves.

  • Offer telehealth or virtual benefits that transcend geographies.
  • Provide free or low-cost telehealth consultations to attract new patients.
  • Prevent disparities by implementing apps that are readily available to all.

To learn more about how direct primary care offers bilingual Virtual DPC, telehealth, and stellar patient navigation — contact Healthcare2U.

DPC is a Win-Win for Employees & Employers

You may have heard that direct primary care practitioners are taking a slightly different approach to providing affordable and easily accessible healthcare. But do you know how this healthcare model started and why it’s gaining prominence day by day?

Let’s take a closer look at DPC and why it works for today.

The Beginning

The concept of direct primary care, or DPC, isn’t new. Concierge medical care in the U.S. used to be an exclusive club for the wealthy. Members would pay their doctor a substantial annual membership fee, an estimated $1,500 to $2,400, for services such as same-day visits, 24/7 cellphone access to their doctor, health advice, and annual physicals.

While this model works well to keep patients in optimal health, the price makes it inaccessible to the masses. In 2018, 40 percent of American households earned less than $50,000 per year, and that’s not per person. That’s $50,000 per four-person household. Low wages plus no benefits leave many Americans feeling left out in the cold when it comes to healthcare.

Hybrid and Traditional DPC Practices Have the Same Goal

Direct Primary Care is practiced in the U.S. through two approaches: traditional and hybrid practices. While there have been many debates based on which model is better, there is a place for both to improve doctors’ quality of life and the quality of care for their patients.

In either case, DPC has gained popularity among employers of all sizes as well as their employees. Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of direct primary care for employers.

 A Win for Employers Large and Small

Direct Primary Care protects employers’ health plans by diverting claims for acute care, chronic disease management, and urgent care away from their health plans. Milliman, Inc — one of the nation’s leading independent actuary firms — 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 the course of two years. They also reported that DPC members were admitted to the hospital 26 percent less over that same two-year period.

The report estimated that DPC saved the employers in their study about 5 percent of total non-administrative plan costs; effectively providing employers a benefit that is more than paid for by the savings it helps them generate.

For a small business, savings like this can mean the difference between living to fight another day, having to lay off employees, or even worse, being forced to shut down.

Adding direct primary care to health plans does not detract from other plan offerings—it enhances them. DPC is also straightforward to implement. With DPC providers like Healthcare2U, employers can maintain a healthier workforce with flexible enrollment options, excellent customer support, and a customized benefits platform that works with existing carriers.

A Win for Employees

Having traditional or hybrid direct primary care means there are no longer barriers to quality primary care. For an affordable monthly fee, patients can establish a relationship with a primary care provider to promote wellness in the long term.

Each provider has its list of services and prices, but some of the benefits of DPC membership include:

  • Unlimited doctor visits for a small fee or for free
  • Early-stage chronic disease management
  • 24/7/365 access to a physician via in-office or over-the-phone

It’s helpful to have health insurance for catastrophic life events but being able to see the doctor when you’re ill without having to pay expensive deductibles or copays is one of the reasons people love DPC.

Healthcare2U is the nation’s fastest growing hybrid DPC provider.

Traditional DPC practices and hybrid DPC providers are all working together to ensure people of all socioeconomic backgrounds can get the healthcare they need to live happier and healthier lives. If you’d like more information about access to affordable and convenient healthcare, contact Healthcare2U.

Why Millennials Ignore Health Issues

While there are currently four generations that comprise today’s workforce, millennials make up the most significant portion. With the productivity of companies nationwide resting upon the shoulders of this massive group, keeping them healthy should be a priority. But a recent survey revealed some millennials are at risk because they postpone seeing a doctor or ignore health issues altogether.

Harmony Healthcare IT, a health data management firm, recently surveyed millennials about healthcare, primary care physicians, and annual physical examinations during the pandemic. Aside from the risks of being exposed to the covid-19 virus, there were three main reasons millennials put off going to the doctor this past year.

Millennials don't go to the doctors

Whatever the reasons, it is abundantly clear that young workers do not engage with the healthcare system the same way other generations have. There seems to be a disconnect between traditional benefits provided by employers and what younger employees want in a benefits program. Even with employer-sponsored options like high deductible health plans (HDHPs), young people still feel they can’t afford to see a doctor. But alternatives like direct primary care (DPC) are filling in that gap.

Millennials Are in Debt

Of the respondents in the survey, 24 percent of millennials said they’ve taken on medical debt since the pandemic, with 28 percent having $1,000 or more in medical debt. When people don’t use primary care as the foundation of healthcare, it can create unnecessary expenses.

If a patient postpones or ignores a red flag condition, they often end up using urgent care clinics or the emergency room as their primary point of contact for treatment. This practice is a very costly way to engage the system. In essence, seeing a primary care physician before a condition escalates can save the patient and their employer money in the long run.

DPC memberships can be a lifesaver for millennials who can’t afford to pay high deductibles to seek primary care. For a low monthly fee, members get unlimited access to a primary care provider, and there are no monthly premiums or deductibles to pay out of pocket. Employers love this option because their employees can see a primary care physician without generating claims to impact the company’s health plan.

Millennials Want Convenience

Twenty-five percent of the millennials surveyed said seeing a doctor is too inconvenient. This inconvenience doesn’t have to be the case with choices like telehealth and virtual DPC. Most direct primary care memberships include these modern conveniences for no additional fees, so there are no geographical barriers to care.

Traditional benefits packages fall flat with younger employees because of generational shifts in perspectives and priorities. Millennials expect different types of resources than previous generations, and when presented with new technology and conveniences that meet their needs, they are far more likely to utilize them.

By offering cost-effective health memberships like direct primary care with telehealth and virtual DPC, employers can meet the needs of a constantly evolving and diverse workforce. Customizing benefits for the largest segment of the workforce promotes loyalty and healthier and more content employees.