We gave up on traditional health care insurance in 2016 by switching to Samaritan Ministries for myself and husband. It was an easy decision for us because we paid $450 per month plus we saved $200 per month to cover routine doctor visits and at the end of the year we usually had $1,000 left over to put into savings.
This year we had to add the kids on the Samaritan program when they lost MCHP. I made a spreadsheet of four kids routine doctor/dental/eye doctor visits and it came out about equal to a bronze insurance plan offered through Maryland Health Connection but the deductible was so high that we'd end up paying more.
Samaritan Ministries wrote about Direct Primary Care in their January monthly newsletter. DPC is a network of doctors who have decided to offer a flat monthly fee for routine and sick doctor visits. There is no third party billing so the cost is lower than having traditional insurance. We found a provider in our area, Franklin Family Medicine, and have spent the past two months getting integrated into their system.
We pay $70 per month for adults and $10 per month for each child. They require at least one adult in the system to help defer the costs of offering such a low price for children. I updated my spreadsheet and remarkably we are only paying $500 more than our total medical in 2018.
Our constant goal with Frugal Living is to find a balance between living frugally and a quality of life that doesn't sacrifice family needs. I feel so much better having found Franklin Family Medicine because now we don't need to ask ourselves, is this illness serious enough to pay urgent care or doctor visit of $200? Our DPR has told us to call or text any time of the day or night if we have any serious issue, seriously, who does that anymore?
In summary, we have Samaritan Ministries who will cover any illness or injury that exceeds $300. We have the DPC for all routine and sick needs. We pay out of pocket for dental and vision. Our estimated annual total is $10,498.00.