Americans rigging own medical safety nets as health plan costs climb

High health insurance prices have led a growing number of Americans to bypass commercial health plans and make their own medical safety nets, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

While there is little data detailing how many people are replacing health insurance with their own arrangements, data on healthcare-sharing ministries and direct primary care offices show those arrangements are growing in popularity.

Enrollment in religion-based healthcare cost-sharing plans grew 74 percent from 2014 to 2016, according to Internal Revenue Service data cited by the Santa Fe New Mexican. An alliance for the cost-sharing plans said more than 1 million Americans participate in religion-based healthcare cost-sharing plans.

Direct primary care clinics, which often do not accept insurance but charge patients a monthly fee for unlimited physician visits, are also on the rise. In the early 2000s, the Direct Primary Care Coalition trade group said there were only a handful of these types of direct care clinics. Today, there are nearly 900, according to the report.

More articles on payers:
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