Imagine you have a bad stomach ache that isn’t going away. You don’t think it’s life-threatening, but you also don’t want it to become life-threatening. You call your primary care provider (PCP) and try to get an appointment and find out that the next available appointment is more than 2 weeks later. What do you do? Do you pay for a trip to urgent care?
This is a common occurrence nowadays with the traditional primary care journey that traditional insurance companies allow for. This seems strange. After all, no one seems to benefit. You can’t get the care you need when you want it. Physicians certainly would like to have enough hours of the day to see all their patients. And insurance companies deal with the backlash from unhappy plan members. What’s going on?
Here are the 3 main reasons it’s hard to get time with your PCP:
1. There are too few PCPs
There is a shortage of primary care physicians because they’re not paid enough to cover for all of those medical school loans. Primary care doctors earn an average of over $100,000 less than other medical specialties. This leads to a decreased percentage of primary care physicians and a projected shortage of between 21,400 and 55,200 PCPs by 2033.
2. There are more and more people who need care
Not only are there too few PCPs, there are also more people who need primary care and more and more of these people are older. According to the US Census Bureau, by 2030, 1 out of 5 people needing primary care will be 65 or older. Such patients likely spend more time with their PCPs and see their PCPs more often, further increasing strain on the PCP network.
3. Traditional PCPs are incentivized to see higher volumes of patients which leads to overbooking
Traditionally, the more patients a PCP sees, the more revenue their business generates. This often leads to double-booking and crammed schedules so that PCPs can keep their practice operating, which only lengthens appointment times.
Taro Health is a new health insurance plan that wants to make sure you get more access to primary care. Every Taro Health insurance plan comes with a free Direct Primary Care (DPC) membership. Once you choose a primary care physician from our network of Taro DPCs, you can:
- Stay with the same DPC as long as you are a Taro member, which allows you to develop a personalized relationship with a DPC who knows your health better, making visits more effective
- See your DPC how often you want at no additional cost
- See your DPC how you want, be that in-person or virtual
- Contact your DPC instead of spending time and money in urgent care
- On top of that, your Taro Health insurance plan fully covers your DPC membership, so you don’t need to worry about co-pays or visit fees