Forbes had an article on these concierge services a couple weeks ago. People pay as little as $60/mo. for all basic services...most are a bit higher. The danger to the socialists is that middle income and young people will start to flock to these if they catch on.
It seems they are particularly popular in the Pacific Northwest which is interesting because that's where Kaiser has a strong presence. Competition for their business perhaps?
Not everyone who got tax cuts under Bush the Younger and Obama before he changed his mind was rich, either. But what does that have to do with political exploitation of class resentment?
Concierge Medicine also known as Retainer Fee Medicine has been alive and well in the Pacific Northwest for years because the State Insurance Commissioner lost the State’s case against such doctors on a complaint that such doctors were running their own insurance.
Boeing also found it was more affordable to self-insure its employees and at the same time increase and improve health coverage.
Many in the left wing press try to create the impression of retainer fee medicine as only for the rich. This is a false impression. Washington State law allows an employee to opt out of an employer sponsored health insurance plan and pocket the difference. Many employees take the difference to Health Savings Accounts and then to retainer fee physicians.
Retainer fee medicine is even better than pay-as-you-go services because the doctor is devoted to your health at all times 24/7, allowing for coverage by another physician when not on duty or on vacation.
And it benefits the doctor immensely. They have so much more time to really get to know their patients and need not see 36 patients a day to stay in business; more like they can see half of the patients to cover overhead.
A general practitioner needs at a minimum a receptionist and an assistant. Salaries for all run about $250,000 per year and other overhead and expenses runs roughly $300,000. Adding an operating margin of 10% yields required revenue to be about $600,000 annually or $50,000 per month, or $300 per hour.
At an average 18 patients per day, or roughly two patients per hour, and an average of one patient seeing the doctor three times a year a patient panel of about 1500 patients can sustain a basic clinic.
How much on average per year to charge 1500 patients to satisfy an annual budget of $600,000? Only $400 per year or $34 per month. This is the low end but it can work.
And with that $34 per month, one can see their physician at any time, as much as needed to preserve general health. Retainer fee physicians even make house calls. In fact retainer fee physicians are nothing more than a throwback to the way physicians operated before FDR slapped a wage freeze on employers, thereby creating employer sponsored health plans and a health insurance industry run by government political interference.
Usually physicians can handle patient panels of 2500 to 3000 without a problem. So they can afford to hire more clinical staff and pay better salaries. They can also use a sliding scale to charge patients according to income level. This allows the doctor to live comfortably; they deserve it given how hard it was for them to get through so many years of living in near poverty in order to obtain a medical license.
It takes a surgeon 14 or more years after high school to become licensed. And during those years they are living from stipend to stipend with barely enough left over for much else other than basic living.