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What’s the Difference Between an HSA and Direct Primary Care?

With all the complicated costs associated with healthcare and health insurance, it’s no wonder that many employers struggle with deciding what to include in their employee benefits. Some companies lean toward a Health Savings Account (HSA) model for their benefits plans. Others have started to explore Direct Primary Care (DPC). Learning more about each system can help you find the right fit for your business and your employees.

Your Options with a Company HSA

If the high costs of traditional health insurance prove too expensive for your company—as is often the case—setting up a Health Savings Account (HSA) for each team member might seem like a smart compromise. Employers can contribute a set amount of money to these accounts annually as part of their benefits package offerings. Then, if employees want to, they can chip in their savings too. It’s worth noting that there are set rules for how much money you can put into these accounts. As of 2020, the annual contribution limit for an individual HSA is $3,550. The limit for a family HSA is $7,100. Employers can either max out those contributions each year on behalf of their employees, or they may decide to contribute a different amount, such as $100 per month. Once in place, the policyholder can draw from their HSA to pay for specific medical expenses throughout the year or continue to save. Any amount that’s left over from year to year can remain invested in the account and used later on.

Of course, there are a few setbacks. For starters, not everyone can get an HSA. You’ll need to review certain qualifying factors to make sure that contributing to an HSA will make sense for your team. The main point is that HSA policyholders need to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This means you can’t have an HSA as a stand-alone policy. Your employees will need to sign up for traditional health insurance independently. Or be enrolled with a group policy before they can benefit from your company’s HSA plan.

How is Direct Primary Care Different?

With Direct Primary Care (DPC), employers have a unique opportunity to offer healthcare coverage in a streamlined, holistic way. Traditional health insurance policies come with high deductibles and copays on top of their monthly premium. DPC is different because it utilizes a low, flat-rate payment model. Rather than pay thousands of dollars in any given year for insurance you may never need, DPC lets you pay a monthly membership directly to the primary healthcare provider. It’s designed to give you the services you need most often—all without the extra expenses of doctor visit copays or surprise bills for routine preventative care. For these reasons, many employers pay for their team’s DPC memberships as part of their benefits packages. The model works particularly well for smaller companies because it keeps costs low. At the same time, they are giving employees key healthcare benefits for the primary care services they need regularly. DPC also works as an excellent add-on for employees who may already be covered under a spouse’s traditional or high-deductible health insurance plan. The model complements all types of situations and can even work as a stand-alone option.

Finding the Right Healthcare Benefits

Depending on your company’s budget and existing benefits package, offering a Health Savings Account can be a great perk for your team. But it’s always important to review your healthcare options from every angle. You may combine a traditional high-deductible health plan, an HSA, and a membership for Direct Primary Care (DPC) as a “total package” for healthcare. Or your company might realize that offering DPC as a stand-alone is right. The best solution for your team won’t always look the same as whatever is a good fit for the company down the road. That’s why education is key. If you’re ready to compare and contrast your options, our office would love to help you. At Assured Direct Care, our team isn’t just about providing quality healthcare to the greater Boise area. We’re also here to ensure that your company can have a cost-effective solution for a benefits plan!

Please send us a message to learn more about our process. We’d love to see if the Direct Primary Care model would fit your needs well.


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