North Port doctors find health insurance alternative

NORTH PORT, Fla.- Doctors say they’re finding a way for patients to get quality health care while avoiding health insurance but they say it’s completely legal.

People from Charlotte, DeSoto, and many other counties are flocking to two primary care physicians in North Port– some even traveling from as far as Orlando.

Patients pay $50 a month to be a part of the health care program through Epiphany Health with Dr. Lee Gross and Dr. William Crouch. Children are $25 and each additional child is $10. That includes 25 visits a year and anything that can be done in the office. No insurance companies are involved and that means, no co-pays. They also have a number of other services with big discounts.

“We reached out to our independent mom and pop shops and said ‘if our patients came to you and they agreed to pay you at the time of service if you didn’t have to collect and fight insurance companies for six months to get paid… What could you sell your services for just give us your best prices’. And the prices we got floored us,” said co-founder of Epiphany Health, Dr. Lee Gross.

That’s when they realized this could be the future of health care.

“That’s when we sort of had our epiphany. That’s how we got the name of our company…is you know… we thought, we can really do this,” Said Dr. Gross.

But now that the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have insurance they thought that might change their business; but in fact they’re now there to catch those who fall through the cracks of the ACA.

“We encourage our patients to get health insurance. Many of our patients will get the bronze coverage through the ACA. You don’t use car insurance to fill up your gas tank. This is the same thing. You don’t need to use your health insurance for primary care when these prices are so low. We are completely transparent with our prices,” said Dr. William Crouch.

The doctors are pushing for legislation to be passed to make it clear that their program will not be labeled as health insurance. That way they will not be subject to the same regulations as insurance companies. They’re expecting to see legislation drafts within the next few weeks.

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