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Could Atlanta Start-Up Cut Health Care Insurance Costs?

Atlanta startup HIPnation says it can save patients money with a no co-pay, no deductible $100 a month plan that would cover basic care, saving regular insurance for high-cost care.

Ellie Hensley | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Staggering premiums and deductibles are a common problem for many in today’s health-care insurance environment.

But a new Atlanta startup, HIPnation, aims to shake up the current model and save people up to 50 percent on health-care insurance costs.

HIPnation will charge customers $100 a month to be able to see its physicians for their primary care needs. There are no co-pays and no deductibles, and the program is Affordable Care Act compliant.

Under HIPnation’s model, insurance is reserved for catastrophic or high-cost situations. CEO Will Hall likens the approach to how car insurance works — you use it for accidents, but not for simple things like an oil change.

“Right now, insurance is in every aspect of health-care, but it should be used for low frequency, high cost things,” Hall said. “You need it for a heart attack, but not for poison ivy.”

The company’s customers get unlimited access to primary care, including their physician’s cell phone number so they can be reached at any time. Hall said 80 percent of health-care needs can be covered by primary care, and 90 percent of those needs can be taken care of using telemedicine instead of an in-person visit.

Studies have shown that patients with access to 24/7 primary care experience 35 percent fewer hospitalizations, 65 percent fewer ER visits, 66 percent fewer specialist visits and 82 percent fewer surgeries, according to the British Medical Journal.

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When needed, patients can seek help from specialists like cardiologists, neurologists and gynecologists. HIPnation pre-negotiates with pharmacists, labs and imaging facilities to lower the costs of those services as well.

“Without contracting with insurance, health-care gets pretty cheap,” said Dr. Brian Hill, founder and chief medical officer and a urologist. “It gets rid of overhead costs.”

If a customer chooses, they can contract separately with independent insurance companies for vision, dental, catastrophic and life insurance policies and submit their own claims after their visit. This removes interaction between the physicians and insurers, allowing physicians to eliminate redundancies that come along with these relationships. Physician offices often have up to five employees whose sole responsibility is to handle insurance companies.

“Eventually we want to expand regionally and nationally,” Hall said. “In 2018, our goal is to build out Atlanta. There’s a lot of people here that need access to better health-care.”

READ THE FULL STORY FROM THE ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE

About Ellie Hensley

Ellie Hensley
Ellie is an entertainment and health-care reporter at the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She's a Mizzou grad and a lover of Internet cats.

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