Health Care Reform open enrollment has kicked off and new insurance options will soon be available to a larger population in 2014, but for the estimated 20% of North County residents who are currently uninsured, a new option is available. North County Health Services (NCHS) has a new, one-fee payment option.
Beginning October 1st, anyone without insurance can come to one of North County Health Services’ 10 locations and pay a flat fee which includes their visit, all labs, any x-rays or procedures they would need – included in one low price. This flat fee would range from $40, $50 or $60 depending on income and family size. This is unprecedented as community clinics, or health centers, typically charge a low fee for the visit and any testing, procedures or lab work is all an additional discounted, but extra, expense – until now.
“We wanted to make accessing health care easier for our community, and give patients the peace of mind knowing they won’t have any looming laboratory or other related bills after their visit. It really goes back to the heart of our mission,” says Deizel Sarte, COO of North County Health Services.
NCHS foresees this simple yet revolutionary plan as providing a great benefit to the community, and one local uninsured resident Jordan Kloos, agrees. Kloos, an Oceanside small business owner, is spending 12-15 hour days working to establish his start-up lighting company and, like many in the community, is uninsured. “With owning my own business, the cost of health care and insurance plans simply exceeds what I can afford at the moment.” When Kloos gets sick, he explains he typically uses over-the-counter medications or cough syrups or looks to the Internet, like WebMD, for advice. “If I get sick, I would consider spending the money out of pocket to see a doctor, but what I worry about is the potential extra expenses,” explains Kloos. “I don’t want to go in and know what’s wrong and not be able to afford the solution. It’s the extra testing or expenses that I worry about. The unknown really keeps me from even considering it.”
For over 40 years, North County Health Services has welcomed the uninsured, but including all labs, x-rays and procedures is cutting-edge. NCHS believes this new payment structure will help open the door to many in the North County area who find themselves uninsured. “This is a clear indication to our community that we are truly committed to the complete care and well-being of our patients” adds Sarte. While this new low fee doesn’t cover prescription medications patients may need, North County Health Services does have Pharmacies on site at their two largest locations, in San Marcos and Oceanside, offering special discounted rates to qualifying patients. Additionally, NCHS also offers same-day appointment availability and transportation services.
NCHS-Carlsbad Family Medicine
1295 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 100
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Primary Care - Adults and Pediatrics, CHDP, Drug Testing, Immunizations, Health Education
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm
–NCHS Press Release