Alternative health insurance coverage options may be the future

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KEY LARGO, Fla. – A recent nationwide survey found that 92% of Americans said they believe the nation’s healthcare system needs major change, and already there are efforts underway to shift how medical care is provided.

Employer-sponsored health insurance has been central to the U.S. healthcare system for over 50 years.

“Where companies, in order to remain competitive with labor, they would offer a benefit and it was, in many cases, health insurance,” said Dr. Sal Barbers with the FAU College of Business.

There are now over 150 million Americans relying on an employer-sponsored health plan, and then there are people like Deanna Major, a restaurant manager in the Florida Keys who struggled to find coverage on her own.

“There was either no insurance offered or the insurance offered was too high,” Major said.

Then she found out about a new option called Keys-Kares which charges a small monthly membership fee to cover a variety of services.

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“We don’t want people waiting to come get healthcare until it’s too late,” said Dr. Bruce Boros, President and Owner of Florida Keys-based Advanced Urgent Care Center.

He decided it was a great option to offer his patients.

“What we do with the plan is offer our members unlimited access to all three facilities here in Monroe County and the big thing about this is we don’t want people to go to a facility or an ER and be waiting days and days to get attention to their problem and then a real serious complication occurs that could have been avoided earlier,” Boros said.

“Some people see that and say, ‘Oh it’s too good to be true’ so go you in and they take care of you and it is what it is,” Major added.

Barbers said another shift in the effort to stabilize cost and provide good care may come from non-tradition sources for medical services such as grocery and drug store chains and even workplace-based health centers.

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A recent national survey found that approximately a third of companies with 5,000 or more employees have established onsite clinics for their workers.

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