Florida Lawmakers Support Direct Healthcare Model

Jan 27, 2016

Florida Representative Fred Costello introducing the direct primary care bill.
Credit Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers are seeking a new healthcare option. A direct model could change the way doctors treat their patients.

Direct primary care allows patients to pay doctors up front for services, making it more cost-effective than health insurance. The Florida House Health and Human Services Committee has passed legislation separating direct care from the Florida Insurance Code. Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute says it’s legal under the Affordable Care Act. And Nuzzo believes it could provide an option for uninsured Floridians.

“This. This is what you do. This is an advancement to promote positive market-based policies that will, in fact, lower the cost of access to healthcare,” Nuzzo says.

Direct primary care is not insurance. But, Chris Nuland of the American College of Physicians Florida Chapter says this healthcare model presents a solution for people who struggle with health coverage. 

“This is not the panacea. But what it does do is aim at the gap that some people have. They make too much for Medicaid, they’re the working poor, their employers can’t give them the full coverage, but they are willing to give them primary care coverage with a specific doctor.”

This healthcare model is gaining traction around the country. But many providers are trying to figure out how to make direct pay fit within the current insurance structure.