Transparent Health Network Introduces Novel Plan to Provide Working Uninsured/Underinsured Access To Affordable Health Care.

Continuing with the thread about what might happen if healthcare reform does not pass, here is an interesting product that is emerging in the New York City area.

Innovation Alert

The growing numbers of uninsured and underinsured now have a new low-cost option for obtaining health care services and prescriptions at significantly reduced prices. Transparent Health Network, a unique non-insurance health care access plan was introduced this week in the New York metropolitan area.

For a low monthly fee — $39 for an individual; $54 for a family — Transparent Health Network members gain access to a provider roster that includes primary care, specialist and ancillary health care providers who have contracted to care for them at reduced fees. Members also gain access to extensive discounted pharmacy benefits, available exclusively at 400 Rite Aid stores across the New York area.

Transparent Health Network is not insurance, so in return for the reduced fees, members pay the providers directly, at the time they receive care.

Transparent Health Network was designed to be an affordable option for individuals who are working and either uninsured or underinsured and cannot comfortably afford health insurance, but whose incomes exceed the maximum limit for government assistance programs. In addition, Transparent Health Network is a viable companion to high deductible, or catastrophic, insurance plans.

“Transparent Health Network is, quite simply, a health care access model that makes sense. More and more people have been losing their insurance coverage or finding themselves unable to afford the premiums. Now, for the first time, there’s a way for providers to help them,” said Leon Smith, MD, past chairman of Medicine, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, NJ.

Transparent Health Network negotiates fees with providers in much the same way as insurers do, but with two significant differences: With Transparent Health Network, contracted rates are the same from one provider to the next within a specified geographic area; and, for complete transparency, the contracted fee schedules are posted online, at where members and providers can access them easily. Members can look up the price of common procedures before seeking care, so they can make educated decisions about when and where to seek care, and maximize the value of their health care dollars.

Transparent Health Network is currently available in the New York metropolitan region, including the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Long Island.

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