Obesity Costs Billions

The 9 Hidden Health Costs of Being Overweight

Do You Know the True Financial Costs of Being Overweight?

The hidden health costs of being overweight

None of us can see into the future. However, as the saying goes “forewarned is forearmed”. Since we know what health conditions are associated with being overweight, we can develop a sense of the future health costs of being overweight. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases lists nine health problems linked to being overweight and obese. We’ll walk through each, one-by-one.

Throughout April 2019, we’re going to be examining the financial aspects of weight gain and weight loss. A lot of websites will talk about future health conditions related to weight loss, but not many translate this directly into dollars and cents. Over the next month, we’ll be looking at cost-effective weight loss programs and ways that you can lose weight for no cost, or even make money with some creative programs. 

Thrifty Patient is focused on bringing you news related to how to save money in healthcare. To that end, we feel we should make a clear argument about the financial benefits to weight loss. Just keep in mind that Thrifty Patient doesn’t provide medical advice and you should always talk to your physician about any concerns you have regarding your weight.

How Can I Tell if I’m Overweight?

Unfortunately, knowing if you’re overweight isn’t as simple as just stepping on a scale and counting the pounds. You’ll want to understand what your BMI is. A great calculator / chart we’ve discovered is on the website Braceability. All you need is your height and weight and you can see if you’re underweight, optimal, overweight, or obese.

However, it gets a little more complicated if you’re very muscular, very tall, have a wide chest, or have other body dimensions that complicate the situation. As luck would have it, Braceability has you covered there too. Scroll down further in their article and it’ll give you instructions on how to determine your weight range.

Health Conditions & Costs Associated with Being Over-Weight via
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

1. Type II Diabetes – $13,700.00

Diabetic Supplies

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease. When you have type 2 diabetes your body stops responding properly to insulin. Insulin is a chemical released by your pancreas that functions like a key. This key allows muscle, fat, and a few other tissues to ‘suck up’ sugar from the blood and use it for energy. Without insulin our blood fills with sugar with leads to all sorts of problems.


Connection to Obesity: The connection between weight and the risk for diabetes is well-known and well-researched. Many reputable studies have pointed towards a connection between fat tissue, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes1.

The Cost of Type II Diabetes: As with many of the diseases we’ll be looking at, diabetes and the true health costs of being overweight goes far beyond any dollar amount. The CDC reports that diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the US in 2015 and that the average yearly medical expenditure was $13,7002.

2. High Blood Pressure – $2000.00

Blood Pressure Cuff

High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious conditions that can lead to many medical emergencies such as heart disease, strokes, aneurysms, and even death. It is another prime example of the health costs of being overweight. According to the CDC, 75 million (1 in 3!) American adults have high blood pressure!3 Treating high blood pressure is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the US. Being hypertensive also complicates other health issues. While new treatments are emerging all the time, it’s better to avoid the problem entirely, if you can, through lifestyle modification and weight loss.


Connection to Obesity: A classic study on cardiovascular health, The Framingham Heart study, came to the estimate that 26% of cases of hypertension in men and 28% in women could be connected to obesity. An explanation for this is that, the excess fat squashes our arteries and veins, so that heart has to work harder to push out the blood. Overtime this leads to chronic hypertension4. If you feel you’re obese and suffering from hypertension it’s so important that you speak with your physician. 


The Cost of Hypertension: The CDC states that in 2011, the total cost of treating hypertension was $46 billion dollars between medications, health services, and missed days of work3. Estimates put the cost of care for hypertension at between $600 and $2000 annually per patient5.

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3. Heart Disease and Stroke – $200,000.00

Heart disease is a general term used to describe several different ailments. With hypertension we saw that the excess fat compressed arteries from the outside. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women and about half of all Americans have a risk factor for heart disease, according to the CDC7. What are the CDC-listed heart disease risk factors? Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, excess alcohol use. Feels like a common theme huh? Seriously, the stats on heart disease are frightening and it’s worth a read.

 Connection to Obesity:  Think of heart disease as the gunk inside of the arteries that can clog up the pipes. This leads to enough problems by itself, but when the gunk dislodges it can result in serious events like a stroke.

 The Cost of Heart Disease & Strokes: The CDC estimates that heart disease results in over $200 billion each year. Estimating an exact cost for heart disease is complicated, because how the disease can progress is complex, and some therapies are more costly than others. Some findings in the state of NY in 1997 had the expense of heart disease at over $200,000 per individual8! If you’re the cost-conscious type, then both the financial and health implications of obesity-drive heart disease should scare you.

4. Certain Types of Cancer – $$$

Connection to Obesity: According to cancer.net, as your body puts on increased weight, it starts producing more of certain types of hormones. Cancer is not one of the health costs of being overweight that many people think of. In fact, it surprised this writer when first reading about the connection. Inflammation is also associated with increased weight gain.  Research has shown that these changes are oncogenic. This means that they create environments where certain types of cancer can grow.

 The Cost of Cancer: With cancer we’re not going to try and put a price on all the damage cancer does. Suffice to say, treatments are expensive and go far beyond any specific dollar amount. The mental, social, and physical price of cancer can’t be under-stated.

5. Sleep Apnea – $6,366.00

Sleep Apea. Unless you or a loved one suffers from it, few people think about it. As you’ll soon see, it’s a great example of the hidden health costs of being overweight. WebMD defines three types of sleep apnea: Obstructive, Central, and Complex10. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with weight gain. About 29 million US adults are anticipated to have obstructive sleep apnea. With 23.5 million of the cases being undiagnosed11. Sleep apnea can impact sleep and result in all the negative side effects that reduced sleep can lead to.

Connection to Obesity: As fat builds up around the neck and on the chest, it compresses airways. If you read about the connection between weight and hypertension, you can think of sleep apnea as the airway version of that. This is an example of several truly hidden health costs of being overweight.

The Cost of Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea might not seem like a serious issue, but the results of lack of sleep and lack of productivity cost the US economy about $6,366 per person11

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6. Osteoarthritis – $4,040.00

Severe Osteoarthritis of the Hip

According to the arthritis foundation, Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It most often affects the knees, hips, lower back and neck. Obesity isn’t the only cause of Osteoarthritis, but it is a cause that can’t be ignored. If you’ll suffer from any of the health costs of being overweight, there’s a good chance it’ll be Osteoarthritis. 

Connection to Obesity: As increased weight bears down on the joints; the cartilage gets worn down by the extra pressure. In addition, researchers have found that obesity leads to a low-grade inflammatory state which also hastens the wearing-down of joints13.

The Cost of Osteoarthritis: Before we get into the cost of OA, it should be noted that we’re not going to try and tease apart OA costs caused by obesity from those caused by wear and tear. It’s very much a chick-and-egg type of question. Osteoarthritis costs the US $305 billion annually according to the CDC14. This amounts to extra medical costs of $2,117 per person with OA and complications costing $4,040 in less pay per adults14.


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7. Fatty Liver Disease – $1,700.00

NASH is stage 1

There are different types of liver diseases. Some of these are associate with alcoholism, but obesity is known to be linked to a different type of liver disease – known as Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis or Fatty Liver Disease (NASH). The MAYO clinic estimates that over 80 million Americans have NASH15

Connection to Obesity: When our liver cells store up too much fat, we run the risk of developing fatty liver disease. As our BMI increases, the fat in our blood and that accumulates in our liver increases. This directly leads to an increased risk NASH16.

The Cost of Fatty Liver Disease: According to research in 2016, the economic cost of NASH in the US is $103 Billion or $1,613 per patient17. At over a billion dollars annually, this is actually one of the smaller health costs of being overweight – at least financially. Still, I’d rather not have to suffer from NASH and I certainly don’t have the extra $1,700 to pay for treatment of a debilitating disease. 

8. Kidney Disease – $2,633.00

Swollen Dam

Our kidneys act as filters for our blood. Wastes, toxins, and extra fluid gets filtered out and removed via our urine. Along with working as a filter, our kidneys also help us regulate our blood pressure, help us activate vitamin D, and help make red blood cells. When our kidneys can’t do these things as well due to damage, doctors call it chronic kidney disease or CKD.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 7 people have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), with the majority of the 30 million people who have it, not even realizing it. The CDC also lists it as the 9th leading cause of death in the US18. It’s not a naturally connection to think of kidney disease as one of the health costs of being overweight.

Connection to Obesity: Being overweight leads to CKD in a number of ways. In 2017, the Canadian Journal of Medicine identified how obese individuals end up overworking their kidneys19. As body weight increases, so too do metabolic demands and this results in more pressure in the kidneys. Think of this as a river that passes through a dam. As more rain falls the river swells and the pressure on the dam increases. Eventually that pressure could damage the dam if it goes on too long. This is another one of the hidden health costs of being overweight. Other ways to develop CKD are if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Three other diseases closely connected to obesity.

The Cost of Kidney Disease: The yearly cost to Medicare to treat CKD $79 Billion. This amounts to $2,633.33 for each of the 30 million with CKD. Note that this cost doesn’t factor in how many of those people are on private insurance. Since Medicare tends to pay lower rates, we’re probably spending far more then $2633 per patient to treat kidney disease.  

9. Pregnancy Problems – Complex Social and Financial Costs

This is one of the most complex complications to arise from obesity, since it involves the combined health of two individuals. Obesity can make it more difficult for you to conceivex. It can put you and the baby at risk of problems from high blood pressure like eclampsia or pre-eclampsia. It can also increase risk of gestational diabetes and sleep apnea.

A 2015 report from Reuters states that half of U.S. women are overweight during pregnancy. In 2010 (the most recent date we could find) about 9.8% of women between 15 and 44 years old we’re pregnant. That’s about 35.6% of women or 55,892,000 women. Half of that means 27.9 million women were overweight during their pregnancy.

Connection to Obesity: Carrying too much weight can result in the problems we’ve listed above, like having high blood sugar (gestational diabetes), high blood pressure (Eclampsia), and issues like sleep apnea. However, in addition to these issues it can also result in things like macrosomia, stillbirth, and premature birth.

The Cost of Pregnancy Issues: Nothing signifies the physical, mental, spiritual, social, and financial pillars of health better then this issue. When we talk about the health costs of being overweight, we don’t always just mean financial costs. The costs of obesity during pregnancy goes far beyond any price tag we can put on it. If you do look at just annual cost, researchers estimate it totally about 1.8 billion dollars without considering any of the long-term costs20,21.

Zulresso, First Drug to Treat Post Partum Depression

Breaking News: FDA approves Zulresso as the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. Read More By clicking below! 



1.      Kahn, BB., Smith., U., Oct. 2016., ‘Adipose tissue regulates insulin sensitivity: role of adipogenesis, de novo lipogenesis and novel lipids’ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12540 Journal of Internal Medicine
2.      Centers for Disease control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/deaths-cost.html
3.      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm#4
4.      Dr. Delaney, Jaymee., Hypertension and Obesity: How Weight-Loss Affects Hypertension https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/hypertension-and-obesity-how-weight-loss-affects-hypertension/
5.      Thakar, Subrata ‘Price pressure: Hypertensive patients spend nearly $2,000 more per year‘ https://www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/topics/hypertension/price-pressure-hypertensive-patients-spend-nearly-2000-more-year
6.      Jadoon, Khalid., Tan, Garry., O’Sullivan, Saorise., ‘A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study’ American Society for Clinical Investigation 2017
7.       https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm
8.      ‘The Cost of Heart disease and Stroke’. https://www.orau.gov/cdcynergy/web/ba/Content/activeinformation/resources/Cost_of_HD.pdf
9.      ‘Obesity, Weight, and Cancer Risk’, https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/obesity-and-cancer/obesity-weight-and-cancer-risk
10.   ‘Sleep Apnea’ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631 WebMD
11.   ‘New Study Finds Massive Cost of Undiagnosed and Untreated Sleep Apnea’ http://www.fundairing.com/journal/2016/8/29/new-study-finds-massive-cost-of-undiagnosed-and-untreated-sleep-apnea Sep 2016
12.   ‘What is Osteoarthritis?’ https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php
13.   King, Lauren., Anandacoomarasamy, Ananthila Obesity & Osteoarthritis’ Aug 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788203/ Indian Journal of Medical Research
14.   CDC ‘The Cost of Arthritis in US Adults’ https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/cost.htm
15.   Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567 MAYO Clinic
16.   Dr. Lee, Dennis., Dr. Marks., Jay., ‘Body Fat, the Silent Killer’ https://www.medicinenet.com/obesity_body_fat_the_silent_killer/views.htm
17.   ZM, Younossi., Dm Blissett., R, Blissett, M, Stepanova., Y, Younossi., A, Racila., S, Hunt., R, Beckerman., ‘The economic and clinical burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the United States and Europe.’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27543837 US National Library of Medicine.
18.   CDC ‘Chronic Kidney disease Basics’ https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html
19.   Kovesdy, Csabam Furth, Susan, Zoccali, Carmine.,  ‘Obesity and Kidney Disease’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433675/ Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease
20.   Mayo Clinic., May 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-obesity/art-20044409
21.   Lenoir-Wijnkoop, Irene., Van Der Beek, Eline., Garssen, Johan., Nuijten, Mark., Uauy, Ricardo., May 2015., ‘Health economic modeling to assess short-term costs of maternal overweight, gestational diabetes, and related macrosomia – a pilot evaluation’ Frontiers in Pharmacology
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FDA Announces Zulresso, 1st Drug for Postpartum Depression

Breaking News: Zulresso announced as the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. At the Thrifty Patient, we believe in Five Pillars of Health – financial, social, mental, spiritual, physical, and social. Postpartum depression touches upon all five and is a distressing multi-generational issue which effects so many new mothers.

Blood Testing for your Healthy Well Being

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a serious and debilitating condition that impacts 1 in 7 women. That’s about 7.8 million pregnant women every year.

FDA announces Postpartum Depression Drug Zulresso

Postpartum depression symptoms include – feeling unusually depressed, tired, irritable, detached, or angry throughout the day. Experiencing, a sinking feeling or an anxiety that you “just can’t shake”. It can also impact a mother’s ability to bond with their baby. There’s also a feeling of shame often associated with postpartum depression. Many women feel that they shouldn’t be feeling depressed following pregnancy or the birth of their child(ren). For many this makes postpartum depression even harder to talk about. Click here for more signs and symptoms of postpartum depression.

The cause of postpartum depression is complex and not precisely known. What researchers and physicians do know is that it’s caused by a combination of physiological, hormonal, mental, and social stressors.

For a long time psychologists have known that both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ events can stress our bodies. A questionnaire called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale was even developed by University of Washington School of Medicine researchers Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe that takes into account both positive and negative life events. While there are some questions about the scale (each individual is unique in how they react to live events) the point is an important one. Pregnancy, and all of the social, physical, and mental implications of it cause stress. For 1 in 7 women this stress may contribute to postpartum depression.

Current Postpartum Depression Treaments

Until now, doctors have treated postpartum depression just like other forms of depression – with antidepressants, psychotherapy, and emphasizing social support. In addition, there has been some promising research regarding the employment of exercise, diet, massage, and mindfulness. However, until now there haven’t been any medications developed specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. In addition, treatment has traditionally been complicated by the fact that some antidepressants can be passed to the infant through breast milk, while others are simply ineffective. With the development of Zulresso, there may finally be a drug that works better then current drug treatments, but without the downside that the current anti-depressants carry.

What is Zulresso (Brexanolone)?

Zulresso (common name Brexanolone) is a very interesting drug developed by Sage Therapeutics that targets and modifies how the body’s GABAA receptors work. The exact mechanism of action is unknown and still being studied. The FDA reports that they believe it is a positive allosteric interaction acting upon the GABAA receptors. Exactly how this impacts the body is a bit complex, and it might be easier to simply compare it to another drug. For example, Ambien (Zolpidem) works in a similar manner.

However what we do know is that Zulresso is a synthetic version of a hormone, allopregnanolone, that women naturally make during pregnancy. This hormone, is a derivative of progesterone. Interestingly, Allopregnanolone levels increase during pregnancy, but then dramatically decrease after giving birth – more evidence pointing to the hormone component of postpartum depression.

For more information about this exciting new drug, visit the FDA’s page featuring the announcement or if you or a loved one is interested in applying for the Zulresso study, you should speak with your physician about Sage Therapeutics’ REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) program. You can find out more about this program in the FDA announcement.

8 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Doctor’s Visit! (And Maybe Even Make Some Money!): Read on The Thrifty Patient

We’re hoping the clinical trials of Zulresso show that it’s a safe and effective drug that’ll help millions of women and their families. If you’re interested in learning more about postpartum Depression, take a look at Sage Therapeutics’ new informational website. It’s dedicated to spreading awareness about the impact of postpartum depression.

Hello Uber, The ER Please!

Uber to the ER?

A disturbing trend or a viable option for emergencies? We look at who is using Uber for emergency transport and some of the reasons why they’re doing it.

Remember this blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice.

Why Not Take an Ambulance to the ER?

Uber is definitely not the safest way to get here
Source: pixabay.com

Let’s cut to the chase. The main reason people are taking UBER is because it’s really expensive to take an ambulance. Which begs the question… Why is it so expensive to take an ambulance? That’s where the issue gets muddy. Here’s some of the reasons why ambulance bills are so high.

  • Did you know many ambulances are privately owned entities?
  • People without insurance often don’t pay their ambulance bills, so they need to increase rates on the people who do pay in order to make up for it.
  • Health insurance only pays after you meet your deductible.
  • Ambulances use a ton of complicated equipment and are staffed by highly trained EMT’s

So is Uber the Answer?

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Taking an Uber to the ER is like playing Russian Roulette. I don’t recommend it – I can’t recommend it.  But I can see why it’s tempting. A two mile trip in an ambulance might cost $2700. The median income is only $32,000, so that’s more than a month’s salary for the average person. A little fender bender, a ride to the hospital, and suddenly you’ve lost a month’s salary. So, who picks Uber over the ER?

Who Picks Uber?

  • People who aren’t having an emergency. According to this New York Times article, Dr. Anupam Jena recommends that people who aren’t having an emergency don’t call an ambulance. “Ambulances are for emergencies. If you’re not having one, it’s reasonable to consider another form of transportation.”
  • People who simply can’t afford the bill. They say the average household can’t afford a $400 emergency bill. Forget paying a $2,700 one for a 2 mile trip. You might as well rent a nice limo.
  • People who need non-emergency routine trips. Elderly patients and the chronically ill may need routine trips to the hospital. Unless it’s an emergency they often don’t elect to take an ambulance.
  • People who want to make sure they get to THEIR hospital. An ambulance will take you to the closest hospital, not necessarily the hospital you want to go to. If you take an Uber you’ll go exactly to where you want to go.

How do Uber / LYFT / and other ride-share companies feel about this?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

Officially they don’t like it. Slate.com has official statements from Uber and Lyft.

“When it comes to medical emergencies, Lyft should not be used as a substitute for emergency transportation. People should be calling 911,” wrote a Lyft spokesperson. Similarly, Uber commented, “Uber is not a substitute for law enforcement of medical professionals. In the event of any medical emergency, we always encourage people to call 911.”

Think about it, it puts the driver and the company both in positions of real liability. If something happened on the way to the hospital and the driver knew it was an emergency, how would it play out for them if things went bad?

Our Thoughts

The cost savings are tempting and sadly, for many, the bill for the ER visit alone might discourage many from seeking help. Ubering to the hospital might not be about being cheap, it might be just about having enough money to pay for the ER visit and this month’s rent. Still, in good conscious we can’t recommend it. It takes medical professionals years of training and experience, along with specialized testing to tell if something like a chest pain is an emergency or not. If something goes wrong in an Ambulance, they have special equipment and the ability to clear traffic to get to the hospital faster – something a ride-share can’t.

At the end of the day, this is your call, and here at Thrifty Patient we fully believe in giving you all the information you need to be an empowered patient.

What are your thoughts on using Uber, LYFT or another rideshare for trips to the Emergency Room? Would you do it yourself? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo by: Pegleess Barrios

Is Direct Primary Care Right for You? 7 Things You Need to Know!







Sometimes confused with concierge medicine, direct primary care is a creative new way for doctors to practice medicine.


1. Direct Primary Care is Not Insurance

Direct Primary Care isn't a form of Insurance


Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Keep in mind that Direct Primary Care isn’t insurance. You don’t need health insurance to use DPC, but many DPC practices will require some form of it.

Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming Post: 
How to get Health Insurance: A Step-by-Step Guide
Coming April 2019!


2. You Pay a Monthly Fee


Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst

In many cases the average fee is about $80 a month, but in your state it may be higher or lower. Depending on the DPC practice, prices may vary based on age, location, or if you get additional services. Most practices bill monthly.

For a lot of people (including me!), $80 a month or $960 a year is a lot of money, so let’s keep a tally and see if it pays.

Direct Primary Care Expense: ($960.00/yr)


3. Direct Primary Care Visits Are Twice as Long!

How long was you’re last doctor visit?

No, I mean how long did you actually spend with the doctor? 15 minutes? The average visit with a DPC physician is twice as long as a regular visit! Let’s do some math. The average copay is $24.00. So that’s $48.00 for 30 minutes. If you visited once a month for a year, we’re talking $576.00.

Copay Expense for a 30 Minute Visit: ($560.00/yr)
(Using Regular Insurance)


4. You can visit your doctor more often


Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Ok, so if you’re like me this probably sounds more like a punishment. But if you’re one of the 40% of people in the US with a chronic illness, you may already be making regular visits. One study cited by Forbes says we only make 4 visits to the doctor each year!

Creative Solution or Alarming Trend?

Hello Uber! The ER Please!



5. Additional Tests Can Be MUCH Cheaper


Image Courtesy: jarmoluk

Don’t get me wrong, for the $80 a month you pay you already are getting pretty comprehensive services. Still, there may be times when you need something additional like X-rays. Many DPC practices will offer additional services at steep discounts or they’ve partnered with labs who have exclusive discounts for DPC members.

For example, a cholesterol panel might normally cost $75. At a DPC the cost might be $4.95… a 93% discount. A Pap smear could cost as much as $165. Go to your DPC and the price drops to costs $28, an 83% discount. So, on average you’re saving about 88% on tests.


6. DPC Savings Add Up fast!

How does this average savings of 83% on care translate to your checkbook? Most people won’t meet their deductible, so you have every incentive to save! A savings of 83% on an average deductible of $1,573 is $1305.59. Now of course your mileage may vary (YMMV), but if you are a heavy user of care – the type of person DPC most appeals to, this is a SIGNIFICANT savings.

Let’s imagine a scenario where you need a lot of tests, have an average high deductible plan, and you meet your deductible by the end of the year. Here’s the numbers… check out those savings!

Services Under High Deductible: ($1,573.00 / yr)
Same Services Under DPC: ($267.41 / yr)


So, let’s total up our findings:

Direct Primary Care Costs For 1 Year:
Membership Fee $960 + Routine Care $267.41 = $1,227.41

Health Insurance Plan for 1 Year:
Copays $576.00 + Yearly Deductible $1,573 = $2149.00

Total Savings by going with DPC = $921.59

The numbers above may not be your numbers. And before you make any financial decision you should definitely speak with experts and take into consideration your unique financial situation.

Direct Primary Care is not for everyone, but for people with high deductibles who want more personalized care, quicker access to their physicians, and can afford the subscription price… it’s a really compelling option.


Have you tried Direct Primary Care? Are you a DPC member or work in DPC? We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below!