An Arizona-based company called the No Insurance Club is offering a no-frills option to health insurance for people who want basic, preventive health care. The company was founded by Chad Harris and Sam Sannoufi, a Gilbert physician, and opened for business in January 2009.
For a yearly fee of $480 for single people, $580 for couples, and $680 for families (regardless of size), those who Join the No Insurance Club get 12 doctor visits (16 for families) and services such as flu shots, discount prescriptions (generics), physical examinations, blood tests, and other preventive testing. Participants in this Club have no co-pays for their doctor visits, and no physical is required before enrolling. People who have a pre-existing condition can sign up with no questions asked.
What is notable is what the Club does not cover: emergency room visits, catastrophic illnesses, hospitalizations, visits to specialists, surgery, brand name prescriptions, and rehabilitation, among other services. But for some people who cannot afford the high premiums of the health insurance plans on the market, but who believe they will utilize the services offered by the No Insurance Club, this may be the option – albeit a temporary one perhaps – they are looking for.
The No Insurance Club is active in ten states, including Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Each of these states has participating physicians who offer preventive services. An advantage for physicians who participate in the program is that they are paid directly by the Club instead of having to wait for reimbursement from an insurance company, and they get more per patient visit than they do from people who have health insurance.
The No Insurance Club health insurance option obviously is not for everyone. But for individuals and families who know they will use the limited services covered by the plan (especially doctor visits for children), enrolling in the Club, even for one year, could cover the gap until a more suitable health insurance option comes along.