UNINSURED: Imaginative Health Plan Offers One Solution
An upstart entrepreneur thinks he's found a solution for the nation's 43 million uninsured citizens. For an annual fee of $169, George Spalding's Comprehensive Health Group, a six-year-old, privately-held firm based in Georgia, offers a health plan that provides members with a list of local physicians willing to reduce normal fees by 40%. Card-holders pay the remaining 60%. "It's like a big co-pay," Spalding said. Comprehensive has contracted with Private Healthcare Systems, a Massachusetts-based network management company that contracts with 250,000 physicians. Spalding reports he has already enrolled some 600 members in the plan. Comprehensive offers similar discount plans for access to a network of 7,000 chiropractors and a group of 24,000 "practitioners of alternative medicine," including acupuncturists and herbalists. American Medical News reports that American Express is one of the company's most prominent clients, offering its employees the chiropractic benefit, under which they "get a free initial exam, a 50% discount on X-rays and a 30% break on continued visits," Spalding said (Baldwin, 12/7 issue).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.