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What Is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?

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Looking for ways to save on your healthcare expenses? This could be the answer.

But what is Direct Primary Care and how can it benefit you?


Over the last 20 years, Direct Primary Care (DPC) has gained traction as an alternative to costly—and complicated—health insurance plans. But what is Direct Primary Care and is it the best option for your family?

As insurance premiums continue to rise, we know that many people are looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs without sacrificing their quality of care.

Thankfully, DPC memberships are an excellent solution!


What Is Direct Primary Care?

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a healthcare model where patients pay a flat, monthly or annual fee directly to their primary care doctor.

Unlike the traditional fee-for-service model, patients are not charged for every visit. Instead, membership fees cover a wide variety of services, including sick visits, annual physical exams, and minor procedures.

DPC practices do not involve insurance companies, although many patients have health insurance coverage for more serious ailments, emergencies, and specialty care.

mom holding baby at doctor's office with doctor in the background

Benefits of Direct Primary Care

One of the biggest benefits of the DPC model is its affordability.

DPC memberships often start around $70/month for adults and $35/month for children. And because so many primary care services are included, many families can save on health insurance by purchasing a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Another advantage to Direct Primary Care—vastly improved access to your doctor. Rather than waiting months for an appointment (only to speak to your doctor for 10 minutes), DPC allows patients to contact their doctor directly through phone, text, or email.

If an office visit is necessary, DPC providers often offer same- next-day appointments for sick visits—a far cry from the weeks or months you may be used to. DPC doctors are also free to spend more time discussing their patients’ concerns. (At Family Tree Primary Care, appointments routinely last 30 minutes or more.)

And because patients do not have to pay for every office visit, they tend to address health concerns early and focus on preventative care and greater overall health.

Over time, this ends up building a closer relationship between patients and their doctor, leading to more personalized care.

gloved hands applying bandaid to arm after vaccine

Direct Primary Care vs. Insurance

Although Direct Primary Care providers do not accept insurance or work with insurance companies, it is not designed to be a replacement for insurance coverage.

The DPC model is only for basic, day-to-day medical needs. Primary care practices are not equipped for specialist care, medical emergencies, or serious illnesses (such as cancer). For treatments like this, you would need to pay out-of-pocket or purchase health insurance coverage. (As of 2019, those without insurance are no longer subject to a penalty tax for not having health insurance.)

However, because DPC memberships cover most of the average family’s healthcare needs, most people are able to save money by purchasing a high deductible health care plan, which offers lower monthly premiums in exchange for a higher deductible.


“Can I Pay For DPC With My Health Savings Account?”

A Health Savings Account (HSA) allows individuals to set money aside on a pre-tax basis to pay for certain medical expenses.

At this point (December 2023), HSA funds cannot be used to pay DPC membership fees. However, you can use your HSA to pay for prescriptions that may be offered by your DPC practice as well as many other products that you buy regularly, such as menstrual products and sunscreen.

Dr. Nikole listening to young boy's heart with stethoscope

Give Direct Primary Care a Try!

If you’ve been looking for a solution to costly health insurance plans, Direct Primary Care may be the answer you’re looking for.

Millions of Americans have made the switch to more affordable, accessible, and efficient healthcare and Family Tree Primary Care is excited to share the results with you.

We have been perfecting our model consistently since 2017 to continue in our goal to offer the biggest value to our patients. In addition to our low membership fees, we offer medications in-house at wholesale prices and have pre-negotiated discounted cash rates on imaging and lab services.

Join Family Tree and come see the difference that Direct Primary Care can make in your health.

Get To Know The Author

About Family Tree

Family Tree Primary Care began as a desire to create a better healthcare experience for both patients and physicians alike. We were determined to find a way to repair the parts of the healthcare system that were broken, and thanks to the Direct Primary Care model, our office has been able to do just that!

Our mission is to make medicine affordable, personal and accessible, without sacrificing the quality of care. Whatever your concerns, we want to be the first point of contact for your healthcare needs. In fact, we can diagnose and treat many conditions in-house (including many prescriptions).

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