According to Chris Habig, membership-based health care models are the future. Habig started Freedom Healthworks in Westfield in 2016 as a way to provide health care to patients with a clear understanding of services and costs.
Freedom Healthworks operates directly with doctors. All procedures — tests, office time, etc., — are listed with a set price, so patients know upfront what the costs are.
“When you don’t use insurance to pay for health care, costs decrease dramatically and access increases,” said Habig, a Broad Ripple resident who grew up in Westfield.
Freedom Healthworks strives to connect patients to a medical professional and keep patients healthy and out of the office. The company grew exponentially during the pandemic.
Freedom Healthworks now has 15 locations around the Indianapolis area, including in west Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville and Fishers. It has nearly 60 locations nationwide with 10 new practices planned.
Habig said Freedom Healthworks gives small businesses the chance to provide health care to employees.
“We started calling it ‘health care for all’ because what a business is able to do is provide a real actual, tangible benefit to an employee,” Habig said. “Health care is between one patient and one doctor, and there is no insurance involvement needed. Instead of breaking the budget from an employer standpoint and providing a health insurance plan someone can’t afford, we are giving them low-cost, high-access medical care.”
Habig said one of the biggest hiring barriers for smaller companies is health care benefits. Indie Coffee Roasters in Carmel is one example of a small business taking advantage of the Freedom Healthworks model.
Indie Coffee Roasters owner Diane McAndrews said the company was looking for options for health care when it discovered Freedom Healthworks.
“I feel like most people think of a coffee shop as intermittent employment, but having the option to offer health care benefits creates more investment in the employees who are here,” McAndrews said. “If you don’t want the suit and tie and you don’t want something like a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday (job), you could want a different career.”
McAndrews said Freedom Healthworks offers a benefit to employees who might not want a traditional career but struggle to find health care elsewhere.
Indie Coffee Roasters offers the plan to salaried and hourly employees. Four employees use the health care plan now.
Habig said 80 to 90 percent of medical care can be provided at the primary care level. He said most Americans have anywhere from $400 to $2,000 in emergency savings, but if they have a high-deductible health plan with a $5,000 deductible, emergencies are still unaffordable.
“So, your company and your family are paying a lot of money into something you can’t afford to use if you do get sick,” Habig said.
Individual patients are able to join Freedom Healthworks from anywhere between $60 and $100 monthly, depending on their model. The monthly payment provides primary care as well as labs, medications, pharmacy and imaging for a set cost. If an employer is providing the health care, there also are options. For example, paying $300 a month provides the primary care membership, dental care, optometry care, plus a catastrophic health plan with $1,000 of patient responsibility.
For more, visit freedomdoc.care.