Direct Primary Care Offers More Access, but Medicare Won’t Pay

Sandy Thompson stopped working and qualified for Medicare based on disability at age 47 because of, as she puts it, “so many complicated [health] issues.” Now 61 years old, she’s been on Medicare Part A since then, and she started Medicare Part B in April when her husband retired.

Thompson’s doctor is an hour away from her home in Waltham, Massachusetts, and he doesn’t accept Medicare. But when she describes the situation as “great” and “convenient,” she’s not being sarcastic.

“I feel spoiled,” Thompson says about her health care from Dr. Jeffrey Gold, who opened a direct primary care practice in 2015. He offers long appointments and guaranteed next-day scheduling, but he doesn’t bill insurance. Instead, his patients pay a subscription fee that covers his practice’s services.

“I feel like he knows her,” says Audra Snow, Sandy’s daughter, who goes with her mother to appointments. Snow says that Dr. Gold knows her mother’s health history, whereas other…

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This article was written by Alex Rosenberg and originally published on