SteadyMD: Save Money, Better HealthCare, No Waiting Rooms

Tired of the waiting rooms at the doctor’s office? Tired of waiting days or even weeks to see your doctor? Tired of all the co-pays and fees that you pay when you go to the doctor? You need SteadyMD. You’ll never have to deal with waiting rooms, long wait times, or co-pays again. You get a doctor who gets you (like one who’s gluten-free or Paleo) and has time for you. You’ll get 24/7 access to your own personal doctor who you can text anytime.

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Mother and baby on a laptop talking to a doctor via telemedicine

Can I admit something here? I didn’t have a primary care doctor for many years. Why? My family’s needs completely changed over the years. We found that traditional doctors didn’t know how to handle the complex health issues we had, including my husband’s autoimmune issues and my son’s digestive issues. And we often paid out of pocket to see functional medicine doctors and integrative health practitioners who weren’t in our network.

We were lucky to find a local pediatrician who had values aligned with ours and understood our kids’ health issues. But we struggled to find local general practitioners for me and my husband.

And then I stumbled onto something that completely changed how we do health care… we found out about health care sharing. It’s an alternative to health insurance that helped us save about $1,000/month. It covers most of our health care needs… except for wellness and preventative visits.

Without health insurance, I didn’t know how we were going to access a primary care doctor without paying a lot in out-of-pocket fees. That’s how I found out about SteadyMD and direct primary care and concierge medicine.

What is direct primary care and concierge medicine?

It’s like a subscription-based model of primary care. Rather than paying a health insurance plan (which then pays the doctor a small portion of that) my monthly fee pays the physician directly. That means the physician can take fewer patients and spend more time with me.

I looked around for local options of direct primary care… but as I researched I ended up choosing SteadyMD.

What is SteadyMD?

I chose SteadyMD because it’s 100% based online. I don’t need to wait at the doctor’s office. I don’t need to wait on the phone for 20 minutes and hope to get into seeing my doctor. I don’t need to worry about what to do when I travel.

I know it seems counterintuitive, but I actually prefer my doctor is 100% online. To me that means freedom. I can access him whenever I need to. In fact, the way I contact my doctor is through the SteadyMD app. I can text anytime of day and ask a question, send a photo of a skin rash, and even request an urgent care visit.

Screenshot of the SteadyMD website home page

How do you get care if you’re not seeing the doctor in-person?

It’s really easy actually. My first appointment with my doctor was actually over a Zoom call. It’s like Skype or Facetime. We had a face-to-face video conference call, and he spent an hour with me. AN HOUR! In a typical visit with my old primary care physician, I’d be lucky to get 10 minutes.

In my first visit, he asked about my health history, my health goals, my diet and supplements I’m taking, exercise, sleep, stress levels, and my areas of concern. I was able to text him recent lab visits and health history. And he ordered lab tests for me. He recommended several things for me, including a meditation app because I have slightly elevated levels of cortisol.

Can we just stop right here? With my previous doctors, the first thing they would recommend if I had an issue was a medication. It was so refreshing to have a doctor who actually recommended meditation and relaxation techniques rather than drug prescription. I know there’s a time and a place for medication, but I appreciated having a doctor where that wasn’t the first recommendation.

How do you do lab tests?

My doctor can order lab tests for me. I then go to a local laboratory like LabCorp, which is available in pretty much every town/city in the US. I even checked for my friends who live in remote areas… they are usually within 20-30 miles of a local lab.

My doctor can then review the lab results when they come in, and we schedule a follow-up visit where we go over the test results in a video conference call again and he recommends a course of action for me.

Now since we don’t have health insurance (we have a health sharing plan that doesn’t cover the cost of lab tests for wellness or preventative care), we do pay lab tests out of pocket. But the cost I’ve paid so far is right about $140 for about 8-10 lab tests. This is not something I’d need to do ongoing. This was a one-time baseline and likely something I’ll get tested for every few years.

What about prescription medication?

If needed, my SteadyMD doctor can prescribe medications for me, and I can pick up at a local pharmacy. SteadyMD will negotiate the best pricing or if I had health insurance I could use that.

How do you choose a doctor?

It’s part of the sign-up process. SteadyMD asks you questions to find a doctor that aligns with your values and areas of concern. For me, I wanted a MD with a functional medicine background. I also wanted someone who understood autoimmune issues and a gluten-free lifestyle.

I was given a few options and ended up choosing a doctor who was the perfect fit for us.

Woman on a couch using an iPad to talk to a doctor via telemedicine

What is the cost?

It’s $99/month for an individual and $169/month for a family. So let’s break down the pricing:

  • No additional fees or co-pays
  • No additional fees for same-day appointments
  • No additional fees for urgent care visits

I pair SteadyMD, which is my primary care, wellness visits, preventative medicine, and urgent care visits, with Samaritan Health Ministries, which is my health sharing plan that has replaced traditional health insurance for health care needs like visits to the emergency room or a broken arm and catastrophic needs.

For our family of five, we pay $169/month for SteadyMD + $495/month for Samaritan = $664.

That’s still WAY cheaper than what we were quoted for a high-deductible health insurance plan of $1,500/month to $1,800/month.

Now we still have a local pediatrician who we love and still pay out-of-pocket (he doesn’t accept health insurance). But the boys only see him once a year for a check-up. I still opted for the family plan with SteadyMD because I’m using it as urgent care for the kids and a secondary resource in case I need it.

Is this only for people who don’t have health insurance?

Not at all. Anyone can choose SteadyMD. If you have health insurance, it’s likely the lab tests or bloodwork your SteadyMD orders will be covered in your plan.

But health insurance likely won’t pay for SteadyMD. But to be honest, we used to pay for a functional medicine doctor out of pocket when we had insurance. A $99/month membership would have been much more cost-effective than paying the out-of-pocket fees to the out-of-network doctor we worked with.

If you have a health savings accounts (HSA’s), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), medical savings accounts (MSAs), and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), you might be able to pay for the monthly SteadyMD membership fee with that. Check with your benefits administrator.

If you’re paying too much in health insurance, another option is you could downgrade your health insurance plan and save money with SteadyMD.

Why do I love SteadyMD?

I love having the access to my doctor. I can talk to him anytime, anywhere. I have access to his staff who text me within minutes.

I like like that I have the time to talk to him about my needs and my health values – which aren’t dismissed. That’s how I felt with my old primary care physician. When I asked about diet and supplements to help manage my skin care issues and hormones, I was dismissed immediately. Through years of research, I now know that I was absolutely on the right track with that. My diet (going gluten-free) absolutely improved my skin and helped with my hormones, as well as supplements and more natural lifestyle. When I talked to my SteadyMD doctor about my health values (like diet, supplements, and a natural lifestyle), he not only agreed with me but then suggested I get a meditation app to help manage my cortisol (stress) levels. That’s when I knew I made the right choice.

Here are some other reasons why I love SteadyMD:

  • Personal attention by a doctor who gets me and has time for me
  • Tailored to my lifestyle (SteadyMD works with a lot of athletes, cross-fitters, people on a Paleo diet or Whole30 and more) and specific medical needs
  • Comprehensive one-hour first appointment
  • Unlimited texting. Available anytime, anywhere (great when I’m traveling or just busy carpooling the kids)
  • Same-day phone call and video chat appointments
  • True preventative care. Not just a quick fix
  • All of my medical records in one place
  • No waiting room
  • No driving to the doctor’s office

As a busy mom with a family of complex health issues (autoimmune and digestive), we really struggled to find traditional primary care that worked for us. I’m so glad I found SteadyMD as a better option. We now have direct access to a primary care doctor who just gets us and our health needs. He’s always available and I can text him anytime. I never had this level of access to our doctors before.

How do you learn more about SteadyMD?

It’s really easy. Just head on over to steadymd.com/dontmesswithmama. You can watch a video to learn more about it and view the frequently asked questions. You can even reach out to them and ask questions.

You can even try SteadyMD risk-free to see how you like it. There’s no fee to cancel. Give it a try and have your one-hour first visit consult. I loved having mine.

When you’re ready to sign-up, just let them know that I sent you (Tracey Black aka Don’t Mess with Mama).

If you sign up with SteadyMD before Jan. 1, 2019, they’ll give you $100 back! You’ll get that $100 credit after your first 30 days. Just be sure to tell your doctor that I referred you.

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Photo credit: Bigstockphotos.com / dolgachov / Yurolaitsalbert

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