Millennials do things differently from other generations, and a new health insurer is following their lead by changing its approach.
According to Kaiser Health News, Zoom is a combination medical provider and health insurer that offers its patients not only the chance to get medical coverage, but to be seen by a doctor and, oh, by the way, take a yoga or cooking class, too.
Where might one find this out-of-the-box-thinking insurer? The Pacific Northwest, where Zoom started out as a clinic 10 years ago in Portland, Oregon. Now with patients in Seattle and Vancouver, Washington, as well, Zoom targets millennials who want to get things done quickly and efficiently — hence the combination of services.
Created by a pair of doctors — Dave Sanders and Albert DiPiero — Zoom now has more than 30 locations, and in addition to health insurance (on the Oregon health exchange), offers services that include dental care, mental health services, chronic disease management and access to specialists. In addition, a clinic treats emergencies, and a performance studio handling fitness services such as yoga and workouts; cooking classes and therapy are also available.
But Zoom thinks outside other boxes, too. In addition to offering both coverage and care, it accepts people outside its membership — those who have insurance and those who pay their own bills — and offers services not only at its own facilities, but at partner facilities as well. The insurance part of the equation began this year. However, it doesn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid patients, which limits some of its exposure to people who need a lot of care.
Wait times for care are short, and premiums reportedly lower than for conventional insurers. Nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants do a lot of the heavy lifting, and its health records are electronic.
“It’s like the iPhone,” John McConnell, director of Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, said in the report. “Zoom changed the paradigm … The whole way of delivering care is very different.”