BILLINGS – It’s being called the Netflix of Healthcare, and the idea is catching on in Billings.
Flex Family Health Direct is making a name for itself by offering healthcare on a subscription basis, especially when the cost of health insurance is skyrocketing.
Cole Whitmoyer started Flex Family Health Direct with a simple idea: making healthcare affordable and accessible.
“You know what you’re paying,” said Whitmoyer, who started the business in 2019 and is now adding providers and taking on as many as 1,100 patients to the small Billings West End primary care clinic.
“So we like to say that we are the Netflix and Costco of healthcare,” he said.
Whitmoyer says his clinic is one of a handful of similar models in Montana, now catching on at a time when patients are seeking a better connection with their doctor and more time during a visit.
“We have another option for primary care,” he said. “A more affordable and personable option.”
Flex offers members a fixed, affordable monthly membership fee, which includes in-office visits and 24/7 access to a provider.
Patients even have the option to text when necessary.
Whitmoyer says another perk is guaranteed same-day or next-day appointments.
The provider also offers corporate plans for employers interested in offering employees a healthcare benefit plan through Flex Family Health Direct.
It’s one of the reasons Billings small business owner and mother of four, Kelsey Daer, chose Flex.
“We have struggled to try to find options. We are limited in what we can provide our employees because we are so small,” she said.
Daer’s family owns two Billings restaurants, Buffalo Block Prime Steakhouse downtown and the Granary on Poly Drive, and can offer their full-time employees a membership.
“We have a passion to provide some health benefits to our employees,” she said.
She also enrolled her own family in this model of healthcare because of the access, which she says is important for small children.
“It’s inevitable that at some point someone has something,” said Daer. “I kind of struggle with primary care and making sure that my kiddos are taken care of.”
Daer says they pay the monthly subscription and can see their primary care provider anytime needed.
And that’s what Whitmoyer says their clinic is all about: tailored healthcare to meet an underserved demand.
Healthcare plans start at $64 a month for anyone aged 18 to 64. The price is $84 a month for seniors, and families can enroll for $159 a month.
Flex also offers corporate plans starting at $59 a month per employee and additional plans for infants and children.
Whitmoyer says his clinic can disburse medications for a low cost and perform procedures and X-rays.
If there’s anything they can’t handle, they refer to other providers locally.
“We are a subscription service at wholesale prices. So, you pay that $64, and then you have access to medicines that are very inexpensive, labs, imaging, and procedures,” he said.
What Flex does best, Whitmoyer said, is make connections with patients and take as long as needed to make sure the visit is achieving both the needs of the patient and the provider.
“We can have a half-hour-long visit up to two hours if we need that to address all the concerns,” he said.
“With insurance or without insurance, if you can handle your monthly fee, and we can handle what you have going on, then you are welcome to come into our clinic,” Whitmoyer added.
Whitmoyer is hoping this model of healthcare could become the future of medical care and is already looking to expand in the coming years.
He says instead of dealing with insurance companies, Flex deals with its patients directly taking the middle man out of health decisions.