By: Janet Kiss, Membership on June 27th, 2022
Concierge Medicine for Kids: Doctors, Age Limits, Cost, and More
When it comes to selecting your children’s primary care provider, you want the very best. With that intention, you may be considering a concierge doctor for their care.
Whether you are already a concierge medicine member and want to add your children to your account or you’re looking to try concierge medicine for the first time, you’re probably wondering…how does concierge medicine work for kids?
At PartnerMD, we have several family physicians that take care of kids starting at age six. We've helped explain to many parents the benefits of concierge medicine for their children.
In this blog, we'll explain those benefits and answer as many of the frequently asked questions as possible.
How does concierge medicine work for kids?
When it comes to increased access and a deeper relationship with their doctor, the benefits of concierge medicine aid children the same way they do adults.
And not only can it provide a better healthcare experience for your kids, but the enhanced access provided by concierge care can make your life as a caregiver easier, too.
For your children, they get a partner in health they can trust who has time to get to the root of their issues.
Whether they seem to be getting sick every week — kids average 6 to 8 colds per year — or are having behavioral problems that might be medically related, a concierge doctor will have the time to dive below the surface to help your child.
And as they grow up and go through life’s changes, they’ll have a doctor they know and trust.
For you as a parent or guardian, that trust can provide you peace of mind your children will get the care they need to live a healthy, prosperous life in the long term.
But in the short-term, the convenience of guaranteed same- or next-day appointments, no waiting in the lobby, and 24/7 access to physician care (for those 3 a.m. wake-up calls from a sick child) can make a huge difference for your busy life.
What’s the difference between a pediatrician, a family doctor, and an internal medicine doctor?
There are three types of primary care doctors – pediatricians, family doctors, and internal medicine doctors. So what’s the difference and how do they affect your children’s primary care?
- Pediatricians focus specifically on children’s health. Eventually, your children will outgrow their pediatrician. Most pediatricians see kids until they are 18, but some will continue through their college years.
- Family medicine physicians see patients throughout all stages of life, from infancy to adulthood.
- Internal medicine physicians only see adults. Most will not see patients until they are at least 18 years old.
Because internists focus on adults, your options for your children’s primary care are a pediatrician or a family doctor.
If you’re seeking a doctor who will be able to see your children through their college years and into young adulthood and beyond, a family doctor is the way to go.
With concierge medicine, keep in mind that specific practices and doctors vary regarding the age of children they accept. Make sure that a prospective doctor is not only accepting new patients but also working with your child’s age group.
Do all concierge practices accept kids as patients? Are there any age limits?
Not all concierge practices accept children. Most won’t see any children younger than age six, including PartnerMD.
Further, age limits at concierge practices might differ based on the individual doctors. Some will see patients if they are at least six, while others will want to wait until they are entering their teenage years. Be sure to ask before you make any commitment.
So I can’t get concierge medicine for my child under age six?
While many concierge medical practices will not accept patients under the age of six, more concierge practices are taking up pediatrics as their specialty. Look in your area to see if there are any pediatric concierge medical practices.
One thing to keep in mind here is that most traditional pediatricians are already using some form of the concierge model. They just aren’t officially calling it that.
You might pay an extra monthly fee for school form completions or after-hours access. Others add an administrative charge - or a “fee for non-covered services” – as a blanket expense for covering these costs.
Just remember, if you’re paying for a particular standalone service, you’re paying for concierge care by another name.
How do vaccinations work with concierge medicine?
Most vaccinations for children are completed before they typically become eligible for concierge medicine practices.
For the few that are recommended after age six – such as meningococcal, tetanus, or HPV – concierge practices provide them just like traditional primary care practices.
The CDC has a helpful chart of recommended immunization schedules for children from birth to age 18.
What is the cost of concierge medicine for kids?
A common question about concierge medicine is always about cost, and that doesn’t change just because we’re talking about your children’s primary care.
The cost of concierge medicine works the same way for children as it does for adults. There’s a membership fee for each practice, usually payable by month or year, and that rate varies from one practice to the next.
Some concierge practices offer a discounted rate for children. At PartnerMD, for example, we charge $190-$210 per month for adults, $91.67 per month for young adults (22-25), and $62.50 per month for children (under 21).
Does insurance cover concierge medicine for kids?
When thinking about concierge care’s relationship with insurance, remember that the same rules apply to children and adults alike.
Concierge medicine cooperates with insurance in the same way that other primary care practices do. Be sure to ask for a list of accepted insurance carriers to make sure yours qualifies.
Can I use my HSA or FSA to help manage the cost of concierge medicine for kids?
If you have a flexible spending account or health savings account, then you should be able to apply it to help cover your child’s costs just like you would yourself. That means your account cannot cover their concierge membership fees, but it can address the health services they receive.
How does PartnerMD bring concierge medicine to kids?
At PartnerMD, concierge care for kids is offered by many, but not all, physicians. Some of our doctors will see children as young as six, while some will wait until a little later in life.
Look for family medicine doctors on our website to gauge if they might accept patients within your child’s age range.
We also recommend speaking with one of our membership experts to find out how we can accommodate you and your children.
What’s next? Choosing concierge medicine for your kids.
If you’re ready to switch your children to concierge medicine, you’ll need to do a few things.
- Identify concierge practices in your area with family medicine doctors (not internal medicine).
- Talk to a membership representative at the practice to learn more or to set up an initial meet-and-greet with the doctor. If you’re interested in PartnerMD, fill out this form, and we’ll reach out to answer any questions you may have.
- Once you feel comfortable that you’ve found the right choice, sign up.
If you still need more information about concierge medicine, download our free E-book here.