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Nebraska state workers could get new health care option

Nebraska state workers could get new health care option
Courtesy/Nebraska Legislature -- Sen. Merv Riepe

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska state employees could get access to a new health care option that minimizes the role of insurance under a bill pending in the Legislature.

Sen. Merv Riepe of Ralston presented a bill to a committee Wednesday that would let state workers enroll in a direct primary care plan.

Under the plan, patients would pay one recurring fee to a doctor for a variety of services, such as checkups. In many cases, patients can also get medications and lab tests at or near wholesale prices.

Supporters say direct primary care allows doctors to spend more time with patients and reduces wait times by cutting out the insurance middleman, although many consumers still buy “wraparound” insurance to supplement the plan.

Riepe says state employees could still keep their traditional insurance.

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