WESTBROOK, Maine — Having unlimited access to your doctor seems too good to be true, but Dr. Dianna Gagnon says that's exactly the kind of flexibility her patients have.
"I typically don't have appointments on Friday, but I do today for a new mom with a newborn who wants to do her new patient appointment at home," Gagnon said, talking about how she runs her practice.
Gagnon is a direct primary care doctor. This means her patients pay a flat monthly fee and they can see her whenever they need to, without any additional charges or co-pays.
Taylor Plowman is one of Gagnon's patients and has three young children. That means she was at the doctor's office all the time, and she was looking for a more reliable option.
"We would have very long wait times to even talk to anybody like 20-40 minutes or an hour. And then a lot of times we'd be sent to quick care, I'd say almost 80% of the time," Plowman said.
Now, she said if she calls Gagnon she can often get in that same day.
"She's even been like, 'Can you come in like 30 minutes? If not, then there's this time.' It's been super great," Plowman said.
Currently, direct primary care doctors are private pay.
But with new health insurance called Taro Health, direct primary care doctors like Gagnon will now be able to accept insurance. Taro is a New York-based company, and it is piloting the program here in Maine.
"We believe that if you have a health insurance plan then you should be able to use it, and we want to make sure that people have really great access to 80-90 percent of what people need every day," Jeff Yuan, co-founder of Taro said.
He added that they chose Maine because it's "innovative" and plans to expand across the state and other states moving forward.
Taro Health is being offered through the state's open enrollment to Cumberland County residents, and it plans to expand statewide after the launch next month.
The state's open enrollment is open now through Dec. 15 at coverme.gov.