Healthcare Sharing Ministries: Taming the Cost of Health Insurance
I am going to give you some shocking news.
Are you ready?
Healthcare costs are going up!
Now that you’re back in your seat after that news here’s more….
Health insurance premiums are getting higher as are deductibles. The current average insurance premium for a family is over $1,000 a month ($1,021) with a deductible over $8,000. Ouch! Simply put, the out of pocket costs of health insurance and healthcare is skyrocketing and shows no signs of improving.
So, is there any hope?
What can regular Americans do to find affordable protection?
One option is checking into a healthcare sharing group.
Healthcare sharing ministries, or groups, are non-profit organizations of like-minded individuals that pool their money together every month to help each other with serious medical costs. They are NOT considered insurance but ARE exempt from Affordable Care Act taxes. Most are Christian based ministries, but some are less restrictive. The groups usually require members to adhere to moral and ethical principles that result in lower healthcare costs; such as not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol, no extra marital sex, and no illicit drugs. Since these plans are not insurance, they can restrict or refuse membership, i.e. exclude for pre-existing conditions.
There are four main organizations operating right now:
Samaritans Ministries (not the same as Samaritans Purse)
and Liberty Healthshare.
The first three groups are Christian based and require personal belief statements while Liberty Healthshare is open to many people of various beliefs. All the groups work similarly by collecting a monthly share that is distributed to other members in need. Most do not cover routine regular care, but are designed for more serious medical issues like surgeries, cancer or hospitalizations.
These health sharing plans can provide catastrophic healthcare protection (like health insurance should be doing) for significantly lower monthly costs. Average families pay $400 to $500 a month depending on the amount of people covered and the amount of out of pocket portion the family can bare. For example, my family was paying $1,100 a month for health insurance 2 years ago (now that plan is no longer available in South Carolina). I currently pay $489 a month for my health sharing ministry with an out of pocket cost of $3,500 before they will help us pay. So, you can see the significant savings, plus no Obamacare tax hit on this sharing plan.
Check out these sharing groups to see if one can help you get some financial protection, lower costs and avoid the Obamacare tax.
By the way, they work very well with direct primary care physicians like Direct Access MD.
That's What Doc Says...