More and more people are switching to healthshare programs because of the affordability and how different they are from insurance. In the last few years, there has been increasing dissatisfaction with traditional health insurance for a myriad of reasons like high cost, limited choice of providers, and having to drive long distances to see a provider in a given network. . Over a million people have already switched to these health sharing ministries.
Healthshare programs are associations of like-minded people who come together to share healthcare expenses. Members pay a monthly fee, similar to a premium, and that collective money goes toward paying qualifying medical expenses of members. At the heart of it, the idea is coming together as a community and taking care of one another.
Much More Affordable
Most members experience savings up to half what they paid for traditional health insurance. Healthshares are more affordable for a few reasons. For one, members tend to be healthier and are often encouraged not to drink or smoke. Healthier people results in less medical expenses.
Two, cost-sharing ministries are not insurance, and they do not offer the same coverage. For example, most preventative and maintenance care are not typically covered. In addition, some do not cover pre-existing conditions, and some even have a lifetime spending cap.
With high insurance premiums bleeding many families dry, switching to a healthshare has become the obvious choice for many.
Members Are Exempt from Obamacare Taxes and Penalties
Members of health sharing ministries that have been around and continuously sharing since December 30, 1999 and are nonprofit, are exempt from paying the penalty for not having insurance. Healthshares excluded from the penalty include: Aliera, Altrua, Christian Care Ministries (also known as Medishare), Liberty, Sedera, and others.
More Doctor Choice
Unlike traditional insurance, cost-sharing ministries are not regulated as strictly. Healthshares are not boxed into specific networks or providers. Members have their choice of doctors and treatments, an important aspect of getting the best care and making the best decisions.
Many healthshares are religious-based, the most predominant being Christianity. Many Christians are turning to healthshares because cost-sharing ministries align more with their faith and beliefs. Other healthshare programs are more secular with less religious emphasis, though they all require signing an agreement of principles or beliefs.
Healthshares ministries have been around for decades, but they are gaining popularity now because people are fed up with the existing healthcare system and are turning to options offering more affordability and autonomy than an old system that does not suit everyone’s needs.
While they are not for everyone, we believe the more choice and options consumers have, the better.