Alternative to Traditional Health Insurance
Kim Haist, Local Representative
Health Care sharing ministries are groups of likeminded people who band together to share medical expenses in a mutually beneficial way. There are only four main sharing ministries in the U.S. that are exempt from the Affordable Care Act tax penalties and only one that does not require that participants be a specific religion.
In these unique groups of people, medical costs are shared on a per-person, per-incident basis for illnesses or injuries that require medical treatment by physicians, urgent care facilities, clinics, emergency rooms or hospitals. The law of large numbers and pre-existing condition exemptions during the first year helps to keep the cost down for all participants.
Shared expenses under these ministries include inpatient and outpatient hospital treatment and surgery, doctor visits, prescriptions before and after an incident, diagnostic, x-ray, lab work, maternity care, physical therapy, chiropractic, home health care, naturopathic/alternative treatments (case-by-case basis) and well visits. Members have an annual, unshared deductible of $500 per individual, $1000 per couple and $1500 per family. Three plan options are available. The Basic Plan shares up to $125,000 per accident and patients are responsible for 30 percent of their own bills. The Plus Plan allows for sharing of up to $125,000 per incident but pays 100 percent of the bills after the deductible and the Complete Plan builds on the other options and adds a catastrophic coverage of $1 million per incident.