Saturday, 15 December 2018

C Columns

Is Healthshare The Same as Health Insurance

By  Kyle  Staton

Publisher’s  note:  With  the  recent  addition  of  healthshare  plans  advertising  with  Christian  Living  Magazine,  we  thought  we  might  shed  a  little  light  on  what  sets  a  healthshare  plan  apart  from  traditional  health  insurance.  Christian  Living  Magazine  does  not  endorse  one  over  the  other,  as  we  realize  that  each  individuals'  needs  are  as  unique  as  the  individuals  themselves.  This  is  merely  presented  from  an  educational  standpoint.  We  hope  it  helps.

If  you  ever  go  to  a  car  dealership,  you  may  be  initially  overwhelmed  by  the  sheer  volume  of  cars  for  sale.  However,  as  you  begin  to  browse  through  the  lot  of  sedans,  trucks,  and  SUVs,  you  start  to  eliminate  some  vehicles  that  don’t  fit  the  specific  criteria  that  you  are  searching  for  in  your  new  car.  If  you’re  a  new  parent,  you’re  going  to  be  looking  for  something  with  good  gas  mileage  and  safety  features.  A  Lamborghini  may  be  desirable,  but  it  doesn't  meet  your  needs  and  may  also  be  financially  unobtainable.  In  a  situation  like  this,  a  safety-conscious  and  fuel  efficient  vehicle  may  be  a  better  fit  both  functionally  and  financially.  In  brief,  there  is  no  “one  size  fits  all”  when  it  comes  to  automobiles.

The  same  can  be  said  when  it  comes  to  paying  for  healthcare.  Factors  like  age,  family  size,  occupation,  medical  history,  and  income  change  from  person  to  person,  and  methods  of  paying  for  healthcare  should  reflect  individual  values.  Someone  whose  healthcare  is  paid  for  by  his  employer  may  already  have  exactly  what  he  needs.  However,  for  someone  whose  employer  doesn’t  pay  for  their  healthcare  or  only  pays  for  limited  services  or  a  certain  percentage  of  medical  costs,  another  solution  may  be  necessary.

That  solution  comes  in  the  form  of  healthcare  sharing  ministries.  Healthcare  sharing  ministries  have  been  around  since  the  1980s,  but  they  have  experienced  major  growth  since  the  institution  of  the  Affordable  Care  Act’s  individual  mandate.  Healthcare  sharing  members  were  granted  an  exemption  from  the  mandate,  thanks  to  the  fact  that  healthcare  sharing  was  operating  effectively  for  decades  before  the  bill  was  signed  into  law.  This  cost-effective  method  of  paying  for  healthcare  has  allowed  many  Americans  to  escape  ACA  penalties  and  simultaneously  live  out  their  values  of  individual  freedom  and  fiscal  responsibility.

Are  healthcare  sharing  ministries  the  right  choice  for  you  to  pay  for  your  healthcare?  Let’s  take  a  deeper  look  at  the  specifics,  and  you  can  decide  for  yourself.

First,  it's  important  to  know  that  participation  in  healthcare  sharing  ministries  is  precipitated  by  agreeing  to  a  shared  belief  statement.  The  extent  and  exclusivity  of  these  statements  vary  by  organization.  

Second,  when  considering  participation  in  a  healthcare  sharing  ministry,  it  is  also  important  to  keep  in  mind  that  certain  expenses  may  not  be  eligible  for  sharing.  These  ineligible  expenses could  include  costs  related  to  abortions,  contraceptives,  sex  changes,  alcohol,  drugs,  cosmetic  surgeries,  and  other  items  that  may  not  align  with  the  moral  and  ethical  values  of  the  entire  healthcare  sharing  community.  By  requiring  that  all  shared  expenses  be  for  medically  necessary procedures,  healthcare  sharing  ministries  are  able  to  steward  the  shared  funds  to  care  for  members'  needs.  

If  you  are  a  married  couple,  with  or  without  kids,  healthcare  sharing  might  be  a  good  fit  for  you.  Generally,  healthcare  sharing  ministries  offer  different  price  points  for  singles,  couples,  and  families,  and  the  cost  per  person  tends  to  decrease  significantly  in  sharing  plans  for  couples and  families.  

Healthcare  sharing  ministries  exist  for  those  who  believe  in  taking  charge  of  their  healthcare  costs  with  a  community  of  like-minded  members.  The  benefits  of  a  healthshare  approach  abound,  but  in  the  end,  each  person  must  decide  the  best  fit  for  himself  and  his  loved  ones.  We  recommend  that  you  sit  down  and  take  a  look  at  your  lifestyle  before  making  any  decision  related  to  your  healthcare.  

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