Coloradoans seeking alternatives to pricey health insurance plans now have an option to help pay for their healthcare that is rapidly gaining in membership. How can you benefit?
Healthshares: An Option Embraced By A Million and Growing
Healthshare programs are groups of people, usually attached to a church or related organization, who share healthcare expenses. Members’ monthly payments are used collectively to pay their qualifying medical expenses. Healthshare plans are a great option for those in relatively good health who want to cut costs.
A Good Way to Lower Some Healthcare Expenses
Healthshares tend to be much more affordable than traditional insurance, allowing members to save up to half of what they were paying on premiums. How do they manage this?
Members are expected to maintain good health, the specifics of which vary, but may include things like not smoking, not drinking excessively, and not being obese. The reasoning is that healthy people usually spend less on health care, reducing costs for all members.
Some healthshares do not cover pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or juvenile diabetes. Health issues that develop after joining may be covered, but some healthshares do have a lifetime spending cap.
Cost-sharing ministries do not cover everything that insurance does. For example, with most plans preventative and maintenance care are not typically covered, including yearly check-ups.
If you are in good health, are not disabled and fit the other criteria for specific healthshares, joining one could save you a lot of money.
A Penalty-Free Alternative to Obamacare
Many health sharing ministries offer another advantage that is very tempting to consumers: if they qualify as nonprofits that have operated since December 30, 1999 or before, members are exempt from Obamacare penalties for going without standard insurance.
Less Limits on Choice of Doctors and Facilities
Have you ever had to keep less than optimal insurance to keep your family doctor, or discovered that the only specialist your insurance covers is less than competent? How about having to travel an hour out of your way to get to a referral? Members of healthshares typically have much more freedom of choice of what practitioner or facility they go to.
A Community Based on Shared Beliefs
Many healthshares are Christian, with a few being more secular, but all require signing an agreement of principles or beliefs. Many Christians prefer to join groups and share benefits solely with other Christians. Other people are simply more comfortable in a principles-based organization.
A Great Option to Consider
Healthshares ministries are becoming popular now as an alternative to Obamacare. If you’re looking a way to get out of your expensive Obamacare plan, consider taking a look at specific ministries to see which one is right for you.
Leslie Jablonski is a Personal Benefits Manager at ColoHealth. Her aim is to help you make smart and informed healthcare coverage decisions that will fit your needs and budget. Read more about Leslie on her Bio page.