With health insurance premiums continuing to rise every year, more and more consumers are questioning whether it’s even worthwhile to have health insurance at all. This is why the subject of healthcare sharing programs as a viable alternative has become very common.
However, there’s still some uncertainty and confusion among people about those plans – what are the risks involved? How do they work? etc.
We have listed down some pros and cons of health share plans so that you make a safe and sound decision. Read on.
What is a Healthcare Sharing Program?
Also known as health share plans, they are faith-based programs that facilitate voluntary sharing among members for eligible medical expenses. The members of this plan send in monthly payments or premiums which are distributed to or on behalf of other members with medical expenses (i.e., benefits payments) in accordance with program guidelines.
These plans are built upon the principle of people with similar beliefs and values that come together to share each other’s burdens.
Let’s talk pros now:
The cost has always been an issue with traditional insurance plans. And if you too are worried that you might not be able to cover the cost of your insurance, then you should consider health share plans. The price of healthcare sharing programs is comparatively less than health insurance.
You can join anytime
People tend to miss out on plans because they miss the enrollment dates. But that’s not the case with health share plans. They don’t have any set enrollment dates and you can join anytime you want.
You chose the care provider
You have the freedom to choose your care providers. This means that to some extent, you have control over your health care and treatment. More natural options, such as chiropractors and midwives, are also available, and you can hand-pick them, too.
Apart from the above, they also offer efficient customer service and spiritual support as well.
Let’s talk cons now:
They aren’t DOI regulated
Health insurances are regulated by the Department of Insurance and follow a strict set of rules. But that’s not the case with healthcare sharing plans. And they’re not required to keep reserve or pay for claims promptly.
Pre-existing conditions are often not covered
Some pre-existing conditions (as well as chronic ones) are often not covered by health share plans. This means that it’s important to sign up for a plan on time if you wish to make the most out of it. It’s necessary to add that if you wish to have your pregnancy covered, you will usually be asked to join a plan a set amount of time before getting pregnant or giving birth.
The check takes time to clear
Since they’re not regulated, the checks from such plans often take time to clear – 2 to 3 weeks. Although it could be annoying, it is easy to budget for.
Also, Healthshare ministries are faith-based organizations, which means that they ask their members to follow their religious regulations.
Remember, everybody’s situation is unique, so what might be a great solution for one family might be an inadequate one for the other. Take your expenses and needs into consideration and look up different ministries before deciding if health share plans are a good way to go for you.