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Old 12-01-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
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Faith based health "insurance"

I'm interested in well-meaning average people who are looking at ways to improve the cost of healthcare. One of those is the idea of sharing costs vs. the larger bureaucracies that we get involved with.

I did a search on here but there seemed to be no good responses to the questions on us of faith-based health insurance....or more correctly health services since its more of a cost sharing service than insurance.

Does anyone have actual experience as opposed to those who just have opinions but haven't tried them?

An example is this one:

http://www.libertyhealthshare.org/co...sion_guide.pdf

Not wanting to start an opinion war, just looking at facts.

Bill
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:16 PM   #2
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It looks similar to single payer community rated insurance. The overhead is a bit higher but that may partly be the size of the group. The only issue I see is the part about only covering what is needed. A lot of faith based groups do not support some of the services some people expect. Read what it covers.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:30 PM   #3
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My wife and I are members of the following.
Samaritan Ministries International - Samaritan Ministries International
We are very happy with them. Once a month we send a check to someone in need. For the 2 of us it's $330.

As Nothermark said, check it all out. Samaritan Ministries does not 'cover' everything. We have an HSA to for smaller items.

Several years ago I had a total hip replacement. We had to do some footwork trying to get things reduced. SM has a great advocacy group. My total bill was for just under $50K. Between the advocacy group and ourselves the total was reduced to just under $30 and was paid in full. We had no out of pocket expense, just footwork.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
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I'm not exactly sure how these plans operate, but one thing to consider is whether the IRS considers them to be health insurance and, therefore, will assess you (or not) a penalty.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:25 PM   #5
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Is it health insurance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAParrothead View Post
I'm not exactly sure how these plans operate, but one thing to consider is whether the IRS considers them to be health insurance and, therefore, will assess you (or not) a penalty.
My reading on that is the ACA law grandfathers these plans in and you avoid the penalty. That's what I read.

But even if these plans aren't satisfying the law I think the penalty on top of the cost of these plans is still far lower than what some like me are paying for insurance. Not sure if it's appropriate to go into that here but I'd be happy to PM or email someone about what I've experienced.

As I said at the outset, I'm trying to learn of cost effective ways to be covered....whatever the plan is.

I did wonder if this topic is right for the RV forum but these plans seem to be "location independent" so full-timers could benefit from them it seems to me.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:29 PM   #6
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitewolf View Post
My wife and I are members of the following.
Samaritan Ministries International - Samaritan Ministries International
We are very happy with them. Once a month we send a check to someone in need. For the 2 of us it's $330.

As Nothermark said, check it all out. Samaritan Ministries does not 'cover' everything. We have an HSA to for smaller items.

Several years ago I had a total hip replacement. We had to do some footwork trying to get things reduced. SM has a great advocacy group. My total bill was for just under $50K. Between the advocacy group and ourselves the total was reduced to just under $30 and was paid in full. We had no out of pocket expense, just footwork.
That's what I was looking for...real experience! thanks
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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I was a deacon at a church and health care for ministry workers was expensive just like all health care is. We had to be very careful when selecting a group health care plan for our ministry workers - some that had attractive pricing had very limited drug coverage, exclusions for certain treatments covered by BCBS, etc. major health plans, and very high co-pays and deductibles. BEWARE OF LOW PRICED COVERAGE.

Generally you get what you pay for.

One option is to join ESCAPEES and utilize their support for Escapees members needing health care, they have a agency that provides options with costs for many states.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
I was a deacon at a church and health care for ministry workers was expensive just like all health care is. We had to be very careful when selecting a group health care plan for our ministry workers - some that had attractive pricing had very limited drug coverage, exclusions for certain treatments covered by BCBS, etc. major health plans, and very high co-pays and deductibles. BEWARE OF LOW PRICED COVERAGE.

Generally you get what you pay for.

One option is to join ESCAPEES and utilize their support for Escapees members needing health care, they have a agency that provides options with costs for many states.
Thanks Randy. The info is very clear that this is not insurance but a pay as you go where members help pay for each other's costs. So you can't really compare to say is it too cheap based on insurance costs. In looking at literature its pretty clear that members are a) healthier than average and b) more cautious in terms of what gets covered. Those make it more risky maybe to join but if you are healthy and think you'd rather take the risk than pay more money to health insurance companies then it's an honest "risk vs. reward" like Americans have always been used to.

I'm not advocating the plan but I do think it gives us a choice which is the part that has frustrated me.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:52 AM   #9
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They may say it is not insurance to meet a legal definition. What would concern me aside from coverage would be what happens if there is a big bill? Can they increase your "donation" to cover several heart attacks in the group as an example?

I would assume it operates on the basis of agreeing to belong for a fixed period of time and pay as needed during that period. If that is the case you should understand the risk. Not saying it is a bad idea, just that you should understand it.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:10 AM   #10
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I think I've reached a reasonable compromise....for now. I'm thinking that using the faith based approach in addition to a cheaper non-ACA health insurance plan will be adequate. Its higher than necessary since I'm using both but its still a lot cheaper than ACA plans. I can fill someone in on email if they want to know more.

thanks for all the comments
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