There have been a lot of changes proposed in the last few months regarding the structure of the health insurance marketplace in the United States. From attempts to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act to the few changes that have actually been made, there is a lot of uncertainty going into 2018.
Are looking for an alternative way to protect yourself and your family with a health coverage plan? Many Americans find it difficult to wade through the federal marketplace for a traditional health insurance policy, so consider joining a health care sharing ministry or an alternative.
There are six major ministries and alternative providers in the United States: Liberty HealthShare Ministry, Christian Medi-Share Ministry, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Samaritan, Altrua, and Aliera.
Benefits of a health care sharing ministry
Health care sharing ministries are designed to share health care costs with a smaller group of people, all of whom have signed up for the group’s particular set of rules and beliefs. Most of these organizations are religiously based and have requirements for their members based on those religious ethics.
All of the six health sharing ministries are exempt from the individual mandate as part of the Affordable Care Act. Although health sharing ministries aren’t the same as having a traditional health insurance policy, they still are accepted under the federal regulations regarding suitable health care plans.
Health sharing ministries can be cheaper than traditional health insurance policy premiums in some cases.
Similarities between health sharing plans
All the health sharing plans require potential members to fill out a preliminary health questionnaire. You should also note there are limitations for those with pre-existing conditions, so certain individuals may have to pay more for coverage in regards to this option.
Prescription medications must be approved on an individual basis as well. Catastrophic insurance is available from all health sharing ministries in order to account for drastic medical situations. None of these four health sharing ministries have maximum financial limitations.
Aliera is a good health sharing alternative for people who can’t afford Obamacare plans. Aliera is open to same-sex marriages and to people who don’t qualify for federal insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
If you want to avoid all the drama occurring on Capitol Hill with the talk of repealing and replacing Obamacare, think about going with Aliera. This option is great for people who are generally healthy and don’t take brand-name prescriptions. Large families may benefit from Aliera as well, as it can often be less expensive to be a member of a health care sharing organization than it is to purchase traditional health care.
Other people who may benefit from being a member of a health sharing organization are those who are self-employed and those who live in places where Preferred Provider Organizations aren’t available, like Florida and Texas.
Differences between the health sharing plans
There are a few comparisons that can be made between the six health sharing plans. The first is potentially the most important and concerns whether you qualify as a member or not. Medi-Share and Samaritan allows members to join who are of non-evangelical faith backgrounds, while Liberty HealthShare and Christian Healthcare Ministries do not accept members of non-evangelical faiths.
On the other hand, Aliera has a liberal statement of beliefs that require members to agree to the statement before enrolling, but is open to all faiths. This presents a great opportunity for the entire American population, as religion does not play a major factor in this alternative option.
Medical cost-sharing doesn’t immediately start when you become a member of Liberty HealthShare Ministries, but it does start immediately with the other three ministries. This means that you would have to foot the bill for any medical expenses that occurred before your health sharing plan with Liberty fully kicked in. With Aliera, members pay into an escrow account rather than directly to other people, which creates a sense of security for many individuals.
However, Liberty, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Samaritan are accepted everywhere. Only Medi-Share has network limitations that may influence what medical professionals and organizations you can work with.
Costs for each health sharing plan
Health sharing plans cost different amounts, and each ministry has its own structure for payments and plans. The annual personal financial responsibility outlined for Liberty HealthShare is $500 per individual, $1,000 for a couple, and $1,500 for a family. Medi-Share has a variety of plans ranging from $1,250-$10,000.
Christian Healthcare Ministries offers Gold, Silver, and Bronze plans. The Gold plan has a personal medical responsibility of $500, the Silver plan is $1,000, and the Bronze plan is $5,000. Samaritan’s personal responsibility is $300 per person, or up to $900 per family.
On average, Liberty’s monthly payment ranges from $107-$449; Medi-Share is $64-$627 (price based on age); Christian Healthcare Ministries costs about $90-$450, and Samaritan’s monthly cost can be $180-$405.
Aliera’s costs depend on how many people are in your family and your chosen level of coverage. Every level of coverage offered by Aliera includes a minimum essential coverage. If you decide to join this popular health care alternative, your monthly payments will remain the same.
If you’d like more information about Aliera’s options for health care coverage, contact a representative today by calling (844) 699-6873.