A Guide To Healthcare Cost-Sharing Plans
Medical cost-sharing plans protect people from large medical expenses. In medical cost-sharing plans, a large group of people pool their money to share their common medical expenses. These plans are not run by insurance companies but by non-profit organizations called health ministries. Health sharing ministries are families and individuals who voluntarily share the medical expenses of each other. Members pay a specific amount into a fund every month, and when any member gets a large medical bill, the money can be paid from that fund. The guidelines of the plan spell out which expenses are shareable.
Why Do People Choose Healthcare Cost-Sharing Plans?
Medical cost-sharing plans have lower monthly charges, which is why people prefer these over health insurance. Health insurance plans are very expensive and have increased over the years. According to 2019 statistics, the annual premium for four people would cost around 20,500 dollars, excluding the additional expenses not covered in the insurance plans. On the other hand, members of health-sharing plans do not have to worry about such large expenses. Many of these plans are linked to people with the same belief systems. These plans offer a means for people to get the appropriate medical attention while sharing their expenses with others with the same belief system. Healthcare cost-sharing plans are more affordable than health insurance.
What All Is Included In Healthcare Cost-Sharing Plans?
Sharing rules vary in different plans; for instance, the plans run by Christians don’t cover situations that clash with their beliefs. Generally, the medical cost sharing plans cover:
1: Telehealth: In virtual healthcare, members can consult a licensed physician via phone or video.
2: Mental health counseling.
3: Hospital financial assistance.
4: Pharmacy benefit program: discounted medication for all major kinds of illnesses.
What Is The Difference Between Health Insurance And Healthcare Cost-Sharing?
Some ways in which health care sharing plans differ from insurance are-
1:Health share plans are flexible about deciding how to distribute money to the members who pay claims.
2:Some health share plans allow the members to give money to pay medical bills directly.
3:Some plans do not cover wellness or preventive visits, so the members have to pay for them.
4:Some plans include dental or vision, while some might not.
5:Health share plans make their own rules and decide what they cover. They do not have to follow any legal mandate as in the case of insurance plans that have to abide by the Affordable Care Act.
6:In health share plans, the members share some common beliefs, which is not a necessity in the case of health insurance.
Is There A Possibility Of Losing Your Membership In A Cost-Sharing Plan?
All plans have different rules that the members have to adhere to. Religious cost-sharing plans can cut ties with the members if they do not follow the rules. For instance, Christian groups might end your membership if you do not attend church regularly or have intercourse outside your marriage. Non-religious groups might end your coverage if you use illegal drugs. Healthcare sharing ministries expect the members to follow a specific lifestyle.
What Should You Know About Before Joining A Healthcare Cost-Sharing Plan?
If you are considering joining a healthcare cost-sharing plan, then you should know a few things.
Make sure you ask the following questions:
1: Lifestyle rules of the plan.
2: Costs that the plan guarantees it will cover.
3: For what services will you have to pay out of your pocket?
4: Does the plan pay your bills directly, or will you have to pay first, and will the plan pay you back?
5:How often can the plan suspend a member’s coverage?
6:What are the rules of cost-sharing for a pre-existing medical condition?
7:Which doctors and hospitals can be consulted under the plan?
What Are the Benefits Of Healthcare Cost-Sharing Plans?
There are many benefits of healthcare cost-sharing plans, such as –
1: They are cost-effective; each member contributes a specific amount they choose based on the program.
2: Memberships are not terminated if any medical condition is developed.
3: Memberships are not affected by your employment status or where you live.
4: Members encourage one another, which fosters a sense of belongingness among them.
5: Members feel good about being a part of a group with like-minded individuals.
6: These plans may cover certain things that health insurance doesn’t.
7: It also covers medical treatment overseas.
Healthcare cost-sharing plans can offer good quality treatment at a lower cost. It is a great alternative for people who cannot afford health insurance. Sometimes the plans provide partial coverage, so it is always in your best interest to get proper knowledge of the terms and conditions before joining a healthcare cost-sharing plan .