Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Single Urban Homesteader
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I saw some faith based healthcare cost sharing options dropped in another thread. The insurance my employer offers is tripling the premiums and doubling the deductable with new you-know-who-care compliant plans, so at this point there's probably better options out there for me. I'm younger, and single, with no health issues.

I was hoping folks could share what companies do this and any experiences they may have with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
We are members of Christian Healthcare Ministries. LOVE IT!!! There are also Samaritan Ministries and Medi Share.

We chose CHM because it fit best our needs. We only needed something for the kids and I and DH kept his retiree insurance through a former employer (due to specific health situation related to injuries he sustained while employed).

With CHM, we chose the "golden option". We pay $300/month ($150 for me, $150 for the kids - it does not matter how many kids you have), we pay all medical bills under $500 cash (e.g. an annual physical). Everything over $500 is shared with other members (again it is $500 for me, $500 for kids). CHM manages monthly gifts centrally - i.e. you send your monthly gift to CHM and they then distribute it to members who have medical needs. Maintenance medications are not covered (although we do receive multiple Rx discount cards to find out which one gives you best discount). It is a non-issue for me - I take two meds that I have been paying cash for even when we had insurance coverage through DH's employer (the insurance copay was higher than the actual cost of the med). Since the ministry is based on Biblical principals, there are rules as to what kind of expenses are shared. For example, out of wedlock pregnancy would not be shared.

There are certain limits on pre-existing conditions. For example, if you have a pre-existing condition, the first year the ministry will only share expenses related to it up to $15,000, the 2nd year the limit is $25,000, the 3rd year it is around $50,000 - after three years there is no limit. However, if you have a medical procedure related to a pre-existing condition and exceed the limit in the first 3 years, the bills are published for voluntary sharing. Each month we get an update on who needs help, how much they received and how much they still need. I have seen bills in hundreds of thousands of dollars paid off via voluntary giving. We send extra every month beyond our committed amount just for this purpose.

They also offer additional program called Brother's Keepers. With our option, there is a $250,000 limit per medical incident. With Brother's Keepers there is no limit. The program is paid quarterly and is based on the current need. Some quarters we have paid as little as $15 (for the kids and I) and some quarters we have paid as much as $40.

I really liked Samaritan Ministries as well, however, they do not offer an option to join only for some family members. You just have to join as a family. In our case, this would have been more expensive since we kept regular insurance for DH. The really neat thing about Samaritan is that you do not send any money to the office - you send your check directly to another member who has a medical need. How much more transparent can you get?

With both CHM and Samaritan you get the freedom of being a "cash patient" - no networks to worry about, you just go to the Dr of your choice.

Medi Share is - in my opinion - most like health insurance. I believe their program is based on a network of participating providers. Their monthly gift is also calculated based on your health - age, weight, height, etc. It was not a good fit for our family, I especially did not like that you have to stay "in network".

Please note that I have done research on this a year and half ago. So Samaritan and Medi Share may have changed since then.

All three ministries have been grandfathered into Obamacare - members are not taxed for not having health insurance. Unfortunately, new ministries cannot be started.

At the time of DH's retirement, we looked at keeping his retiree insurance for the whole family ($1,300/month, $6,000 deductible, $10,000 out of pocket max). To purchase insurance directly from an insurer, the lowest we could get was $800-$900/month, $12,000-$15,000 deductible - don't remember the out of pocket max). Once I learned about the health sharing ministries, I never looked back and I am so happy we got out of the insurance mad house.
 

·
Single Urban Homesteader
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Kat! I requested an info pack from CHM as I could do a Bronze for only $45 a month and the deductible isn't much more than my employers will be next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Farmercat did a great job of explaining CHM. My husband and I joined them this year.

Another point is when you are having routine medical appointments and tests you tell them that you are a cash paying customer when the charges are under $500.
most offices will give you a discount for paying cash. We got discounts on physicals, lab work and on my mammogram.


We retired at the age of 57. Our healthcare premiums started at $400 per month for three of us. In 2013 (5 years later) our monthly premium was $900 per month. In 2014 our premium was going up to $1300 per month and this was for a $10,000 deductible, basically catastrophic policy. We joined CHM this year at the gold level, so $300 per month. And we also participate in Brothers Keeper program.

We feel that this is a great program!

Susan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,153 Posts
I can heartily recommend CHM. Another benefit is any discounts you get go against your deductible (called member share). I am now on Medicare and really miss CHM. Their drug discount cards were great. I now pay more for my meds than I paid using their cards (I had two).

I had to have some extensive tests on my heart three years ago while with CHM. The total out of pocket was less than $100.00 due to getting discounts. Most hospitals and doctors will give the insurance rate when they find out about CHM. I need the same tests done now and thanks to my having insurance, my out of pocket will be triple that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,317 Posts
Maybe a dumb question but does this apply to Catholics too? There are several families I know that have been squeezed out of their insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
Each family would need to read through the statement of faith that is part of membership in these health share programs. We consider ourselves believers, but could not truthfully state that we agreed withe every one of the statements. I would not think most Christians would have a problem with them.
 

·
Voice of Reason
Joined
·
52,186 Posts
What's the deal with preferred providers? There is only one medical provider in the Las Vegas area (a surgeon). What happens if I go to a doc that isn't one of their providers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
What's the deal with preferred providers? There is only one medical provider in the Las Vegas area (a surgeon). What happens if I go to a doc that isn't one of their providers?
I do not understand your question ...

We just go to any doctor we choose, inform them that we pay cash & are members of CHM. If it is under $500, we just pay cash at the end of our visit and that is the end of it. If it is a larger bill, we submit our need to CHM for sharing.
 

·
Voice of Reason
Joined
·
52,186 Posts
I do not understand your question ...

We just go to any doctor we choose, inform them that we pay cash & are members of CHM. If it is under $500, we just pay cash at the end of our visit and that is the end of it. If it is a larger bill, we submit our need to CHM for sharing.
What's the point of the provider directory page?

http://www.chministries.org/providerlist.aspx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
What's the point of the provider directory page?

http://www.chministries.org/providerlist.aspx
Oh that ... it is a list of doctors members have seen and liked - as it is clearly stated right above the search criteria on the page you visited:

Important: As a CHM member you are free to receive treatment from any doctor or hospital as long as the treatment is within CHM Guidelines. CHM does not have a provider network from which you must choose. However, the list below features providers and organizations our members have recommended and providers who have indicated a desire to work with CHM members. To recommend a provider, send an email to [email protected] and include the following information: Health care provider name, specialization [general practitioner, pediatrician, etc.], name of practice or hospital, address, phone number, email and website [if applicable].
For example, when we moved and were looking for new doctors, I called CHM to get a list of doctors other members recommend in our area. Often the doctors on the list provide reasonable pricing, give nice discounts to cash paying patients or are Christians and follow Biblical principles in their practice.

Why would you even ask this question considering the statement on the CHM website anyway????? By the way, the bolded part in my quote is bolded on the website as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,153 Posts
Thank you Kat! I requested an info pack from CHM as I could do a Bronze for only $45 a month and the deductible isn't much more than my employers will be next year.
I wouldn't recommend the Bronze if you have any pre-existing conditions at all. Also, I think on the Bronze, the deductible is per medical occurrence, whereas on the Gold plan, once the deductible is met, any other condition in the same year is covered with no deductible. It was the best $150.00 per month I've ever spent. If I didn't have a pre-existing condition, I probably would have gone with the Silver plan ($85.00 with $1,000 ded, if I remember correctly).

Maybe a dumb question but does this apply to Catholics too? There are several families I know that have been squeezed out of their insurance.
I'm Episcopalian (near cousin to Roman Catholics), and I had no problem with signing the faith statement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: no really

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
I just found out from a friend that there is another ministry I was not familiar with. It is called Liberty HealthShare. I do not know much about this particular program (my friend told me that they joined recently) but I wanted to put the information out there for those looking. For some reason, Liberty HealthShare does not come up on Google unless you specifically search for them by name.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top