If you are tired of Obamacare and it’s rate hikes, poor coverage, high deductibles, and massive out-of-pocket expenses, I want to offer one alternative (in addition to voting at the polls)…
My family uses Christian Healthcare Ministries, which is a government-approved Christian medical-expense sharing ministry. It functions very similar to traditional insurance, with a few important differences.
With CHM, members submit monthly financial gifts to the ministry (similar to an insurance premium), and those monies are joined together in an account. As needs arise, members submit their bills to CHM, who then works to get them reduced with the providers. Then, CHM sends the member a check to cover 100% of the cost of the qualifying care.
How much does it cost? It depends on the type of coverage you choose. My family uses the Gold (best) plan, which costs $150/month per person ($450/family max). Members are responsible for the first $500 of an incident, and then CHM pays 100% after that. When they get costs reduced, though, it first subtracts from your $500, making the out of pocket even less (or even $0 if they get enough discounted).
There is no ‘pre-existing condition’ clause, so anyone who is an actively participating Christian can join.
We have used Christian Healthcare Ministries for a few things, such as a major surgery, a biopsy and related care, a broken foot, etc. and 100% was covered after our initial responsibility (always $500 or less).
When we have an incident that doesn’t equal $500, such as a minor urgent care visit, we just pay it out of pocket. We use an HSA (health savings account) for this, which is pre-tax dollars (see if your employer offers one. It’s very smart).
CHM doesn’t cover dental, but honestly we’ve never found the value in a dental insurance. If you do, there are very affordable options available.
CHM does cover prescription costs for incident-related prescriptions, if you use the Gold plan. They also provide a prescription card that can help you get discounts, and there are other prescription discount cards you can purchase for small fees through other sources. Many places also offer prescriptions at low-cost (we use SAM’s Club) or even free (for certain things like penicillin).
A big difference with CHM from a traditional insurance is that you don’t just present an insurance card and forget about it. With CHM, you have the provider bill you directly, and then you’re responsible to submit those bills to CHM to work out the discounts and payments. A little more work, but well worth it.
In addition, CHM also exempts you from having to pay the Obamacare, “no-insurance penalty” at the end of the year because it meets each of the qualifications set forth for health-cost sharing ministries in the U.S. health care legislation.
Over all, this has been the most affordable insurance we’ve had, considering out of pocket expenses, deductibles and premiums the major players have charged. And when Obamacare went into effect, it completely priced my family right out of being able to afford it at all. This was our only real alternative, and thankfully a great one.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask or visit their website.
This is my member link, and if you use it to sign up (anyone who is an actively participating Christian can join), it will give my family a free month of Christian Healthcare Ministries. Pretty cool, because you can do the same thing as a member.
Photo by Army Medicine
Photo by Army Medicine