My wife and I became much more attuned to health insurance once I ventured into self-employment. Prior to this we’d make the yearly election for health insurance through my employer but frankly both options were great (compared to buying on your own!). We didn’t pay a great deal of attention but we did develop a baseline understanding of how insurance works (premiums vs. deductibles vs. co-pays, etc.). When I left my job we researched our options and, not qualifying for a subsidy, purchased a plan directly through Medical Mutual of Ohio, a local insurer. The cost was tough to swallow and we were relatively healthy so there was definitely a growing level of frustration. As my frustration grew my research into different healthcare options for the self-employed grew as well. It was this research that led me to the concept of healthshare ministries. At one point, prior to finding healthshare ministries I was describing a concept for health insurance to a friend: we would get a group of friends together, be self-insured and just help pay for each others insurance. It wasn’t a real plan, just one of those ideas you talk through out loud but leads nowhere. When I discovered healthshare ministries it sounded a little bit like that idea we had talked about.
My wife and I felt our beliefs were fairly well aligned to the healthshare ministries but appreciated the openness of Liberty. What we were attracted to about healthshare ministries and Liberty:
- The idea that our monthly share amount would be directly routed to a person with a need – it was more personal health insurance and the model seemed simple
- The ability to utilize any healthcare provider we choose
- The emphasis on nutrition, working out and proactively treating your body well to prevent as much illness as possible
- It’s obvious, but the cost was much more in line with what we felt health insurance should cost
While there was a lot to like we were certainly concerned about a number of different aspects of healthshare ministries:
- Would they really pay if we had a major health issue?
- Would our healthcare providers still see us without traditional insurance?
- How long would it take to get reimbursed for our medical expenses?
- Would costs suddenly increase or would the ministry become insolvent due to a sharp increase in medical expenses from members?