There are huge obstacles to President DJT’s Swamp Draining Attempt in Washington, DC. One of the biggest fights revolves around replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is commonly known as Obamacare. There seems to be a log jam in Congress. This was in part instigated by the left wing of the Republican Party. (That’s is the majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate.) So, despite their rhetoric, it seems like they don’t want to do away with socialized medicine. This is because the status quo concentrates both power and the flow of wealth through Washington, DC. For now, no real change seems capable of moving through the Swamp-Mired Congress. In this essay, I’ll be addressing making a change of our own. We can do so without waiting for Congressional action: Medical Cost Sharing.
How will this be resolved by the Congresscritters? Probably not anytime soon. Consequently, I expect to see health insurance premiums keep ratcheting upward. The “alternative plans” now being developed by the divided Congress probably won’t be much better than the current ACA. And what about the recently-touted “Obamacare Light” program? It doesn’t offer much hope of reduced costs for typical American families.
Medical Cost Sharing
I encourage readers in the US to closely look at the alternatives to traditional insurance. Probably one of the best alternatives: Medical cost sharing ministries,. These are also called health sharing ministries. They are networks or societies of individuals and families that agree help pay for each other’s medical expenses. These are nearly all faith-based programs. Consequently they are exempt from the ACA law. (And exempt from any ACA non-participation fines.) About one million Americans are already enrolled in health sharing ministries, and the numbers are growing rapidly. Typically, these programs do not cover any pre-existing conditions. But most noteworthy they have no limit (“cap”) on covered costs. The annual cost of these plans is less than most insurance plans.
The four best-known and widely-subscribed Christian health cost sharing programs are:
- Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM.) It is available in all 50 States. Unlike most of the others, it allows LDS (Mormon) church members.
- Christian Care Medi-Share. It has the lowest monthly cost for younger members. (The costs are age-based.) It is available in all States except Montana.
- Samaritan Ministries. This is the program that JWR’s family is enrolled in. It is available in all 50 States. Members must belong to an evangelical church. Among its competitors it has the lowest “Annual Personal Responsibility.” (The equivalent of an an annual insurance deductible.)
- Liberty HealthShare. This program appears to provide the most comprehensive coverage. Unlike most other plans, it covers alternative and natural treatments. It is available in all States except Pennsylvania.
Which Is Best?
Maybe with a hint of marketing bias, Liberty HealthShare has published a quick coverage comparison chart of the four major plans. The Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries web site states: “The IRS has issued Form 8965 along with finalized instructions explaining how members of a recognized health care sharing ministry can apply for an exemption to the individual mandate on their annual federal income tax return.”
It is noteworhty that I only have personal experience with Samaritan Ministries. Hence, to avoid my personal bias, I will refer you to this good summary article. It is: A Look At The Three Big Christian Healthcare Sharing Options. (It was written in 2014, but updated in 2017.)
One For Catholics
Recently, another health share program was expanded. It is intended for members of the Roman Catholic Church, and “other like-minded Christians”. It is called Solidarity Health Share. I haven’t had the opportunity to look into it closely. But it seems to be operated quite ethically. This, it is quite similar the the aforementioned Big Four.
In conclusion, the preceding is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis. It is just a starting point. So do your own due diligence.
Finally, you may ask: Should you switch to one of these programs? It probably makes sense for most of us. Please pray about it. If you then feel convicted to make the switch, then don’t hesitate.
Some Recommended Further Reading: The Big Lie of Socialized Medicine.