Health Sharing—A Solution that Must be Part of the Open Enrollment Conversation

November 15th, 2018

By Larry Foster
CEO Liberty HealthShare 

As countless Americans agonize over their health insurance options during open enrollment, most are unaware they have another choice that has worked for decades—health sharing.

According to the Kaiser Foundation, the skyrocketing cost of insurance today means that the average annual premium a family of four pays has reached nearly $19,000. Add in the rising costs of deductibles, and many families and individuals are finding themselves strapped to the hilt financially to take care of their families or worse yet, priced out of health insurance altogether. Too few know there is another option that hundreds of thousands of Americans have turned to.

Health sharing is a form of healthcare cost management in which members—who typically have common ethical or religious beliefs—pay a monthly amount that goes toward  other members’ medical expenses. Health sharing has been around for decades and today, more than a million Americans are members of health sharing organizations—and with good reason.

Take Liberty HealthShare, for example. The average cost per month for healthcare for a family of any size hovers around the $500 range, and for an individual, only about $200. Clearly health sharing is a cost-effective choice.

On top of that, Liberty places a huge emphasis on keeping our members and their families healthy, so preventive care such as wellness visits, lab work, mammograms, and colonoscopies etc., is a benefit already included in the cost. We do this not only because it makes better sense to keep our members healthy and avoid treating expensive problems down the road, but also because it’s the right thing to do. As a result, we have happier, healthier members at a cost that works for everyone.

Brad Hahn, a Catholic attorney and founder of another health sharing organization, sees the vital role health sharing plays in today’s costly and complicated market. Hahn said, “As an attorney, I was skeptical, but after I started investigating it, researching it, and looking at how the model works, I fell in love with it.”

And some industry leaders are convinced we are on the right track. 

Peter Pitts, former FDA Associate Commissioner and President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest said, "Sometimes the best insurance isn’t insurance at all. It’s allowing faith-based alternatives to provide what traditional insurance can’t—community solutions.”

At its heart, health sharing is power in numbers and taking care of one another. At Liberty HealthShare, following this simple premise allows us to keep our members’ healthcare costs down while providing the opportunity to access excellent medical services. 

As CEO of Liberty, I see every day how we are helping to make quality healthcare affordable again. Health sharing is certainly not what Americans are used to— it’s a solution born of innovation and caring for others—but it is effective, and everyone should know that we are here for them.  

I’m confident that Liberty HealthShare will be at the forefront of a new day in healthcare for millions of Americans.

There IS a choice, and it’s time health sharing becomes part of the conversation.

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