The shape of healthcare is changing with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation, and one of the main elements about which many Americans are excited is the inclusion of free preventative care in all health insurance under the ACA. This type of preventative care covers an annual physical and other basic tests and screenings that can help identify health problems early on potentially preventing more serious health conditions from developing.
When looking at healthcare programs, it's good to know whether they remove barriers to preventative care. Will you be able to get a physical each year? What about a PSA test for older men or a mammogram for women? These types of screenings are an important part of detecting health problems, including cancer, while they are still in the early stages and more treatable.
How Liberty HealthShare Handles Preventative Care
As a medical cost sharing group, Liberty HealthShare is not subject to some of the specific guidelines of the ACA. However, preventative care and wellness visits are fully a part of the Liberty HealthShare program. Those kinds of cost are eligible to share and are not a part of the annual unshared amount (AUA) that members must pay before they can share medical expenses. In this way, our Christian healthcare sharing ministry encourages members to take control of their own healthcare and to be proactive about screening for health problems.
Eligibility for sharing preventative care costs is age-based. The types and frequency of check-ups change slightly depending on the age of the member receiving care:
- During the first year after a baby is born (provided the pregnancy began after the mother became a Liberty HealthShare member), all baby wellness visits, immunizations and other shots, and basic preventative care tests are eligible for sharing. These costs are fully shared by the group and are not subject to the AUA. It is important for babies to complete their wellness visits and receive immunizations to help prevent future illnesses and health complications.
- Members between the ages of 1 and 50 can get wellness tests and screenings every other year. These costs are shared fully among the medical cost sharing group with no requirement to first pay the AUA. Overall, this period of life has lower health risks, so wellness screenings every other year are typically sufficient to catch potential problems.
- Members over the age of 50 are eligible to get many types of preventative care on an annual basis. For example, men can get a PSA test, prostate exam, and physical every year. Women can go for a wellness visit, mammogram, pap smear, and similar types of wellness checks every year while they are part of Liberty HealthShare. These costs are shared by the group without the member having to first pay the AUA.
Overall, Liberty HealthShare is operating as a group that motivates and mobilizes members to take control of their health. It's a Christian healthcare approach that targets personal and ethical responsibilities to live a healthy life. When members take advantage of the preventative care available to them and get wellness tests, they are able to discover any conditions early on, seek appropriate treatment, and make lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on health.
No matter which of our three programs a potential member chooses, preventative care is a core part of each one. The Liberty HealthShare team is always happy to answer questions about whether specific procedures are included as part of shareable preventative care expenses.