In the medical world, it seems like costs are always rising. However, there are a few key situations in which costs have actually dropped for individuals. One of these is in the case of members of medical cost sharing ministries, which are allowable under the Affordable Care Act. Liberty HealthShare members actually saw their monthly share amount drop by $50 from 2013 to 2014.
It may be hard to believe that costs could drop that dramatically from one year to the next, but medical cost sharing works differently than traditional health insurance. According to Liberty HealthShare executive director Dale Bellis, there are three key factors that contribute to this drop in cost for Liberty members.
- Members Share Actual Costs
Actual costs often vary from projections, and when members share actual costs rather than inflated projections, they see lower monthly share amounts. Traditional insurance companies have actuaries who use formulas to try to project the costs for a particular group of individuals and then base monthly premiums on these projections. These formulas account for several factors that tend to inflate the costs individuals will actually experience.
On the other hand, medical cost sharing groups do not project what the members will experience and add in extra layers of costs related to the projections. Instead, they share in the actual expenses of members. All cost sharing is based on eligible medical bills that are actually submitted to the group each month, and these costs end up being significantly less than the actuarial formulas would have projected.
- Medical Discounts Decrease Costs
One of the unfortunate flaws in today's healthcare world is that providers have to be reimbursed by insurance companies for their services. The billing process takes time and resources, and as a result of that, the providers will often charge inflated rates that are much higher than their actual costs. These inflated rates are passed along to the members of health insurance plans through higher monthly premiums.
Members of Liberty HealthShare have access to a rigorous medical discount system that lowers the cost of services billed by healthcare providers. Healthcare providers give members of such programs on average roughly a 50% to 60% discount on medical bills, bringing expenses associated with care down to their true price. This keeps costs far below the inflated prices that others have to pay.
- Health Conscious Members Have Lower Costs
Christian healthcare plans like Liberty HealthShare tend to attract health-conscious people who are committed to taking responsibility for their health. The enrollment process includes a medical screening and a commitment first, to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to higher medical costs and second, to make choices that promote overall health, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet.
Members of a Christian healthcare sharing ministrhy also pay attention to the cost of the care they receive in an effort to keep monthly share amounts low for all members of the group. Rather than getting procedures that are expensive and not strictly necessary, members actively involve themselves in making healthcare decisions that promote their own health while keeping bills low.
Liberty HealthShare Offers Three Sharing Options
Decreasing medical costs is a goal for most households in the United States, and there are healthcare options that make this goal a reality. All members of Liberty HealthShare benefit from the low cost of their monthly share amounts. In addition, there are three sharing programs available, so individuals and families can choose the level that makes the most sense for their health needs and budget.