When you are looking into healthcare sharing ministries, you may be taken aback by all the state warnings you see. These legal notices usually state that the organization is not an insurance company and that it does not issue insurance policies. They also discuss the fact that you are not guaranteed payment for any medical costs you incur as a member, and that you are ultimately personally liable for any unpaid bills. Upon first glance, these warnings seem ominous, and you may wonder whether you should join the group. Rather than allowing them to make you fearful, allow us to explain why the government has instituted these warnings and what they mean.
Medical cost sharing is not insurance
First, these state warnings are there to make sure you are aware that healthcare sharing ministries are not health insurance. While healthcare sharing is allowable under the Affordable Care Act, it is an entirely separate model for paying for medical expenses; one based on cost sharing and healthy living. Liberty HealthShare and similar ministries are not trying to be insurance.
Insurance companies are strictly regulated, and they are required by law to follow through with certain obligations. This is why the state warnings exist. They are simply the state's way of letting you know that healthcare sharing ministries are not regulated by the state department of insurance.
Christian healthcare sharing ministries function under a unique model
Liberty HealthShare is proud to be a Christian healthcare sharing ministry. By joining together, we help each other through voluntary financial gifts. This way, self-pay patients are better able to pay for their medical costs.
Liberty HealthShare is owned by, driven by, decided by, and controlled by its members. Therefore, the members decide together what we do as a group. This type of model is ideal because it allows people to shape the ways in which they want to share medical costs. Many members who have previously accessed and paid for healthcare in the "traditional" ways find that they prefer collaboration in sharing costs.
Another way that Liberty HealthShare is set apart is because our members submit to an individual mandate of healthy behavior. When we join, we agree not to use tobacco or abuse alcohol or drugs, and to lead a healthy lifestyle, including exercising and making healthy eating choices. Because of this, we are able to partner with other individuals who share these beliefs. This helps keep costs down for all members.
One of the main ways in which Liberty HealthShare provides a new and refreshing approach to healthcare costs is members' ability to direct their own care. Rather than having to go through a specific network of providers and worry about lists of procedures that may or may not be covered by an insurance policy, members share costs incurred while treating eligible medical expenses.
Something else that sets Liberty HealthShare apart is that we are deeply personal. Each month, members send their share amount to a specific person. You know the name of the person and can send them a message of encouragement if you would like. As a Christian healthcare sharing ministry, we also encourage you to pray for your fellow members. The connections and relationships with other members are what make a true community of people who are helping each other.
Liberty HealthShare is not insurance, and we are proud not to be insurance. We are happy to display state warnings on our website because we agree with their message!