Throughout the course of your enrollment and membership in Liberty HealthShare, you have likely noticed that we use terminology that is specific to our organization and work. There are several reasons we choose to communicate in the way we do. First, we do this because we are not insurance, and we are proud of that fact. Second, because Liberty HealthShare is a 501(c)(3), non-profit ministry, we refer to our work in a way that is decidedly NOT corporate. Third, the language we use to describe our model is a constant reminder to us and to our members that we are part of something unique.
Most Americans incorrectly believe the subject of paying for healthcare expenses can only be discussed in one way. We have developed our own set of terms that make it possible to clearly and correctly describe how Liberty HealthShare facilitates the sharing of our members’ eligible health care costs. Here’s a quick primer on the terminology you can expect to hear and see when you interact with our staff and other resources:
- Annual Unshared Amount: an annual first dollar amount that members have agreed to not share together, set according to membership household size.
- Eligible for Sharing: the charge for a service or supply provided in accordance with the terms of the Sharing Guidelines and approved for sharing, whose applicable charge amount does not exceed the program limits. Note that we do not use the word “coverage”, because this is a voluntary community, and there is no legal guarantee of payment.
- Sharing Member: a person who qualifies to participate monthly by contributing the suggested Monthly Share Amount for the medical expense needs of others and who qualifies to receive gifts from fellow Sharing Members for medical expense needs they may submit for sharing.
- Repriced: the amount for a submitted eligible medical bill after it has been negotiated (depending on the type of service) to 150-170% of Medicare-approved charges.
- Monthly Share Amount: the monetary contribution, not including the membership dues or monthly administrative costs, voluntarily given to share in another member’s medical expense need as assigned by Liberty HealthShare, according to the Sharing Guidelines.
- Sharing Guidelines: a document detailing standards for medical cost sharing with Liberty HealthShare.
- Explanation of Sharing: upon sharing of an eligible medical cost, this document is sent to members to explain the way in which their expense was handled from submission to reimbursement of the provider.
- Program: the type of membership in which a member is enrolled. The options are Liberty Share, Liberty Plus, and Liberty Complete. These differ according to a number of factors.
- Self-Pay: according to providers, Liberty HealthShare members are considered self-pay patients. That is, there is no third party involved in the management of their healthcare costs.
- Freedom from Insurance: healthcare sharing offers a way for like-minded people to live out of a sense of personal responsibility and the desire to bear one another’s burdens. They have chosen a completely unique approach to paying for medical care expenses; one that does not depend on third-party payer systems, employers, or the government.
- Compliant with the Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate: Members of healthcare sharing ministries are exempt from ACA penalties and fines for not having insurance.
- Based on Christian Principles: Liberty HealthShare is unapologetically Christian. One of the requirements for members to enroll is that they agree with our Statement of Shared Beliefs.
As a Liberty HealthShare member, you have chosen to live out your beliefs by voluntarily joining a community that cares for one another in times of need. Movements of like-minded people have their own “culture”, which is often characterized by language. This effort is no different. We use special terms because we are unique. Please refer to this post and the many resources available on our website if you are ever confused about an interaction you have with Liberty. As always, feel free to also contact our member services department with any questions.