Liberty HealthShare Official Blog
Stewarding End-Of-Year Costs
This time of year, we tend to see a significant increase in the number of member bills submitted for sharing. Though we cannot be sure of the reason for this, it is possible this is due at least in part to the third-party payer model and deadlines by which many of our members have previously functioned. Whatever the reason, we want to remind our members of a few important factors to consider before they submit more bills at this time of year.
Blessed Are They Who Believe
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." Luke 1:41-45 (ESV) When the angel visited Mary to announce she would be the mother of the Messiah, he also shared the news that her cousin Elizabeth - thought to be barren - was six months pregnant, punctuating it with the pronouncement, "For nothing will be impossible with God."
Exercise Your Freedom Today
When we’re just kids, running and playing with our friends is second nature. When we're free to choose how and when we will play, we have almost limitless energy, but as we get older, something shifts. Usually, no thanks to gym class, we no longer run because it’s fun, but rather because the teacher standing on the track is using his stopwatch to rate our performance.
Light To Pierce The Darkness
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2 (ESV) From the very moment Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, God began writing a story of restoration for His people. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites succumbed more than once to doubt and sin as they waited for the promised Redeemer. One can only imagine what it was like during the 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the start of Jesus' ministry. God's people must have fought disillusionment even as they clung tightly to the words of the prophets.
God Meant It For Good
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20 (ESV) Here in the United States, we are told from a young age about the Pilgrims who voyaged to America in 1620 and survived largely because of a Native American man named Squanto. It's told as a quaint history of the first Thanksgiving, but the seemingly tidy story doesn't begin to explore the complex circumstances and the lives of the people who were there. Squanto's story alone is one of bravery and mercy in the face of tragedy and injustice.
Our Thanksgiving Wishes For You
The great American holiday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, is this Thursday. Whether you celebrate with turkey and all the fixings or you’re more of a ham family, whether you spend your day serving at a local charity or watching the parade and football, we hope you enjoy a day full of reminiscing over old memories and the creation of new ones. As you look around the table, don’t forget to take this opportunity to recall the many things you have to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving Every Day
"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!" Psalm 50:23 (ESV) The holidays give us a chance to slow down, count our blessings, and choose gratitude, but what about the rest of the year? We all know that when times are hard, when money is tight, or when illness invades, cultivating a heart of thanksgiving is easier said than done.
Finding His Purpose For Our Lives
"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (ESV) It's a given that each of us will find ourselves, at one time or another, in search of a sense of purpose. Self-help authors make a fortune on this one topic and no matter how many volumes are published, there will always be a demand for more. There is nothing inherently wrong with our desire for meaning, but as Christians, we must always look for it in light of our Creator.
Joy, Peace, And Hope
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13 (ESV) Christians are often admonished that we ought to live joyful, peaceful, and hopeful lives regardless of our circumstances. We know these qualities should characterize our lives, but if we are honest, each of us has experienced seasons in which joy seems impossible; when what we see says there is no reason to hope or to have peace.
Liberty Finds An Audience At ETCH
From time to time, Liberty sends representatives to conferences and events where we feel it will be worthwhile to share our mission with attendees. To that end, our team attended LifeWay's ETCH Family Ministry Conference in Nashville this past month.
This November, be a Quitter
The enrollment process with Liberty HealthShare includes a review of applicant health for two main reasons: first, because we are a community united by our shared belief in God, we agree together to honor him by stewarding our bodies as the gifts they are. Second, as we share medical costs as a community, that stewardship of our bodies results in the reduction of avoidable medical expenses. One of the lifestyle expectations we have for our members is that they will not engage in any kind of tobacco use.
Membership With Dependents
Liberty HealthShare memberships take all shapes and sizes. Some members are enrolled as a single, some as a couple, and some as family units. What constitutes these various types of enrollments is fairly easy to understand, however, it gets a little more complicated with dependent children, especially as they approach legal adulthood.
Medicare And Liberty Membership
If you meet or will soon meet the requirements for Medicare, you might be curious as to how Medicare enrollment will impact your membership with Liberty HealthShare. Since Liberty HealthShare is not insurance, you might wonder how, or even if, we share medical costs with members who are also enrolled in Medicare.
Balance Bill? Here's How To Respond.
At some point in your membership with Liberty HealthShare, you might find yourself dealing with what is known as a balance bill. In short, balance billing is what happens when a bill has already been paid and the physician or provider attempts to get more money directly from their patient. It's important to note that balance bills represent only a fraction of the costs that are submitted to Liberty, however, we want to give you the information and steps you will need to properly respond if you find yourself in this situation.
During Flu Season, VideoMedicine Can Help
You can just picture it, can't you? You're up to your elbows in tape and tissue paper, transforming your son into a spaceman for the school costume party, and you don't feel quite...right. Your back aches, you feel like your brain is slowing down, and...is it chilly in here? Two hours later, you have a temperature of 102º F and climbing, everything hurts, and you can't stop coughing. This is no ordinary cold. Most likely, you have influenza (the flu).
Open Enrollment Is Here. Refer-A-Friend Today!
It's the most magical time of year. Pumpkin-spice lattes are back, and that can only mean one thing: Open Enrollment is here. Okay, those two things aren't actually linked in any way, but they do both characterize the autumn months in the United States.
Your Activism Is Needed!
Late last month, Liberty HealthShare Executive Director Dale Bellis met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to a) update them on the growth of healthcare sharing households across America, b) inform them of the positive impact membership in a healthcare sharing ministry has on its members, and c) educate them on the value of making Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) accessible to members of healthcare sharing ministries. We're happy to say that Congress is taking action on this issue.
Providers Question Sharing And Member Stands Firm
From time to time, our members find themselves wearing the educator's hat when interacting with physicians and other staff at their providers' offices. Despite its long history, healthcare sharing is still a new concept to many, even those within the healthcare profession. Michigan member Yvonne M. enrolled with Liberty HealthShare along with her husband in late 2015. Last year, she and her husband found themselves facing outright antagonism about their Liberty membership not once but four separate times over the course of one medical incident.
Member Impressed When Hospital Costs Reduced
Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of Christian healthcare sharing is right there in the name: we are a group of like-minded people sharing the costs of healthcare. What is less obvious on the surface, but no less important, is that our members often enjoy reduced costs simply by virtue of the fact that, in the eyes of the healthcare industry, we are self-pay patients, and with that status often comes a discount. Additionally, Liberty HealthShare partners with MedCost Solutions, a group that advocates on our members' behalf to negotiate and reduce the size of their bills, so our members' costs can be reduced even further, reflecting the actual price of care.
Let Us Do Good To All
At Liberty HealthShare, we view misunderstandings as opportunities for education. For instance, some potential members don't understand the healthcare sharing mentality. Rather than seeing this purely as an obstacle to membership, we choose to see it as an opportunity for education about our unique, member-centered approach to paying for healthcare. When we hear from members who truly understand healthcare sharing and want to see others learn more, we get excited. We can explain it all day long from our perspective, but the reality is members who share their experiences are exponentially more effective at educating others. A great example of this is Brittany K. from Michigan, who along with her family joined Liberty HealthShare early last year.
Preventing & Treating Youth Sports Injuries
Are you ready for some football? If your kids are athletes, odds are they started practice for their fall sports several weeks ago. If your children have been involved in sports for a while, you are no doubt familiar with the risks of injury inherent in any sport. You have probably heard the warnings about overuse injuries, concussions, and various other issues common to youth athletics. If, however, your child or children are new to sports, you may not be as familiar with the risks.
Compassion & Reassurance In Crisis
One of the core values held by Liberty HealthShare and encouraged in the lives of our members is the pursuit and maintenance of good health. This is because first and foremost, as a Christian ministry, we believe our bodies are temples we've been given to steward. Secondly, as a cost-sharing ministry, we prioritize health so that our members can fulfill their voluntary commitment to be there and share in eligible medical costs, especially in times of crisis. Chris V., (pictured left with his wife Annie) lives in Arizona, and he and his family joined Liberty HealthShare last year. As a healthy family who was invested in community, health, and healing, they determined Liberty HealthShare was aligned with their beliefs and ultimately decided membership was for them. That decision was put to the test only two months after Chris' family joined, when their 14-year-old daughter suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.
Confronting Childhood Obesity
Viewpoints from a Naturopathic Physician One of our main values here at Liberty HealthShare is the promotion and pursuit of health. While we are here for one another through the unexpected health issues that may arise, we have also agreed to steward our bodies, first because they are gifts from God and second, because we recognize that the money that pays for our eligible medical costs comes out of our pockets and the pockets of our fellow members. Obesity is a national epidemic, affecting more than one-third of U.S. adults. It’s not surprising that children aren’t statistically far behind in this area. Obesity contributes to a myriad of other health conditions, from heart disease to cancer, so it follows that a large part of our nation’s healthcare costs could be mitigated by focusing on the reduction of obesity alone.
Effects Of The Healthcare Sharing Mentality
Have you ever noticed how making changes in one area of your life can cause you to reevaluate other, seemingly unrelated areas? Take health, for example. You make the commitment to start eating more healthily and, over time, you notice you have more energy. Greater energy translates into a desire to move more, so you join a gym and start attending classes. Then you recognize that your stress level is more manageable, and you feel so great that you start enjoying your hobbies again, further lowering your stress.
How Do We Define Pre-Existing Conditions?
In the Health & Wellness Department, we are asked, “What is considered a pre-existing condition?” several times a day by both members and providers. The review and management of pre-existing conditions make up a large part of our work, so one of my goals is ensuring that our members have a good understanding of how we address these particular circumstances.
Freedom In My Healthcare Choices
Liberty HealthShare members make up a unique group of people who have chosen to abandon traditional methods of paying for their healthcare and, instead, voluntarily share in medical costs with one another. We love hearing about our members' experiences with healthcare sharing and sharing those stories with a wider audience. It's encouraging for our staff and current members to know that their contribution is making a difference. Testimonials also offer a great opportunity for prospective members to learn more about us as they consider how to proceed in their healthcare decision-making. Ayla Brown is a recording artist and former NCAA basketball player who recently joined the Liberty HealthShare community as a sharing member.
A Total Eclipse Of The Sun
Monday, August 21st, the United States will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. Total solar eclipses occur every 18 months or so, but because of the Earth and Moon's orbit shapes, visibility occurs at a different location on Earth each time. This means a total solar eclipse that is visible from the US is a rare occurrence. The last time the US experienced a total solar eclipse was on March 7th of 1970 and the next one visible from our nation won't occur until 2024!