I have been a member of a Christian medical sharing plan for almost four years now. It has honestly been one of the best financial moves I have made. I would estimate that I have saved about $15,000 so far by dropping my traditional health insurance. Presently, at the age of 51, I pay $204 monthly. My cost for a traditional health insurance plan would be close to triple this amount. Medical sharing plans do not cover low dollar medical expenses, such as routine visits to the doctor and prescription drugs. It is also important to note that a qualifying medical sharing plan gives you an exemption from Obamacare and the associated penalties for not having insurance.
Medical Sharing Programs:
A key concept to understand is that everyday expenses are not covered by these kinds of plans, but there are plenty of ways to save money on these costs. As a cash paying patient at my doctor's office, they offer me a substantial discount. In fact, what I end up paying is similar to many of the other patient's co-pay amounts (they have big expensive insurance plans and my out of pocket is many times exactly the same). There are websites I have discovered that allow cash paying patients to shop out routine procedures like a colonoscopy. I recently read an article that made the point that a colonoscopy can cost you between $700 and as much $3,300! Check out this medical price comparison search engine.
I also have discovered ways to get some of my prescription drugs for free and others for just a few dollars. All it took was a little shopping around to find these deals. From what I have learned, many retailers substantially discount prescriptions (or even make them free) as a loss leader to get you in the door. I guess they are betting that if you stop in to pick up your prescription you will also do your grocery shopping (which does turn out to be the case often times for me). My medical sharing program has arranged for a discounts for its members on routine lab tests as well. I go online and pay in advance, and simply take the receipt down to the medical lab and get my full metabolic panel of tests. It only costs me about $60, despite the fact that the standard fee for the exact same test would be $400 to $500 without my discount.
Medical sharing has worked well for me. I don't necessarily think it is the right option for everyone. For example, if you have significant medical issues that would be considered pre-existing conditions, you might well be better off with an Obamacare type plan. I have to share how encouraged I was recently when I received an e mail from one of our readers sharing with me that he had more than $80,000 in medical bills and they were fully paid by the medical sharing program he learned about from my blog! Since everyone wants to know, the program I am personally a member of, and recommend, is Christian Care Ministry.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!