As regular readers know, I have been recommending Christian Medical Sharing as an excellent alternative to Obamacare. I made the switch out of traditional health insurance in August of 2012 and have no regrets. I have suggested, however, that it still makes sense to consider other options and to re-shop annually to stay in touch with other options and prices. My son and daughter will now be dropping off my medical sharing plan as of February (my wife has employer provided health insurance). So, with the Obamacare open enrollment window I thought I should go to the website and see if my medical sharing plan was still the best financial option.
Here are the results -
Christian Medical Sharing ($7,500 deductible) = $193 monthly
Obamacare ($4,500 deductible) = $374 Monthly
I know we are not exactly comparing apples vs. apples here, so let's be fair and consider the differences. My medical sharing plan has a deductible of $7,500 vs. the $4,500 on the Obamacare plan. Upon closer examination, however, these plans are pretty much the same. My medical sharing plan does not work on the basis of 'deductibles,' but sets a maximum out of pocket amount (after I hit $7,500 they pick up everything beyond that for the year). So, a side-by-side comparison here is reasonable.
One Big Hidden Bonus Of Christian Medical Sharing That Saves Me Money
When we tell medical providers that we have medical sharing they consider us as 'uninsured' (which is technically true as medical sharing is not insurance). As a result, they charge me only a fraction of what other patients with insurance pay. For example, my doctor charges me only 50% of the regular rate. I pay $80 for a doctor visit as a 'cash patient.' No paperwork to speak of, no dealing with insurance claims, I just pay at the little window on the way out. It makes things very easy, and I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. In fact, I have seen people paying co-payments of $50 to $80 at the same window (and they are paying a monthly premium on a high ticket insurance plan).
When Obamacare Might Be Your Best Option
- You have a significant existing medical issue that would be treated as a pre-existing condition and not eligible for coverage within Christian medical sharing
- You qualify for substantial subsidies due to your income level and lack of access to medical insurance through your employer
Adopting The Right Health Insurance Mindset
Although it has always been true, it is now more true than ever that the real value of health insurance is protection against catastrophic medical expenses. If you are stuck on the idea of everything from dental to eyeglasses to prescription drugs being covered by insurance, you simply won't find that anymore. To the extent that you are able to find a plan with some 'deluxe features' you will pay dearly for it. The smartest financial move is to protect yourself against a large claim of $10,000 or more, and pay for everyday medical expenses out of your own pocket. You will find ways to make this work and it is not difficult to do (e.g. my own doctor charging me half price). I also shopped out my prescriptions and found a way to get one for free and the other for just $3. We are in a new world when it comes to health insurance and you have to 'find ways' to adapt. Being a shrewd consumer on this one area of your personal finances can easily represent a savings of THOUSANDS per year. More on Christian Medical Sharing Click Here.
Please use the comments section below to share your own ideas on saving money on health insurance.
Helping you make the most of God's money!