A number of people have asked about health sharing organizations, such as Sedera, Medi-Share and others. These programs serve as health insurance alternatives, in which a group of individuals share one another’s healthcare costs. If you are interested in participating in a health sharing plan, here are some aspects of the system that you should be aware of.
Pros and Cons of Health Sharing Plans
There are several great things about sharing plans. Not only are you connected to a group of individuals that are praying for and with you, there are some economical benefits to sharing plans. They offer good discounts, and the premiums are generally very low.
That said, there are a few potential downsides of health sharing plans that you should know about when making your decision.
First, a sharing program is not an insurance product, so there are no guarantees. Though this is also true if you have a Blue Cross Blue Shield or United plan, for example, there are many more dollars behind those plans, which can help in situations like a large catastrophic event in the area.
Secondly, health sharing programs generally have comparatively few members, which can pose problems. A small group of members means there are limited resources to be shared amongst the group. While a Blue Cross plan, for example, has millions of members, a sharing plan will usually only have a few hundred to a thousand members. This could be an issue if you were to have a large claim that needed to be covered.
Third, you can not put money into a Health Savings Account. I wont go into all the details here since I have a separate blog post dedicated to that subject. Just know that a Health Sharing Plan is not considered Health Insurance. That means you would not meet the requirements the IRS has established to allow that tax advantage.
Many Faith-Based Health sharing plans also usually restrict coverage for “sin”-related issues.
- If you drink alcohol or use tobacco, you may be unable to get coverage.
- If there was a scenario where one of your children became pregnant out-of-wedlock, things could get complicated.
- Some plans do assist in arranging for adoption or maternity services. However, many do not cover maternity expenses for a child conceived out of wedlock.
- While these may not be a concern for you, it is good to be aware of the restrictions sharing plans may come with. Other Health Sharing Plans do not have those restrictions so make sure you read all of the fine print during the application process.
What to Know Before Getting a Health Sharing Plan
If you decide to go with a health sharing plan, make sure you as your insurance agent (or us) about the laws. There are restrictions are about switching to a traditional health insurance plan if you ever have the need or desire to do so. If something were to happen with the sharing group you are part of, for example, you need to be aware of what would happen next. Also be sure that you know what the sharing plan considers to be a pre-existing condition.
Ultimately, whether you participate in a sharing group or not is up to you. There are certainly benefits to doing so that may make it right for you! However, it’s important to be aware of all the surrounding issues to make sure you are making a wise decision to protect yourself and your family.
For more information, you might find our Health Sharing Plans Health Sharing Plans FAQ page helpful.
Purchasing a Health Share Plan
Making these decisions can be difficult and have a number of accompanying factors. If you have any questions about health sharing plans or your health insurance policy, contact our Tri-Cities, Tennessee office. You can reach us by phone at (423) 292-4142 or email us at email@example.com. At Veritas Insurance, we offer several health share plan options and would be happy to answer your questions.