Health share plans are an alternative to traditional insurance. If you are wondering whether they are a good option for you, then keep reading! We will help you decide by listing some of the pros and cons of health share plans so that you can be sure that the decision you make will be the right one. 

PROS:

1. HEALTH SHARE PLANS TEND TO BE CHEAPER THAN TRADITIONAL INSURANCE

If you are worried that you might not be able to cover the costs of insurance, then you should consider health share plans. Prices vary from plan to plan and ministry to ministry, so make sure to check which one suits your needs the most. Even with that considered, you should be able to save a lot of money. You can decrease the cost furthermore by scoring a discount, for example by signing to a plan that covers your whole family. And if you change your mind at some point, you can always switch to a higher or a lower-tier plan.

2. YOU CAN JOIN A HEALTH SHARE PLAN ANYTIME

People tend to join health share plans because they’ve missed the enrollment of ACA plans, among other reasons. If you don’t enroll during the determined window (usually Nov 1st – Jan 31st) or do it when a trigger in your life makes it available (birth, move, loss of previous coverage, etc.), then you won’t be able to join an ACA plan. Meanwhile, health share plans don’t have set enrollment dates – you can join anytime you want to.

healtshare plans
Photo credits: Mike – Pexels

3. YOUR CARE PROVIDER – YOUR CHOICE

You can choose your care providers. This means that to some extent, you have control over your health care and treatment. More natural options, such as chiropractors and midwives, are also available, and you can hand-pick them, too.

4. SUPPORTIVE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY

The sites of health share companies usually include forums, which members can visit. On those forums, you can ask questions, or even ask for moral and spiritual support if you happen to be in a bad place at the time! Some sites even have anonymous prayer request forms, which you can fill out and send, and the community will pray for you. It is a nice way to ease your mind and feel cared for by like-minded individuals, especially at the time of need.

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5. SOME HEALTHSHARES WILL TELL YOU WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES

Some healthshares provide you with the option to see where your money goes, instead of it just seemingly ending up in a black hole. You will know, for example, if your monthly share funded someone’s recovery from surgery or someone’s new addition to the family. In some cases, you will even be asked to send your monthly shares directly to individuals, instead of sending it to the ministry which will then distribute the money.

CONS:

1. HEALTH SHARE PLANS AREN’T DOI REGULATED

Health insurances are regulated by the Department of Insurance and follow a strict set of rules. This isn’t the case with health share plans, however, because health shares are memberships and not insurance products. This means that health share plans don’t need to fulfill some requirements, like the requirement to keep reserve or to pay for claims in a timely manner, for example. No one guarantees that you will be paid by law.

2.  SOME HEALTHSHARES HAVE STRICT RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS

Healthshare ministries are faith-based organizations, which means that they ask of their members to follow their religious regulations. The ministries vary in how limiting their regulations are, but some can be very strict. For example, you might be asked to attend mass regularly, which the organization will check.

3.  SOME SITUATIONS AREN’T COVERED

You need to keep in mind that health share ministries are faith-based. They are unlikely to cover things like rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol, or the care of extramarital children. Different plans vary in what they cover, so make sure to choose one based on what you need and to read the guidelines. Other things that are scarcely covered by health share plans are mental health care, preventative and well-child health visits, and dental.

4. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS ARE OFTEN NOT COVERED

Some pre-existing conditions (as well as chronic ones) are often not covered by health share plans. This means that it’s important to sign up for a plan on time if you wish to make the most out of it. It’s necessary to add that if you wish to have your pregnancy covered, you will usually be asked to join a plan a set amount of time before getting pregnant or giving birth. So if you already have a condition that you wish to have covered, read the ministry’s guidelines to see if it can be covered at all.

5. PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE SOMETIMES ISN’T COVERED

The bad news is that medicine is sometimes not covered in the plan, which might prove as a big expense to you, depending on your condition. The good news is that health share plans will often provide discounts to their members so that they still end up saving money. If you pay a lot for medicine, then this is an important thing for you to consider.
 

CONCLUSION

        We have listed the most important pros and cons of health share plans for you to consider. Remember, everybody’s situation is unique, so what might be a great solution for one family might be an inadequate one for the other. Take your expenses and needs into consideration and look up different ministries before deciding if health share plans are a good way to go for you.

Take into account the purpose of the plan as well – some plans are intended for catastrophic events and some for preventative and minor events.

Careful research and weighing the pros and cons will certainly lead you to choose the right thing for you and your family so that you can rest your mind, knowing that your loved ones are safe.