Author Topic: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money  (Read 4352 times)

Offline iam4liberty

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Well, we did it.  We opted out of the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare) and it feels great!   By joining a voluntarist healthshare our medical choices are back in our own hands and the costs have dropped precipitously.  And we are shielded from any tax penalties from the ACA.

What is a healthshare?

A healthshare is group of people who join together to share their medical expenses among themselves.  Unlike insurance which is either run by a large corporation or the government it is a member controlled and operated group.  The group comes together and they structure a set of rules (called 'guidelines') for how medical costs are shared among them.  Each member contributes an amount monthly (called 'a share') which then gets distributed among the members to pay for their current medical care (called 'needs').   Some healthshares are manually operated where the 'shares' are matched with the 'needs' and members directly send and receive the funds from each other via check.  But many are now completely automated where the money is distributed electronically.

Because the members control the organization, it is not geared towards creating a profit for shareholders like corporate insurance.  This drastically reduces costs.  The cost savings just aren't from eliminating profits.  They come from greatly reduced charges by medical practitioners.  Medical practitioners build into their costs all the negative aspects of working with insurance; delays in payments, filling in bunches of forms, a staff to 'dance' with the insurance companies on getting them to approve services, etc.  This typically leads to a doubling of the cost of health care.  In contrast, medical practitioners extend their "cash" price to members of healthshares.   

At the same time since it is a member organization, the members can choose what types of proceedures are 'shared' which is typically much more expansive than that of private insurance.  For example, when Oregon passed its euthanasia laws many insurers started to refuse to continue paying for life extension medical care in favor of the cheaper euthanasia option (thus maximizing shareholder profits).  The healthshares in contrast chose to continue this coverage.  Another example is that most healthshares will cover alternative medical providers e.g. midwives for child birth and chiropractors.  In fact most healthshares are set up so you can use any medical practitioner you desire!

Because this is a voluntary organization it is also free from most government mandates.  Of course they have to adhere to some laws for example medical marijuana bans.  But the members can choose to ignore others, for example being forced to pay for abortifacients and 'rock star style' prescription drug habits.  To many this morally conscious approach is valued as highly as the cost savings.   That is one of the cited reason why the ACA bans new healthshares from forming, only the grandfathered ones are able to continue to operate.

How much can a family save vs. ACA? 

That, of course, depends on each individual circumstances.  But generally, a lot.  Here is the example for my family.

For 2018 we were facing a monopolistic situation as there was only one provider for our area on the government exchange.  The HSA compatible plan we were using was eliminated.  So here is what we were facing:

ACA

Providers: We would need to change doctor and hospital since our provider was not in-network for the new plan.

Deductible: $7340 for each adult, $14,700 for family.  We would need to pay this before receiving any medical benefits outside of a yearly 'wellness visit' and drug discount.

Co-pays: $40 for doctor visits, $20 Generic Drugs  (of two prescriptions for wife, only one covered).

Dental/Vision: None.

Prescriptions: : Our prescriptions would cost $137 a month under this plan.

Monthly: $882 per month. 

Instead we went with the premium healthshare program which included prescription/dental/vision discounts, $10,000 loss-of-life coverage (e.g. burial), as well as diet and exercise coaches to customize a weight loss program for us:

Healthshare

Providers: We can use whatever doctors, hospitals, and other providers we choose.

Yearly Unshared Amount: Healthshares don't have deductibles.  Rather, they have unshared amounts.  We chose one with an annual unshare of $1,000 for our family.  That is, once $1,000 is met in a calendar year everything is shared up to $1,000,000 per event.

Co-pays: None.

Dental/Vision: Discounted.  We will save about $180 a year.

Prescriptions: Our prescriptions will cost $63 per month.

Monthly Share: $508 per month. 

Net:  We will be saving ~$448 dollars a month which equates to $5,376 a year with the Healthshare vs. the ACA.  And if a serious incident occurs (e.g. heart attack, stroke) we will have saved the difference between the deductible and unshared amount (i.e. $6,340 if one of us, $13,700 if both of us).

It should be noted that we signed up for the most premium healthshare option.  There are many less expensive programs.  For example, a single person under 30 can get coverage within our healthshare for as little as $107 a month!

What are we giving up?

Because participants in our healthshare are pledging to live a Catholic lifestyle there are a small number of items that are not sharable.  They include:

Abortions and Abortifacient drugs
Contraceptives
Sex changes
Euthanasia (but on flip side you gain life extension procedures if you choose to use them)
Elective plastic surgery (e.g. face lifts, body tucks...reconstructive surgeries are included)
Recreational prescription drugs

In addition we pledge to avoid smoking, eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, drink only in moderation, avoid extremely risky hobbies like skydiving, and attend mass regularly.  For us, these things are not an issue, in fact they are encouraging us to live more healthily.

Does this work?

You bet.  I have talked to over a dozen people using them and all give it a big thumbs up.  The ratings on social media are also very high.  Here is an example testimonial: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPIdDplj7dg

And here is a discussion explaining more on why this approach reduces costs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUmX3u8-Tvw

For us this seems the best healthcare solution to, as Jack would say, "live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don't".  If nothing else, it is worth benchmarking other options against. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 12:03:33 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 12:25:45 PM »
Thanks for the report back !

The way these ACA plans are set up, they are like the old "catastrophic care" , you only get help after a large deductable, but the COST is way too high for that !

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 06:09:10 PM »
I've looked into these as well, but for me the problem is that all the ones I've found have religious ties and require some sort of statement thereof to sign up. I don't have a problem with that on principle, but we're agnostic (bordering on atheist), and I feel it would be wrong of me to sign an affirmation like that. Does anyone know of any that don't have a religious affiliation?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 06:18:48 PM »
I've looked into these as well, but for me the problem is that all the ones I've found have religious ties and require some sort of statement thereof to sign up. I don't have a problem with that on principle, but we're agnostic (bordering on atheist), and I feel it would be wrong of me to sign an affirmation like that. Does anyone know of any that don't have a religious affiliation?

I haven't come across any.   Early on the healthshares relied in part on religious exemptions in some states.  So the ones which got grandfathered in were religiously focused.  One of them, Liberty Healthshare, has a statement of principle which is very open but does require belief in God.  I will ask some of the contacts I made if they know of any.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 10:10:10 AM »
Thanks for the report back !

The way these ACA plans are set up, they are like the old "catastrophic care" , you only get help after a large deductable, but the COST is way too high for that !

Yes, even the HSA compatible ones are $900+ a month.   And this is with deductibles higher than what you can legally put in an HSA in a year!

True catastrophic insurance exists for $200 a month but the ACA made it so the must have spans less than 90 days and most are one month.  Otherwise no one would buy an exchange plan.  These plans will drop you from further coverage as soon as you make a claim.

Word is really getting out in rural communities about the healthshares.  With ACA premiums on farmers now reaching $30k+ a year and only covering doctors/hospitals in cities which could be hundreds a mile away, there really are no other legal viable alternatives.  And that is another advantage my wife and I see.  By our participating in a health share we are helping people like those in the below article rather then lining the pockets of the politically connected.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170929/ISSUE01/170929835/you-think-your-health-insurance-costs-too-much-try-being-a-farmer

September 29, 2017
You think your health insurance costs too much. Try being a farmer.


John Kiefner, who farms 500 acres of hay in exurban Will County, has had health insurance from five companies in the past four years. One of them wouldn't allow his wife and him to visit any of their own doctors. Another wouldn't cover visits to the nearest hospital because it was out of network. All of them kept raising his premiums by 20 percent and more annually.

Kiefner will be lucky to net $75,000 on his farm this year. His last policy with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois was priced at $22,000 for annual premiums, plus a deductible of $5,000 apiece. That meant that he and his wife, Sherri, were investing $32,000, or 43 percent of their income, in health care before their insurer picked up any expenses.

Stretched too far, the Kiefners took out a deep-discount health policy earlier this year offered by Golden Rule ​ Insurance that doesn't cover pre-existing conditions and is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. But at $6,000 for both of them, it was affordable.

"If my wife has a heart attack tomorrow and the insurance company finds out she had high cholesterol two years ago, I suppose they'll argue that was a pre-existing condition and won't cover us," says Kiefner, 53, who lives in Manhattan, roughly 50 miles southwest of the Loop. "But we farmers need some kind of protection. For now, most farm families are holding their noses as they pay up."...

One other option for farmers is switching away from Blue Cross and other mainline carriers to so-called health care sharing organizations, which typically are set up as religion-based cooperatives of sorts. Brad Hahn, CEO of Phoenix-based Solidarity HealthShare, heads one of 200 such groups and is attracting a growing customer base in Illinois. Hahn, a 49-year-old attorney, advertises on Christian radio stations and says his own family of four is covered for $449 per month, a quarter of what he used to pay.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 02:06:11 PM »
I will ask some of the contacts I made if they know of any.

Just got this back:

All the direct PP-ACA and state exempt ones are sponsored by religiously affiliated organizations.  But you might suggest they search for HealthExcellence from Sedera.  They include cost sharing in their program and the statement of belief does not require belief in God.

I hadn't heard of this option before.  Here is a link I found: https://myahe.org/what-is-medical-cost-sharing.  Here is their statement: https://myahe.org/534-2/principals-of-health-sharing

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 07:44:18 PM »
Just got this back:

All the direct PP-ACA and state exempt ones are sponsored by religiously affiliated organizations.  But you might suggest they search for HealthExcellence from Sedera.  They include cost sharing in their program and the statement of belief does not require belief in God.

I hadn't heard of this option before.  Here is a link I found: https://myahe.org/what-is-medical-cost-sharing.  Here is their statement: https://myahe.org/534-2/principals-of-health-sharing

Thank you, I'll take a look at those.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 10:09:15 PM »
Some stories here showing differences between ACA insurance and healthshares.The healthshare being cited is the one we joined.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/an-affordable-moral-alternative-to-obamacare

An affordable, moral alternative to Obamacare

Years into Obamacare’s implementation, many Americans still face prohibitive insurance costs, difficulty securing coverage and loss of choice in their healthcare providers. Those problems aside, serious conscience issues also persist for Christians and others over the controversial healthcare law’s subsidization of abortion, contraception and abortifacients.

Since last year Solidarity HealthShare has been offering an affordable alternative to insurance that is in keeping with Christian principles.

With the high cost and other Obamacare-associated troubles and its annual open enrollment period in process, Solidarity is making a special effort to reach out to Americans who may be particularly struggling with affording healthcare coverage.

“We just realized the working poor, single moms and veterans are really struggling right now trying to find a way to pay for healthcare,” said Solidarity HealthShare CEO Brad Hahn. “We could be a great solution to these groups.”

Hahn said the idea of reaching out specifically to moms grew out of Solidarity’s very founding, and is appropriate with moms being the decision-maker in many households, but also in providing a way for moms to care for their families.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 06:26:20 AM »
More articles appearing in press like this one explaining how it is a win-win for everyone involved.

http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_a40d9ae6-d19e-11e7-bfdb-d367920379c1.html

Health share options growing in popularity among people of faith

For those considering their 2018 health insurance options, open enrollment in Utah continues until Dec. 15 and some of the choices in the market don’t even call themselves “insurance.”

One example is Liberty Healthshare which falls into the category of healthcare sharing ministries.
Dale Bellis, the company’s executive director, said it is a nationwide nonprofit association of people who have joined around a common cause.

“And that is paying each other’s medical bills. We do it without the aid of an insurance company, or the government. It’s just a regular, systematic way to meet healthcare costs. And it’s not insurance.”
He said 71,000 households are enrolled across the nation, representing 175,000 individuals.
...
He said the concept catches consumer’s attention when they first understand it is very cost efficient and cost affordable.

“Number two is the change of mentality that says we are all self-pay patients, we don’t have insurance. So when we go to the doctor it’s our money at stake as well as the money of our fellow members, because we are sharing those costs in community with each other.”

He said the other response is “…my money is going to help another person, it’s not going to a company’s black hole somewhere.”

Bellis said Liberty Healthshare members are encouraged to ask for the best cash price for services from a doctor or a hospital.

“Many people don’t realize that what a hospital will bill, they will accept far less in resolution for that particular service. We want to reimburse providers fairly, honorably and reasonably.”

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 10:42:07 AM »
I've already re-enrolled with our PPO plan from my employer for 2018, but in general how do health shares deal with pre-existing conditions?

In 2017 my son's insulin dependent (type 1) diabetes cost my health insurance company over $15K based on EOB (explanation of benefits).
We hit all our deductibles and out of pocket maxes before Q2 this year. 

Think the premiums for the family are $4300, + $500 family deductible + $5000 out of pocket max
We also max out the FSA limits.

If not for this chronic condition, a catastrophic style plan might suffice, though we do enjoy the ease of going to any specialist without referral.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 10:51:53 AM »
Thank you, I'll take a look at those.
While Unitarian Universalists tend to be quite progressive and most support single payer, they are a church that doesn't require one to believe in God.  Its worth a look to see if any UU affiliated health plans exist.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 11:13:55 AM »
I've already re-enrolled with our PPO plan from my employer for 2018, but in general how do health shares deal with pre-existing conditions?

In 2017 my son's insulin dependent (type 1) diabetes cost my health insurance company over $15K based on EOB (explanation of benefits).
We hit all our deductibles and out of pocket maxes before Q2 this year. 

Think the premiums for the family are $4300, + $500 family deductible + $5000 out of pocket max
We also max out the FSA limits.

If not for this chronic condition, a catastrophic style plan might suffice, though we do enjoy the ease of going to any specialist without referral.

Hopefully someone else will respond too. Is that 4300 a month and includes both your and employers share ? Just curious. The healthshares vary on pre-existing conditions, you would need to go to the FAQs for some and read up. Generally they do not cover pre-existing for an initial time period, then they do. Some have add-ons that can be bought to cover that period.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 12:58:57 PM »
Hopefully someone else will respond too. Is that 4300 a month and includes both your and employers share ? Just curious. The healthshares vary on pre-existing conditions, you would need to go to the FAQs for some and read up. Generally they do not cover pre-existing for an initial time period, then they do. Some have add-ons that can be bought to cover that period.

This is exactly right.  Since they are independent each sets their own rules which are spelled out in their guidelines. 

For our plan it is phased in like this:  For the 1st year pre-existing conditions arent sharable.  In the 2nd year they are sharable up to $25,000.  In the third year they are sharable up to $50,000.  After that they are no longer considered pre-existing.  However, there is an exception for conditions which respond to lifestyle changes (eg diet and exercise).  In those situations they may not considered pre-existing if the person enters the health coaching program and makes progress towards their goals. 

Also, i am not sure how insulin is treated.  Some medicines fall under the pharmaceutical portion of our healthshare while others fall under the medical expense portion.  So that is something to understand when reviewing a healthshare.

Regarding deductibles, most healthshares have an "unsharable" amount.  In our case it is $1000 a year.  Once  that is passed it is sharable up to $1 million.  So it was especially nice to jettison the $13,000 existing deductible (which was going up to almost $15,000) from our ACA policy!

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 01:44:41 PM »
While Unitarian Universalists tend to be quite progressive and most support single payer, they are a church that doesn't require one to believe in God.  Its worth a look to see if any UU affiliated health plans exist.

Duh, should've thought of that, as my parents are UU's ;D

Might be moot at this point though, as my husband's new job has PHENOMENAL insurance, and it's not expensive since the employer pays part of the premium. Still good to have this info in my back pocket, though.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 10:20:49 AM »
Hopefully someone else will respond too. Is that 4300 a month and includes both your and employers share ? Just curious. The healthshares vary on pre-existing conditions, you would need to go to the FAQs for some and read up. Generally they do not cover pre-existing for an initial time period, then they do. Some have add-ons that can be bought to cover that period.

oh heck no, that $4300 is my annual premium cost that is deducted from my salary.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 11:07:29 AM »
oh heck no, that $4300 is my annual premium cost that is deducted from my salary.

Ok. So, I wonder what the real premium cost is, including employer part, you have a good job, they are subsidizing alot. Self employed families with low deductables, comparable plans to what you have, are paying thousands a month. So that is a very big difference in out of pocket costs compared to health share plans.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 12:01:31 PM »
Ok. So, I wonder what the real premium cost is, including employer part, you have a good job, they are subsidizing alot. Self employed families with low deductables, comparable plans to what you have, are paying thousands a month. So that is a very big difference in out of pocket costs compared to health share plans.

I really am blessed with the employee benefits.  Maybe once a year or so I'll explore other job opportunities, but the health benefits alone would cost me 10% of my salary at other places.
I know my current employer is subsidizing a large amount.

Looking at the bigger picture, it's unfortunate that all of this medical care is involved with "insurance".  My auto insurance doesn't cover oil changes or new brakes, but will cover collisions.
Of course I want insurance to cover accidents and other major events, but you'd think routine exams and prescriptions could be solved on the free market some how.  Maybe Amazon Prime members get access to an urgent care clinic, or Costco members get discounts on cholesterol meds.

This whole system is our own doing.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 12:18:08 PM »
An example of pre-existing conditions often treated differently by healthshares is obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle choice issues. Very different than someone like your son. California's public and subsidized health insurance spends insane amounts of money on these, I was just reading an article which, of course being CA, says that we ( as in the state, soda tax, education, etc....) need to provide more prevention....etc.... but at least does say it is preventable ( this article was too stupid to link to. Even tries to say that they have "no choice" but to eat fast food, as a $15 macdonalds meal is so much less expensive than $80 of take out from Whole Foods, not mentioning the obvious choice of using a crockpot to cook something healthy with vegetables and protein for the whole family for under $5 . Buying soda and candy is also not their fault as it is right there in front of them being sold ) . So, a healthshare can, and may, say that you need to follow such and such guidelines and show improvement to be a customer as it wouldnt be fair to put that cost burden that is preventable on everyone else.

Important differences here. First, put responsibility on the individual, not the rest of society, for lifestyle change for health. And, how could it work otherwise ? We realy cant and shouldnt force it, to be successful, individual needs to decide to change. Second, starting assumption is that the individual CAN change this. Proof would be needed to show that it isnt lifestyle caused or that lifestyle changes had no effect, so then as a medical condition, it is covered.

Healthshares also do not "share" ( pay out) for costs of illegal drug use ( overdose, treatments, etc...) or cigarette smoking caused lung cancer.

Somewhere I read a modest proposal that would go far to reform current healthcare. First, transparent and equivalent pricing, everyone pays the same, posted pricing for the baseline, no complications procedure, etc.... Second, lifestyle choice problems not indefinitely covered, need to change lifestyle or your doctor can show that it is not lifestyle caused -- type 2 diabetes and obesity related issues, esp. ( sidetrack, I am becoming upset personally on the amount of local money and resources for injected drug overdosing that we are somehow paying out of the public coffer while having no mental health beds available....)


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 12:30:13 PM »

Somewhere I read a modest proposal that would go far to reform current healthcare. First, transparent and equivalent pricing, everyone pays the same, posted pricing for the baseline, no complications procedure, etc.... Second, lifestyle choice problems not indefinitely covered, need to change lifestyle or your doctor can show that it is not lifestyle caused -- type 2 diabetes and obesity related issues, esp. ( sidetrack, I am becoming upset personally on the amount of local money and resources for injected drug overdosing that we are somehow paying out of the public coffer while having no mental health beds available....)

That all should work, but I'm skeptical. 

Sorry to bring up another automotive metaphor, but I'm one of those nerds who pays for boring, but proactive maintenance.  Last year I paid to have my power steering fluid flushed and replaced, likewise with brake lines and radiator coolant.  I didn't do all this on the same visit, but spent $50-75 on each over a few months.  My thinking is, and technicians agree, it's far cheaper to pay $60 for a fluid change than $600 for the replacement pump and installation labor.

There are plenty of people who drive cars until they break, and bitch and moan that some part spontaneously failed without warning.  I think many people treat their health in a similar way.
It stands to reason that if people had to personally cover more of the costs, they'd have a financial incentive to avoid catastrophic conditions. But that kind of talk is unfair and heartless I'm told.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 02:51:11 PM »
I think the car analogy is a good one. I actually also use that one when talking to my kids about this. Imagine how expensive car insurance would be if it was used to cover oil changes and such.... Things that we have to do routinely should not have an intermediary like this, as it would be more expensive to pay the 3rd party to collect from us, pay the mechanic ( or doctor) vs just paying ourselves without an intermediary. They get it when you talk about it interms of the car and car insurance. Dental care is like this. It is nice if your employer wants to subsidize your cleanings and checkups, but to personally pay for insurance to do that doesnt make sense, it is an annual fixed cost, 2 cleanings and one exam....

I have spent alot of my life without insurance or with just catastrophic, we didnt run to the doctor for every sneeze. The last quite a few years I have had coverage, on paper, but my health problems are not covered, so I had been paying out of pocket for seeing doctor and for most therapies. Almost like it being catastrophic coverage. So, I also have little sympathy. And, it does make me think about costs vs. amount of return for the various possible treatments. When I fell and broke my pelvis last year, that was all covered.

As far as the real car maintenance, I wish it were that cheap here as your example ! I could actually have it done.....my eldest out of state, she is so happily surprised by labor costs on her car ( while I just had a fuel injector pump replaced for $1400 last week, no maintenance that I know of would have prevented that)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Opting out of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is saving us a TON of money
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 03:05:11 PM »
As far as the real car maintenance, I wish it were that cheap here as your example ! I could actually have it done.....my eldest out of state, she is so happily surprised by labor costs on her car ( while I just had a fuel injector pump replaced for $1400 last week, no maintenance that I know of would have prevented that)

Well not everything is a deal.  It cost me $200 to have $25 worth of heater hoses replaced. In my younger years I did that myself, but it can be an epic mess.
I also changed my own brakes (identical part numbers) for $500 less (not total) compared to the lowest quote in town.

Imagine if for non-life threatening treatments you could seek out med school students, retired navy corpsman, etc. and pay a reduced labor rate.

"Will you set my broken arm for $100 plus a 6-pack?"

Offline iam4liberty

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Well not everything is a deal.  It cost me $200 to have $25 worth of heater hoses replaced. In my younger years I did that myself, but it can be an epic mess.
I also changed my own brakes (identical part numbers) for $500 less (not total) compared to the lowest quote in town.

Imagine if for non-life threatening treatments you could seek out med school students, retired navy corpsman, etc. and pay a reduced labor rate.

"Will you set my broken arm for $100 plus a 6-pack?"

FYI, my healthshare has publicly released the details on how much of a discount we are receiving vs billed so far in 2019.

https://www.solidarityhealthshare.org/sharing-report-february-2019/

Month.     Total Amount Charged   Amount Shared       Discount %
January          $3,150,711.78                     $1,430,512.31          54.6%
February   $4,058,479.24                     $1,601,130.10          60.5%
Total           $7,209,191.02                     $3,031,642.41          57.9%

Total Amount Charged: the total dollar amount of the bills received on behalf of our members...

Amount Shared: the dollar amount Solidarity shared after re-pricing the medical bills

Discount %: the total discount on medical bills after Solidarity re-priced the bills on behalf of our members


Essentially, we get more than double in purchasing power what our limit is.  So our $1,000,000 per incident coverage is more like $2,333,000.

And they just anounced we will now have access to doctors electronically 24/7.  No more going into offices/clinics for minor things!  Yippee!

Telehealth allows our members to get quicker treatment for non-emergency illnesses and general care. A few examples of non-emergency illnesses include allergies, sinus infections, cold & flu, sore throat, ear infections, and more. Doctors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide access to quality care from home, work, or on the go. In addition, utilizing the Telehealth service protects the sharing power of the ministry, which is the total dollar amount available for sharing the medical expenses of our members. It is important that our sharing power is used in the most effective ways possible to keep the monthly contributions low.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Logistically how does this work when you seek care? Every time I seek any kind of medical care, buying prescription drugs, mental health counseling or an emergency room, they always ask for my insurance card. Some providers would show me the door if I didn't have insurance.

A recent example was when I blew up my thumb back in January.  I had to visit and emergency department at the hospital.  All the usual red tape and costs were accrued.
Then I sought orthopedic care to ensure the bone healed correctly, and this included regular imaging.  I think I'm personally out of pocket around $1200 for the whole deal, not counting my portion of premiums for my employer sponsored PPO plan. I've also met my personal deductible for 2019.

If you have an injury, especially one that requires care beyond the emergency room visit, how do you use the health share?

Offline iam4liberty

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Logistically how does this work when you seek care? Every time I seek any kind of medical care, buying prescription drugs, mental health counseling or an emergency room, they always ask for my insurance card. Some providers would show me the door if I didn't have insurance.

A recent example was when I blew up my thumb back in January.  I had to visit and emergency department at the hospital.  All the usual red tape and costs were accrued.
Then I sought orthopedic care to ensure the bone healed correctly, and this included regular imaging.  I think I'm personally out of pocket around $1200 for the whole deal, not counting my portion of premiums for my employer sponsored PPO plan. I've also met my personal deductible for 2019.

If you have an injury, especially one that requires care beyond the emergency room visit, how do you use the health share?

For our healthshare it is all automated.  We give the healthcare providerc (doctor, hospital, clinic, etc) the sharing card just like an insurance card.  The healthcare provider sends the bills directly to the healthshare ministry.  The ministry then handles the error checking and discounting just like insurance.  We pay the first $1,000 in a year.  They rest is paid through the ministry. There is an online website where we monitor where everything is in the process so there is 100% transparency.

Not sure how the telehealth will work yet as we havent received the details yet.

I was surprised to see that ours has now been opened to non Catholics.  From the FAQs:

Do I have to be Catholic to join?
No, you do not. Solidarity is available to all who agree to our Member Guidelines, which adhere to the moral and ethical tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 03:27:45 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Not sure how the telehealth will work yet as we havent received the details yet.

That's my day job.  The only clue I'll give publicly is that our primary care doctors are full-time employees and not contracted out.

We've partnered with a couple christian health shares already. It's incredibly awesome, especially if you have young kids that are sick during off hours.
PM me if you have questions. 


Offline iam4liberty

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That's my day job.  The only clue I'll give publicly is that our primary care doctors are full-time employees and not contracted out.

We've partnered with a couple christian health shares already. It's incredibly awesome, especially if you have young kids that are sick during off hours.
PM me if you have questions. 

Awesome!  I am looking forward to getting more details. It never made sense to me to put a bunch of ill people together in a waiting room.  LOL.

We have a nutritionist/lifestyle coach as part of it already.  She is great, my wife and her even send recipes back and forth.  So will be nice to have doctors et al on call too.

I just looked at the latest core belief statement:

These core beliefs inform our decisions and actions and guide our relationships with one another in community. We ask that each Member affirm the following Shared Beliefs:

We believe that our personal rights and liberties originate from and are bestowed on us by God and are not concessions granted to us by governments or men.

We believe that every person has a right to exercise his or her religion without interference or coercion. While we do not hold that every claim made in the name of religion has equal merit or equal basis in truth, we do respect each person's freedom of both religious worship and practice.

We believe it is our moral and ethical obligation to be our brother's or sister's keeper, in recognition of the principle of solidarity, according to our God-given resources and opportunity.

We believe in the virtue of temperance, which enables us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid foods, behaviors, or habits that could produce sickness or disease.

We believe it is our fundamental right of conscience to direct our own health care in consultation with physicians, family, or other valued advisors, free from government dictates, restraints, and oversight, including federal or state contraception and abortion mandates and all unethical practices or mandates.

Offline LvsChant

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@iam4liberty: Thanks for all this info. We have good insurance from my husband's retirement that is heavily subsidized, so it would likely be more expensive for us to move to a healthshare. However, as time goes on and things change, it looks like a good option in case that is no longer the case. +1