Since the corona pandemic struck, the world’s people have started realizing the importance of health. Health has now become a priority for everyone. On the other hand, the cost of healthcare services is rising at an alarming rate. From medical checkups to medicines, the prices of every medical-related thing are shooting up. Thus it is becoming difficult for a person from a middle-class family to bear the heavy expense of medical services and fit it into their monthly budget.
Health insurance becomes the last option for such people. But due to the increasing cost of insurance, it is also becoming difficult for middle-class people to choose. Also, not everyone is aware of the health insurance share plan, which is a great alternative to health insurance.
A Healthcare sharing plan, also called medical sharing costs, is the most beneficial method of saving a lot of money on healthcare. Read this article to understand how this plan works and how it is different from health insurance.
What Is a Health Share Plan?
A health share plan is a kind of health care coverage that covers all your medical expenses in case of emergency. However, it’s not like health insurance which is used only for certain healthcare needs. This plan is often run by cooperatives in which members take the responsibility to cover one another’s healthcare costs. These programs rely on faith or religion. However, it’s not necessary to believe in or follow a certain religion.
The rules of healthcare share plans are different from that of health insurance. You don’t have to visit a particular doctor or hospital for payment to avail of this service. Once you register for this plan, you will get a membership card which you can show to the doctor while making the payment. However, if your doctor doesn’t accept the card, then you can pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursed afterward.
Most people are opting out of health insurance because of the rising cost of monthly premiums. However, the need for affordable healthcare is still prevailing. Thus this healthcare share plan has been the greatest rescue at this time.
How does the healthcare sharing plan work?
Healthcare-sharing program is not aided by the government; rather, it is run by different organizations whose members share the healthcare expenses. As a member of the health care sharing plan, you will have to pay a fixed amount of money every month, just like a premium, as well as an annual unshared amount for your expenses. The unshared amount varies based on the person involved; for instance, $300-500 is for a single person. It goes on increasing with the number of people. Monthly plans range somewhere between $64-$627. However, it might also vary depending on the plan you choose. Beyond that, all other healthcare expenses are shared among the members of the organization.
This plan is best for the people who:
- Have good health
- Lack of access to any insurance through an employer or government program
- Can’t afford rising health insurance premium
- Only need emergency medical coverage
Benefits of Health Share Plans
Here is the list of benefits of health insurance share plans:
- Healthcare share plans are easier to fit into the monthly budget
- You can opt for this plan irrespective of your employment status
- Even in case of a serious medical condition, you will not be thrown out
- While you are suffering from any medical issue, you will receive letters and notes from the members of the organization, ensuring that they are praying for your early recovery.
- No lifetime or annual limits on medical costs.
- Some of the health share plans also offer discounts on vision and dental services.
- Telehealth options are also available in a few health share plans.
- Adoptions and funeral costs are also covered in case of a mishap.
Things to Know before opting for Health Share Plans
Before you get fascinated with going for a health share plan, here are a few things you should know about it.
No coverage for preexisting conditions:
In most of the health share plans, it is mentioned that it doesn’t cover pre-existing medical conditions. However, insurance companies do cover pre-existing medical conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, then you will not get any coverage if you opt for a health share plan.
Few legal protections:
As a health share member, you cannot claim your compensation because there aren’t any legal protections. This is because this plan is not regulated by any statutory body, and the government has no access to this plan.
Lack of negotiated discounts:
In health insurance, a customer gets to enjoy the advantage of negotiated documents that place limitations on medical expenses. While in the health share plan, because of fewer members, bargaining is not possible.
The bottom line is that both health insurance and health share plans are available in the market. You have to choose based on your medical needs. However, before opting for anyone, make sure to check details about them.