You might of seen this on the internet or heard it mentioned, but people signing up for Medical Sharing Plans is becoming more and more common. This is especially so as people lose their jobs that once provided insurance, gain jobs that do not offer insurance, or the premiums on insurance become ridiculously high.
But most people start worrying when new things arise. The first is this: is Medical Sharing an insurance plan?
Information about Insurance
Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers either whole or part of the risk of a person incurring medical expenses. With health insurance (like with many other insurance types), the risk is among many individuals. There are various types of coverages and premiums to be considered when selecting insurance. There are also usually very large carriers and providers, such as Aetna or Blue Cross Blue Shield that provide insurance.
Cost for insurance can be very high, which is why Medical Sharing Plans are appealing to people. But there is more to it than just that.
What is a Medical Sharing Plan?
Medical Sharing Plans, also known as Ministries, are faith-based health coverage plans. The appeal is that the cost is very low, and medical coverages are paid through a group effort. However, any sort of medical procedure that could be considered ‘unbiblical’, such as abortions, contraceptives, or injuries from hazardous acts such as drinking and driving, are typically not covered.
Even though a Medical sharing Plan, with its pooling of funds and resources, seems to be the definition of insurance, it is not. There are some key features of health insurance which healthcare sharing programs lack, such as:
- Insurance is a guarantee of compensation in return for payment of a premium. As stated in healthcare sharing program disclaimers, no such guarantee exists.
2. Insurance is a legally binding contract. In Medical Sharing plans, payment is voluntary and there is no actual binding contract between a member and the program or between members to receive payment. Wo while there may be a risk involved, there is also great reward to be had with cheaper overall costs, and the fact that there is usually no “in network/out of network” to deal with.
What is best for me?
A Medical Sharing Plan is not insurance. However, if you love the idea of a faith-based, Good Samaritan style of health coverage, the freedom to choose who you wish to see without working about in-network and out-of-network costs, and a cheaper coverage premium, then a Medical Sharing Plan could be right for you.