Tuesday, April 04, 2017

From the Trenches: Sharing Ministry Update

As Health Sharing Ministries continue to gain ground, we continue to collect anecdata thoughtfully shared with us by our readers.

Today, FoIB Thomas L reports on his own recent experience:

We are using a sharing ministry, Samaritan Ministries, as of September.  In Oklahoma, the premium increase for this year was announced at 51% and all but BCBS were exiting the market statewide*.  This is after an almost 40% increase the year before.

All told we would have been paying $1,200/mo for three people, ages 1, 23, and 35 with no known health issues or prescriptions.

Given that my deductible was $6,000 (lower for my wife and daughter), we could easily be $20K out-of-pocket before insurance covered a thing.  We cannot afford such an enormous fixed expense for such a speculative return, and always with the prospect of it spiking in cost or disappearing entirely the next year anyway.

Oh, for the days when I paid $75/mo through my work.

So far we are pleased with the service experience.  I asked many detailed questions over many hours and had them all answered with equally detailed explanations, but we have had no “shares”.  That will change, as we are expecting a second child, so we will soon find out how well Samaritan works for us.

* Tulsa, and Tulsa alone, has an off-exchange alternative offered as joint operation of two local Catholic hospitals.

Thank you, Thomas!

Now, are these plans right for everyone? Of course not, and I'm not aware of any that claim to be. But they're obviously right for some folks. As I've mentioned, I'm not comfortable marketing them, but only because of the perceived conflict between my role as a licensed insurance agent and the fact that these plans are not, in fact, insurance. Still, they're not to be easily dismissed.
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