Friday, November 14, 2008

Insured

Health care coverage for our family is a major stressor to me. Being self employed, it is expensive and we rarely use health care, but I feel it is unwise to not have any insurance. We wrestle with seeking to trust God 100% in our health issues and also wanting to use our resources wisely in the case of a catastrophic health crisis that our emergency fund won't cover. We've all heard the horror stories of people who went from totally healthy to 100s of thousands of dollars in medical bills within weeks. Do we burdon our family now with monthly premiums that we see little result from, or do we bankrupt the family later in the event that one of us has an expensive medical issue?


The struggle begins when we look at the hundreds of dollars we spend each month for private health insurance and then see how little it has benefited us. My husband for example has been to the doctor once in 30 years, making $180 standard office visit worth about $50,000 in premiums, assuming he has had medical coverage for 30 years. We were obviously very thankful for health insurance when I was hospitalized 3 times during my first pregnancy and also for the second, typical pregnancy. Our insurance paid $7,000 the first time and $3,000 the second pregnancy. We considered that money we saved until we added up our monthly premiums and we could have paid for both of the pregnancies/births out of pocket for the same cost over the years.


Recently, I heard about Medi-Share and it sounds like a great alternative. It is "a Christian alternative to health insurance.   It's a primary health care program with real care at an affordable cost where members share and pay the bulk of your bills for you up to $1 million per incident.  Drs and hospitals do bill Medi-Share directly just like they would insurance using the standard insurance claim forms that they're used to always using." 


I've searched the web for something bad about Medi-Share and haven't found anything. I love that it is Christian. I love that they support people who live a healthy lifestyle and that my money actually goes to people in need. So, with all that said, I guess I am just putting out this other option for medical coverage. My current insurance through Providence Health Systems just went up 30%. Seriously, who can afford a 30% increase? I can't see a downside to saving our family $4,000 a year through Medi-Share and still being covered in case of a catastrophic emergency. Do you know anyone who uses this Medi-Share program? I would appreciate your feedback to point out anything I missed in this dilemma.

13 comments:

Sara said...

We are in the same boat. Kevin also is self-employed. Our insurance has become an outrageous part of our monthly expenses and we also have had recent increases in our premiums (although not 30% - that's crazy!) and they will go up again with the birth of our second child. We have Kevin on a very basic catastrophic plan of which he hasn't used even once (he's been to the doctor a few more times than Jeff, but sounds similar). Abby and I are on a more comprehensive plan, which is a lot more money but seems to be worth it especially with another birth coming soon. (Although we still had to pay thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket for Abby's birth - cesareans carry a pretty hefty price tag.) Anyway, I've been looking into other options lately too. I heard about Medi-Share years ago, but for some reason it didn't work out for us back then (I think it was because the college we attended required us to have insurance and Medi-Share is not considered insurance). I will have to check it out again and see if it would save us money. I, too, think it sounds like a wonderful program and a great alternative for Christians.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

Actually, since you mentioned Medi-Share, I have heard ads for it on the Christian talk radio station here. Don't you wish you lived in Canada? I know they have problems, but at least everyone is covered.

Andee said...

Hillary--
I heard how much a gallon of milk is up there. I think it might just make up for no health care premiums! :) Every time I hear of health care woes, I am more thankful for the benefits we get through Paul's work.

Kelly said...

I am afraid the corruptions of health insurance has affected all, even those who are not fortunate enough to be self employed. Because of the cost, most companies don't pay a dime, passing the rising costs along to their employees. We have a $25,000 deductible and it costs over $400/mo. (only medical, not including dental, vision ect.) When the deductible is nearly the amount you make per year, it’s kinda pathetic! The last 2 children's births combined cost us over $10,000 after insurance paid their share. Needless to say that we are going to go the mid-wife home birth and just pay cash, it's about 3-4K cheaper. And after a few of those, if we are blessed with many little lambs, we are going to most likely do home, unassisted births. Also, check out welltellme.com and search for goot, we have been using it for about a month and everyone around us has gotten sick, we’ve been quite healthy, and I think it’s because of this garlic treatment.

april said...

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Grace said...

My parents are on medi-share and love it!

bunchofbull-ers! said...

Thank you for sharing. We are self-employed as well. AND are burdened by the costs of health insurance! I am going to look into Medi-Share also. And if you find anything else, please let us know!

Blessings.

Kelly

Kari Wright said...

We have good friends on medi-share. He had to have a hip replacement but they did not cover it because it "pre-existed" they still use it though. They would visit with you about it if you are interested...let me know! harleyrenee at yahoo dot com

Melanie said...

Let me know what you guys decide. I looked into Medi-Share many years ago, but opted to go with a plan that had no doctor co-pay, which made a big difference in premiums.

You should also ask your insurance agent whether there are any companies or plans that cater to non-smokers. I think sometimes the agents aren't allowed to tell you about certain companies that have lifestyle choice limitations.

And we know one couple who decided to go with regular insurance, but bought separate policies for him and her because he never went to the doctor (so they just did major medical for him) and they were planning to get pregnant and womens' policies cover pregnancies and babies, even if there is no male on the policy.

Wow. I hate things like this where you feel like you have to play the system. Thankfully, we don't have to think about this right now as our jobs cover our insurance.

Cathy said...

I've never heard of medi-share, but it sounds like something worth looking into.

simplykersh said...

Being someone who is chronically ill I highly value my insurance..being a state worker it is full coverage. No insurance company would even look at me or my kids if I had to find it privately. We don't use it too often, being healthy people- aside from the disease.

Getting sick is normally not a problem for people. Very few people who eat right and exercise enough need to see a doctor for sickness. The issue comes with catastrophic (the car wreck, the cancer) events. My thought is, get the catastrophic on the adults, eat your veggies, good coverage on the kids, exercise daily and look up some natural medicines...like turmeric and cinnamon.
Or prove you are a Dependant of a state worker.

Amy said...

My in-laws have Medi-share and my mother-in-law had to go to the ER, have a ride in an ambulance and then have her appendix out and Medi-Share covered it all. She has nothing but good things to say about it.

Marci said...

Some really thought provoking comments. Josiah will loose his coverage under Dennis' Blue Cross through the PO at the end of January. And of course Daryl's Nursery being such a small business can't afford healthcare for him. So we have been looking around for alternatives. He struggles with migrains (I wonder where he got that!) and is accident prone, so it's a bit worrisome to not have anything. MediShare might work for him, so I'd love to find out the particulars on it.
A side note: Dennis will be working at least until age 65 because of health care! Even with the PO paying their part our premiums and health care costs are $500 a month! Having cronic conditions really sucks! But the Lord has been faithful. I just keep reminding myself that He is our provider and not to worry, but give it all to Him. He promises to lead and guide in the way we should go, but only if we acknowledge Him first. Prov. 3:5&6