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Alternatives To Health Insurance In San Jose, California


Everyone knows health insurance is an absolute necessity.  But there's a problem:  For a growing number of consumers, health insurance is simply not affordable.  According to Peterson-Kaiser, pricing for health care is growing faster than prices in the general economy.  In California, since the end of 2007, healthcare prices have grown 21.6%, while prices in the general economy (measured by the GDP deflator) have grown 17.3%.  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), premiums for benchmark plans - i.e., the second-lowest-cost silver plan listed on ACA exchanges - are expected to rise by 15% in 2019, and then average a 7% increase in 2020 and every year thereafter, through 2028.

Some experts consider these estimates to be conservative.  Being unable to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act outright, The Trump administration has been chipping away at many of the ACA premium containment components.  The result of these actions will almost certainly lead to runaway increases in health insurance premiums for all ACA plans.

About San Jose
It lies in the Santa Clara Valley along Coyote Creek and the Guadalupe River, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of San Francisco.  Located just southeast of San Francisco Bay, sprawls over a broad floodplain that gradually slopes upward toward more rugged terrain to the east and south.  With its semiarid climate, San Jose is known for its sunny, mild weather.
Health Insurance Alternatives in San Jose.

Increasingly, families across the nation are making the switch to a lesser-known healthcare option:  healthcare sharing plans.  Healthcare sharing plans, (also known as faith-based health plans, faith-based health insurance, or healthcare sharing ministries), are one of the fastest-growing healthcare options in the nation, but chances are, you've never heard of them.  Below, we'll walk you through some of the important information you need to know about this fast-growing healthcare option.

The advent of healthcare sharing plan.

Healthcare sharing plans (faith based plans), have grown exponentially beyond what anyone could have possibly imagined, when such plans were exempted from the Affordable Care Act health plan requirements.  At the time, the exemption was a way to sooth objections from conservative leaning congressmen who had reservations on the passage of the ACA.  This exempted niche, is now a fast-growing segment of the health plan industry.  From all appearances, this trend will continue well into the foreseeable future.  What was once a fringe idea, limited to devout Evangelicals and rural churches has found acceptance with a wide swath of the American populous.

Good to know:  When it comes to medical services, shop around for a better deals.  Patients often think that medical fees are set, but just like any other business, costs for goods and services can vary widely.  Shop the cost of exams, tests, procedures, medications, nursing facilities, and imaging centers before non-emergency events.  The price of an MRI on one side of Main Street can be $500, and $2,500 on the other.  Healthcare pricing, as a rule, is arbitrary.  Even the pharmacy you choose can be the difference in hundred of dollars annually.
How do these faith-based plans work?

To put it simply, healthcare sharing is about like-minded people voluntarily coming together to share the burden of medical expenses.  Healthcare sharing plans are typically faith-based, meaning the core concepts are based upon religious beliefs.  However, in most cases, consumers do not need to be affiliated with any religious group, or be religious at all, in order to purchase a faith-based health plan.  Faith-based health plans are not considered insurance and are not regulated by the California department of insurance.

These plans are designed to accomplish the same fundamental goals as traditional health insurance:

  • Help people maintain good health by offsetting the costs of health care access.
  • Assist people with the cost of medical bills.
  • Protect people from catastrophic financial loss due to major medical expenses.

The mechanics.

The workings of faith-based health plans offered by various entities are quite similar.  Each month all the members pay a set contribution or "share" amount.  This contribution is based on the health plan style they have purchased.  Other factors that may contribute to what the contribution will be are age, gender, and health history.  Contributions are placed into a pool and managed by the healthcare sharing company.  The funds are "shared" with members who have immediate medical bills, according to their chosen plan and company guidelines.

Usually, funds to pay medical bills are dispersed within the same community that the members reside.  in other words, membership dues collected from plan members living in the San Jose, California region, will be used to pay for medical costs that arise within the very same San Jose, California region.

Good to know:  Discuss health plans options with your doctor.  Go over your insurance company's list of covered prescription medications with your doctor.  Some medicines will cost you more than others.  If your doctor knows what's on your insurer's list, he can select the best medication for you at the lowest price.  Also, if your plan requires you to get a referral to a specialist, take your insurance plan's preferred-provider list to your primary-care appointment.  Your doctor can easily pick out the best specialist who participates in your plan.
Advantages of Faith-Based Healthcare Sharing Plans.

Because Faith-based health plans do not fall under Affordable Care Act regulations, there is enormous flexibility in plan structure.  This is one of the factors that contribute to a lower monthly premium when faith-based health plans are compared with traditional health insurance plans with similar benefits.  Another contributing factor to lower premiums is the comparative lack of bureaucracy within entities that offer faith-based health plans.  Insurance companies in the U.S. have had over a century to build up a virtual mountain of bureaucracy.  The stifling bureaucratic excess is invariably passed on to the consumer, in the form of high plan premiums.  Also, in many cases, the lack of bureaucracy, translates into your physician, medical facility, or hospital being paid much more quickly for services provided.  Consequently, medical providers generally like health care sharing plans.

Good Samaritan Hospital - health care sharing
Good Samaritan Hospital
2425 Samaritan Dr
San Jose, CA 95124
Telephone: (408) 559-2011
Plus Code: 7323+R9 San Jose, California




Disadvantages

One big advantage of an ACA backed plan is you cannot be declined coverage due to health issues.  Healthcare sharing companies can choose to decline coverage to any individual due to medical issues or history. Also, certain ACA plan benefits and protections are mandated by law.  Some benefits, like maternity, for example, may be very important to you.  Your faith-based plan may not offer it.

There are also lifetime maximum benefit limitations with most any faith-based health plan.  ACA plans have no such limitation.

For these reasons, faith-based healthcare sharing plans are not the perfect alternative healthcare plan solution for everyone.  Whether or not a faith-based plan makes good sense, depends upon your medical and financial circumstance.  Be certain to understand benefits and limitations thoroughly, before purchasing any faith-based plan, or traditional health insurance plan.

For more information on Faith-Based / health care sharing ministries, please contact us directly.



Other articles:
Explaining the Growth of HealthCare Sharing Plans.
5 Strategies For Reducing Medical Bills.
Resources



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