Faith-Based Health Insurance In Bakersfield, CA
Consumers are choosing faith based health plans over traditional insurance in ever increasing numbers. Bakersfield, CA is no exception. In fact, California has seen more exponential growth in the volume of health care sharing plans than
any other state in the country.
So, what is faith based insurance?
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. East of Bakersfield is Oildale, and Rosedale.
Faith-based health insurance refers to a method consumers from all walks of life are utilizing to handle the risk of unexpected medical bills. And
in actuality, it's not insurance at all - at least not in the legal sense of the word. Faith-based health plans, (also known as health care sharing plans, alternative health plans, or health care sharing ministries), are actually health plans that are designed to meet the same needs
as traditional health insurance. The difference is, these plans are not governed by the ACA (Affordable Care Act) rules and regulations. This distinction makes
it possible for faith-based health plans to be structured in a manner that is uniquely different than a traditional ACA plan.
There are several advantages (and a few disadvantages) that are inherent within this distinction. This article will address both.
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Good to know:
If you have outstanding medical bills, negotiate a payment plan. Making a payment plan helps you to reduce the upfront cost of your medical bills. Often, you may be able to work out reduced costs or debt forgiveness with your healthcare provider. In these cases, you won't be expected to pay the full price of your medical bill. This also allows you to keep your outstanding medical debt from hitting your credit report. For consumers interested in protecting their credit and paying their medical bills in a more effective manner, payment plans with debt forgiveness or reduced charges serve as an effective alternative to traditional or standard options.
The advent of faith-based / health care sharing plans.
Health care sharing ministries have grown exponentially beyond what anyone could have possibly imagined, when such ministries 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.
How do 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.
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 Bakersfield, CA region
will be used to pay for medical costs that arise within the very same Bakersfield, CA region.
Faith-based plans (also known as healthcare sharing 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.
In California, 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.
Good to know: Plans that pay higher portion of your medical costs, but have a higher premium, are good if: you have pre-existing conditions, take expensive meds on a regular basis, are planning to have child, are expecting to undergo surgery, or have a chronic condition. If you're in good health and only go to the doctor for routine checkups, consider a plan with a lower monthly premium and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Advantages of Faith-Based Health Care Sharing Plans.
|Memorial Hospital - Bakersfield
420 34th St
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Telephone: (661) 327-4647
Plus Code: 9XRV+Q8 Bakersfield, California
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 compared to a traditional health insurance plan 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 America have had over a century to build up a virtual mountain of bureaucracy. This stifling excess is invariably passed on to
the consumer, in the form of high plan premiums.
Also, 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.
First and foremost, you cannot be declined ACA coverage due to a health issue. This is a major difference, as faith-based health plan companies can choose to decline coverage to any individual due
to medical issues or history. Also, certain ACA plan benefits are mandated by law. Some benefits, like maternity, for example, may be very important to you. Your faith-based plan may not offer it.
For more information on Faith-Based health plans, please contact us directly.
Explaining the Growth of HealthCare Sharing Plans.
5 Strategies For Reducing Medical Bills.