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Faith-Based Health Insurance In Sacramento, CA


Consumers are choosing faith based health plans over traditional insurance in ever increasing numbers.  Sacramento, 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.

Interesting Sacramento Facts
Sacramento was not the first capital of California.  There were five others, including Monterey, San Jose, Vallejo, Benicia, and San Francisco.  Sacramento was the capital by 1862, but a fire destroyed the capital building and for a brief period the capital was temporarily San Francisco.
So, what is faith based insurance?

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 fashion that is somewhat 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.

Want to see faith-based / healthcare sharing plans and rates now?  Click here.

Good to know:  Know the basics of health insurance.  According to a recent study, only 4% of Americans were capable of defining four of the basic health insurance terms.  Know your stuff when it comes to health insurance.  Knowing the difference between co-payments and coinsurance will be invaluable when shopping for the right plan.  It will also come in handy when figuring out costs once you've started using your health insurance plan for medical care.

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 Sacramento, CA region will be used to pay for medical costs that arise within the very same Sacramento, 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.

The mechanics.

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:  Check medical bills for errors.  Medical billing errors happen a lot more than you would think.  Oddly, these errors almost always benefit the hospital or medical facility.  Make sure that you receive an itemized bill in the mail.  These bills delineate in detail the charges you incurred for each of your medical procedures.  In this regard, they contain greater utility than the explanation of benefits (EOB) you generally receive in the mail.  If your medical bill omits key information regarding charges incurred, contact your healthcare facility and ask for an itemized bill.  Once you have received this bill, review it carefully.  Did you actually receive every procedure listed?  If so, is the cost what you were promised beforehand?  Additionally, look out for billing errors when it comes to pharmaceuticals.  Often, healthcare billers make the mistake of charging individuals for name-brand drugs instead of generic drugs.

Mercy General Hospital - health care sharing
Mercy General Hospital
4001 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95819
Telephone: (916) 453-4545
Plus Code: HG9W+WX Sacramento, California




Advantages of Faith-Based Health Care 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 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.

Disadvantages

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.



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