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Faith-Based Health Insurance (Healthcare Sharing Plans) In Winston-Salem, NC


American consumers are choosing faith based health plans over traditional insurance in ever increasing numbers.  Winston-Salem, NC is no exception.  In fact, Winston-Salem has seen as much growth in the volume of healthcare sharing plans as any state in the country.

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 healthcare sharing plans, alternative health plans, or healthcare 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 ways that are 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:  When it comes to dealing with your medical insurance company, forget the touchy-feely commercials and go with your head.  Don't buy the advertising hype.  The primary function of multi-billion dollar insurance companies is to make more billions for themselves and their investors.  This means that when you deal with your insurer, you need to remain objective and check your emotions.
The advent of faith-based / healthcare 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 Winston-Salem, NC region will be used to pay for medical costs that arise within the very same Winston-Salem, NC 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 Winston-Salem, 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:  Ask questions.  If you don't understand the details of the plan offered, contact the insurance company or give us a call.  While there are a variety of online tools and resources that can help, the best thing to do is simply pick up the phone and talk to an insurance professional.  You need to clearly understand what you're buying.

Brenner Children's Hospital - health insurance
Brenner Children's Hospital
Medical Center Blvd
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
Telephone: (336) 713-4500
Plus Code: 3PQJ+RH Winston-Salem, Winston, NC




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 healthcare sharing plans.

Good to know:  Shop Generic Drugs.  If you're looking to reduce your medical bills and reduce out of control medical spending, you can start by shopping generically.  Consumers tend to think of generic options as less effective or even as harmful.  This is not the case, however, when it comes to generic prescription drugs.  Though these alternatives may not be as flashy as the name-brand drugs advertised on commercials, they treat patient illnesses just as effectively for only a fraction of the cost.  You can increase your drug savings even more by shopping in preferred pharmacies or online at vendors such as GoodRx.  These options allow you access to a wide range of generic and name brand drugs at lower costs.  Preferred pharmacies take the extra step of reducing dispensing fees, saving you even more money on your next drug purchase.  For this reason, it's worth seeing if a preferred pharmacy network is included in your healthcare plan.  If not, you may want to review your options and see if adding such a plan would benefit you.

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.
5 Strategies For Reducing Medical Bills.
Resources



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