When talk of “Obamacare” came about a few years ago, we never thought we’d see it pass. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it helps a lot of people, but it also traps a lot of people with high payments that they just cannot afford. There are also things that it supports that we, as Christians, simply do not agree with.
So, we went looking for alternative options, and the only thing we kept stumbling upon that completely lined up with our beliefs were Christian healthcare sharing organizations. This is something that was intriguing, so I researched….and researched….and researched.
In case you are unaware of what a Christian healthcare sharing organization is, it is an organization that is strictly member supported. It is where members send their monthly membership fee to the company, and your fee’s are put into a collection that is then distributed to other members to pay for their healthcare costs when they arise. It is Christians helping Christians, not only through monetary gifts, but through prayer and support as well. My favorite part is receiving their monthly newsletter and seeing where my monthly gift is used and watch those who were in need have their medical debt paid off.
Christian healthcare sharing isn’t a premium or monthly “payment”. You have a monthly amount that you send into the organization that you choose. Some organizations base cost on the size of your family, others give you tier options. This monthly sharing is what helps you and other members receive payment when you need it. Then, when a need arises, you simply tell the medical staff that you have a healthcare sharing membership and they will run your information without insurance. Many times, they give special discounts to people in healthcare sharing memberships. Once you’ve received the invoices for the medical issues, you then “share” them (send them in) with the healthcare sharing organization, who then pays them for you (after you’ve met your “deduction”, they send you a check). If the healthcare sharing organization that you’ve chosen does not cover preexisting conditions, you are still allowed to “share” your invoices, but they go into the monthly member newsletter, where members can see your need, pray for you, and then send money directly to you for that need. It is not, however, paid for by the ministry, but by individual members who feel led to help you with your need.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find that Samartin Ministries (SM), the leading share organization, did not “cover” preexisting conditions at all…there wasn’t even an exception. I loved their set-up and what they promoted, but unfortunately, our child has asthma. And while it has been maintained for well over a year now, SM just wasn’t willing to make an exception.
I grew tired of going back and forth about insurance and eventually succumbed to Obamacare. We ended up paying much less than our regular monthly premium before Obamacare, and I thought that maybe it was a blessing in disguise that we hadn’t switched to a Christian health sharing plan. Until I got a tax letter in the mail…..
You see, my husband and I are both self employed. And therefore, because we are self-employed and took a government subsidy, we must file a 1099 form from the government, saying they paid us $xxx.xx a month for insurance….which we must now claim on our taxes as an “income”.
Excuse me? I never saw that money. I don’t know where that money went. I don’t know where that money came from. Heck, I don’t even know if that money really exists since our government is over a trillion dollars in debt. A trillion, did you read that? And yet, they are paying for my insurance…with money I’ve never seen, yet I’m forced to pay taxes on it?
And furthermore, I was paying for an insurance that did me absolutely no good. None of my specialists were covered under my new insurance. I found this out in such a loving way, when I went to the doctor for an emergency and they proceeded to tell me that they aren’t “allowed” in our government’s healthcare network. Yet here I was, paying for insurance that was supposed to help us, when I ended up with yet, one.more.bill.
Because of the reasons stated above, and because of various other reasons and issues with being self-employed and taking a government subsidy, my husband and I immediately made the decision to switch to a Christian healthcare sharing program. After much more research, we decided to go with Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM). Here’s why….
- They allowed “sharing” for pre-existing conditions that were being maintained. Since our son’s asthma has been maintained for a year, any future issues that he might have would all be eligible to be “shared” and paid for.
- They send out a monthly newsletter with helpful information and a list of people who are in need from preexisting conditions that are not “shareable”. But they also update each situation with praise reports of people who have received money from other members through the newsletter. This month in-particular, I read of an elderly man who lost his wife to cancer. He is now left with over $220,000 in invoices. Wow, just wow. On top of his wife’s death. But the fact that I now know this, and I can send any extra money we have set aside to him…even if just $20, it helps. Not only that, but I can pray for his precious soul, for peace and comfort. And that, my friends, is absolutely priceless. He, among so many others, were listed with conditions, prayer requests, and the amount they have incurred for their issues.
- I don’t have to pay for government insurance, and we are completely exempt from it now that we have a Christian healthcare sharing membership. However, it varies by state, so please check your states laws if you’re interested in proceeding with a healthcare sharing organization.
- We receive discounts on Dr’s visits and specialist visits. In fact, even more so than with my government insurance that didn’t pay for anything.
- We know where our money is going, and it’s going directly into the body of Christ. They make it easy and simple for us to understand, and it’s nice to know we’re making a difference, rather than putting our money into a failing system.