What Is a Faith-Based MediShare Plan?
Ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, a bunch of new options have popped up all over the place for people to cover their medical expenses. There are a lot of people who get their health insurance covered through work, but there are plenty of other options available as well. For example, you might be interested in a health sharing ministry, also known as a MediShare plan. While many of these plans have a religious slant to them, not all of them require you to follow a specific religion to join the group. These groups are nonprofit, but they function very differently when compared to health insurance. What do you need to know about this option?
What Is a MediShare Plan?
A health sharing ministry, or MediShare plan, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that involves a lot of people coming together who have similar beliefs and values. Then, they pool their money and distribute the money to help each other cover their medical expenses. Many of them have been founded on religious principles, but it is not necessarily a requirement.
In addition, you do not necessarily have to wait for an open enrollment period before you sign up to join one of these groups. Instead, you are able to sign up at just about any time.
Will a Health Sharing Ministry Cover My Expenses?
If you decide to join one of these groups, you will be required to contribute a fixed monthly dollar amount to the savings account that is owned by the group. There are different rules and regulations from group to group that govern how much money you will be expected to contribute every month.
Then, if you need help with your medical expenses, you will be asked to file a request to an administrative provider associated with the group. The administrator is not necessarily a member of the group, as it could be a third party who distributes money in accordance with the bylaws and agreements of the group itself.
Similar to other health insurance plans, there will be a specific amount you have to cover before you are allowed to request that the ministry cover the rest. This functions very similarly when compared to the deductible associated with a health insurance plan. Like a health insurance plan, there is no guarantee that the ministry is going to cover your medical expenses, but they will be expected to abide by the rules of the organization.
The Pros and Cons of a MediShare Plan
Like any option, it is important for you to think about the benefits and drawbacks before you decide whether this choice is right for you. Some of the top advantages of joining a MediShare plan include:
- This is generally a more cost-effective option because you have more choices available to you.
- You cannot necessarily have your membership terminated just because you have developed a specific medical condition.
- Most ministries do not impose a lifetime maximum above which you cannot receive any more benefits.
- It is also possible for a health sharing ministry to cover other expenses, such as the cost of adoption or the cost of a funeral.
- You do not have to worry about your health insurance status being impacted by your employment status.
On the other hand, there are a few significant drawbacks you need to keep in mind as well. Some of the biggest drawbacks you need to note include:
- The vast majority of regulatory authorities are not going to consider a health sharing ministry to be a health insurance company, so you don’t necessarily have access to the same consumer protections as you would if you carried a traditional health insurance plan.
- There is also a chance that your health sharing ministry will not qualify as minimum essential coverage, meaning that you may be facing a fine when you file your taxes.
- Because many of these organizations are faith based, they have a lot of rules and regulations that you have to follow. This could make it difficult for you to get your medical expenses covered in some situations.
Like health insurance plans, MediShare plans come in many shapes and forms, so you need to think carefully about whether this is right for you.
Count on Health Guys to Help You Find the Right Health Coverage to Meet Your Needs
There are a lot of choices available if you are looking for medical coverage for your family, and it is important for you to think about the benefits and drawbacks of each option before you make a decision. That is where we can help you. We are HealthGuys, and we have a tremendous amount of experience helping people of all backgrounds find the medical coverage they need. We can help you as well, so contact us todayto get the process started!