Thanks to my awesome Executive Team, I realized that in true procrastination style, I needed to quickly research new insurance plans and make a decision by December 15th for 2017! Being self-employed, we look to the Health Care Marketplace for our plans since, in the great state of Texas, I am unaware of any private companies offering full healthcare any more. As a family of 5, we aren’t cheap to insure any more with new healthcare plans. This year we paid around $1,200 per month for our insurance premium and contributed the maximum of $546 each month into a Health Savings Account since our individual deductible was $6,700 per person.
Our health care plan, for the third year in a row, is being cancelled and the provider will no longer be offering insurance in Texas so here we are again, to find a new plan with new doctors, fill out more new patient paperwork and figure it all out again. (Can you sense my joy through the words here?!) One of our team members told us about a christian insurance option a few weeks ago that she and her husband have used for years and loved. My first thought was “Medi-what?”, I didn’t truly understand what it was. They have utilized medi-share for health care, visits and prescriptions. Our team member is a very smart, educated woman who I trust so her perception of it got me thinking about using that as an option. I am naturally suspicious of all things, especially if they sound too good to be true. After looking into the program she uses, it sounded way too good to be true so I set out on a mission to either confirm or deny that!
The program is essentially like traditional insurance in that every one pays in a “share” that is held by the company. As qualifying expenditures come in, they are submitted like traditional insurance claims and the company pays them out of the “pot”, per say. So, it’s the same principal as traditional insurance but utilized in a different way.
I asked around our office, which by the way is 704 agents, so it’s not a small office. What I found was that a lot of other agents in our office use some form of this kind of insurance and really like using it. Those in our office who have it, have children…some of them have a lot of children. One family has 13 children. You read that right, 13 children! They are wonderful people and have actually told us about their medi-share program in the past but for some reason, it didn’t “click” with me. They used the insurance for all of their children as well as cancer treatment for the wife and heart issues for the husband. To me, their story of the program offered hope that it works and it works well. You can see a commercial that they shot for the company they used here.
I also found that agents in our office have used this insurance for having babies which was surprising to me! I know how much I paid for our babies and all of a sudden, I was a little sad that they paid so much less than we did! This was the one “con” that has been told to me, not all doctors will file the insurance claim with the provider on your behalf. Sometimes you have to pay up front and then request reimbursement from the insurance company. One family who just had a baby in September 2015 said that they paid out of pocket for most baby items and then they were reimbursed after submitting the paperwork to the insurance company. In their case, because there were so many providers involved, it was strenuous but it got done and they didn’t have any issues with it.
I have also heard that prescriptions are all reimbursements; no one has said they’ve had issues with the prescription reimbursements but that’s how it was done. You can also use ANY provider, any where. #boom Take that Obamacare! Goodbye assigned Primary Care Physician that I’ve never met and never has room for a sick visit!
The best part is that these programs are compliant with the Affordable Care Act and you will not have to pay the penalty in lieu of having traditional insurance!
There are three companies that came highly recommended to me and I have included their websites below. I think what it ultimately comes down to for each person or family is whether you would prefer a lower monthly “share” and a higher “deductible” or not. There are some things that each company doesn’t cover and that varies between them; some of those are organ transplants, if something were to happen to you due to you being intoxicated, etc.
Each company, since they are christian companies, do make you commit to not smoking, not drinking alcohol, not having extramarital affairs and they will not cover abortions. You should definitely read the fine prints as different terms will have varying impacts on each individual or family’s situation. We have decided to go with the Medi-share program. On all of these programs, once you sign up, if you refer someone in and they sign up with you as the referring party, you will get 1 month free “share”! With that in mind, if you decide to go with Medi-share, please use this link to sign up! (It will help me get a discount on my monthly “share”.)
We decided to go with Medi-share since so many people we know personally are with them as well. They were also the one that our pediatrician is already working with. Another added benefit is the 24/7 Teledoc service. We stay so busy and so does our pediatrician so this is a really great feature! For us, we are excited about the option of having a really low monthly “share” since we already set aside funds in a Health Savings Account for the deductible that we chose, should we need to use it. It made financial sense to us to save $1,400 per month and direct those funds into an investment account instead of pay monthly premiums for insurance that we rarely utilize.
Moving to these programs was a no-brainer for us since we were actually considering not having insurance in 2017 and paying the penalty. This is better than that plus I’ve heard wonderful things about them. The best part is that they stay in prayer for you. How awesome is it to be in business with a company that prays for you and your family?! This is more of what America (and the world for that matter) needs. I am all on board this train!
I hope this helps you with your decision making! Leave me comments and let me know what you decide or if you have additional pros or cons! I’d love to hear from you!
February 2017 Update:
We did decide to go with Medi-Share and we love it so far! I am getting a lot of questions on what we do for dental and vision. Medi-share has a discount dental plan as part of your membership with them which is what we are now using.
When we did have dental, the kids’ favorite dentist was still $250 per visit for two of them so we are used to paying out of pocket for that. We haven’t used the dental discount plan yet but I will let you know how it goes when we do. They’re due in June.
For vision, we haven’t carried vision insurance since it was included with Rick’s group plan years ago. We have just gone out of pocket for it and will continue to do so. Hope this helps! Don’t forget, if you sign up for Medi-share, use this link so that I receive a referral gift from them!