Having lived long enough to remember having the ability to contract directly
with doctors for services rendered. I'll admit that it was important to
have a medical care reserve account (savings) that I personally maintained,
however I also price shopped and negotiated healthcare for my children and
myself directly with the healthcare provider. This meant I didn't need to
get third party permission from the insurance company or government to determine
how our medical needs were met.I met directly with medical practice
managers and negotiated a payment plan if for some reason I could not pay cash
at the time of service.I could monitor the cost of medical procedures, establish
a working relationship with a doctor and his staff and pay lower amounts for
service by avoiding the cost of medical care services, and at times, receive pro
bono or reduced rate services to deal with the exceptional injury or illness
should it come up. I miss those days even though we dealt with broken bones,
infections that required in patient care and child birth which were all
ACA is a mess. After qualifying for a Marketplace subsidy in 2015, my taxes went
up by $7,500 because I have to pay it back. They knew my income and all the
birthdays in the family. I did NOT get a raise. The calculations were based on
my 2014 W-2, and they still got in wrong.In September they notified me
that I made too much money for the 2016 subsidy. (How did they know? I
didn't notify them.)Then on January 16, 2016 I got another letter
from Marketplace telling me I DID qualify for a subsidy in 2016.But
I'm not buying it. I don't want the IRS to take it all back next
year.Try sorting it out with Marketplace. Their 20 minute wait time is
actually 35 minutes and You still have to escalate it to a manager since the
agents can't make decisions.I do hope the ACA advocate who posts here
has an answer for me.
Vanceone, I hate to tell you this, but the VA healthcare system is NOT Single
Payer. The doctors are salaried and work for the VA. Medicare is Single Payer.
And I am more than happy with it.
@RedShirt "To "marxist" but this is capitalism, even by your
definition. The people who pay into do not own it, but use the company as a
means to execute an idea. It is owned by Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical
Aid Plan, Inc, not the people who pay into it."OK, here is the
decisive test. Does the medical aid plan exist to make a profit? If not, this
is a cooperative and socialism. If on the other hand the goal, or at least one
of the goals, is to make a profit then it is capitalism, which makes a profit
exploiting its hired labor.So, is the goal of these organizations to
make a profit? From what the article says, the answer is no. Does anyone know
differently? I am eager to know.
UHPP-a tax credit is just another way of saying someone else is going to
step up to the plate to pay for your health care- by force.Pre-existing
conditions in health care? Does anyone ask their auto insurance company to cover
damage to a vehicle prior to buying the policy? Solution? get coverage from
birth.@Misty Mountain- there is a growing number of healthcare providers
that are swearing off insurance companies and prefer to negotiate with clients
directly. These are the agencies willing to talk to health share organizations.
Marxist - Socialism is a system whereby the government owns or controls the
means of producing and distributing goods and services. Socialism has been the
most destructive form of government in the history of the world, causing
hundreds of millions of deaths in just the last century. Anyone who disputes
this please just spend a few minutes googling "socialisms death toll" to
find overwhelming evidence from respected historians.The premise of
socialism is that free people can't be trusted to make the decisions that
an elite few deem to be right. Therefore, those free people must be forced by
any means necessary (including starvation, beatings, imprisonment, execution) to
make the "right" choices. This story played out over and over again
throughout the prior century.Insurance, cooperatives, risk pools
etc. are the free-market means of preserving the dignity of men and women. Free
people voluntarily entering into an agreement to spread financial risk is
capitalism - not socialism.
Again, as a healthcare provider, people in general are healthy because of
healthy lifestyle choices, and not because of medical care. If demands went
down, so would costs.
It sounds like Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc. and others
of its ilk are basically mutual insurance companies that are structured to
exploit loopholes for bypassing the state's insurance regulations. I
suspect that libertarians love them, because they are unregulated and have
"caveat emptor" written all over them.For those who have had
a good experience with these cooperative health care cost sharing plans, I think
that is fantastic - good for you. However, as others have said, they seem to
serve a relatively small niche, and I don't think they would scale well
into a broad-based program.
I always think the progressives here really are just masking their deep desire
to be our rulers. Why do they push so hard for single payer, when the system we
have that is single payer, the VA, is a disaster beyond recognition?Perhaps that is why they want single payer: for the VA system is riddled with
cronyism, fraud, waste, and where the honest veteran is likely to be killed by
it. Expanding Single Payer to all Americans is a great way to show governmental
favoritism and "slow walk" health care for the politically undesirable,
i.e. all of us who don't chant our "Hail Mao's!" every morning
or worship Obama. Note that "Single Payer" means that you go
to jail if you try to see a doctor without going through the red tape of
government, or if you disagree with the "we won't pay for this
service" determination of the government drone and try to pay for the
service yourself: jail time for you, buddy. The government, run by the same
people who run college campuses, in charge of your health. Makes the Zombie
apocalypse seem appealing, doesn't it?
To "marxist" but this is capitalism, even by your definition. The
people who pay into do not own it, but use the company as a means to execute an
idea. It is owned by Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc, not
the people who pay into it. The workers are the people who process the claims
and maintain the actuarial information to determine costs and risks for the
group. Again, this is a great example of capitalism, apparently by the
Mennonites.Actually, the accumulation of wealth at the top has not
been at the expense of everybody else. It is a simple fact that the wealthy are
becoming more protective of what they have worked to earn. The effects on the
middle class and the poor that you see are a result of government policy and
taxation, it has nothing to do with the rich.
Please also note most of those leaving comments above have obviously not done
The more reputable Christian health sharing plans have been around for decades
and work very well for those who fit the profile (ie most active members of the
LDS faith). Check out Christian Healthcare Ministries, I believe it is one of
the largest if not THE largest. No requirement to sign a statement of faith
other than that you live a healthy lifestyle and attend church. Cut my monthly
payment from an Obamacare plan by two-thirds.
@USAloverMother Teresa let others die in agony. (Google about
"mother teresa leper colony") I imagine instead of shelling out for
$200,000 cancer treatments, the faith based "insurance company" will
probably do something similar. ("God doesn't want you to have this
Hrm... so let me get this straight. They want to look like an insurance company
(taking in insurance payments) and smell like an insurance company, yet they
don't want to follow the law that other insurance companies have to follow?
(For instance, honoring pre-existing conditions and allowing coverage for
@Hugo “The arrangement described is a perfect example of capitalism at
work. This is a group of free citizens that are exploring an alternative funding
arrangement for healthcare in order to try to control costs. That is capitalism,
not socialism.”No, capitalism exists when the owners are
distinct from the workers. The workers survive by selling their labor to
capital (Business). This is only still capitalism in that medical services are
being purchased by the cooperative. The cooperative itself is socialism. Any
cooperative consisting of people on the same plane or level is socialism. We
call such little "s" socialism. Now something like Bolshevism is big
"S" socialism. Note: we may yet need big "S" socialism - big
problems tend to need big solutions. But it good to see people experimenting.
@RedShirt “To "marxist" I hate to be the first to
tell you this, but there is not a set amount of wealth in the US. The wealthy
can remain wealthy and everybody else can grow their wealth at the same
time.”Only true in part; the accumulation at the top has been
at the expense of the many below.
Hugo,I don't have any problem with wait times. I have two CT scans
coming up; only had to wait a few weeks. Both in Canada. Available to me as a
dual citizen, resident and taxpayer in both nations. The extreme hardship and
misery to me is travelling, although I have to do it for my employer anyway. The
extreme hardship and misery for many Americans is the fact that, should they
need such diagnostics, they could not get it at all. That's not christian
to me, knowing we could help people but choose not to.
I still feel if everyone working in the country paid a little or more, of
course, according to their wages, based on how much they earned, and it would
not be exorbitant, you would all benefit from a free and fair National Health
Service. National Insurance. Actually it is not free, it is paid for, but my,
what stress would be alleviated if you just knew it was there immediately,
particularly if you were very poor and in pain or distress for yourself or
Why should I be forced to be in the same insurance pool as smokers and
overweight people when I have maintained a healthy lifestyle? I am happy to
help those in need charitably but am not happy to be forced to subsidize the
general population of unhealthy Americans who don't look out for their own
health.Thats the beauty of this concept to me, now that ObamaCAre has
taken away this lower premium for healthier lifestyle choices otherwise.
This has a lot of MLM-like aspects to it. Should go over like gangbusters in
This might work for smaller groups, but is no solution to the provision of
health care in the U.S. The group cherry picks by excluding those with
pre-existing conditions and smokers. When these groups leave out those who are
already sick or are more likely to become sick, the rest of us bear additional
costs. We pay for the care of the at-risk population without spreading it over
the larger healthier population. I don't object to bearing
that additional cost, but these groups don't solve the problem. They just
remove themselves from the solution.
I joined Liberty Health Share for our family with 7 kids this year after losing
my transitional policy and finding that even a high deductible obama care plan.
would cost $1,200 a month with our income. I have been happy with their
customer service so far. Though liberty is fairly new, a few of these
ministries have been around for several years sustaining themselves and paying
claims. Liberty has a provisional membership for those with correctable health
issues. Provisional members work with a health coach to see if they can correct
their weight, etc and then are accepted as a full member. Time will tell but
seems like the best health health coverage for us based on our lifestyle. With
Liberty the pre-existing condition are not covered for a year and then part
coverage for the 2nd and third year and full coverage after 3 years.. We are
much more likely to get some yearly use out of our premiums with a $1,500
deductable as opposed to $10,000 ded. we had before that we never used in 20
years of coverage.
@TheAtheist"Sounds like socialism, the irony."--------------Except for the part where everybody who has an
income is forced into it. Which would be socialism. This Christian-based
healthcare idea (whether good or not), is definitely NOT socialism, because the
people contributing to it have a choice.Why do the words
"force" and "choice" not register with people who support
Some of the comments are astounding. I thought the goal was to get as many
people with access to health care as possible. Here is a means of protecting
against un-expected expenses that seems to work for a small niche of consumers,
while not being profit driven. We should be celebrating that.But
instead, several are making very negative comments. Why?Is it that
some hate religion more than they love seeing their fellow men be able to pay
for medical care?Or is it that some care a lot more about
controlling others--dictating exactly what they buy, and who pays for what--than
about whether people can actually afford healthcare?It is one thing
if a religious-based health care ministry isn't your cup of tea. No foul
in choosing not to participate. But to attack those for who it does work?
Something is really wrong with those who hate religion or personal freedom more
than they love others getting access to medical care.
They had better hire a health care lawyer and competent actuarial to spell out
the realities of risk pool and demographics. It appears that now they are
surviving on concept and good intentions, which doesn't always carry the
The comment from Utah Health Policy Project in here is mis-leading and a very
poor example to boot.If the family had one claim of $5500 for the
year, here's how the costs would work out under each plan described.1-Under the public exchange (using UHPP's numbers) the family would
pay premiums of approximately $5000 and out of pocket costs of $3900 (due to 50%
coinsurance after the $2300 deductible) for a total of $8900. Additionally, tax
payers would pay about $6600 to the insurer. So the insurer would collect about
$11600 in premiums and pay only $1600 in benefits. A lousy deal for everyone but
the insurer.2-Under the Christian coop, the family would pay $6000
(using the high estimate in the article) in premiums and would have no
out-of-pocket costs. They would be exposed to all of the legal risks inherent in
this contract but would pay a lot less than the $8900 above.3-Under
their current plan, the family paid out-of-pocket costs of $5500 but we
don't know the premium level. I'd wager it is far less than the public
exchange even after subsidy. It's mis-leading for UHPP to claim otherwise.
To "marxist" I hate to be the first to tell you this, but there is not a
set amount of wealth in the US. The wealthy can remain wealthy and everybody
else can grow their wealth at the same time.To "ECR" Obama
push and campaigned for the ACA. It is his "signature" legislation,
that is why it is called Obamacare. Just like your ilk like to refer to Bush
Tax cuts. It associates the effects of the law to the President that signed
them into law.I doubt what you say about insurance 30 years ago. My
father had the exact same situation and was able to get insurance despite having
a child with diabetes.To "Utah Health Policy Project" and
tell us how much their premiums would be if the father was making
$100,000/yr.To "Instereo" in this case the one where they
say they will take care of their own is more Christian. The one where they want
to take care of everybody is done by force and coercion. Force and coercion are
NOT christian values.
@Hutterite,You are correct. Just ask Canada. It's working very well
there. Lived there and had NO problems ever.
@ECR - so many people love to tell us that Obamacare (aka the affordable, er,
unaffordable care act) is the "law of the land." But many who use the
"law of the land" phrase support "sanctuary cities" which
expressly and openly break immigration laws, which are also the "law of the
land." You might not be in that category, but many are.
Hutterite - Single payer would result in extreme wait times, denial of care and
significant hardship and misery. There is nothing Christian about that.
The most 'christian' health care delivery model is the one we'll
never go for. Single payer.
@Utah Health Policy Project:Thanks. Very insightful comments.
Thanks for posting.
IE, if there is an earthquake in Utah, causing 10's or 100's of
millions or even billions in medical expenses, your medical insurance company
has reinsurance coverage that keeps them from not being able to pay claims. I
doubt these people have it. Not to mention that they pretty much can cover
whatever they feel like, and don't have to give you legally binding
documents(plan guidelines) that protect you from getting unfairly denied
coverage. There is no recourse if you are treated unfairly by one of these
I know people don't like medical insurance. And even though I work for a
company that(I think) does a pretty good job not denying claims frivolously, and
not trying to treat people poorly, I realize that I most Utahn's don't
have insurance through my company, and that some of your big companies(Aetna,
UHC, BXBS) have poor reputations, that frankly, they deserve. However, I would
have serious concerns with joining a "christian based health share"
because I know how much the government regulates insurance, purely so people
aren't taken advantage of. For example, do these plans have minimum funding
levels? Do they re-insure in case of horribly expensive claims? (continued)
When is a scam not a scam? When it’s a scam of the government for the
people, by the people. Facts:All organized groups of
human beings are “for profit” groups. There is no such thing as a
nonprofit group. All insurance is gamboling. You make your bet when
you think the odds are in your favor. Fact is, the odds are always in the favor
of the house, the people who structure the wager. The use of
business to force people to believe a certain way is un-American.
Marxist - This type of arrangemnt is in no way, shape or form a type of
socialism. The arrangement described here would be outlawed under any socialist
government. The arrangement described is a perfect example of
capitalism at work. This is a group of free citizens that are exploring an
alternative funding arrangement for healthcare in order to try to control costs.
That is capitalism, not socialism.I applaud them for trying
something different but am dubious this will solve the cost problem. Like all of
the other cost containing experiments happening right now (CDHPs, Value Based
Care, ACOs, etc) this will likely have some marginal effect but not be the
silver bullet. What everyone needs to realize is that medical trend
has finally decreased to just a couple of percentage points above inflation. The
free market solutions being tried are having a positive effect. Unfortunately,
Rx trend is blowing up now because of specialty medications. This is diminishing
the positive gains we've achieved in controlling medical costs.
But but but...I thought redistribution of monies was evil!
Those who have commented have valid points. With that being said, I have spent
over 50 hours attempting to get affordable health care for my family with
HealthCare.Gov and the Market Place. Somewhere in their system my account had a
technical issue in 2015. As of today this issue still has not been resolved. It
has been painful and costly.With the ACA because pre-existing
conditions have been eliminated the compromise for the private insurers is that
if you don't have the standard qualifying insurance event, i.e. birth,
death, marriage, divorce, etc. you can only obtain insurance during the
government open enrollment and they are limited to the offered plans which
change through out the year.If your income or any other
circumstances change and you follow the law and report it, you could very well
find yourself with a new insurer, new premiums and a new deductible and
co-pay.Following the law I reported my $3/hr pay increase with a new
job. My premiums went to $1020/month with a 10K deductible from $300/month with
0 deductible. That is not affordable.I now have Liberty HealthShare
and pay $414/month with a 1500 deductible for my family.
Sounds like socialism, the irony.
My treatment for MS is several thousand a month, every month. I wonder if my
local ward would all like to pool together with me.
1/3 of us will die of cancer. I can't imagine such a money share would
cover the $200,000, two week hospital stay for radiation/chemo/surgery that so
many of us will ultimately need.
How about a study breaking down the costs and profits around one common issue. -
ChildbirthLeaving partisan politics out of it, it would be
interesting to see an honest study as to why the average, routine (non c
section) childbirth in the US costs around $30,000. Easily double what other
developed countries pay.
A health care system where "We'll take care of our own" vs a system
that makes an attempt to take care of all of us. I wonder which one is more
As a healthcare provider, I estimate that 90% of my patients don't follow a
healthy lifestyle, which creates a heavy burden on the insurance and medical
industries. The concept of co-op insurance is intriguing to me, and I think it
would be to others who follow a strict, healthy lifestyle, because they take
lifestyle choices into consideration to qualify for coverage.Also,
I've found that there are basically two types of mindsets out there. One,
people who want to be taken care of with little effort offered on their own.
And, two, those who take charge of their own lives and only seek help that they
can't do on their own, and they follow that counsel given by providers.I'd like to know how to become paneled in this niche industry,
because IHC, which dominates the Utah healthcare market, limits their provider
panels to mostly IHC employed providers. Plus, the larger insurers are very
difficult to work with in receiving reimbursements.
I'm amazed at all the negative comments. People taking care of each other
and taking on their own responsibility, and everyone but a Marxist is negative.
What's wrong with DesNews readers?
I like the concept. I could see a group of people get together and self insure
each other. Form a company that they as member own. This has worked in auto
insurance. Health insurance has some large risks but if the rates were set to
cover the risks but still be competitive it could work. A portion of the
profits at the end of the year could be put into a risk pool and over time there
would be enough to ensure any risk could be covered. The other portion of the
profit could be returned to the members thus lowing their net health insurance
@ Lyn52I know people who have had real emergencies and a long
hospital stay. Their health share paid with no problems.
Sounds too good to be true in some cases (i.e. scam). A couple of big claims
and the entire group loses their insurance. Not to mention this type of
"insurance" won't work for much of the populace (only 51% of Utah
actually goes to church, Gallup poll 2014)How about the legislator
actually implement a plan to deal with Obamacare instead of being
The Affordable Care Act (ie. Obamacare) capped deductibles at $12,500 for
families. So the $20,000 deductible this family faced was caused by them keeping
their pre-ACA, non-protected insurance plan. If they had shopped for health
insurance on healthcare.gov like 175,000 other Utahns, they could have found a
much more affordable plan. But since they didn't, the health care sharing
ministries sounded like a good deal to them. But if they are a family of 5 in
Utah County earning $65,000 a year, they could get a tax credit of $548 per
month to purchase a Silver-level health insurance plan for $412 a month with a
$2,300 deductible. That's a much better deal than their old insurance, and
their new health care sharing ministry. Plus, their coverage cannot be denied
because of outside evaluations of their behavior. -UHPP
Forcing anyone to purchase something is directly contrary to liberty, and the
idea that "essential health coverage" should include abortive
contraceptives and not dental care is without convincing defense.An
optionally elected form of sharing funds is far more palatable. If I take care
of myself and am forced to pay for coverage I don't desire, it's
socialism and bears all of the social and economic pitfalls of such. In
contrast, I can take care of myself and elect to enter an agreement to help pay
for others' medical bills. I don't have to support anything I
don't want to, my contributions aren't wasted by as many obviously-bad
health decisions, and it's entirely voluntary. It is charity.
A novel concept that I often thought abstractly about myself, during my
son's battle with myriads of healthcare problems. Kudos to this group. It
is not perfect, but is a start for possible better options for the masses.Maybe the LDS Church could pattern something similar in the near or distant
future. After all, it is a service of compassion, much like the other welfare
It sounds good, but it is not sustainable.
The problem with this is that the groups don't negotiate with providers, so
they end up paying the posted price for services, which can easily be three
times what an insurance provider pays. In some cases--lab work is one of the
worst price gougers--the posted price can be more than ten times what the
insurance company pays. And how "Christian" is it to deny
coverage for a pre-existing condition? By the time most people turn fifty or
sixty, they usually have one or another pre-existing condition--elevated blood
pressure, minor arthritis, joint damage--and this is only going to get worse
with more Americans being overweight.I don't recall Jesus
asking only the young and able bodied to follow him. But perhaps the
"Christian" insurance groups are reading from a different Bible.
I believe......every religious person should place their health care needs in
the hands of those who believe this Christian-based alternative is in their best
interest and administered by God's chosen.....frightening!
Won't they be in for a rude awaking when they have a real medical emergency
and a long hospital stay.
Sounds like a paid infomercial to me.
Another Health Share company is Altrua. They started as a result of the
"Christian" health share companies that required their members to sign a
statement of faith that appeared to intentionally exclude the LDS people. They
were force to leave the state of Utah by the state insurance commissioner and
they had to agree not to do business in Utah again.Shameful.
Note to Daphne - this is NOT "President Barack Obama's health care
law", it is the law of the land, passed by Congress and signed into law by
the president. It is our national health care law. And isn't it interesting
that the folks from the Utah State Insurance Commissioner's office are
finding so much fault with a system that bypasses the ACA, when they have so
much disdain for the ACA.I remember over 30 years ago while starting
a small business in Utah we tried to obtain group health insurance for our small
office. Because my three-year-old son had been recently diagnosed with diabetes
we found that no insurance company, not one of them, was willing to cover our
small business because of his pre-existing condition. During that time I had
the opportunity to discuss the issue with the Utah State Insurance
Commissioner's office and ask what were the alternatives for someone who
had a child with such a disease. I was told, "Work for a larger
company." So much for the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Intersecting concept but I wonder what would happen if these faith based health
ministries had a couple of really big claims. Would they pay or could they pay
The religious requirements of these groups wouldn't satisfy many, but the
concept of health care cooperatives is good. Voluntary cooperatives to pay for
health care, worker self-directed enterprises, and a whole host of voluntary
cooperatives are what socialists like myself call small "s" socialism.
And as capitalism decays it could be a way out.But as wealth
concentrates as the high end, there might not be enough wealth left farther down
the economic ladder, to allow the creation of these cooperatives. Small
"s" socialism is running a race against a voracious concentrated