The Difference Between Health Sharing and Insurance

There have been big changes in healthcare over the past few years. Many of these changes are due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). Because of this, many individuals and families may have found that affording “regular” insurance is a burden. However, because of the ACA, carrying coverage for your family is now a requirement, and you can be penalized if you do not comply. Luckily, there is an alternative to traditional insurance—that can often be cheaper.

health sharing differences and obama care

A health sharing program is an alternative to insurance that works in much the same way. However, for many people, it is the superior choice. What are the differences between a Health Care Sharing Ministry and traditional insurance?

Four main differences:

  • Health care sharing ministries don’t spend as much on advertising and administration – Unlike insurance companies that may spend a large percentage of the money they take in on advertising their services, ministries do not. Geico, for instance, spent $1.8 billion on advertising in 2013. This is a stark contrast to a faith-based health sharing program where the contributions collected are available for member’s eligible medical needs.
  • Altrua HealthShareministry is faith based – The biggest health sharing organizations in the United States are faith-based organizations. They allow members to participate in something that supports their faith choices.
  • Health Care Sharing Ministries are more affordable – According to a US News and World Report article, if a family is spending $700 a month on insurance, they may only spend $200 for medical cost sharing from a health sharing  Because of lower administration expenses and because some medical procedures are not eligible for sharing (usually those that may be morally offensive), membership contributions can be less expensive for participants.
  • Money is Held in Escrow – Participants inHealth Care Sharing Ministries contribute their monthly share amount each month, and the contribution is held in an escrow account. Then, when it is needed, the share amounts are sent out to the doctor or hospital, much like insurance would pay.

Although there are many differences between health insurance and health sharing ministries, for most uses the programs work much the same. The participant will provide his or her member ID card at the doctor’s office or hospital and the accounting office handles the paperwork. More and more medical providers are accepting health sharing as a health insurance alternative, so it is easier than ever for patients to find great medical care—at an affordable cost.

If you would like to learn more about health care sharing and find out if it might be the right choice for you, please contact Altrua HealthShare. We would love to help find an affordable solution to your family’s health care needs.