For the Financial Freedom Workshop, we are going to take a look at reducing health insurance cost in your budget. One way you could reduce costs, is with a Christian Health Sharing Plan. This is when Christians pay toward one another's medical bills. In our comparison, we will look at:
The big question about health care is, "What monthly payment can my budget afford?"
My comparison includes:
because they had the most affordable monthly payment. We did not include Medi-share because their montly payment was higher, but quotes can vary based on your age.
Step 1: Compare Monthly Payment
To compare programs, first write down the monthly payment. You can list them from smallest to greatest. Next, do a little math. Take the monthly payment x 12 months, and you have your annual payment (with no medical incidents). So, this number must fit into the insurance line of your budget. As you can see on our comparison chart, Christian Healthcare Ministries Bronze has the lowest monthly payment at $78.
Step 2: Compare Deductibles
Next, compare each program's deductibles. This is your out-of-pocket cost if you have a medical incident which is called the Initial Unsharable Amount (IUA) per incident. In other words, if you have a medical need, you can not submit the bills, unless it is over the IUA amount. If is is over the IUA, that means the entire bill will be covered (up to their max), but if is is not over the IUA, you pay for the bill.
Christian Healthcare Ministries' Gold Level has the lowest IUA at $500 and Samaritan Ministries has the next lowest IUA per incident at $1,500.
What do all these IUA's really mean for your budget? You will also pay for everyday healthcare costs (primary doctor, annual exam, sick visits, dental, vision, etc.) as they normally do not go over $500, $1,500, $2,500, or $5,000.
Tip! Start an automatic savings of $100 or $200 per month to cover your everyday healthcare. This should be included in your healthcare budget line.
Step 3: Compare Total Annual Cost
Add the annual payment to the everyday healthcare savings (such as $1,000 per year) and you have a pretty good estimate of your total annual cost.
Step 4: Make the Choice
Here is an example of how someone might walk through making the choice:
Questions to Consider*
*Please note that this is not financial advice, but just some questions to consider.
Free or Reduced Insurance
If your household is low-income, you could qualify for Medicaid. Also, right now you could qualify for insurance subsidy from the govenment (especially if you don't have any) and get health insurance for free or reduced.
What Health Sharing Is!
A Health Sharing program covers expensive medical incidents over a certain amount such as $500, $1,500, $2,500, or $5,000. Any medical incident that is below the IUA, is not shareable. So, health sharing programs can help with expensive medical needs and catastrophic medical needs. They are a non-profit organization, not insurance.
What Health Sharing Is Not!
Health sharing is not an everyday health care help. Anything under $500 (or higher IUA depending on the program) will come out of your health care budget in addition to the monthly payment. That's why it's important to set-up an automatic savings account for everyday health care needs such as:
Everyday Health Care Insurance Idea
Above, I recommended saving your own money for everyday healthcare. Why? Because the money you don't use is still yours. You haven't paid it out to a company. Money that isn't used in one year, will grow. Here is an example of what could happen in your everyday healthcare savings account:
If you prefer to have everyday health care covered instead of saving your own money, you might consider looking at Side Car Health. Here's the quote I recieved:
Sidecar Health Pro's
Sidecar Health Con's
Read their program carefully, as they work differently then insurance and health sharing plans.
*For example, if you go to the doctor and he charges you $800 for an echocardiogram, but the national average is $200, you will need to pay $600 (even though you have a $0 deductible).
**not sure if vision and dental are included
Choosing your healthcare plan is not that complicated with these 3 simple steps.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.