One goal Jeremy and I have always had is for me to be home with the children and to be available on the farm. One of the main challenges we faced is paying for health insurance. We are not done having children and I have to have c-sections which only further complicates things. I love the idea of HSA’s, and we had one for 4 years through one small employer I worked for. However, by year 4 it had nearly tripled in cost and I had to fight with them every year about the premium increases. At different times we have considered insurance alternatives: Christian Healthcare Ministries, Samaritan Ministries, and Medi-Share. But something was always available with my jobs. Until now. Yes I have health insurance available. But….it is capped at $2500 per incident including maternity. On top of that the premiums are over $3700 per year and it is a 60/40 plan. A few weeks ago I received a letter saying, that while this does not meet federal mandates, they received a waiver. I felt like we were in a very precarious position.
So I spent hours finding more information about the Christian sharing alternatives. Jeremy did talk to a trusted friend and received health insurance quotes. We can almost afford it if we do not add the maternity rider. But honestly it is more than we pay for rent. We discussed having me on one of the alternatives, and the rest of the family on the other. We have prayed. I have to admit I have been ready to make the change for several weeks and did not see the benefit in having the family on separate plans. Especially in light of the additional monthly costs there would be. All of the Christian sharing plans require you to have regular church attendance if possible and place limitations on things like smoking and drinking. They of course will not provide funds for abortions. Plan members appear to be exempt from the National Healthcare plan. While the plans are similar, there are some significant differences in the 3 main Christian Sharing Plans.
Samaritan Ministries appears to be the most economical. However, you send your monthly share directly to those in need, and on months you need help, you are at the mercy of those who have received your name on their list. While it appears to be a reliable system, we did not feel comfortable with this.
Christian Healthcare Ministries has a central office which takes in and sends out monthly shares. They do have a limit of $125,000 per incident. However have a Brother’s Keeper program which for approximately $75/quarter more your whole family can be a part of, and receive up to $1,000,000. They are currently giving codes for 2 months free and if you choose their gold plan, they allow pre-existing conditions at a limited benefit.
Medi-Share gave the most expensive quote for our family. Though it appears that with good health, we would receive a discount several months into the program. They have a network of providers you are required to use. Between this and a required savings account of some sort at their bank provider turned us off of Medi-Share.
All this said and done we have signed up with Christian Healthcare Ministries. We are relatively healthy and
avoid going to the doctor if possible. I do attempt to take the kids to well child visits, though we may be backing that off. We get vaccinations at our courthouse for free. We pay the first $500 for any incident, and any discounts we negotiate are included in that, and they will pay the rest. I am very excited about the program and feel it will help our faith grow as we help others with their medical bills!
I encourage anyone who is unhappy with insurance to look at these plans. Find the one that fits your family. Don’t forget to check places like the Better Business Bureau, they are all rated there. I believe all three plans offer discounts for referrals and I would be happy to share my number with you!
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