Okay, okay, hear me out first. I want to start out this Liberty HealthShare review and state that this is not a political post, at all. Seriously. This also isn't a sponsored post or anything like that. This is my Liberty HealthShare review and my research on a health care sharing ministry, as I want to help others find alternative forms of health insurance in case they need it. I did. If you are looking for Liberty Healthshare reviews, then here is my opinion.
I first heard about health sharing ministries about a year ago. I had no idea that they existed, but I thought it was an interesting concept. I didn't look into it any further because I already had health insurance.
Then, in late 2015, I found out that I had no realistic health insurance options. I didn't want to pay the penalty for not having health insurance, and I also didn't want to go uninsured.
See, for full-time RVers, health insurance companies are fairly strict.
Some health insurance companies won't cover you once you travel away from your state. If they do cover you when out-of-state, they usually require that you at least live full-time in your home state. As RVers, while we do have an address, it is technically not where we live full-time, so we did not want to have to deal with a health insurance company possibly voiding a medical expense if they found out that we were trying to get around this loophole.
Plus, the only policy that we qualified for (in our state) had an astonishing deductible of $39,000 for an out-of-state medical expense. And, as full-time RVers, we are excluded from the majority of policies anyways due to the loophole as described above, so that just didn't work for us.
Paying a high monthly health insurance premium that comes with a $39,000 annual deductible, and the fact that any of our claims would probably be voided because we are full-time travelers, made this decision a no-brainer.
We obviously had to find something else.
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So, in January of 2016, we started a membership with Liberty HealthShare. We filled out an application, they approved us, and we even had a medical expense in January that they covered. We NEVER have medical expenses, so it was just a coincidence that we had a claim only six days after we were approved.
And, they covered that claim.
My Liberty Healthshare review:
So, what is a health care sharing ministry?
According to Healthcaresharing.org, “a health care sharing ministry provides a health care cost sharing arrangement among persons of similar and sincerely held beliefs. HCSMs are operated by not-for-profit religious organizations acting as a clearinghouse for those who have medical expenses and those who desire to share the burden of those medical expenses.”
Members of a health sharing ministry pay a monthly share with an agreement to help one another in the risk-pool by covering medical expenses.
The positives of a health care sharing ministry.
The positives of health sharing ministries include:
- Monthly costs that can be much less expensive than traditional health insurance.
- Lower annual deductibles.
- No in-network requirements, so you can go to any doctor, hospital, etc., that you wish.
Also, being a member of Liberty HealthShare exempts you from paying the penalty for not having health insurance.
How much is Liberty HealthShare?
For the both of us, we pay just $249 each month. Yes, altogether! You can see their pricing below:
With this monthly fee, 100% of our eligible medical bills- up to $1,000,000 per incident, are covered, after the $1,000 per couple annual unshared amount (think of this as your annual deductible).
They even have plans for as low as $107 per month.
You can find all of Liberty HealthShare's options here.
The downsides of a health care sharing ministry.
Now, health sharing ministries are definitely not perfect. As with most things, something this good must have negatives.
Liberty HealthShare is not traditional health insurance, which means:
- They are under no requirement to cover your medical expenses.
- You cannot deduct Liberty's monthly costs from your business taxes.
- You cannot contribute to a Health Savings Account.
- Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered until years later.
Health care sharing ministries all have some sort of ethical rules that you must abide by such as no smoking, no drinking, and so on. If you incur a medical expense due to something that is against their policies, there is a chance that they will not cover it.
Lastly, I want to repeat this again, the biggest caveat is that there is no guarantee that a health sharing ministry will pay a medical expense. This is because they are not governed under the same laws as health insurance companies due to the fact that they are not considered health insurance.
Liberty HealthShare review
First of all, leaving traditional health insurance and joining a health sharing ministry was a difficult decision for us. We've always had “normal” health insurance, and we don't know many people who use Liberty.
However, we didn't really have a choice.
We even used an RV health insurance broker to see if they could find us anything, which they couldn't. It was either be completely uninsured or go the health care sharing ministry route.
I will say that I haven't regretted this decision one bit. So far, I have had no problems with Liberty HealthShare. They have covered one wellness visit as well as an ER visit. It was pretty easy in both cases- they just took my Liberty HealthShare card and didn't have any questions. Liberty HealthShare didn't have any questions either.
Liberty HealthShare does have a set of guidelines (which you can find here) that they ask that you follow. But, they accept customers of all faiths, lifestyles, backgrounds, and sexual orientations.
I will make sure to keep this Liberty HealthShare review updated in case anything happens, especially if my opinion were to change in the future.
How did I hear about this health care sharing ministry?
There were two main people who influenced my decision to join Liberty HealthShare. This includes Holly and Choncé. Both of them are Liberty HealthShare members, and here is what they have to say about the company:
We joined Liberty HealthShare in 2014 after seeing our premiums double due to the Affordable Care Act. So far, we have seen tremendous value with our plan, and all for a price that is half of what we would need to pay for health insurance. And, instead of having a $12,000 or $13,000 deductible with Obamacare, we have a $1,500 annual out-of-pocket max. – Holly Johnson at Club Thrifty, Why We’re Joining a Healthcare Sharing Ministry
I've been using Liberty HealthShare for about a year and a half now. At first, I was hesitant to try it, but health insurance premium quotes were very high for me so I knew I didn't have much to lose. Now, I am so happy I gave it a try because I like how I can visit any doctor I want and Liberty has really stepped up to share my medical expenses so I don't have to cover them out of pocket. Last year, I had to have a surgery done which totaled around $13,600. Liberty HealthShare repriced my medical bills to about $3,500 and shared the entire expense. Having surgery is scary enough on its own, but I felt peace-of-mind knowing I wasn't going to be bombarded with tons of unnecessary medical expenses afterward. Liberty HealthShare is still growing and the team is always open to hearing suggestions and trying to improve each member's experience. I like how one team member offered to call a doctor I was interested in seeing to explain to them what a health sharing ministry is and ask if they would accept me as a patient. – Choncé at My Debt Epiphany, Putting My Health First: A Review of Liberty HealthShare
Choncé was also kind enough to share a screenshot of how Liberty HealthShare paid the entire expense of a surgery she had last year.
If you're interested in Liberty HealthShare after reading my Liberty HealthShare review, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can put you in touch with someone at the company. They will explain it further and answer any questions you have. This is not a sponsored post or anything. I just want to help others find other options, when there are no others that make sense.
How much do you pay monthly for health insurance or an alternative? What do you think of health care sharing ministries?
Disclaimer with this Liberty HealthShare review: You should always do your own research when it comes to a big topic such as choosing health care, a health care sharing ministry, and health insurance. This is just my opinion and review of Liberty HealthShare, but you should remember that I am not a health care professional or expert.
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