Christian Health Insurance Alternatives for Pastors
How one pastor saved $7,000 per year on his personal monthly costs, lowered his family out of pocket exposure and sleeps better at night knowing his money is not going towards funding medical procedures he does not morally support.
Singular Focused: One-Percenter
Dave Thornhill is the Senior Pastor of Westside Church in Indianapolis, IN. Westside is a thriving church with a sharp focus on being a “one-percenter.” In Dave’s words, “most churches are dying a slow death, in fact, 80% are declining and only 20% are growing. However, of the 20% growing, only 1% is growing by way of reaching the unchurched. Our goal is to stay hyper-focused on reaching the un-churched and remain a one-percenter.” So, as you can imagine as a leader of a large church community the last thing Dave wants to be distracted by is the nuisance and headaches associated with traditional health insurance plans.
Spending $12,000 to receive $500 in benefits sure seems like a bad deal
In 2016, Dave was fed up with paying over $1,000 per month for his BCBS health insurance plan for his family of five. Fortunately, Dave’s family is blessed with excellent health. In fact, Dave typically runs in several marathon races per year and often his wife and kids will join him as participants in those races. They are an extremely athletic family, and as a result, they almost never reach their annual deductible.
They primarily just use their health insurance plan for preventive care purposes. As Dave said, “It seemed crazy to me that I was spending over $12,000 per year to receive maybe $500 in preventive care benefits. I’m no financial wizard but that sure seems like a bad trade to me.”
Expertise in both ACA plans and Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans
Dave reached out to Remodel Health to find some relief from his health insurance pain. Remodel Health specializes in helping churches and pastors solve health insurance headaches. What is unique about our solutions is that we are experts in both Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans and Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans. Often, we analyze a family’s unique situation and determine specific medical needs for each family member.
For example, the Dad has significant pre-existing conditions and he is better served with an ACA plan that covers all his pre-existing conditions from day one, while the Mom and kids are all healthy and they can save over 50% on their monthly cost by switching to a Health Care Sharing Plan. In addition, we offer a thorough comparative analysis of all five Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans to determine which is the best fit.
What are Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans?
Faith-based health plans are 501(c)(3) nonprofit charities with a religiously-oriented purpose and serve as alternatives to health insurance. These plans are often referred to as “health sharing ministries” or “healthcare sharing ministries.” Unlike traditional health insurance, these plans do not “insure” people but rather “share” healthcare costs among a large pool of people. It is not insurance, not regulated by the Department of Insurance and there are no guarantees. It is a group of common faith-based believers sharing medical bills with one another. The five main players
The five main players are Medi-Share, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Liberty, Samaritan, and Altrua. All five of these are exempt from the ACA tax penalty. In other words, if you are a member then you are exempt from paying the ACA tax penalty. Some of these programs are over 300,000 members strong and have been in existence since 1981. Some include PPO networks as well as automated systems so that all the member bill sharing happens seamlessly with no member hassles. For all practical purposes, they look and feel just like real health insurance plans even though they are not.
Why Pastor Dave chose Medi-Share
After careful analysis of all the Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans, Dave and his family chose Medi-Share. They reduced their monthly cost from $1,000 per month to $338 per month saving over $600 per month and $7,200 per year. In addition, he lowered his family’s annual out of pocket exposure from $12,000 per year to $5,000 per year.
Why Medi-Share is a Triple Win
For Christians who feel strongly about Pro-Life, they can feel good about the fact that none of their dollars will be used for funding abortion. According to Pastor Dave, “Medi-Share is a triple win, we win by saving $600 per month, we win with lower out of pocket exposure and we win by knowing our money is not being spent on funding abortions.”
Is Faith Based Health Insurance right for you?
The current state of the Affordable Care Act marketplace is not very strong in many states. Many of the major carriers are pulling out of the market, many are narrowing their PPO networks and many are taking 20-50% rate increases. Maybe it is time to seriously consider a Christian Health Insurance Alternative like Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans. If you would like to learn more about sharing ministries, email us at [email protected]