Healthcare Cost Sharing Plans versus Conventional Health Insurance
Understanding the Difference Between Insurance and Cost Sharing Plans
Healthcare is both a confusing and important subject at the same time. Especially when you take into context how confusing your healthcare coverage options can be with the existing healthcare marketplace. There are many people who are afraid of getting needed medical help solely due to fear of cost or loss of income. Now many people are looking for alternatives to traditional health insurance as for many even that has become unaffordable. Healthcare Cost Sharing Plans offer a great alternative to traditional insurance as a low-cost way to guarantee that you can receive quality care when you need it the most. Now you may not know much about healthcare Cost Sharing Plans yet but we are going to go ahead and break them down for you.a
What are Healthcare cost Sharing Plans?
Healthcare Cost Sharing Plans differ from traditional health insurance in a few ways.
First off these are faith based programs. These programs are designed to split up costs among members of the plan and share the cost for eligible medical experiences. Perhaps the single biggest reason most people first become interested in these programs would cost. Compared to unsubsidized coverage which can cost over 1500$ a month for the average family of four in America these plans can save over 1000$ a month while still providing much-neeeded access to healthcare. On top of the lower monthly cost they also typically have lower limits for their out of pocket expenses as well. Overall it should be easy to see why these programs have been growing in popularity especially with people who do not have access to employer provided health care coverage.
How Does Health Insurance Compare?
The terminology differs so technically there are no deductibles or copayment but you will still have monthly and out of pocket expenses with these plans. Now the good news is these expenses are for the most part much lower. Most individuals end up saving money on both their monthly and out of pocket healthcare costs by switching to a health care Cost Sharing plan. Sometimes they can save over 1000$ a month. The biggest limitation for these plans is the comparative lack of coverage when viewed st next to other conventional health care insurance plans. While the majority of medically necessary procedures will be required the faith based nature of these Cost Sharing Plans sets some natural limitations to just how many things can be covered by the Plans. Anything that has been deemed as unbiblical will not be covered by most health care Cost charting plans even though they may be covered by traditional health insurance.
It is important to note that lower costs are great however the coverage available under these plans could potentially be a little less wide than regular insurance. Most medical procedures can be covered under these plans but due to the faith based nature of them oftentimes unbiblical procedures will be denied.
What are the Benefits of a Cost Sharing Plan?
The largest benefit would be the peace of mind you can have knowing that you are covered in case of a medical emergency while also not stretching your budget too far. The low monthly expense could leave you with more room in your budget for other necessities or simply to pad the save mags account. The lower out of pocket costs can help give you peace of mind knowing that even in the worst case scenario you do not have to add a financial catastrophe on top of a medical emergency.
Are there Deductibles in Cost Sharing Plans?
No there are no deductibles involved with health care Cost Sharing Plans. There are however other out of pocket expenses. The terms for these in Cost Sharing Plans are a little different. Instead, there are referred to as personal responsibility, the annual household portion (AHP), or Annual Unshared Amount.
Other terms you should be aware of:
- Premium = monthly “share”
- Claim = eligible event, incident, or illness
- Explanation of Benefits (EoB) = Explanation of Sharing
Out of Pocket Cost Comparison
The costs that you will pay with a health care Sharing plan typically will differ depending on your provider so be sure to take a close look at your explanation of sharing benefits page. This will let you know all of the costs you can expect to pay with your plan. Typically you will have a monthly payment that you pay to maintain your coverage and any individuals on the plan with you. In addition to this monthly payment, you will also most likely have some type of out of pocket cost you must pay before your sharing benefits will kick in. Both of these amounts should be lower than comparable conventional health insurance would be in most cases. These plans are great for people who are struggling to pay for healthcare with conventional coverage but still need to maintain their coverage for health reasons.
Coverage Availability Comparison
The biggest constraint when it comes to recommending a healthcare Cost Sharing plan it would be the coverage options. While there are many plan providers so availability and options may differ in general there are fewer procedures covered and fewer hospitals and doctors in-network. Now, this does not mean you will struggle to find help with medical treatment. In fact, for the most part, major procedures would be covered equally with health care Cost Sharing Plans and conventional insurance. The main exclusion would be procedures that conflict with the nature of these faith based Cost Sharing Plans and are thus considered in biblical.
Things to keep an Eye Out For
Pre existing conditions generally are covered but some exclusions apply so make sure to read the plan print on any plan before pulling the procedure. Any time you are plan shopping and have a particular medical procedure in mind before deciding on a plan make sure to double check that the plan you chose will cover this procedure as an eligible expense. There is no bigger waste of money than if you get the coverage that you cannot even use for what you need it for.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of reasons someone might be interested in the potential benefits of a health care Cost Sharing plan over that of conventional insurance plan providers. The idea that you could lower the burden of your monthly insurance premiums yet still maintain the ability to go to a doctor when you need is a novel concept for many people. The bottom line is simple if you are in need of finding a low cost alternative to conventional health insurance these plans might be a good fit for you. It would be wise to take a little time and do some more research on particular plan options that are available to you and chart a course to make an informed decision. A decision that will benefit you and your family by allowing you to live healthy lives without being overburdened by the cost of health care.