Recently, I received a call from someone who had enrolled in a healthshare ministry plan for which he paid a monthly “contribution”. This is not the same as a monthly premium you pay to a health insurance company. Healthshare Ministries DO NOT provide health insurance although their members may mistakenly think they ARE getting health insurance for less money than if they enrolled in “OBAMACARE” or even through a group employer plan.
HealthShare ministries are an organized group of like-minded individuals who each pay a specified monthly “contribution” which is pooled to provide pay-outs in the form of reimbursements to members for healthcare expenses. Members may believe they are actually signing up for health insurance because these plans are fully underwritten - meaning members are qualified based on their health status, height and weight, tobacco use and often lifestyle choices. If they are not deemed healthy enough, they may be denied “membership”.
It is imperative that Health Share Ministry members be aware that paying a monthly “contribution” doesn’t guarantee reimbursement for medical expenses, as is the case with this member. Although he’d dutifully paid contributions for more than two years everything seemed fine until it wasn’t!. Thankfully, a sudden cardiac event was resolved with angioplasty and a stent. Although he had no previous diagnosis nor treatment for a heart condition, he received a termination letter citing a pre-existing condition. Despite numerous attempts to engage with the Health Share ministry, his calls weren’t returned and they refused to identify what his “pre'-existing” condition was. They even went so far as to allege he’d been fraudulent in his application despite the fact that they had reviewed his medical records and he’d even sent them LifeScreen reports. At the time of his application, they reviewed these documents and accepted him as a member, banking his contributions for 2 plus years! Yet, when he really needed them, they made allegations they refused to substantiate and wouldn’t reimburse any of his expenses. Leaving him to face thousands of dollars in unreimbursed medical expenses. How very Christian indeed!
Regrettably, he is no longer eligible for any Short Term or Hospital Indemnity plans he may have previously qualified for because he now has a disqualifying pre-existing condition. Since we are currently outside of the Open Enrollment period for Obamacare and he doesn’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, his earliest opportunity to receive comprehensive health insurance coverage will be January 1st.
At Insurance Solutions Plus, we strive to ensure our clients are matched with the most comprehensive health plans to meet their individual needs and budget. For a free consultation, call or text 314-518-8266 or email ask@InsuranceSP.com