This is another scenario that has puzzled me. I know people complain about insurance not covering treatment X or test Y and the patient needing to do something different due to insurance rules. There is sometimes much gnashing of teeth over it. But I wonder why insurance customers (patients) allow this to continue? Why has the collective of insured patients decided to let the insurance companies be in charge of their health care? Think about it. If you have insurance your healthcare is no longer just between you and your doctors. There’s a private company (and now the government!) in the middle making decisions about your care. There are people who don’t know you and don’t care about you looking at the choices your doctor made and passing judgment on whether that recommended treatment is something they think is worth doing. No matter that YOU want it done, or that your DOCTOR says its the right thing to do, the only decision that matters is that of the insurance company. Why do we allow that???
I think we allow it because we don’t know any other way. We assume that’s the norm, that we’re powerless, and without the insurance company we should surely go bankrupt. We have been convinced that these faceless boards of people know better than we do and we should just accept what they say. As a result we have turned over control to people who are only out to make money off of us. At least until it’s no longer someone else’s problem. We don’t fight it until it becomes personal. Until it’s finally US being told we can’t have that cancer medication, or that procedure, or that test unless we pay for it on our own.
I read a post on the healthcare.gov facebook page a few days ago of a very angry patient who had her medications changed by her insurance company. She noticed that her prescription had been cut in half for the same time period. When she called about it, she was told that her insurance provider (its their governing medical board) didn’t think she should be taking that level of medication at her age. She checked with her doctor and he had not changed the script, but it was done by the insurance company. Not surprisingly, she is very angry and instantly had her eyes opened that her medical care is not just between her and her doctor. She was appalled that a bunch of people she doesn’t know and who don’t know her personal medical history had the power to change her medications without her doctor’s approval. I get the impression she had previously been a champion of the ACA but now was speaking out loudly against the intrusion into her medical care. That story is quite scary to me. When did we give up such power over our lives?
I think it’s wrong that we don’t really have a one on one relationship with our doctor. Why does our doctor have to ask permission from anyone but us? ISN’T THAT JUST COMPLETELY WRONG?
I admit, I allowed this way of thinking for our own family for a very long time. I didn’t know there was another option. I assumed we had no other choice between a painfully frustrating insurance company or total ruin. I WAS WRONG.
THERE IS ANOTHER OPTION AND IT’S A GOOD ONE!
Yes, I’m talking about healthcare sharing ministries. I want the word about these ministries to spread far and wide. It’s a shame that more people don’t know about them, but let me tell you, word is spreading. Thanks to the headaches of the ACA word is spreading far and wide about Samaritan Ministries and others, and the membership rates are skyrocketing.
People are realizing that insurance companies have been taking them for a ride. They’re getting scammed and are tired of being tricked into thinking they have coverage they don’t really have. People are hearing about how happy Samaritan members are and they are telling insurance companies to go away.
Consider the stark differences:
|makes your doctor ask permission to treat you||vs||lets every decision be between you and the doctor|
|gives you free checkups (which don’t cost much) but makes you pay thousands on bigger needs before they start paying||vs||lets you cover your own low cost checkups, but only makes you cover $300 of the big scary needs|
|often makes you fight for coverage (based on reviews)||vs||actively looks for ways to help members|
|charge really high monthly premiums||vs||charges much lower monthly shares (ours is less than 1/2 the insurance rate)|
|has very high deductibles||vs||has a low $300 member responsibility per need, can be reduced to $0|
|never covers alternative treatments||vs||does share in some alternative treatments|
|offers no help for uncovered expenses||vs||offers help for non-shareable expenses through Special Prayer Needs|
|offers no prayer support||vs||offers full prayer support from members and staff|
|covers abortions||vs||no sharing of any abortion costs|
Are there reasons people would stick with insurance? Sure. They may have a pre-existing condition that is currently being treated and very expensive and insurance is paying some of that bill. Ministries have different ways for handling pre-existing conditions and those options may not be a good fit for some. Some people may not be able to adhere to the ministry’s Christian and lifestyle guidelines (attend church, no drug/alcohol abuse, no coverage for promiscuity, no smoking, etc). Some people may have employer health insurance that is largely paid for by the company and there’s no financial motivation to look for anything else.
Maybe a healthcare sharing ministry isn’t a good fit for you. But look anyway. At least consider it and do your own comparisons and run your own financial numbers. Thousands and thousands of people are realizing this is a much better path for their family. It’s logical, it puts members back in CONTROL of their own healthcare, and they’re saving money at the same time. For many people the scales have tipped so far away from insurance yet they don’t even know it, or they know it but don’t know what to do about it. The ACA was supposed to be the answer for everything, but instead it has caused mass confusion, expense and heartache. Look at the healthcare sharing ministries. They’re stable, they’ve been around for 30+ years, and they want to help you. Insurance companies want to make money. Helping is not their goal. Most ministries have a foundation in Christ and actually want to help. Samaritan Ministries is there and will answer the phone. They will pray with you, hear you, and want to help you. Give them a call and see if they’d be a great fit for your family. They sure are a great fit for ours. 🙂