health insurance problems

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WalnutCrest

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So, I'm telling my FIL about the gigantic bump in the health insurance premiums my wife and I are facing (915 / mo increasing to 1607 / mo, with an 8000 deductible).

He suggests I look into one of the ministry / cost-share programs called SamaritanMinistries.org -- apparently they have 60,000+ members and paid out over $20 million of health care services last year ... average monthly cost for a family of four is $495 / mo.

Have any of you looked into an alternative to traditional health insurance like this? Any stories (good or bad) to report?

Thanks.
 

TexasBred

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I know nothing about them personally but have heard some people who were involved in similar cost sharing programs like this and they had very good results. Worth checking into....then check into the administrators of the program and try to get some feedback from those that have been in the program a few years. Best wishes.
 

Dave

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My wife is on Samaritan Ministry. If memory serves me correctly it cost about $200 (plus or minus $20) a month with a $3,000 deductible. It doesn't cover the small stuff but will take care of major medical expenses. She had it before we met and is happy with it.
 

farmerjan

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There's another thread on here, "truly affordable health care" that this same subject was discussed. If you do the internet search, look for health share plans. There are several; samaritan ministries, medi-share, and another; I think it's Liberty. They are not quite as tight about being regular church going, and I have talked to them. They have some requirements, but were very informative. I am 63, and it would run me about $180. a month. I have no real health problems, like diabetes or high blood pressure, but am overweight according to their guidelines. So I would have to have a health coach consultations which would up my monthly costs to about $260 a month. Still alot cheaper than regular insurance. Hopefully that has a chance of changing with Trump, but he will be fighting a spineless congress even if they are a republican majority..
On the search options, there is also some info about making these health cost share programs eligible for health savings accounts. Luckily Trump also believes in health saving accounts, so maybe in the next few years we might even get somewhere. I am still covered at work, but with a $6000 deductible, I may as well just not have it as I have never met the deductible. And I am on the edge of losing my full time status so might not be covered in a few months.
 

farmerjan

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Dave":7ebsc7ot said:
My wife is on Samaritan Ministry. If memory serves me correctly it cost about $200 (plus or minus $20) a month with a $3,000 deductible. It doesn't cover the small stuff but will take care of major medical expenses. She had it before we met and is happy with it.

Can you share some more information from your wife on her share plan? Not necessarily personal details, but more indepth of what they are like, do they pay in a timely manner, how they are to submit things for payment, all that sort of stuff? I am also looking at a share group and really want to hear about peoples real life experiences with them. Thanks very much.
 

Dave

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farmerjan":hy393bc8 said:
Dave":hy393bc8 said:
My wife is on Samaritan Ministry. If memory serves me correctly it cost about $200 (plus or minus $20) a month with a $3,000 deductible. It doesn't cover the small stuff but will take care of major medical expenses. She had it before we met and is happy with it.

Can you share some more information from your wife on her share plan? Not necessarily personal details, but more indepth of what they are like, do they pay in a timely manner, how they are to submit things for payment, all that sort of stuff? I am also looking at a share group and really want to hear about peoples real life experiences with them. Thanks very much.

I can't tell you much about it. We have only been married a little over a year. She had it before we were married. I don't know that she has ever had a claim, or at least none that I know of. She gets a bill once a month. She doesn't make the check out to Samaritan Ministries. They give her the name of someone to make the check out to. I assumed it was a person with a claim. I know from conversation that it is a Christian organization and that they don't take just anyone. You have to have a letter from a pastor testifying that you are a Christian. That is about the extent of my knowledge.
 

crop/hail

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WalnutCrest":1mipltp4 said:
So, I'm telling my FIL about the gigantic bump in the health insurance premiums my wife and I are facing (915 / mo increasing to 1607 / mo, with an 8000 deductible).

He suggests I look into one of the ministry / cost-share programs called SamaritanMinistries.org -- apparently they have 60,000+ members and paid out over $20 million of health care services last year ... average monthly cost for a family of four is $495 / mo.

Have any of you looked into an alternative to traditional health insurance like this? Any stories (good or bad) to report?

Thanks.


This is almost an identical situation that has occurred at my household. Our premiums went from around 750 to 915 per month, with 7500 per person deductibles :bang: We looked into a healthshare program but according to them I am too fat and out of shape. I don't really think so but my height and weight doesn't meet their requirements. I am perfectly healthy have no preexisting conditions and am very active. I ended up getting a better deal through the open enrolment deal but I am hopeful that the new electorate will fix a lot of this mess. the current system is not worth a damn for middle class families
 

boondocks

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I don't have a problem with the healthshare programs but don't think they should be limited to religious groups (or any certain religion). If a group of like-minded people want to essentially self-insure as a group, then it shouldn't matter whether they believe in G-d, Krishna, the flying spaghetti monster, or the "church of baseball." (My understanding, and I'm sure someone will correct me if it's wrong, is that the only healthshare programs allowed are religious ones that existed as of a certain date, many years' back. 1999?)

I think the requirements that people in the program take care of themselves (don't smoke, healthy weight etc) are very interesting. This is something that private health plans (employer-provided insurance, eg) would love to be able to do but are pretty constrained from doing. By siphoning off healthy people with no serious health problems, these plans can offer lower premiums. I think this is where we are heading nationally--either force people to take better care of themselves if they want insurance, or else just have a system where no one is guaranteed any type of care, even at the ER....
 

slick4591

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We looked into the Christian coast sharing program and found that I didn't qualify as I'm not attending a church at the moment. I certainly don't begrudge the program as their philosophy is on based Christian teachings where Christians share burdens based in the Book of Acts. If you don't believe then I don't think you should participate.

We didn't buy insurance in 2016 and saved over 4k (including fine) by not doing so. We just paid the cash price for everything as we went along. We did decide to buy it for 2017 and signed up this morning with Molina on their Silver plan. Not a great one, but I think it's something we can live with.
 

callmefence

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boondocks":v39xu015 said:
I don't have a problem with the healthshare programs but don't think they should be limited to religious groups (or any certain religion). If a group of like-minded people want to essentially self-insure as a group, then it shouldn't matter whether they believe in G-d, Krishna, the flying spaghetti monster, or the "church of baseball." (My understanding, and I'm sure someone will correct me if it's wrong, is that the only healthshare programs allowed are religious ones that existed as of a certain date, many years' back. 1999?)

I think the requirements that people in the program take care of themselves (don't smoke, healthy weight etc) are very interesting. This is something that private health plans (employer-provided insurance, eg) would love to be able to do but are pretty constrained from doing. By siphoning off healthy people with no serious health problems, these plans can offer lower premiums. I think this is where we are heading nationally--either force people to take better care of themselves if they want insurance, or else just have a system where no one is guaranteed any type of care, even at the ER....


I believe a group of like minded people should be able to form a group based on religion, race , or whatever they please. And use their buying power however they please.
My bcbs went from 950.00 a month to 1400.00
This year. I have always been self employed and remember the pride I had the day I was able to afford good insurance for my family.
The present establishment has completely destroyed that. Hopefully the new will dismantle the Dumbass mess we've ended up with.
 

farmerjan

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slick4591":1euju7y6 said:
We looked into the Christian coast sharing program and found that I didn't qualify as I'm not attending a church at the moment. I certainly don't begrudge the program as their philosophy is on based Christian teachings where Christians share burdens based in the Book of Acts. If you don't believe then I don't think you should participate.

We didn't buy insurance in 2016 and saved over 4k (including fine) by not doing so. We just paid the cash price for everything as we went along. We did decide to buy it for 2017 and signed up this morning with Molina on their Silver plan. Not a great one, but I think it's something we can live with.

Liberty health share group does not require you to be a member of a certain church but does ask that you believe in basic christian principles. There is a site that is medicalhealthcare sharing that does a comparison of all the health share groups, and Liberty by far allows more than the others. They also will allow for alternative treatments.
Hope that you do okay with the one you picked. Since I never meet the deductible, I am paying as I go too even with the coverage at work. If I lose it, and wind up losing full time status, then I will go to Liberty even with the extra cost of being overweight for what the charts say.
 

True Grit Farms

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melking":2fxqqw1u said:
At the risk of offending some on here...
Top 3 most evil professions in the world.
Banker
Lawyer
Insurance Company

Very true Mel.
Banker - Stockbroker
Lawyer - Politician
Insurance Company - Union

All one in the same.
 

slick4591

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farmerjan":18wg50f0 said:
Liberty health share group does not require you to be a member of a certain church but does ask that you believe in basic christian principles. There is a site that is medicalhealthcare sharing that does a comparison of all the health share groups, and Liberty by far allows more than the others. They also will allow for alternative treatments.
Hope that you do okay with the one you picked. Since I never meet the deductible, I am paying as I go too even with the coverage at work. If I lose it, and wind up losing full time status, then I will go to Liberty even with the extra cost of being overweight for what the charts say.

Thanks. Liberty never showed on my radar or I would have looked into it. I got so tired of having to think this insurance thing thru that I may have just given up this morning. Glad that part is behind me now, although I still have to find a few new doctors.
 
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WalnutCrest

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I talked to the folks at Samaritan today.

* The first $300 for any treatment are on the family.
* If the family can negotiate a decrease in the amount owing, the first $300 negotiated will -- dollar for dollar -- reduce the amount owing by the family ------ meaning, if the bill is $1000 and you negotiate a cash discount of $200 if its paid in full in three months, then you're only needing to come out of pocket $100 and the other $700 will be from the other Samaritan members.
* Routine visits (mamograms, routine teeth cleaning, colonoscopy, etc) are on each family, unless the routine visit leads to a need for a larger treatment.
* Each 'event' is capped at $250,000 unless you agree to be a part of a second pool that covers single events up to $2 million.
* Mental therapy / addiction treatment isn't covered.
* Chronic ailments (diabetes, etc.) aren't really covered as you can only get up to 120 days of medicine ---- so, if you break your legs and get some pain meds, a 120 day prescription would be included in the event and would be eligible for being included in being covered by the other Samaritan members.

For $495 / mo, I can get that sort of coverage for my family of six.

...that's all I can remember from my call.
 

1982vett

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Existing conditions aren't covered either....
Wife had a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, mammogram and some blood work done.....insurance was billed close to $25,000. So under Samaritan's, these wouldn't have been covered because nothing was treated?

Minimal or catastrophic isn't for a whole lot of us....just saying.
 

boondocks

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WalnutCrest":3rlf89ym said:
I talked to the folks at Samaritan today.

* The first $300 for any treatment are on the family.
* If the family can negotiate a decrease in the amount owing, the first $300 negotiated will -- dollar for dollar -- reduce the amount owing by the family ------ meaning, if the bill is $1000 and you negotiate a cash discount of $200 if its paid in full in three months, then you're only needing to come out of pocket $100 and the other $700 will be from the other Samaritan members.
* Routine visits (mamograms, routine teeth cleaning, colonoscopy, etc) are on each family, unless the routine visit leads to a need for a larger treatment.
* Each 'event' is capped at $250,000 unless you agree to be a part of a second pool that covers single events up to $2 million.
* Mental therapy / addiction treatment isn't covered.
* Chronic ailments (diabetes, etc.) aren't really covered as you can only get up to 120 days of medicine ---- so, if you break your legs and get some pain meds, a 120 day prescription would be included in the event and would be eligible for being included in being covered by the other Samaritan members.

For $495 / mo, I can get that sort of coverage for my family of six.

...that's all I can remember from my call.

That's actually kinda sobering to me. Sounds very risky if you have any assets to protect at all. A bout of cancer or serious accident could wipe a family's assets out. And I would be concerned about the lack of coverage for mental health services. What if someone has an autistic child, for example? Or a daughter develops bulimia? Do they get no help? And several of our board members here can attest that addiction (adult or a child's) can happen in any family.
I've now known several people with Parkinson's in their early 50's. Cancer and MS in their 20's and 30's. Family friend with a severe brain injury due to a hit and run (while she was walking on a sidewalk). Guess they'd quickly be out-of-luck on a program like this?
And how many people on this type of program forego preventative care (mammos, colo etc) due to the 100% out-of-pocket costs?
Just my :2cents:
 
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WalnutCrest

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Yeah, I really don't know.

I'm still trying to figure this out.

I'll encourage everyone hear to NOT take my word for it ... I'm still just sorting things out myself. :)
 

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