According to a recent article published by U.S. News and World Report, faith-based healthshare plans are exploding in popularity. With around 200,000 people enrolled at the time the Affordable Care Act (the ACA, or Obamacare) was enacted in 2014, the number of people choosing this strategy as a way to cover healthcare costs was pretty small. But if you had bet that the advent of supposedly “AFFORDable” healthcare coverage would have sent those people running in droves for ACA coverage, you’d be wrong.
The numbers of people covered by these plans since 2014 has nearly tripled, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. The most recent Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for health insurance, which winds down on January 31, has actually sent more people looking for alternative ways to cover their families without being on the wrong side of the individual mandate – that’s the law that says you have to pay a penalty if you don’t have an ACA-compliant health insurance plan. The ACA has resulted in premiums that are out of reach for many families, topping $2,000 in many cases.
Faith-based healthcare sharing plans started as a way for churches and other groups of a religious nature to band together to help each other pay their medical bills. When the ACA was passed, several of these groups voiced concerns that some of its mandates went against their beliefs, so these plans were allowed to stay in place. And this coverage strategy has become more and more attractive as ACA plan rates have gone up and up.
Make no mistake – these plans aren’t insurance. And you have to be in relatively good health to qualify for inclusion in the group. But you can sign up at any time – not just during the OEP, and you might find that your monthly costs are substantially lower that what you’d pay for an Obamacare plan.
Interested in learning more? Click here to learn about rates, and the application process. And comment below if you’ve found coverage for your family’s medical expenses with one of these plans.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.