We strongly feel that everybody needs some form of health insurance. We also understand that for many people, especially those who are self-employed, that health insurance is almost impossible to afford. Thankfully, there are other options that can help prevent you from becoming one of the millions of Americans that has to file for bankruptcy due to health care costs. We are big fans of health-sharing programs. They aren’t insurance, but in many ways, they act like health insurance used to work. All members of the plan contribute a monthly amount to pay their “share”. This share gets distributed to those with health care costs. Some programs will help negotiate rates for you. These plans usually cost a third (1/3) of traditional plans. They also tend to be located entirely here in the US and are non-profit organizations. The potential downsides are that in some cases you may be required to pay for services up-front and then submit your bill to the program for direct reimbursement to you. They also typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions initially and charge extra if you have unhealthy, improvable habits (smoking, obesity etc.) Some plans also do not cover things like birth control or certain mental health issues like addiction. Typically, the amount you save is far more than your cost out-of-pocket, but it’s important to evaluate each plan to see what’s right for you.
Direct Primary Care practices are ideal partners for programs like these, as our goal is to keep costs down for you. Each share program determines whether or not our monthly fees can go towards your annual unshared amount (deductible in insurance speak), but even if they don’t, you’ll find your savings are significant.
Below is a list of healthshare programs (This is not a comprehensive list and we do not have a favorite):