Here Are 13 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Healthshare
The number of people using healthshare programs to cover their families' medical expenses rose to more than 1.5 million in 2020. If you’re thinking about joining a healthcare sharing ministry, you may be wondering if it will meet your personal and medical requirements.
Before joining a healthsharing ministry such as Liberty HealthShare, here are some of the most important questions to ask.
How Long Has the Healthshare Been in Business?
It is essential to know the longevity of the healthshare to determine if it has the right programs for you or meets your needs. According to the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, there are more than 100 healthshares, but only 9 of those have large, open memberships.
A healthshare may or may not be suited for you, depending on your specific healthcare needs. Liberty HealthShare was established in 1995.
How Fast Does the Healthshare Pay Medical Expenses?
The amount of time it takes for a healthshare to process medical expenses varies widely. And, as they are not insurance, healthshare ministries are not legally allowed to provide individual sharing timelines.
Knowing how long you may anticipate your medical costs to be covered or reimbursed by your healthshare is critical. Upon receipt of all itemized invoices or receipts from a member or healthcare provider, the turnaround time begins.
Payments are made in 120 days or less by Liberty HealthShare.
How Much is the Out-of-Pocket Cost for Certain Expenses?
You'll often hear the phrase “out-of-pocket expenditures” while searching for a healthshare program. Similar to insurance, these are costs that you are responsible for paying out of your own pocket.
Some have annual “unsharable expense” amounts that can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000. Others have per-incident “personal expenses” of $200 to $500 before expenses are eligible for sharing. Some have both. Additionally, expenses for some treatments are not sharable at all with some healthshares.
It's important to look at the types of healthcare services you and your family utilize and consider how much of their costs will be “out of pocket” for you.
Are Wellness Visits Covered?
Routine checkups such as vaccines and pap testing should be inquired about. You'll need to determine whether you're eligible for a wellness visit to get the most advantage from your program. With Liberty HealthShare, annual wellness visits, many preventative screenings, and well-baby visits are all eligible for sharing.
How Many Members Does It Have?
It is also essential to ask about the number of members the healthshare has because most are part of a religious organization or are nonprofits. The larger the membership, the more funds are available to share medical expenses.
What Are the Sharing Limits per Incident?
Medical treatment can be expensive, especially for various types of cancer. If you or a family member needs expensive treatment, will the healthshare provide enough share to cover the expenses? Some have limitations per incident or per year. It’s important to ask.
Does it Limit How Many Times You Can See Your Doctor?
When comparing healthshare programs, find out whether there are any restrictions on the kinds of physicians or hospitals you may see and how often you can see each one. Some don’t allow sharing expenses for visits to the doctor and require members to use telehealth services instead.
Is There a Maximum Share Available for Maternity Care?
Pregnancy-sharing limits vary per program during the first year of membership. Every year after the second year of membership, there is a maximum sharing restriction for each pregnancy, and you must enquire about this. Some programs don’t share maternity expenses at all.
Can Your Provider Submit Medical Expenses on Your Behalf?
It is also essential to ask if your doctor can submit your medical expenses when choosing a program. Some healthshares require members to pay the provider at the time of service and then be reimbursed for the expense.
Is the Cost of Vaccinations Shareable?
You also need to ask if the program will share into the cost of vaccinations because you never know when you or a family member might need to get vaccinated against an infectious disease.
Are There Limitations to Sharing Pre-Existing Conditions?
If you or a family member suffers from a long-term medical condition, the healthshare program may not share into treatment expenses for months or even years. Some allow you to share a portion of the treatment for a pre-existing condition. Others never allow them to be shared. Ask how long the pre-existing condition is excluded from being shareable.
Do They Require You to Use a Network, or Are You Free to Choose Your Doctor?
Ask if there are limits to choosing your doctor or hospital or if you need to use certain providers within the healthshare’s network. Some programs require you only to use specific providers, which could result in you having to change doctors. Liberty HealthShare does not have a network, freeing its members to use any provider they choose.
Why Should You Choose Liberty HealthShare?
Liberty HealthShare is not health insurance. Participants share the expense of their healthcare with other like-minded community members. For unexpected medical costs, you can rely on Liberty HealthShare.
Contact us to learn more about Liberty HealthShare and see if it has a program that is right for you.