The Members Have Spoken

← Back to Blog February 5th, 2015 Tags: member-votesharing-guidelinesaccount-updates


Two provisions were voted on for the 2015 guidelines. What changes to the Sharing Guidelines, if any, are coming?

The annual Liberty HealthShare member vote has been counted. Members were asked to vote on two issues.

The first proposed change was the elimination of the 60-day waiting period for new members. The 60-day waiting period limits eligible expenses to accident only. Full sharing begins for new members on the 61st day of active membership.

The second proposed change was to allow the sharing of treatments and expenses resulting from naturopathic or alternative treatments. The current guidelines do not include naturopathic and/or alternative treatments as an eligible expense to be shared.

The ballot results are as follows:

Should the 60-day wait provision be eliminated?
Yes = 645
No = 278
70% to 30% in favor of change

Shall naturopathic and/or alternative treatments be included as an eligible expense?
Yes = 879
No = 68
93% to 7% in favor of change

A majority vote of the Board of Directors approving these changes will officially change the 2015 sharing guidelines. New sharing guidelines will be posted on LibertyHealthShare.org by February 15, 2015.

Any questions or comments regarding the annual vote or its outcome can be directed to vote@libertyhealthshare.org

You can review the specific ballot initiatives here:

60 DAY WAITING PERIOD

Current Guidelines
The current guidelines limit eligible bills to be shared in the first 60 days of membership in the case of an accident only.

Sharing Guidelines Section C, Paragraph 3
“For sixty (60) days after enrollment and acceptance as a Sharing Member, medical expenses, for any reason, other than an accident, are not eligible for sharing among the members.”

Discussion
The 60-day wait provision was instituted as an ‘honesty buffer’. If someone intended to abuse the Sharing Membership by joining the program to get a secret condition paid for by the members, the 60-day wait would prevent that from happening.

However:
1. Liberty HealthShare has sophisticated technology in place to prevent new members from abusing the system by presenting undisclosed conditions for sharing.
2. The expense prevented by the 60-day wait, historically, has been negligible. If the 60-day wait was not in place this past year, as a membership, we would have shared an additional $5,000. This change to the Guidelines is not predicted to affect our share amount at all.
3. Frequently, the 60-day wait provision is a stumbling block to prospective members. It is often cited as a reason for not joining. Removing it may positively affect our growth.

Question
Shall the 60-Day Wait provision be eliminated?

NATUROPATHIC/ ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

Current Guidelines.
The current guidelines do not include naturopathic and/or alternative treatments as an eligible expense to be shared. The only eligible expenses are charges resulting from treatment by a licensed physician or treatments that are FDA approved. (*Sharing Guidelines Section IV)

Discussion.
Many members have asked for the inclusion of naturopathic treatment because:
1. It enhances freedom of choice and control over our own healthcare.
2. It promotes less costly treatments for diagnosed conditions.
3. It avoids side effects of drugs that may prolong or worsen a medical condition.
4. It will likely reduce costs shared by the members.

A majority vote, with Board of Directors approval, would change the guidelines to read:

"Naturopathic and/or Alternative Treatments.
Treatment provided by a Naturopath or other practitioner of alternative treatments is eligible for sharing if such treatment meets the following criteria:
a. It treats a medically diagnosed condition.
b. It is less invasive than conventional medical treatment for the diagnosed condition.
c. It is less costly than conventional medical treatment and is expected to prevent more costly future conventional treatment.
d. It is presented for prior approval to Liberty HealthShare and the member agrees to any alteration of the treatment plan made by Liberty HealthShare ."

Question
Shall naturopathic and/or alternative treatments be included as an eligible expense?

*PLEASE NOTE: AS THE GUIDELINES UNDERGO REVIEW AND CHANGES FOLLOWING EACH YEAR'S MEMBER VOTE, THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT BE THE MOST CURRENT. BE SURE TO REVIEW THE SHARING GUIDELINES LINKED ON THE LIBERTY HEALTHSHARE WEBPAGE TO OBTAIN THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION.