The American health care system is in need of some serious care of its own.
According to the documentary Escape Fire, the United States is spending almost twice as much as any other country on health care, but our life span is 50th in the world!
In our current system, doctors are paid by the number of procedures completed, not by whether their patients get better.
Doctors are financially penalized for trying to find ways to help their patients live better lives through prevention, diet and exercise. Instead, they get paid for the number of interventions done, so they prescribe medication and procedures.
Some welcome Obamacare and admit that though it isn't a perfect solution to the United States' health care crisis, it is a step in the right direction.
Others look at Obamacare and see more governmental bureaucracy. Their fears are that the health care system will become more dysfunctional as government steps further into it.
A select group of people are choosing to sidestep insurance all together and instead rely on others to help them with their medical needs. These people use Christian-based health programs.
What Are Christian-Based Health Programs
Christian-based health programs like Medi-Share are, first and foremost, not insurance companies. Instead, they are a group of individuals who essentially pledge to take care of one another's medical needs.
So, for instance, you're family is given a set amount that you must pay each month. When your payment is due, you'll be given the name of an individual within your group who has recently had a medical procedure and now has bills to pay. You send your monthly payment online to help pay for that individual's medical bills. You're also welcome to send him your thoughts and your prayers.
Just like insurance, when you need to see a doctor or have a procedure done, there is a list of in-network providers to choose from who offer a discount on their services.
Benefits Of Christian-Based Health Programs Over Traditional Insurance
Traditional insurance offers very little in incentives to take care of your health. In fact, Escape Fire puts it simply, “We're in the grip of a very big industry, and it doesn't want to stop making money.”
Preventative care would reduce the number of procedures and the medication needed, which would cause the industry to lose money. That's one reason why prevention is not encouraged in traditional medicine.
However, in Christian-based health programs, the members want to be good stewards of their money. One essential way to do that is to be in good health. Not only do people who apply have to be Christians, but they also have to agree to a set of standards, such as avoiding tobacco and drugs as well as premarital sex.
Furthermore, Medi-share, one of the leading Christian-based health programs, offers up to a 20% discount on monthly payments to members who meet certain health benchmarks such as having a BMI between 17 and 30 and having a waist measurement of less than 38 inches for men and 35 inches for women. If you do not currently meet these requirements, Medi-share offers a Restore program that can help you change your habits so you will be able to meet the requirements and receive the discount.
A Way Out Of Obamacare
Finally, now that Obamacare is starting to go into effect, it's important to know that being a member of a group like Medi-Share exempts you from the Obamacare mandate that you must purchase insurance or face a fine.
Medi-Share's website states:
“The new law contains a special provision for members of Healthcare Sharing Ministries, making Medi-Share members exempt from the mandate to purchase insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties.”
Of course, you'll need to decide this yourself through your own research. For those who don't want government interference in their health care and who don't want their insurance dollars to pay for things like birth control and abortions, Medi-Share might be right for you.
For others who want to be rewarded for good health and manage their health care costs, Medi-Share might be a good option.
Have you used a Christian-based health program? If so, what has been your experience?