Like many small business owners, I have been faced with incredibly daunting increases in our family's medical insurance premiums. However, as the open enrollment clock ticks, there is a solution that might be of interest.
As you know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stipulates penalties for folks who do not have insurance. This is intended to ensure that everyone, even those who are healthier, has insurance so that the system operates at a healthy, sustainable financial level.
One exception to typical insurance is a medical cost-sharing plan through one of the many religious groups that offer this. Because my family values its involvement in one of our town's churches, we learned more about this option and found a plan that seems to fit very well.
The current premium for our family of 6 is $1,562/month. If we choose to stay with this insurance for 2017, our new premium will be over $1,700/month, or $1,600 with an even higher deductible. This seems to be a common trend.
Instead, we have decided to go with an organization called Medi-Share,
"a healthcare sharing ministry where members share each other's medical expenses." Medi-Share comprises over 214,000 families and has been around since 1993 (the same year that our company was founded). It has shared over $1.4 billion in medical expenses since its founding, and the most significant benefit is a greatly reduced premium, which makes this healthcare sharing affordable. With this plan, using a similar $5,000 annual deductible, our family's monthly "premium" (contribution) will be only $387/month, or a savings of around $16,000 per year! This rate is for my family of 6 and I'm in my early 50s. See the premium and monthly share chart below. The Annual Household Portion is your deductible, followed by standard monthly share or the healthy monthly share which is determined on Health Incentive standards.
While this is not conventional insurance, it is important to consider the benefits and stipulations of such a model.
If you think this insurance option may be appropriate and meaningful for you, I encourage you to learn more. Visit www.medi-share.org to research, see rates and/or sign-up or call me at (203) 938-3000 if you have any questions.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!