Are Health Share Plans Good?

Are Health Share Plans Good?

Are health share plans good? They are only as good as the companies and laws that back them up. Unfortunately, over the last several years there have been a growing number of lawsuits against various health share companies. To be fair, anyone can file a lawsuit against any company; however the lawsuits against health share companies often have some commonalities. The most common complaint found in these lawsuits is the accusation of unfair plans being sold in a deceptive manner. Before we go further, its important to understand what a health share is and how it’s different from health insurance.

What is a Health Share Plan?

A health share plan is a health care policy that helps pay for the cost of health care out of the pool of funds from the plans members. Medical claims are submitted to the plan and benefits are paid out according to the coverage terms. Health sharing companies often have some sort of religious affiliation and encourage members to live a healthy lifestyle inline with those religious beliefs. Health share plans often have an impressive coverage structure with an attractive price. The companies claim that the health share plans are a more affordable health care option because of the healthy lifestyle of it’s members.

Health Share vs. Health Insurance

One of the problems with health share plans, is that consumers think of it has health insurance, which it is not. A health share plan does not have to follow health insurance laws and they also don’t have to pay medical claims. Despite the coverages on a plan, the health share company will only pay claims at their discretion and are not required to pay. Health insurance plans and companies are held to a higher standard by having to abide by the State and Federal insurance laws that protect consumers. Under the laws, health insurance plans are also required to pay claims according to the terms of the policy. If for some reason a health insurance company becomes insolvent or doesn’t have enough money to pay claims, they have what is called reinsurance to guarantee the ability to pay medical claims.

Health Share Lawsuits

As affordability has become more of an issue for real health insurance, it’s no wonder why more and more people have searched for lower cost alternatives. Health share companies have been accused of taking advantage of people, using religious affiliations to build trust, and sell a deceptive plan that is essentially junk. In lawsuit after lawsuit, judges are ruling against health companies. There are numerous class action lawsuits that are in progress that Judges are allowing to continue.

In one of the latest rulings, a Judge out of Kentucky ruled against Aliera, Trinity HealthShare, and OneShare Health. In the filing, the claim was that consumers were sold “inherently unfair and deceptive health care plans”. It was reported that these health care sharing ministries, which are supposed to be non-profit, “realized exorbitant profits” all while denying medical claims that members were expecting to be covered.

Even though there have been numerous judgements against healthcare sharing ministries over the last several years, there are many more to come. Currently, there are multiple health share lawsuits pending in federal court against these and other health care sharing ministries.

Should I Buy a Health Share Plan or a Health Insurance Plan?

Even though health share plans from health care sharing ministries look attractive, there is no guarantee they will pay a medical claim; they even say that in their fine print. A lot of these health care sharing ministries have filed for bankruptcy protection, changed names, merged with other companies; just in an effort to continue their deceptive selling practices. A real health insurance policy is the only way to have a health care plan that guarantees to pay claims (according to the coverage terms of course).

If you need or want help exploring your real health insurance options, contact me for a quote. Health insurance can be expensive, but not always; there are often more affordable health insurance options available, you just need to speak with an agent who has access to them.

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