With health insurance premiums continuing to rise every year – in some areas, compounding at double-digit rates – more and more consumers are questioning whether it’s even worthwhile to have health insurance at all. Especially now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has repealed the Individual Mandate (effective in 2019) that would have applied a tax penalty for those who decline to enroll in health insurance through an individual exchange.
At the same time, though, rising health insurance premiums have also increased the popularity of alternatives to traditional health insurance, including so-called healthcare sharing programs. Typically organized under ministries or other religious organizations, healthcare sharing programs operate outside of traditional health insurance, and in some cases may be more restrictive with their benefits… but are also operating at a cost that is substantially less than traditional health insurance.
In this guest post, Jake Thorkildsen – a financial advisor who has helped clients make decisions about traditional health insurance versus healthcare sharing programs, and has actually pursued a healthcare sharing program for his own family – provides an in-depth explanation of what healthcare sharing programs here, a review of the most popular healthcare sharing programs and ministries, why healthcare sharing programs are not for everyone, and the kinds of situations where they might at least be considered.
So whether you’re simply curious to better understand an increasingly popular alternative to traditional health insurance – now covering more than 1,000,000 people – or are actually trying to evaluate and compare programs for a particular client situation, I hope this comparison and review of the various healthcare sharing programs is helpful!