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Medical Cost Sharing: A Viable Alternative to Traditional Healthcare

With the rising costs of health insurance, people are looking for alternatives. Nobody wants to pay more for less, yet that is what is happening in the insurance market today: Coverage is going down as cost is going up. Unity HealthShare’s medical cost sharing plans provide affordable and effective alternatives for those who believe in individual responsibility, healthy living, and caring for one another.

Unity HealthShare and traditional insurance are not the same

Unity HealthShare is a health care sharing ministry and not traditional health insurance. With traditional health insurance, members are charged for co-pays and deductibles and patient responsibility amounts besides the premiums that are sent into the insurance agency. Those who strive to take care of their bodies end up paying to cover those who don’t.

Traditional Health Insurance
  • Premiums
    Every month, members pay a fee to insurance companies for coverage.
  • Deductibles
    Before the insurance pays any bills, the deductible must be met. Once it’s met, only a percentage of each bill is covered until the member reaches the maximum out-of-pocket. Some insurances have a separate prescription deductible.
  • Co-pays
    Every time a member goes to the doctor, lab, or hospital or picks up a prescription, he or she must pay a co-pay that does not go towards the deductible.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket
    All expenses except for co-pays add together to reach the maximum out-of-pocket. Once it is reached, the insurance covers 100%.
Unity HealthShare – HCSM
  • Contributions
    Every month, members send their contributions (premiums) to Unity HealthShare where they’re deposited into the members’ “shareboxes,” awaiting dispersal to a member’s medical bills.
  • Member Shared Responsibility Amount (MSRA)
    Similar to a deductible in that it is a set amount that must be met before the insurance covers the bills, once the MSRA is met, the money from members’ shareboxes is used to cover eligible medical expenses.
  • Co-expenses
    Every time a member goes to the doctor, lab, or hospital, a co-expense is paid. Unlike insurance, the co-expense is added to the MSRA for the year.
  • Telemedicine
    Helping members eliminate expenses, individuals can “see” a U.S. board-certified doctor over the phone or via video chat at no expense. These doctors can make diagnoses, write prescriptions, and make referrals.

In addition to eliminating hidden costs, health care sharing ministries encourage a healthier lifestyle by requiring members to sign agreements stating they will abstain from drinking, smoking, drugs, and behavior that will cause harm to themselves. This healthier lifestyle translates into lower premiums and lower medical costs for the membership as a whole. Because of the higher MSRAs, members pay lower premiums. Members can then set aside the savings to help cover the higher MSRA.

Unity HealthShare embraces individual responsibility and caring for one another

Unity HealthShare is a health care sharing ministry and bases its principles of health care upon sharing one another’s burdens. With most medical cost sharing plans, individuals come together around a common religious or ethical belief, or both. Members must sign a statement of faith in order to join a health care sharing ministry.

As a faith-based ministry, Unity HealthShare plans are exempt from the individual responsibility requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that those who have a health care sharing plan can fill out an ACA exemption form and not be fined. Unity HealthShare’s plans do meet the minimum requirements outlined under the ACA, though.


How a medical cost sharing plan works

Unity HealthShare’s medical cost sharing plans are quite simple, with only six steps involved.

1

Member ContributionYou send your contribution to Unity

Everyone’s monthly “share” is placed in their “Sharefile“ until it is matched to another member’s eligible bills.

2

ActivateActivate Your Membership

Activate your membership through our partners website at www.alierahelthcare.com/activate

3

Visit Network DoctorCall the concierge line for appointments

Show your member ID when you experience medical costs. Your doctor should recognize the network.

4

Doctor Submits BillYour doctor sends the bill to Unity

Your doctor sends bills electronically to Unity HealthShare℠ or the TPA for Unity. Unity performs an analysis and pays a reasonable amount.

5

We Share BillEveryone shares in the cost

Members contribute from their “Sharefile“ to your secure online Sharefile account.

6

Payments To DoctorsDoctors and Hospitals are Paid

Unity HealthShare℠ pays the shareable amount of medical bills to your healthcare providers, but it will not pay inflated rates.

Quality healthcare can be found for those who want to embrace a healthy lifestyle. No longer does quality have to be sacrificed because of cost. With Unity HealthShare, there is a viable alternative to traditional healthcare.