If you’re like many Americans, your wallet or pants pockets may seem a little lighter than they were a few years ago. Part of the reason for that may be your medical expenses.Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to ease the healthcare cost burden for some, the reality is that many Americans find the cost of health insurance premiums to be prohibitively expensive. Moreover, for those who do bite the bullet and pay high premiums, there is still the matter of deductibles to meet. All this adds up to yet more money out of your pocket.What if there was another way to get help to pay your medical bills? There is!Though they are not a form of health insurance, health share programs are saving thousands of Americans significant money for healthcare costs. You owe it to yourself to explore the differences between traditional health insurance and health share programs to see which option will net your family the most savings over time.Here are just a few differences to consider.Program PricingHealth insurance plans are very expensive and have been increasing in price over the years. In 2019, annual premiums for health insurance for a household with four cost $20,576. Those costs don’t even include the out-of-pocket expenses that health insurance policyholders must pick up on their own.Members of health share ministries, however, can realize significant savings. In fact, many members can save as much as 50 percent compared to traditional health insurance plans, making health share ministries a much more affordable option for many.For-Profit vs. Non-ProfitHealth insurance companies are businesses that charge premiums for their policies in an effort to make money. The monthly premiums that policyholders pay help to drive profits for these firms.On the other hand, health share programs are non-profit organizations that do not collect contributions from members in an effort to profit. Instead, the contributions are collected into the health sharing plan to be used by active members of the plan who require financial assistance for eligible medical care.Families can realize significant savings with health share programs compared to typical insurance policies.RegulationsHealth insurance programs are bound by the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, which dictates that all individuals must be accepted into plans, including those in poor health or those with pre-existing medical conditions. Health share ministries, on the other hand, are not mandated by the ACA. As such, membership eligibility is based only on the standards that the particular ministry outlines.In this way, health share ministry members do not have to pool their contributions in an insurance pool that doesn’t choose its members based on lifestyle or health levels. They, therefore, have the freedom to share the cost of medical care with other like-minded individuals.Health Care Provider OptionsIn an effort to keep costs down, health insurance plans restrict the choice of physicians and hospitals that policyholders can visit. They also place a limit on the types of medications that are made available. In contrast, health share ministries do not place such restrictions on the type of doctor or specialist that members can visit.If you’re ready for a change in how your family covers the cost of health care, contact USHealthshare to discuss your unique situation and find out your best options for affordable healthcare.