As a patient, you want to build a trusted relationship with your physician. You want your care to come from a qualified doctor you know — and who knows you in return. Traditional health insurance carriers, however, don’t always make it easy — or affordable — to receive care from your preferred provider. Why, you might be asking? In a word: cost.
In an attempt to keep costs low, many typical health insurance plans determine which doctors you can see — namely, physicians on the plan’s approved network of providers. If you go outside that network for the care you want, you may be stuck with hefty medical bills that you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket. Want more choice in who provides your care? With most traditional health insurance plans, that will cost you extra.
Some state lawmakers have tried to address these provider limitations with laws designed to ensure that provider networks include enough primary care and specialized physicians to meet people’s healthcare needs. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an attempt to mandate a sufficient choice of providers for patients. But “sufficient” doesn’t always equal choice, and many health insurance policies continue to dictate who patients can see for the care they want and need.
In the search for more freedom and flexibility — without more cost — many Americans are turning to health sharing ministries. An alternative to traditional health insurance plans, health sharing ministries can save their members as much as 30% to 40% on medical care. Even better, these savings come with the freedom to choose your medical providers.
Like traditional health insurance, health sharing ministries partner with healthcare networks — a group of physicians, providers, and specialists from whom you can receive care. A number of health sharing ministries have access to a very large pool of healthcare professionals across the U.S. — in some cases, covering as much as 95% of providers. Most likely, your favorite doctor is part of that network — meaning you can continue to get care from someone you know and trust, without worrying about getting hit with a surprise medical bill.
If you’re worried about narrow provider networks limiting your options, and want the freedom to choose your doctor, then a health sharing ministry might be right for you. Learn more about the advantages of health sharing ministries and whether they’re a good fit for your needs.