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Visiting a doctor, receiving medical treatment, or undergoing a medical procedure can often come with a hefty bill to pay. That’s why many Americans choose to buy into a health insurance plan to help cover those larger and often unexpected costs.

But health insurance plans come with restrictions. If you want to ensure you receive full coverage for your medical care, you’ll have to play by the rules of the insurance policy you buy.

That includes abiding by certain restrictions including often, the doctor you choose to see. With many health insurance plans, members must visit specific doctors listed under the plan’s network of healthcare practitioners in order to receive reimbursement for medical care. Otherwise, members could be stuck footing the bill on their own.

Why do health insurance carriers do that? Here’s what the National Conference of State Legislatures has to say on the subject: 

“Health insurance carriers generally have the ability to define and adjust the number, the qualifications, and the quality of providers in their networks. They also may limit the number of providers in their networks as a means of conserving costs or coordinating care. In so doing, carriers may narrow their provider networks to an extent that enrollees in insurance plans may have relatively or extremely limited options when choosing providers.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does require that all Qualified Health Plans include an “adequate network of primary care providers, specialists, and other ancillary health care providers.” But the fact remains that, if you have a traditional health insurance policy, you likely have certain restrictions as to the healthcare providers you are allowed to see.

Health Sharing Ministries Offer the Freedom to Choose Your Doctor

What can you do if you have a doctor that you love, one that is familiar with your unique medical history and/or one who works as a partner with you to ensure your continued health and wellbeing? If you are fortunate enough to have found such a healthcare provider, you likely do not want to part ways with your provider for any reason, especially not a monetary one.

The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice a good relationship with your doctor just to save money on medical expenses. There are certain health sharing ministries that allow you the freedom to choose your medical providers from a huge national network of providers. Some Christian health sharing ministries have access to national provider networks that cover as much as 95 percent of the healthcare providers in the U.S., making it highly unlikely that your particular provider would not be in the network.

Similarly, health sharing ministries do not restrict the prescription medications you and your physician choose for your medical care either, affording you further freedom of choice.

If freedom of choice is not enough of an incentive, there is also the financial angle to consider. Health sharing programs, on average, are also more affordable than conventional health insurance policies. Members can save as much as 30% to 40% off the cost of medical care compared to paying traditional health insurance premiums.

If you’re looking for an option to help you handle the cost of medical care that offers more flexibility, freedom, and affordability, consider making the switch to a health sharing program because health sharing saves money and gives you freedom of choice.