After surfing the New York Times and reading an article about Donald Drumpf, another op-ed doubting Bernie Sanders, and a cheery piece about Yazidi girls being raped by ISIS fighters, I found the following article touching. It’s about how, to deal with sky high premiums and other medical costs, some Christian groups have set up a communal pool for members’ medical care. These “sharing ministries” help “Christians fulfill a biblical mandate to share one another’s burdens.”
I’d think this system would foster a sense of interdependence–and–unlike with an insurance behemoth–incentivize members to maintain their health. For many members, the sharing ministry is much more affordable than the alternative: for-profit insurance.
One participating family, the Doyles, pay,
” … a flat $405 payment … every month, the standard rate for families of three or more. Had they stuck with the insurance he was offered through work, the Doyles said, their share of the premium would have been about $600 a month, and they would have had to pay the first $5,000 in individual medical costs, $10,000 for the family, other than preventive care.”
Our health care system is broken, and I respect that some are choosing to participate in this communal system–one where each family knows they’ll be taken care of and has the opportunity to care for others. Members’ medical costs are often paid with a personal note containing a check. With one exception corruption has been kept in check. Even when medical costs run sky high:
“Lee and Amy Jebson of Chesapeake, Va., were not expecting any major medical costs when they signed up for Medi-Share in 2014 after being priced out of the plans available through HealthCare.gov, the federally run insurance marketplace. Then their 8-year-old son was found to have acute lymphoblastic leukemia, leading to several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of medical bills in just the first few months of his treatment.
“One single fever is a $10,000-a-night hospital cost,” said Mrs. Jebson, adding that her family pays a $500 monthly share toward other members’ medical costs, and $2,500 a year toward their own. But so far, she added, their bills are being covered, with the exception of a few thousand dollars.”
America is the only country in the world where people face bankruptcy because of medical care. Creative solutions are appreciated. And in order. Read the rest of the article here.