There is much debate within the political spectrum on the cost of healthcare in the United States, for good reason. According to the Milliman Medical Index, the cost of Health insurance coverage and medical expenses has continued to rise, year after year, in the United States, with costs exceeding $28,000 for a family of four in 2018.
These continually rising costs are not the only major concern when considering how to handle yearly medical expenses. Americans should also consider the extravagant yearly income of CEO’s in the health insurance industry before signing up for traditional health insurance plans. For example, according to Evan Sweeny and Mike Stankiewicz, in 2017 alone, health insurance CEO’s often took home over 300 times the compensation that their average employee earned in the same year.
These rising costs, and obscene CEO bonuses, leave many Americans looking for alternatives to typical health insurance structures. Fortunately, there are some alternative options available for those looking to work outside of the current mainstream health insurance structure to achieve more affordable healthcare for themselves and their family, and essentially boycott the system that allows a single individual to earn around 1,400 times more than the average employee is able to earn.
Though options to do this are highly limited, there are a handful of alternatives available to achieve freedom from the rising costs of traditional health insurance structures, though this article focuses on Health-Sharing Ministries and Direct Primary Care Clinics. Both options can save families some hard-earned money and help them escape the cycle of helping to pay for insurance CEO’s excessive yearly bonuses.
Though health-sharing ministries are not insurance, they are collaborative funds among a substantial collective of like-minded people. These ministries are traditionally based upon the Christian principal of helping one another in a time of need. Most of these ministries do require a statement of faith, and some require letters from a pastor affirming an active role within the church. Though, there is one group, AlieraCare, through Trinity Healthshare, that allows a statement of beliefs which is inclusive to unmarried couples and same-sex couples because it does not require a description of family type in the statement of beliefs. It is very important to research these options extensively, as each ministry offers different levels of coverage, varied requirements for acceptance, and multiple cost options for individuals and families alike.
Direct Primary Care
Direct Primary Care is a fairly new model that offers patients access to a primary care physician or clinic for a low-cost, flat monthly fee. Often, these fees are much more affordable than the costs of traditional health insurance premiums and provide patients with round the clock access to board-certified physicians who are highly invested in their patients’ health and wellbeing. These Clinics are popping up in cities all over the United States, touting lower costs, better heath outcomes, and an enhanced patient experience.
If this model sounds like an interesting alternative for you or your family, find a Direct Primary Care practice near you, and do some research on their plans. You may find that this is the perfect alternative to growing health insurance costs and can help greatly reduce your out of pocket health expenses every year.