Why are Health Shares for Employee Healthcare More Beneficial than Traditional Group Health Insurance?
When you start a business with people working under you, apart from earning profit and excelling in the manufacturing process, there are many other important things to consider, one of them being the health of your employees. Traditionally group employee health insurance is a widely known option. However, with its cost rising every year, don’t you think that there should be a more affordable option? Fortunately, there is such an option – it’s health shares for employee healthcare!
What are Health Shares for Employee Healthcare?
A healthcare sharing program or health shares for employee healthcare are faith-based programs which enable members to avail voluntary sharing of due medical expenses. If business owners take benefit of them, they can have considerably lower insurance cost than traditional employee group health insurance. Basically, members have to send in monthly ‘shares’ (i.e. premiums) which are distributed to or on behalf of other members with medical expenses according to the program guidelines. They are designed upon the values of people with similar faith and beliefs sharing each other’s burdens, unlike the risk-pooling form of health insurance.
A major part of the appeal of health shares is that they are much less costly than health insurance. Because of this, you can make your employees members in the healthcare sharing programs for much less monthly cost than the average unsubsidized monthly cost of traditional health insurance coverage. Besides this, health shares often have lower out-of-pocket cost limits than standard high-deductible health insurance plans.
Not Health Insurance
You should make your employees aware of the fact that health shares for employees are actually not health insurance. Actually, the reason of their lower cost than that of traditional health insurance is partially because they may have a more limited coverage (than Affordable Care Act directives for important health benefits). Plus, their limitations of coverage are not only due to the need of managing prospective costs and claims, but also due to their faith-based nature in the first place.
Hence, although health share programs do cover several usual medical expenses that are covered by health insurance, they basically do not cover several health-related costs thought to be ‘unbiblical’, as defined by the programs in their guidelines, and many of them reject payments for abortions, birth control, injuries occurred due to drugs or alcohol, and injuries resulted from particular hazardous activities (or in some cases, even failing to wear seat belts or helmets).
However, members of these programs are exempted from the individual mandate to buy health insurance of the Affordable Care Act, although health share programs do not fulfill the essential health benefit requirements of the ACA.
Health Share Programs Vs. Traditional Health Insurance
In today’s time when health insurance costs are fast increasing, it’s quite natural for people to turn to an affordable option like health share programs for employees. Over the last few years, major membership of healthcare sharing groups has been dramatically increased.
Are Healthcare Sharing Programs Beneficial?
There are a lot of arguments regarding how well the healthcare sharing programs fulfill their aim of helping people with a shared value system supporting each other’s requirements. These programs have executed procedures and policies which as per critics are based more on offering lower insurance cost than sharing each and every need. Nevertheless, their basic guidelines are clear about what they cover and what they don’t, even if it’s not the same as traditional health insurance. Therefore, it’s important for existing and future members to understand what the program guidelines are. It’s also important to remember that each program is different from insurance and all of them have their own specific quirks, approaches, pros and cons.
So, have you started planning to get a healthcare sharing program for your employees?