Faith Based Health Insurance Plans

 

 I must admit I do not know much about faith based health insurance plans.  But I did learn today that they are not “insurance”.

I talked to someone who knows these plans and…… they might be a good option for people who are close to getting Medicare and cannot afford to pay $850 – $1,000 for their health insurance – and do not want to get hit with the tax penalty for not having coverage.

I went online last week and put my info into a health insurance web site. In short order, I got dozens of phone calls from online brokers.  One call was from a woman who sounded very knowledgeable and legit.

Faith Based Health Insurance Plans are not insurance.

These plans are different from the health insurance you can buy through healthcare.gov.  They are allowed to skip the tough rules for health insurance that are part of the Affordable Care Act.  They will not cover pre-existing conditions. And you can’t get help with your premium if you enroll in a faith based plan. The web page says multiple times that “this is not insurance”. But they are recognized as “coverage” by the government.

I asked the broker who called me about the network of doctors and hospitals for one of the plans she presented to me.   The plan is Aliera Healthcare and the plan’s network is one I am familiar with.  The network is legitimate, big and nationwide.

This plan uses the First Health network which is owned by Coventry (now part of Aetna). You can check it out here:  http://firsthealth.coventryhealthcare.com/locate-a-provider/index.htm

If you want more info you can talk to the woman I referred to at the start of this post.  Her name is Aurora. Her number is 248-359-8327.

She has lots of info on the plan and she said the “agreement” people sign is pretty benign.  She read me the statement and it was very moderate – hardly any mention of religious beliefs.

People who have been thinking of not getting health insurance should talk to Aurora.  There are lots of details on how these plans work. They might only be suitable for healthy people and they might come with some financial risk that regular health insurance protects against.  I’m not recommending these plans.  I’m just suggesting that some people might want to look into them.

 

 

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3 Responses to "Faith Based Health Insurance Plans"

  1. Bob says:

    These are not health insurance plans and should not be referred to as such. There are no premiums. Rather, they are membership fees and “love offerings” or “sharing”.

    There is no direct government oversight. They are not regulated by the DOI. No guarantee claims will be paid. There is no recourse if your claim is denied.

    As a broker with 40+ years in the industry I understand the desire to find something affordable. I have had clients go this route and so far, no complaints. But anytime something is offered at a steep and unreasonable discount, one should expect that the plan will not cover everything you expect.

    Rx-Valet is an online pharmacy and discount plan. It is not insurance. Drugs are not “covered” by the Aliera plan.

    Providers that do not participate in the First Health network are “reimbursed” at 50% under the sharing program and there is no OOP cap.

    There are many traps and pitfalls in this approach. Caveat emptor.

  2. Denise says:

    Thanks for the info, Bob. As I said at the start of my post, I don’t know much about those plans. But I figured people should check them out. I am going to call Aurora and ask her about the MOOP. That is the reason to have health insurance – to protect against huge medical bills.

  3. Samantha says:

    Thanks for your insights. My questions were answered. I am ready to get an insurance now.

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