As New Health Care Law’s First Provisions Take Effect, Some Americans Choose Not to Conform
"Christians have an option that has already been proven successful in driving down costs and yielding healthier lifestyles."
—Robert Baldwin, president of Christian Care Ministry.
The healthcare debate has left most Americans thinking they have no choice but to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or face financial penalties. But Christians can choose not to conform. The Healthcare Law contains a little-known exemption (section 1311(d)(4)(H); page 128) for Christians who are members of healthcare sharing ministries - organizations where members share financial resources to pay one another's medical costs.
One such healthcare sharing organization—Medi-Share, a program of Christian Care Ministry—offers more than just a way for Christians to share each other's medical expenses. Medi-Share is not insurance, it is a community of Christians who also pray for and encourage one another. And, because members share a common set of religious beliefs, they do not contribute to medical expenses related to abortions or other medical problems resulting from lifestyle choices that run contrary to biblical values. Many of these services which run contrary to Christian beliefs are covered under the new Healthcare Law. Thus, Medi-Share offers significant savings when compared to the average insurance premium paid.
"The amount I contribute to others' medical costs is significantly lower than when I paid a health insurance premium," said Medi-Share member Todd Davis. "And, my conscience is clear because I know the program only supports practices and procedures that align with my Christian faith."
Sharing medical bills through Medi-Share has saved individuals an average of 32 percent (or $945 per year) and families an average of 47 percent (or $2,944 per year) when compared to paying an insurance premium (source: A Comprehensive Survey of Premiums, Availability, and Benefits; AHIP Center for Policy and Research, 2009).
Since it began in 1993, Medi-Share has been successful in facilitating the sharing of medical costs, with more than $400 million in medical costs shared by members. Due to its large network of providers, members have saved an additional $100 million in discounted medical costs.
"The new health reform law was passed just a few months ago and since then the Congressional Budget Office has already announced that healthcare costs will rise even more than originally suspected," said Robert Baldwin, president of Christian Care Ministry. "Fortunately, Christians have an option that has already been proven successful in driving down costs and yielding healthier lifestyles."
For 17 years Christian Care Ministry has provided biblical healthcare solutions. More than just healthcare, it is a community of people who pray for and encourage one another, and a team of professionals who promote and support living a healthy, biblical lifestyle through programs: Medi-Share, Restore, Manna and Healthy Church.
*Approx. 14 million Americans have individual health insurance versus insurance through their employer (source: Kaiser Family Foundation statehealthfacts.org); Approx. 78.5 percent of Americans claim to be Christians (source: Pew's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 2008)