May 8, 2016

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (050816)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Cost and conscience – why more Christians are ditching health insurance for this alternative

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

May 4, 2016 / 03:56 am

The youngest of James Lansberry’s nine children almost didn’t survive his birth. Born with no heartbeat, he was resuscitated and spent 11 days in the neo-natal intensive care unit. The medical bill was over $200,000.

Yet “every single dollar of those bills was paid,” Lansberry recalled, “and it was paid through gifts and notes and cards and bearing the burden from hundreds of different families across the country – people who I’ll never meet on earth, who took the time to not only bear the financial burden of my family, but I have cards and notes from 43 different states.”

Lansberry is the vice president of the Christian health-sharing group Samaritan Ministries, and has been a member since 1996. Instead of enrolling in private insurance or the public health exchanges, member families of health-sharing ministries pay a monthly premium that covers each other’s health care costs, and they can volunteer to pay even more for others’ needs.

When someone’s cost exceeds the limit of the sharable amount – $250,000 for Samaritan members – other members can volunteer to cover the additional costs.

“Health care sharing is specifically, as we practice it at Samaritan Ministries, is a lot like moving a piano,” Lansberry said at a Heritage Foundation panel earlier this year. “You can’t do it by yourself, and you need others to gather around you in a time of need when you can make that happen.”

Enrollment in health-sharing ministries is allowed under the Affordable Care Act, provided the ministries existed before the year 2000.

Membership in the three largest health-sharing ministries – Samaritan Ministries International, Christian Care Ministry or “Medi-Share,” and Christian Healthcare Ministries – has risen significantly since 2013, jumping from around 190,000 members nationwide to over 311,000 at the end of 2014, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. …

Go here for the rest of the story.