By Kerby Anderson
Christians who do not want to participate in Obamacare have been able to opt-out by joining one of the Christian health care sharing ministries. In the past, I have talked about how this could be a real option for Christians. These groups do not actually provide health insurance but allow members to send money to a designated individual or the company that are shared with a member with medical expenses.
In order to join, you have to agree to the doctrinal statement and accept a few restrictions. For example, members promise to live a healthy lifestyle (no drugs, alcohol in moderation, etc.). The benefit is not only lower cost, but also the opportunity to minister to others in an organization that is not subsidizing practices to which they might object.
Unfortunately, some families are concerned that if they drop traditional health insurance, they might be vulnerable. What if they incur high medical expenses due to an accident or a major illness? These ministries argue that this would be a rare occurrence.
But Dr. Merrill Matthews in a recent article in Forbes provides a solution to that potential problem. He describes a plan proposed by Bill Brann that adds a life insurance policy with a critical illness component. It would include an accelerated benefit provision that would allow the insurer to write the beneficiary a check to cover medical expenses.
Matthews runs the numbers and finds that this is still a great option. A family membership in one of the Christian health sharing ministries runs about $400 to $500 a month. A $1 million life insurance policy for a 50-year-old male or female would cost about $200 per month each. That means the family might pay about $800 to $900 a month. This is significantly less than an Obamacare policy. You would also have the benefit of seeing whatever doctors you want. I think it’s worth a second look.