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What Happens to My Healthcare?

Part 2 of 2

More Healthcare Options
A little known fifth option not listed by the Department of Labor and only available to a small qualifying community is Christian Health Care. There are four major Christian health sharing ministries. The two best known are Samaritan Ministries and Christian Health Care Ministries. Several hundred thousand evangelical Christians have joined these ministries with an agreement to take responsibility for each other's medical bills.

The ministries are not regulated by insurance laws and do not provide the same level of coverage as most policies. However, they typically have lower premiums, cover a percentage of qualifying bills, and exempt you from paying a penalty for failure to carry insurance.

The How
Choose your plan - After evaluating your options, you will need to choose a plan. If you find yourself buried in acronyms and unfamiliar jargon such as HMO, PPO, POS, etc., you may want to seek out the help of the person at your place of employment who handled your employer-based insurance. Brush up on the vocabulary and options and make your decision. Whatever plan you choose, you will find websites with applications and helpful representatives to guide you through the process.

Choose your coverage - Under most plans, you will have some level of choice on your premiums and level of care. Consider your family needs. Are you likely to need maternity care? Are there pre-existing conditions? High premiums result in lower co-pays and higher coverage for treatment and prescriptions. Lower premiums result in higher co-pays and a lower percent of coverage.

Choose your provider and point of service carefully - Gain a thorough understanding of your new plan. If you go out of network or take your child in for a simple procedure that is not covered under your new plan, you may find yourself facing hundreds of dollars of medical bills that you are responsible for out-of-pocket.

Healthcare is available for you regardless of your employment status. Carefully consider your options and choose the most affordable plan to protect your health.