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Health insurance has become a notable economic thorn in the side of citizens across the nation, with the average premium for an individual equal to about $440 a month and the average premium for a family equal to about $1,168 per month.
These skyrocketing prices have left many individuals and families looking for ways to fit what they consider to be one of life’s essential bills into their already tight budgets. With little relief in sight, those who can’t afford or refuse to pay the high cost of health care are looking for alternatives to help protect their families against both expected and unexpected health expenses.
What Is Christian Health Insurance?
Among those alternatives are Christian health care plans, also referred to as health care sharing ministries. Under this type of cost-sharing plan, members—typically those of the same religious faith—make monthly payments that are used to cover the medical bills of others in the group, including themselves, their family, and other members of the health care plan.
At the start of 2018, at least one million people turned to these faith-based medical sharing programs, leaving many to wonder if this new spin on group health coverage is worth it.
Dave Ramsey’s Thoughts on Christian Health Insurance
What does Dave Ramsey, a long-trusted expert in business and money management, think about Christian health insurance? Is it a good idea?
The short answer is it could be, but buyers must beware.
Ramsey’s initial advice to citizens considering Christian health insurance is that they must first and foremost recognize that it’s not technically considered insurance, even though in many ways, these organizations operate in much the same way. Christian healthcare plans, as he points out, are not regulated, nor are they “backed up by the insurance commissions risk pools.”
That said, these insurance-like programs aren’t all bad, and according to Ramsey, many have a proven track record of reliability. If shopping for one, he recommends looking for an organization that has been around for a significant period, specifically mentioning Christian Healthcare Ministries, which has a good reputation and has been in business since 1981.
In addition to Ramsey’s recommendation, consumers may want to take a look at Samaritan Ministries (1995), which is a highly praised, long-standing organization within the healthcare sharing ministry community.
As a final note, Ramsey recommends that interested consumers thoroughly review coverage, understanding what is and is not covered under any given plan. This includes looking at not only health requirements but also any faith-based requirements. Additionally, he iterates that coverage is not guaranteed, making it even more important to work only with reliable Christian health plan providers.
When it comes to Christian health programs, Dave Ramsey’s final word is one that often rings true across all areas of our lives, particularly where health and money are a concern—it’s important to thoroughly review both the longevity and reputation of the organization as well as the coverage plans.
Author: Jeff Gitlen