As a part of the lower-middle class, I can definitely relate to the controversy over the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.” Premiums are just getting more expensive, and deductibles make coverage out of reach for basic health care needs.
I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of health care sharing, and am intrigued by the potential benefits, especially to the frum community. Health care sharing, in simplified terms, involves an organization whose members share common beliefs and pay a set amount per month, which goes toward their own and/or others’ medical bills. Monthly payouts are low ($198-$298 for a couple, with a $1,000 “deductible”), and there is no government intervention, as health care sharing is NOT a form of insurance. Members of health care share groups are exempt from Obamacare (non-insurance) penalties.
In conducting my research, it seems that the frum community is not aware of this very viable option. Many of these health care sharing groups are affiliated with religious groups, which may present halachic difficulties to frum applicants (who must sign belief statements as a prerequisite for joining the group). However, there is a group called Liberty Healthshare (www.libertyhealthshare.org) which has formed as a non-denominational religious group, with belief statements that are in sync with Torah values. If you require further information, please contact Hamodia.
Name Withheld, Brooklyn, NY