Exploring Individual Health Insurance...

Being married to a musician has some pretty cool perks. Free tickets to Mystere, backstage passes, name-dropping potential (not that I do this). Shoot, I even get laundry and the occasional hot meal out of the bargain!

What we don't have, however, is an employer-sponsored health plan. And until I finish school, it is highly unlikely that one will appear. We have been gambling the last 9 months and, knock on wood, have won. I have a couple of minor health concerns and am not too comfortable with the financial roulette we are playing. As far as pre-existing conditions go, I am ok (as far as NV state law). I haven't needed treatment for several years.

In my research for an HSA- elgible plan, I have come up pretty dry. I know somewhere out there there must be a PPO model that is HSA- friendly. I just haven't found one yet!

What I have found is a Health-Sharing plan. In particular, I have found Medi-Share, which is a non-insurance alternative. It brings Christians together to share medical expenses. Basically, the monthly "premium" is actually a share of your own or someone else's medical expenses. There are two plans, with deductibles and the like. The difference is that it is not underwritten by some corporation, but by the members themselves (or together, rather).

We still have to sit down and crunch the numbers, but this option appeals to me on a couple of different levels:
1) There is a certain level of accountability-- Medi-Share aims to encourage healthy, Biblical lifestyles. I am not sure if I understand the completely, but they don't allow smoking, illegal drugs, or alcohol "abuse." There is also a clause about excessive weight gain.
2) When you pay your share, you are also asked to pray for concerns of the community. You will know specifically who has a need at any giving time, and even send notes of encouragement.
3) The plan is affiliated with Beech Street PPO, and affords the benfits of discounts, penalty waivers, and so forth.

I know this is not ideal. Right now, however, we are keeping open minds and exploring all our options. Be it HSA, or health-sharing, our goal is to have something in place, and soon.


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