In this episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast, host Hilary Erickson discusses who health shares are good for. She shares her personal experience with health shares and gives advice on who should not consider a health share as an insurance option. Hilary also explains the limitations and coverage exclusions of health shares, such as preexisting conditions and small expenses. If you’re interested in learning more about health shares, make sure to check out the full episode.
Big thanks to our sponsor my healthshare tips
Links for you:
- Check out Zion Healthshare Here
- My Liberty Healthshare Review
- Why Left Liberty Healthshare
- How Does a Healthshare Work? with Heather Eden from Zion Healthshare — Episode 126
- Making the Choice to use a Christian Healthshare — Episode 065
- Using a Direct Primary Care Membership with Dr Bradley Shumway – Episode 086
00:01:40 Stipends, health plan, deductibles, health shares.
00:04:18 Progressive coverage for preexisting conditions in health insurance.
00:07:10 Don’t switch to health share if pregnant.
- Health shares are not for everyone – if you have a great plan that you like, stick with it.
- Health shares are not insurance – they do not have the same coverage and benefits.
- If you have preexisting conditions, a health share may not be the right option for you.
- Preexisting conditions may not be covered initially, but may be gradually covered over time.
- Health shares do not cover small expenses or routine visits, so if you rely on insurance for these, it may not be a good fit.
- Health shares typically have an initial unshared amount (IUA) that you have to pay before they start covering expenses.
- If you have multiple expenses over the IUA, the health share may waive it.
- Pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition and may not be covered by health shares. Consider Medicaid or alternative insurance options.
- If you have a stable, affordable plan with a low deductible, it may be better to stick with it than switch to a health share.
- Always do your research and consider your specific healthcare needs before deciding on a health share.
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.630] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 210, we are talking about who a health share is good for. So let’s untangle it.
[00:00:11.120] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary, a serial overcomplicator. I’m also a nurse, mom to three, and the curly head behind Pulling Curls and the Pregnancy Nurse. This podcast aims to help us stop over complicating things and remember how much easier it is to keep things simple. Let’s smooth out those snarls with pregnancy and parenting untangled, the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:00:39.440] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, this episode is sponsored by my Health Share Opt-in. If you’re interested in doing a Health Share, I can send you an email with some of the big perks and benefits that I’ve had. You can find it over at Pulling Curls or in the show notes, you can find the link to Pulling Curls. So it’s going to be right there where I can email you some of the perks of a Health Share or things I didn’t love. So grab it because that can be really helpful as you are navigating this process.
[00:01:04.800] – Hilary Erickson
We switched to a Health Share probably 2016, I think. We were on individual insurance. We had never been on my husband’s insurance as a teacher because it was just really bad. And so we had switched to individual insurance and it was just getting more and more expensive to the point that it was more than our mortgage, which honestly, I think that’s true for a lot of people now. But back then that was not true for a lot of people. We made too much money for Obamacare or it’s also different in Obamacare when you own your own business.
[00:01:36.130] – Hilary Erickson
It’s just super confusing. I never really know exactly how much money we’re going to make. Those stipends… Anyway. We also on our individual health plan had an 8000-ish dollar deductible for one person. It could have been six, but it was something large that would really set us back if we had something health wise. So a few of my blogging friends belong to Health Shares. I thought let’s give it a try. I was scared, though. You guys know that I’m a nurse. I strongly believe that the wrong health issue can totally screw you over financially. So we switched to it. I’m doing this podcast episode just to help you guys know who it is not for. These are people that you should not be looking to Health Share at all.
[00:02:21.630] – Hilary Erickson
And then beyond this, I have a few other Health Share episodes that you might like to listen to that just explains it a little bit more. Full disclosure, I am on Zion Health Share now. I am super, super happy. But we have had poor experiences. We were on one called Liberty, had a really bad experience on there. They are still paying bills. I took them to the Better Business Bureau. I had a claim against them, and they ultimately did end up paying. They were extremely small bills. But if they’re not going to pay your small bills, what happens if you have a big thing go on?
[00:02:53.740] – Hilary Erickson
Let’s jump into who a Health Share is absolutely not for. First off, if you have a great plan that you like, don’t look into a health share. They are not my favorite thing because officially you’re not covered. It’s not insurance. So you don’t have the same. Like, if your insurance screws you over in your state, you can easily go through your state’s insurance, whatever, and have them help you fix it. Versus a health share, you’re out of luck. So that is one of the bummers of about a health share.
[00:03:25.800] – Hilary Erickson
But if you have a great plan, I would stick with it. If you’re happy with the plan that you have, stick with it. If you don’t have a ginormous deductible, stick with it. That’s what I would recommend. The other thing is insurance is, especially for a small business, write-off able versus a health share is not write-off able. Those are some things to think about right up front.
[00:03:45.220] – Hilary Erickson
If you have preexisting conditions, this is not the insurance for you. So if you have diabetes, they will take you, but they will not cover any of your diabetic, supplies, meds needs. If you have cancer, they will take you.
[00:03:58.850] – Hilary Erickson
Actually, I’m not 100 % sure that they will take you because there are some questions that they ask, and I think they want to be upfront that they are not the best option for you. When they’ve come on our podcast before, they’ve mentioned we are not for everybody. So if you have preexisting conditions, that means things you’ve seen a doctor for in the last three years, I believe it is, they aren’t going to cover it. Now they’ll slowly cover it.
[00:04:18.270] – Hilary Erickson
So let’s say you had a skin cancer two years ago, right? So the first year you’re on it, they’re not going to cover it at all if you get another skin cancer. The second year they’re going cover some, the third year they’re going to cover more. And I’m not sure how it escalates from there but if you have a preexisting condition, they really don’t want to cover it because this is meant to be that we’re all paying into this because we’re all healthy. And then when somebody has an issue, an unexpected issue, then we pay out for that unexpected issue.
[00:04:49.360] – Hilary Erickson
The other thing you don’t want to do is if you like your insurance paying for small things along the way, health shares are not going to do that for you. I see a lot of people are like, I want free birth control. If your $20 pack of birth control is keeping you on health insurance or you really love that versus saving, we probably saved 500 a month switching to a health share. So if you want to keep getting that $20 pack of birth control versus saving the 500, don’t switch to a health share because the health share is not going to take care of the small things.
[00:05:23.510] – Hilary Erickson
If you go to the doctor for something small, they are not going to cover it. Now I am on a DPC. I have a whole podcast episode with my personal DPC, which is a direct primary care doctor. I can email him. He’ll email me back. He can prescribe me over the phone or he makes an appointment for the next day or whatever. It’s super fast and easy. I love my DPC, and my health share costs are less because I have a DPC. But if I just went to urgent care because I thought a kid had strepthroat, this isn’t going to cover it at all. It doesn’t get applied to a deductible. It just is not covered at all. For us on Zion, we have a thousand dollar IUA, an initial unshared amount, which means anything under a thousand dollars, they do not share in at all. But anything over a thousand dollars, they take care of entirely. An example, my husband had a small surgery this summer, real small, and the total amount was about $1,400. We paid the first thousand dollars out of pocket. And then before the bills even hit our credit card, like on our bill, we got the money back to pay the credit cards.
[00:06:35.680] – Hilary Erickson
And they also just directly paid the lab, which came in later. So that’s how it works. But up to a thousand dollars, they don’t kick in at all. We pay all of that out of cash. So if you have ten under a thousand dollar things, then you pay all of those directly out of cash. That’s something to be aware of. Now, if you have three things over a thousand dollars, I believe they then waive your IUA, but I’m not exactly sure how that all works because frankly, I don’t want to get there.
[00:07:06.660] – Hilary Erickson
Now, a preexisting condition also includes pregnancy. So if you are pregnant currently, you do not want to switch to a health share. You need to get on Medicaid. You need to try and get insurance somehow, talk with your provider. There’s lots of ways to get on insurance when you are pregnant, but try and get insurance or plan on self paying it. I think it is a 10, six months, 10 week, something like that waiting period before you, like they will date back to when you got pregnant and you need to have been on the health share a certain period of time before they will accept you.
[00:07:42.300] – Hilary Erickson
So if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the next couple of weeks, don’t get on a health share. And if you are initially on a health share, protect until that initial period is over. And they’re super clear on what it is. I just don’t have it off the top of my head.
[00:07:55.500] – Hilary Erickson
The other thing is that if this is going to make you super, super anxious, don’t get on it. I will say that most people are a little bit anxious, but the fact that it’s not covered by the state laws makes people anxious and the fact that you just don’t have a whole lot of recourse if they come back with stuff. Those are the things that I would recommend not being on a health share for.
[00:08:17.260] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, really, the big one is pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, it really is just not the best place for you. So you would end up saving more by paying more for your insurance overall, and then they would be required to do anything big that comes along the line. Now, Hilary, if I were to get prostate cancer, I’m saying a cancer I won’t get so that if I were to get that three weeks from now, that’s fine. They would cover it because I’ve never had prostate cancer before. So knocking on wood against prostate cancer for Hilary.
[00:08:47.220] – Hilary Erickson
So that is who a Health Share is for. I hope that answers any questions. Come on over to Instagram and join us in the comments if you guys have any questions about it. It is open enrollment time. So I know a lot of people are considering a Health Share. I get a ton of questions about it because I understand it makes a person nervous. Like, is this going to work? Is this going to be a thing? And so the more you can talk with other people that are on it, how it’s worked, the more comfortable you can feel. So hopefully that helped you guys. If you have any friends that are considering a Health Share, please share this episode with them.
[00:09:18.560] – Hilary Erickson
Stay tuned. We are starting Mindset Month next month. Next week we’re talking about a pregnancy mindset, and then the week after that, we’re talking about your parenting mindset. Come join us in the coming weeks.
[00:09:29.360] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks for joining us on the Pulling Curls Podcast today. If you liked today’s episode, please consider reviewing, sharing, subscribing. It really helps our podcast grow. Thank you.
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