Faith-Based Insurance: Christian Health-Sharing Plans
Three years ago, James Lansberry faced the kind of health care crisis that has become all too common in the U.S. Less than two weeks after his wife Theresa gave birth to their sixth child, she had to rush back to the hospital to have her appendix removed before it burst. Her medical bills eventually totaled more than $23,000. It would have been a stressful time for any family ‚ÄĒ but especially for those who, like the Lansberrys, do not have health insurance.
But James, the sole breadwinner for his Peoria, Ill., family, didn't lose sleep over the cost of his wife's procedure and hospital stay. The Lansberrys belong to what is called a health-sharing ministry, an organization whose Christian members pay one another's medical costs. Within a few weeks of Theresa's appendectomy, the family received checks (and get-well cards) from more than 100 people in 21 states, covering the medical costs and...
Mike wrote: Since no names were provided and no evidence was given in the "case" cited,
This article was not a piece of formal academic research requiring footnotes, sources and cross-referencing. It would have been quite inappropriate for the director of the Illinois department of insurance to breach confidentiality and provide names without permission. I believe him. You have the freedom to be a cynic.
If you want to question objectivity in the article have you also considered that of all the thousands of people involved in "Faith-Based Insurance" the example they found of a picture-postcard family "just happened" to be the family of a VP of the company? (BTW I suspect this is more a case of lazy journalism than a complete absence of satisfied customers. I may be cynical about journalists).
If I was a member of Lansberry's little 'circle', yes I too would make sure I sent in my cheque for his family's medical bills on time! I would also help him buy a lawnmower too by the look of things.
If "Faith-Based Insurance" is your thing, go for it. But I wouldn't be rushing to buy it if I were you. Caveat emptor.
Guinness wrote: Mike, Not unseemly but, how does church attendance demonstrate someone is a Christian and prevent abuse of the system? That's a very bold working assumption you are making there. Will just any church do? On what basis are they deciding? Is attendance really sufficient, why not a membership test? ---
What assumption? Never said it's about church attendance, but about demonstrating that "they are somehow indeed Christian." There is always this: by their fruits you shall know them. Unless cynicism won't allow for it, of course.
Guinness wrote: Re: the serious car accident, the issue would be whether he found a case, not whether he had a vested interest. There needs to be objective accountability not prejudiced dismissal of evidence.
Since no names were provided and no evidence was given in the "case" cited, it cannot be used to prejudicially support argument against faith based "schemes." Sources say? Caveat lector.
Guinness wrote: It doesn't seem unseemly for a Christian to question the wisdom of "trust me I'm a Christian" pseudo-insurance. Caveat emptor.
Caveat emptor is a given in this world, more so when dealing with non-Christian organizations.
Mike wrote: It doesn't seem unseemly that a Christian led healthcare organization for Christian participants might require the members to demonstrate that they are somehow indeed Christian...
Not unseemly but, how does church attendance demonstrate someone is a Christian and prevent abuse of the system? That's a very bold working assumption you are making there. Will just any church do? On what basis are they deciding? Is attendance really sufficient, why not a membership test?
No objection against the smoking prohibition.
Re: the serious car accident, the issue would be whether he found a case, not whether he had a vested interest. There needs to be objective accountability not prejudiced dismissal of evidence.
Can you imagine the 'insurers' investigating whether or not an unmarried pregnant woman was raped or not? It would typically take more than 9 months to wait upon the securing of a conviction in a court of law. Rape victims have described being cross-examined as like being raped all over again, but ultimately the 'insurers' need an additional cross-examination to enforce that stipulation.
It doesn't seem unseemly for a Christian to question the wisdom of "trust me I'm a Christian" pseudo-insurance. Caveat emptor.
It doesn't seem unseemly that a Christian led healthcare organization for Christian participants might require the members to demonstrate that they are somehow indeed Christian. How else to prevent system abuse by unbelievers? And not smoking would surely be useful in health maintenance, thus lowering costs. In any case is it of benefit to condemn the many for the misbehavior of the few?
Re: The quote from Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois department of insurance, who "cites a case." He wouldn't have any personal/professional interest in finding "a case," would he?
Mike wrote: People who participate know the rules. Limited enrollment, no coverage for every sniffle. That's why it costs less.
"McRaith cites a case in which a ministry refused to pay after a serious car accident."
Hardly a sniffle. I trust the scheme members don't share the road with any bad drivers ... ever.
Another observation. A sermonaudio preacher commented recently with regard to pastoral abuses of office:- "There are plenty of professing Christians out there who can give you their horror stories if you care to look."
What a delightful prospect therefore to have health insurance contingent upon such men:- "If accepted, members must attend church regularly ‚ÄĒ and have that attendance verified by a pastor ‚ÄĒ and abstain from tobacco use in order to maintain their status."
People who participate know the rules. Limited enrollment, no coverage for every sniffle. That's why it costs less.
Anyone ever figure out that a powerful driving force for the cost of healthcare is the existence of insurance? The disconnect that insurance creates between provider and patient allows for such. "They" will pay for it, so why not charge as much for a service as can be charged? Why not go to the emergency room for a minor scratch?
As an anecdotal example, I was in the hospital some years ago. My doctor was out of town, so his sub came in, looked at my chart, looked at my feet(which had nothing to do with my presence)and walked out without a word. All took about a minute. When I saw the charges to the insurance company, there it was, $100 for a "consultation" fee. Does anyone think he would have done this if he had to charge me directly? But because of insurance, he could get away with it. When this stuff happens, rates go up. Can you say Duh?