Federal Regulations Make It Harder for Middle Class to Obtain Affordable Health Insurance
With ACA Open Enrollment Looming, Samaritan Ministries Offers a Biblical Model of Health Care That Is Not Only More Affordable but Also Helps Others
PEORIA, Ill.—With the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period starting next week, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, many Americans are looking for better health care options—because their premiums have skyrocketed and their choices of doctors have narrowed, while the future of government health care remains uncertain.
Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, continues to alert both existing and potential members about current trends in health care.
The Samaritan newsletter recently featured “Health insurance is becoming unaffordable for the middle class,” an article by Betsy McCaughey, a constitutional scholar and former New York lieutenant governor. She wrote that Americans should brace for the next health insurance crisis—the uninsured middle class.
“The Affordable Care Act added millions of mostly poor people to the insurance rolls,” she wrote. “But the law is driving premiums so high that middle-class people can no longer afford insurance. Several million are expected to drop coverage in 2018. … The big losers are middle-class buyers priced out of the individual insurance market and taxpayers footing the bill for the billions in extra spending these fixers are proposing. The winners are insurance companies.”
McCaughey’s article says that those defending and protecting the current state of the health care system are ignoring the ones who pay for the ever-rising subsidies—taxpayers. She says that the average household paid 41 percent more taxes in 2016 compared to three years earlier.
The article reported that 6.9 million people buy coverage outside the ACA exchanges, where there are no subsidies. “In 2017, the average premium for a family of four buying on eHealth reached $14,300 with a whopping $8,322 deductible,” according to McCaughey. “That means shelling out more than $22,600 before seeing a penny from insurance. You can pay your mortgage for that. In 2018, many buyers will conclude they can’t afford insurance, because it would consume up to a quarter of their pre-tax income…”
Examples of how regulations drive health insurance prices higher, McCaughey wrote in her article, include regulations forcing single men to pay for maternity coverage, childless couples to pay for pediatric dental care and other forms of “community pricing,” keeping costs high for many.
Samaritan published McCaughey’s piece to tell readers who are experiencing loss of health insurance plans or unaffordable rate increases about Samaritan’s non-insurance health care sharing option.
“Samaritan Ministries’ main goal is to welcome members to an affordable, household-to-household health care sharing ministry,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s vice president for external relations. “The ministry is non-partisan and agrees that the multitude of health care regulations makes health insurance unaffordable for middle-class Americans—no matter which part of the economy these regulations target, no matter which political party proposes them. Many factors—including cost—need to be considered. Samaritan members get to send their affordable, monthly shares directly to other families, and encourage them through notes and prayer.”
To help families with the skyrocketing cost of health care, Samaritan Ministries recently introduced a new membership level called Samaritan Basic, which features a lower monthly share amount coupled with a higher initial unshared amount, giving both current and potential members another way to make the best health care sharing decisions for their families—and their budgets.
Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic are determined by age and household size and start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.
All members, however, regardless of their membership level, will be a part of the same Biblical community that will “bear one another’s burdens” as the Bible instructs in Galatians 6:2. All members will still receive shares directly from other members, along with notes of encouragement and prayers.
Every month, Samaritan members—70,000 households and more than 229,000 individuals—give directly to their fellow members who have qualified medical needs. Currently, this Biblical community shares about $25 million each month in medical needs.