If you are a Liberty HealthShare member, you know we are not an insurance company. We are unique in many ways, most of all because we are driven by a member focus rather than a desire to please shareholders and collect profits. We facilitate the sharing of medical costs among the people who participate in this voluntary community, but the funds come from our members, not corporate coffers. For this reason, we often remind our members to do everything they can to reduce the often outrageous costs associated with healthcare. There are a variety of ways in which we encourage this stewardship mindset. One of them is through our pre-notification process.
Elaina George, MD
Physician Advisory Board Chairman, Liberty HealthShare
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the American healthcare system has undergone significant changes that affect everyone, whether they are patients or not. The price of health insurance and out of pocket costs have continued to rise while access has fallen. In fact, the US healthcare system remains the most expensive in the world, and yet it continues to rank last compared to other western countries.
Additionally, there has been a decrease in the number of private physicians, community and rural hospitals have closed, and prescription drug costs have continued to rise. As a result, Americans continue to pay more for prescription medication than patients in other countries do.
Our members come from a variety of backgrounds, but we've found that the majority decide to join Liberty HealthShare for the same reason: at some point, they realized insurance was not an ideal way to face healthcare costs. With their financial commitment rising and the payoff diminishing, they make a bold move and leave insurance behind in favor of a Christian community characterized by personal responsibility and the stewardship of health and resources. Charles R. is one such member in Texas, and this is his story.
The past few years have held some interesting developments in various industries. In the hotel and hospitality arena, for instance, Airbnb has taken the world by storm, putting choice regarding travel into the hands of the consumer. It's no longer the expectation that travel must include a hotel stay and the associated costs you can be guaranteed to incur. Instead, travelers can choose not only the amount they prefer to pay, but also the arrangements, the proximity to their destination, and how much they want to engage with and experience what the particular location has to offer.
A few weeks ago, we sent an action update to our membership, inviting you to contact your congressmen concerning the language in the proposed American HealthCare Act. If you took the time to call or e-mail your Representative, we want to thank you.
This past week, the following message was distributed to Liberty HealthShare members by e-mail.
Each year, we invite Liberty HealthShare members to cast their vote on possible changes to our Sharing Guidelines. On March 1st, we distributed information and instructions for this year's annual member vote. If you took the time to voice your opinion on the three potential amendments to our Sharing Guidelines, thank you. We are grateful for you, our members, and we value your opinion on the future direction of our ministry.
As the Managing Editor here in Liberty HealthShare's Communications department, I spend my days writing blog posts, compiling our monthly newsletter, composing posts for our social media accounts, and editing written content. Throughout my professional life, I've dreamed of writing for a living, so this job is a lot of fun for me. As with all jobs, there is some stress associated with my work, but I manage just fine. I've learned that not all stress is a bad thing, especially if you're able to handle it and allow it to motivate you. Once in a while, though, the balance tips too far, and it's usually then that I get sick.
In early March, I got married. The stress of wedding planning would have been manageable on its own, but with the added strain of a move and beginning a new job here at Liberty, I was pretty depleted. Add to that the fact that I am a stress eater who prefers cheese and coffee to salads and water, and I created the perfect storm for illness to take me down.
John Hunt, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Liberty HealthShare
We are entering what is commonly called allergy season, so now is probably a good time to talk about managing allergies and asthma. In addition to my responsibilities as chief medical officer of Liberty HealthShare, I am an allergist/immunologist and pediatric pulmonologist, so this subject is comfortably within my area of expertise.
If you are an active or pending Liberty HealthShare member who has opted to receive our occasional e-mails, you should have received a message from us regarding the following:
This Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on the American Health Care Act. We need your help. We are asking you to take a few minutes to call your Congressional Representative and urge him or her to advocate for language that supports healthcare sharing ministries in the bill.
Every year during the Affordable Care Act's “open enrollment” period (November – January), Liberty HealthShare experiences even greater and faster growth than normal. Although we are not bound by this enrollment season, many Americans choose to join us at that time. This year was no exception to the rule, so we know a good number of you are new or relatively new members. If you are just joining us, no doubt you have some questions about the way membership works, how sharing is accomplished, and other concepts related to Liberty HealthShare.