Liberty HealthShare is not an insurance company. We are a ministry that facilitates the sharing of medical costs among the people who participate in this voluntary community. The funds come from our members, not corporate coffers. For this reason, we often remind our members to join us in doing everything they can to reduce the often outrageous costs associated with healthcare.
This time of year, we tend to see a significant increase in the number of member bills submitted for sharing. Though we cannot be sure of the reason for this, it is possible this is due at least in part to the third-party payer model and deadlines by which many of our members have previously functioned. Whatever the reason, we want to remind our members of a few important factors to consider before they submit more bills at this time of year.
If you meet or will soon meet the requirements for Medicare, you might be curious as to how Medicare enrollment will impact your membership with Liberty HealthShare. Since Liberty HealthShare is not insurance, you might wonder how, or even if, we share medical costs with members who are also enrolled in Medicare.
At some point in your membership with Liberty HealthShare, you might find yourself dealing with what is known as a balance bill. In short, balance billing is what happens when a bill has already been paid and the physician or provider attempts to get more money directly from their patient. It's important to note that balance bills represent only a fraction of the costs that are submitted to Liberty, however, we want to give you the information and steps you will need to properly respond if you find yourself in this situation.
From time to time, our members find themselves wearing the educator's hat when interacting with physicians and other staff at their providers' offices. Despite its long history, healthcare sharing is still a new concept to many, even those within the healthcare profession.
Michigan member Yvonne M. enrolled with Liberty HealthShare along with her husband in late 2015. Last year, she and her husband found themselves facing outright antagonism about their Liberty membership not once but four separate times over the course of one medical incident.
From time to time, we hear from a member who experienced an emergency medical cost just days or weeks after joining Liberty HealthShare. Dealing with a large expense like an emergency room visit can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are new to the concept of healthcare sharing. CindyAnn S., a Liberty HealthShare member in Florida, found herself in this position when her son broke his arm just 9 days into their membership. Here is her story:
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.
Throughout the course of your enrollment and membership in Liberty HealthShare, you have likely noticed that we use terminology that is specific to our organization and work. There are several reasons we choose to communicate in the way we do.
If you have been a Liberty HealthShare member for a while, you might already know how to submit a bill or receipt through your online ShareBox. You also may or may not have encountered an issue with what's known as "balance billing." For those of you who are new to Liberty, or if you simply are not familiar with these two topics, here’s a quick refresher:
Last year, Liberty HealthShare member Christine Lloyd visited her doctor when she became unwell. What she thought was a simple cold was actually the beginning of a health spiral that left her in the ICU, fighting for her life.
Watch Christine's husband Norman share their story.