These days, between computers and smartphones, most people spend at least a few hours online each day. Many also make purchasing decisions based on the multiple online sources of reviews, from business ratings on Yelp to subscription services like Angie’s List, and all the other review platforms that are available to us, including those on Google.
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.
Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of Christian healthcare sharing is right there in the name: we are a group of like-minded people sharing the costs of healthcare. What is less obvious on the surface, but no less important, is that our members often enjoy reduced costs simply by virtue of the fact that, in the eyes of the healthcare industry, we are self-pay patients, and with that status often comes a discount. Additionally, Liberty HealthShare partners with MedCost Solutions, a group that advocates on our members' behalf to negotiate and reduce the size of their bills, so our members' costs can be reduced even further, reflecting the actual price of care.
At Liberty HealthShare, we view misunderstandings as opportunities for education. For instance, some potential members don't understand the healthcare sharing mentality. Rather than seeing this purely as an obstacle to membership, we choose to see it as an opportunity for education about our unique, member-centered approach to paying for healthcare.
When we hear from members who truly understand healthcare sharing and want to see others learn more, we get excited. We can explain it all day long from our perspective, but the reality is members who share their experiences are exponentially more effective at educating others.
A great example of this is Brittany K. from Michigan, who along with her family joined Liberty HealthShare early last year.
One of the core values held by Liberty HealthShare and encouraged in the lives of our members is the pursuit and maintenance of good health. This is because first and foremost, as a Christian ministry, we believe our bodies are temples we've been given to steward. Secondly, as a cost-sharing ministry, we prioritize health so that our members can fulfill their voluntary commitment to be there and share in eligible medical costs, especially in times of crisis.
Chris V., (pictured left with his wife Annie) lives in Arizona, and he and his family joined Liberty HealthShare last year. As a healthy family who was invested in community, health, and healing, they determined Liberty HealthShare was aligned with their beliefs and ultimately decided membership was for them. That decision was put to the test only two months after Chris' family joined, when their 14-year-old daughter suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.
Liberty HealthShare members make up a unique group of people who have chosen to abandon traditional methods of paying for their healthcare and, instead, voluntarily share in medical costs with one another.
We love hearing about our members' experiences with healthcare sharing and sharing those stories with a wider audience. It's encouraging for our staff and current members to know that their contribution is making a difference. Testimonials also offer a great opportunity for prospective members to learn more about us as they consider how to proceed in their healthcare decision-making.
Ayla Brown is a recording artist and former NCAA basketball player who recently joined the Liberty HealthShare community as a sharing member.
Over the past several months, here on the blog, we have featured articles about Liberty HealthShare's cooperation with VideoMedicine. Our relationship with this company makes it possible for members to see a doctor via a secure video platform accessible through a smartphone app.
Thanks to Liberty's billing technology, eligible costs incurred for VideoMedicine visits can be processed rapidly and either be applied to members' AUA or submitted for sharing. We're happy that this service makes our members' access to healthcare more satisfactory and convenient.
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.
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.