What Does "Shopping for Healthcare" Mean?

If you have been a Liberty HealthShare member for any length of time, you know that we ask our members to be actively engaged with the cost of their care so that, as a community, we can wisely steward and preserve the financial resources we all share in times of unexpected and unaffordable medical need.

Any time we interact with the healthcare industry as patients, from a yearly check-up to an unforeseen surgical intervention, we alone have the power to compare prices and choose how and where we will access healthcare.

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Talking to Legislators About Healthcare Sharing

Like many of you, we here at Liberty HealthShare have been watching and waiting to see what Congress will do regarding federal healthcare policy. In fact, Liberty has participated in discussions on Capitol Hill, making sure healthcare sharing remains recognized, protected, and available as a method of paying medical costs for our members. At this point, it appears Congress is an at an impasse and no changes to the Affordable Care Act are imminent. Therefore, we are business as usual.

Earlier this year, we asked you to reach out to Congressional representatives to ask for continued recognition and protection of healthcare sharing. Many of you contacted us asking for more instructions on how to speak with legislators or their staff members. Since we may ask you to contact your representatives again in the future, we pulled together some best practices.

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Solving Healthcare Policy with Health Sharing

Recent months have held ongoing legislative discussions concerning the possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Although Liberty HealthShare does not align with or endorse any political party, we make a point of staying on top of any policy developments that might affect our membership at both the federal and state level.

Several months ago, Liberty HealthShare Executive Director Dale Bellis and HealthShare Radio host John Daly interviewed former Virginia governor and presidential candidate Jim Gilmore. 

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Member Motivations - Healthy Tips from Sue

In last month's post, I shared my main motivation for pursuing health: love for my grandchildren. What keeps me on track and making healthy choices is the desire to be in their lives for a long time. Not only do I want to be around, but I also want to be able to keep up with them and actively participate in all the important events that will define their lives over the years to come.

In the motivation post, I detailed a long list of excuses which, from time to time, we are all guilty of making where our health and fitness are concerned. Life is stressful, busy, and tiring. Work, friends, family, and our other commitments play tug-of-war with our time and energy. Sometimes the only thing that helps us achieve success is an incentive...some sort of carrot we can chase on our way to better health (better carrots than cake!).

So I asked our members, "What motivates you?" Or said a different way, "What is your driving force?"

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Advice From A Doctor About Interacting With a Doctor

by John Hunt, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Liberty HealthShare

Doctors are busy, often times and unfortunately because they are filling out forms for bureaucracies. This busyness can leave patients feeling cheated, like they are fighting for their physician’s full attention in the short amount of one-on-one time they actually get with him or her.

So how can you get what you need and steward yours and your fellow members’ resources well when you often have barely any time to speak to the doctor?

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Putting Rubber to the Road Increased Our Faith

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:

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Motivation and Health – Healthy Tips From Sue

The dictionary defines “motivation” this way: The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Motivation has become quite the popular topic in the past several decades. Everywhere you look, books by influential motivational speakers top the bestseller list. Courses and conferences sell out. Clearly, people are looking for reasons and ways to achieve more; to become the best version of themselves.

How many times have we eagerly started a weight loss program or joined a gym, karate, or Zumba class with every intention of attending the classes regularly? For the first month or two, we are faithful. Then our motivation begins to fizzle and the next thing you know, once again, we stop going altogether and we make every excuse to justify not exercising or eating healthily.

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Lowering Costs Through Pre-Notification

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.

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Healthcare Consumerism: The Power of Patient Choice

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.

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The Worst Day Of Our Lives...

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.

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