We believe that combating health care costs begins with caring for personal health. This value is at the core of our healthsharing model, as we encourage our members to take on responsibility for healthful choices before there are ever medical bills to share. To this end, we offer the HealthTrac Program to incoming members with pre-existing conditions like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, or smoking, that can be alleviated by healthy lifestyle changes. Members are paired with a personal health coach who helps them create and work towards achievable fitness and diet goals until they graduate from the program as fully integrated members of Liberty HealthShare. One of our members, Carla, reached out to us with her experience in the HealthTrac program since joining Liberty, and it is our pleasure to share her story.
In the Health & Wellness Department, we are asked, “What is considered a pre-existing condition?” several times a day by both members and providers. The review and management of pre-existing conditions make up a large part of our work, so one of my goals is ensuring that our members have a good understanding of how we address these particular circumstances.
At Liberty HealthShare, we frequently hear members as well as health care professionals referring to Liberty as insurance. It is important for our members to remember that Liberty is a cost-sharing ministry, not an insurance company. Because we are a healthcare sharing ministry, we are free from insurance! We are free to choose our physician, choose our hospital, and choose our pharmacy. We are in charge of our own healthcare.
As members of Liberty HealthShare, we must take the role of stewards who strive to minimize cost for all of our members. One of the ways in which we accomplish this is through our handling of pre-existing conditions.
Our Health and Wellness Department is here to serve members when they become ill or suffer an injury. They also counsel potential members when a pre-existing and/or lifestyle-related condition is a concern. Finally, they work with our HealthTrac members, following progress and confirming graduation.
Robert K. of New Jersey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16. It was a worrisome diagnosis for an athletic young man, and at the time, diabetes was more difficult to track and treat. Lifestyle changes were needed and Robert rose to the occasion, saying, “It was never difficult for me to manage the inconvenience of having diabetes. I would not accept complications arising from my disease."
HealthShare Radio host John Daly and Executive Director Dale Bellis give a quick explanation of pre-existing conditions as they are handled by Liberty HealthShare.
Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions with symptoms, medication, or treatment in the past 36 months. Among the top three questions asked about Liberty HealthShare is this: "How do you handle pre-existing conditions?"