You're a member who has successfully shared a bill! You worked closely with your doctor to evaluate the course of your care, you pre-notified Liberty HealthShare of the procedure, and your bill was submitted promptly through your ShareBox. Now what? Everything you've read says that it may take 30-45 days for your bill to be processed, but what does "processed" mean? We receive this question from members often, especially if the wait is taking longer than expected. Delays can be frustrating without further information, and it is our desire that members feel at ease throughout the course of their cost sharing by being as transparent as possible every step of the way.
When we discuss preventative medicine and ways we can take responsibility for our health, annual wellness visits might come to mind as a means to accomplishing both. It seems to be part of the conventional wisdom most of us abide by, at least in theory. We may not make that visit every year, but we know we should. Or should we?
Over the last several years, there has been a shift on this topic, with more and more physicians saying there is a better way to approach wellness.
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.
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.
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.
The school year just ended, but we all know it won't be long before we're shopping back to school sales in anticipation of the start of the new year. You probably don't need to worry about those purchases just yet, but this is a good time to plan ahead for your child's back to school check-up and, if necessary, his or her vaccinations.
John Hunt, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Liberty HealthShare
Advancements in technology bring costs down in most every sector of the economy. Consider that computers, which used to take up an entire floor of a building, now fit in the palm of your hand, and with exponentially higher processing power than in the past. Yet all this increased computing power comes to us far cheaper each year than the one before.
The exponential increase we have seen in enrollments tells us we have clearly tapped into a nationwide hunger for healthcare freedom. With your continued engagement as cost-conscious consumers of healthcare, we hope to serve you and many others for years to come.
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.