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.
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.
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.
This past week, the following message was distributed to Liberty HealthShare members by e-mail.
Each year, we invite Liberty HealthShare members to cast their vote on possible changes to our Sharing Guidelines. On March 1st, we distributed information and instructions for this year's annual member vote. If you took the time to voice your opinion on the three potential amendments to our Sharing Guidelines, thank you. We are grateful for you, our members, and we value your opinion on the future direction of our ministry.
Every year during the Affordable Care Act's “open enrollment” period (November – January), Liberty HealthShare experiences even greater and faster growth than normal. Although we are not bound by this enrollment season, many Americans choose to join us at that time. This year was no exception to the rule, so we know a good number of you are new or relatively new members. If you are just joining us, no doubt you have some questions about the way membership works, how sharing is accomplished, and other concepts related to Liberty HealthShare.
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.
Liberty HealthShare's Sharing Guidelines document helps us to steward the resources of all our members while ensuring that each member has the full opportunity to understand and be aware of the standards by which sharing is determined. It is essential that you take the time to review and understand our Sharing Guidelines as often as you need to. Doing so will ensure that your expectations are appropriate.
Each year, we extend the opportunity for our members to make their voices heard through a member vote. Upon review of the results, the Liberty HealthShare Board of Directors then votes on whether to implement certain changes to the ministry's Sharing Guidelines. Here are the results of this year's vote: