Why Our Family Switched to Medi-Share
I wish I could share a deep theological reason for the switch. However, though I like the fact that it is a Christian organization, that was not one of the major deciding factors.
The main reasons included:
1. It was insurance that would work for us on the mission field and work for us when we moved to the States. Our current international health insurance would have expired in April 2012, and we would not be eligible to renew it at that point because in order to renew it, we would need to plan on living overseas for six months of the next year.
2. The price is competitive. When I compared the price of Medi-Share to traditional insurance plans, I could get a $1,250 family portion (think deductible) compared to a $5,000 individual deductible.
Medi-Share even had some more competitive maternity options. If we were planning on having other children I don’t think we could find anything much better than Medi-Share.
3. I was planning to be self employed. I knew I’d be shopping for insurance (Medi-Share is not insurance) when I was living in the US. Medi-Share seemed like a good option for us.
What I like about Medi-Share
As we were going through the application process, we had some very helpful people who quickly provided us with the information we needed. We don’t often spend much time on hold, so phone calls are simple.
The price is right since we are a family of five with a self-employed head of household. There is no way we could get the same coverage for a comprable price.
2 Disappointments with Medi-Share
1. We Weren’t Eligible for Their Health Incentive
I know we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch, but we had anticipated being eligible for the health incentive that would have resulted in a 20% discount of our monthly payments.
I anticipated it because, other than regular checkups, I haven’t been to a doctor in … I honestly don’t know. Other than delivering babies, my wife hasn’t been for nearly a decade.
However, there are a few metrics they use, and we don’t qualify.
2. There Have Been Frustrating Experiences
Here’s our first experience with Medi-Share:
One of our kids had a nasty looking abscess on his finger while we were in Houston on furlough.
We decide to take him to the doctor.
We checked the PHCS provider list, and our doctor was on the list.
After dragging the kid to the doctors office we found out that, even though they are part of the PHCS, they won’t do anything with Medi-Share.
My wife gets frustrated and doesn’t want to come home and look for another doctor and try to get another appointment. I tell her that she should just see the doctor, and we’ll work out the coverage later.
Contact Medi-Share and they tell us the doctor should have worked with us, but just to go ahead and file paperwork.
We file all the information we get from doctor’s office, and Medi-Share gets back in touch saying they need more information.
Contact the doctors office to tell them what Medi-Share is looking for, and they tell us that everything they’ve already provided is all they provide.
Contact Medi-Share and they say they need the information.
Time Out – This is what I find extremely frustrating — being in the middle of two groups without any recourse to make either one or the other do what the other is asking for.
Eventually, Medi-Share agrees to directly contact the doctor’s office to work things out.
This next move is completely my fault as I didn’t followup. Next we get a collections notice (my first ever) from the doctor’s office because the bill hasn’t been paid. I guess Medi-Share didn’t work things out.
The next step in the saga is to pay the bill myself and see if I can work things out with Medi-Share. That’s where we are right now in the process.
By the way, the day before we were getting ready to fly back to PNG, our two year old developed a rash we thought should be checked out before flying internationally over three days. To avoid all the hassle of dealing with Medi-Share, we simply paid cash for the appointment and decided not to file.
The hassle was not worth the return.
It’s sad to have an insurance alternative and decide it’s more hassle to use it, and decide to pay cash for doctor’s visits instead.
There seems to be a lot of confusion with medical providers who want to know what I mean when I say Medi-Share is ‘sort of’ insurance and ‘like’ insurance. The doctor’s office didn’t even want to entertain the idea of working with them.
I didn’t write this post because I have anything against Medi-Share, but since I do have a post on my site about it, I felt like it was fair to others that I followed-up based on my actual experiences.