Advantages of Healthcare Sharing Ministries
While reduced prices are an advantage of healthcare sharing ministries, some groups also offer membership benefits such as dental and vision reductions, disability sharing, and free telehealth. The following are some additional benefits of healthcare sharing ministries:
• Healthcare sharing ministries are cost-effective since each family contributes a set monthly monetary amount based on program options.
• Membership cannot be discontinued due to the development of a medical condition.
• There are no annual or lifetime limits imposed by healthcare sharing ministries.
• Healthcare sharing ministries may be able to cover approved adoption and funeral costs.
• Membership is not affected by where you live or your employment position.
• Healthcare sharing ministries can be audited annually by an independent accounting firm to assure financial stability.
• Healthcare sharing ministries offer a realistic alternative to buying on the ACA Marketplace.
• Participants of these ministries can support one another through personal notes of encouragement, fostering a sense of community and family among themselves.
The disadvantages of healthcare sharing ministries
Medishare groups, like any health insurance plan, have various drawbacks. Members must be aware of the limits so that individuals contemplating the benefit are aware of the complete process and may make the best option for their health and family. The following are some of the drawbacks of healthcare sharing ministries:
• Because many regulations do not take healthcare sharing insurance into account, consumers have little or no legal protection if a claim is not paid, coverage is rejected, or the ministry goes bankrupt.
• Treasury memo 2016-0051 affirms that healthcare sharing ministries do not qualify as MEC under the ACA’s employer mandate.
• There are some limits and payment caps in place for pre-existing conditions.
• Some pre-existing diseases, such as diabetes, may necessitate an additional monthly price in addition to ordinary membership expenses.
• Because healthcare sharing ministries are faith-based groups, they may have certain membership rules. Members may, for example, be obliged to attend church on a regular basis, refrain from tobacco and illegal drugs, and attest to a certain declaration of faith.
Can you combine an HRA and a Medishare?
Membership fees for healthcare sharing ministries cannot be paid under a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), such as the eligible small employer HRA, according to IRS limitations (QSEHRA). This is because U.S. Code 2131 governs the expenses and health insurance premiums that can be reimbursed through an HRA. Because healthcare sharing ministry programs are not provided by a health insurance business, they are not considered insurance.
As a result, according to the IRS, membership fees or gifts are not deductible. Employees may, however, be entitled to reimbursement for other forms of qualified medical expenses.