The End of Individual Insurance Mandate. Now What?

Beginning on January 1, 2019, individuals will no longer have to prove they have a health plan that is acceptable to the federal government. That will be a good day for personal freedom! However, not being required to carry health insurance does not mean it is wise to go without a health plan.

If you do not have an employer-provided health plan, it is not too early to start thinking about what you will do next year. If you pay for your own health plan, then you can expect to see a substantial increase to your cost. For example, Maryland’s insurers are already asking the state insurance commission to approve rate increases that average 30%, with some individual plans increasing a mind-numbing 91%! As we move through the summer months we can expect to see news headlines that reflect similar increases throughout the country.

For this reason, many people will simply be priced out of their current health plan. In fact, early surveys predict a mass exodus from the individual insurance market by millions of younger people who choose to forego health insurance altogether. Since they tend to need less medical care, many will take their chances. However, there are millions of older individuals who know they aren’t ten feet tall and bullet proof, so they want some type of medical coverage, however, the ever-increasing premiums and deductibles crush their family budget. Many of these individuals are self-employed or work for a small employer that does not provide a health plan. The AARP estimates that people in this category can expect their premiums to rise as much as $4,000.

If this describes your situation, there are options available that cost less and, for most people, provide better access to care. However, it does require a different way of thinking about your healthcare. Instead of viewing healthcare through the lens of a costly insurance-based health plan, you need to view it through the lens of what medical needs can you afford to pay personally and what needs would be the too expensive to bear alone? In other words, why pay the equivalent of another mortgage payment each month to insure what you can afford to pay yourself?

One key part of reducing cost is working with a direct primary care doctor whose full scope of service can be secured for the cost of the average cell phone bill. This is a doctor who has opted out of insurance contracts and provides care for a small monthly fee. Imagine being able to receive up to 90% of your routine medical care for under $1,000 a year!

In direct primary medical practice, the focus is on the patient, not the payment. Patients secure virtually unlimited access to timely, quality primary care where the doctor’s focus is on your wellness, not managing symptoms, prescribing medications, ordering lots of tests or handing you off to a specialist. This approach to healthcare has a proven track record of reducing urgent care and emergency room visits, and reduces inpatient hospitalizations, all without the hassles of insurance deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance or paperwork. This is the approach to healthcare taken by Christian Healthcare Centers.

It is affordable, simple, convenient, quality and personalized, delivered by experienced, dedicated doctors. This is one reason why CHC is among the fastest growing direct primary care organizations in the country.

What about major medical coverage for specialists, surgeries, hospitalizations, MRI’s, etc.? A cost-sharing organization like Samaritan Ministries is the perfect fit. For less than the monthly cost of cable television, an individual can have peace of mind that their medical expenses will be met.

Want specifics on cost? Here is a sample. An adult can secure unlimited primary care (office visits, routine labs, x-rays, in-office procedures, many prescriptions and in-office counseling, telemedicine) for $80 per month. This same individual can join the 250,000-member Samaritan Ministries family and know that medical expenses will be cared for. Cost? As little as $120 per month (a family of any size is $495). What this means is an individual can secure a plan for medical needs that costs as little as $200 per month. No commissions to agents. No funding insurance bureaucracies.

If you do not want to wait until 2019 to start saving money and receive better care, you can join Christian Healthcare Centers and Samaritan Ministries anytime. No waiting for “open enrollment.” And Samaritan Ministries membership satisfies the individual mandate still in effect during 2018, so no worries about a penalty on your next tax return.

If this sounds good and you would like to learn more, contact one of our MemberCare advisors by calling (616) 226-2669

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