How the Billing Process WorksAKA: Meeting your Annual Unshared Amount
AKA: Do We Have Co-Pays?
In order to make sure your eligible medical expenses are shared by the community you'll want to understand the billing process.
First make sure that you've informed your provider of where to send the bills, by presenting your Liberty HealthShare membership card when you next visit the doctor's office. The doctor will then send the bill directly to our administrative office for price negotiation and payment. (You don't have to negotiate with the doctor. Liberty does that for you.)
If you have already met your annual unshared amount (AUA), at this point Liberty's membership will pay the bill using our unique ShareBox technology. That is the essence of medical cost sharing; members helping other members. Our technology makes this very easy. If you haven't yet met your AUA, Liberty will notify you and then you will pay for the services yourself until you meet your AUA.
"Why not have co-pays?" you might ask. The reason is simple. Procedures like co-pays have created a culture of irresponsibility among health care consumers. They hide the actual costs of health care from the consumer. A patient might visit the doctor for a sore throat. The doctor might then proceed to do an examination, draw blood, take a throat culture and send the samples off for testing all without consulting the patient. All the patient knows is that they have a $35 co-pay. They do not consider the total cost of the visit, the cost of the blood lab, or the throat culture test. An MRI for example can run several thousand dollars. Patients are out of the habit of considering that they have some say in their health care process and regularly submit to routine procedures that might be costly or unnecessary.
The annual unshared amount is the amount that you (or you and your family) must pay first prior to being eligible for sharing medical expenses. If you are a single member, the amount is $500. If you join as a couple, the AUA is $1000, and for families $1500. Although some may think this is a significant yearly amount, it's quite competitive all things considered. With the amount of money you will save relative to traditional expensive health care, you will be able save money for your annual unshared amount.
When our members agree to pay a significant portion up front out of our own pockets we are essentially telling each other that we commit to make responsible health care decisions and that we are dedicated to keeping each others medical costs low. Each time we consider purchasing medical care, this structure incentivizes us to consider the procedures and care we are being offered. We might want to take some time to determine what care we actually need... because we will have to foot the bill even though it is shared. After all it's our money.
Liberty Members are like minded people dedicated to our own health and each others health and we are also dedicated to saving money where possible. Consider joining us and supporting others in this unique ministry.