"The Catch"The catch is that health care cost sharing is not insurance. We do not make an insurance guarantee or insure that you will receive benefits. However, medical cost sharing members do actually pay for their memberships medical costs. For example, since its inception in 1988, Liberty HealthShare's membership has not failed to pay for any shared expenses that were eligible for sharing under its guidelines. There is no guarantee because this is not insurance. The members simply commit to pay for each others medical costs by paying a fixed monthly "share amount" to pay for each others expenses.
The difference is similar to that of a bank and a credit union. They perform similar functions. Banks operate "for profit." Credit unions are "non profit." Similar to credit unions, medical cost sharing groups are "non profit". They are run by their members and members coordinate, usually on a yearly basis, to make appropriate changes to their group programs.
These groups use different vocaublary to make sure members understand that this is not insurance.
- We aren't insurance, we are medical cost sharing.
- We don't send a monthly fee, payment, or premium, we send a share amount.
- We don't pay claims, we share medical expenses or meet needs.
- We don't have reserves, the Sharing Members retain their own resources as self pay patients.
- We don't have benefits, we follow sharing guidelines.
- We don't have a deductible, we have an annual unshared amount.
- We don't say "you're covered," we say you are "eligible for sharing."
- We don't have plans, we have health care options.