Religious Based Health Associations

David Trammel's picture

As someone who is now uninsured by a insurance company for any health problems, and still a few years out of being able to qualify for Medicare, I am just now beginning to navigate my options. It was the big hole in my early retirement planning and one I worry about constantly. I've even caught myself changing my actions, to minimize any accidental injury. The other morning I was about to put on a set of sweat pants, and stopped. I would have normally just stuck one leg, then the other into them but a couple of times I've had problems and fell. Embarrassing but not dangerous. Now at 62, it could be.

I sat on the bed to pull them on.

This week I received the information from my health care management on how much it would cost me to continue my employer provided insurance. I knew it was going to be high but WOW! Considering that the company self insured and paid for claims out of profits it was still a shock on how much I would have to pay, basically $780US. Now I did have top flight insurance, where they paid 90%, that price is still mind boggling. That is about 10 thousand dollars a year. I only saw about $20 a week out of my pay stub for my insurance.

In the big "Medicare For All" debate the Left has gotten into, and the way some opponents to the idea have been pressing Sanders and Warden on whether it will raise taxes on the Middle Class, I'm going to point out, that's 10 thousand dollars that my previous employer paid on top of my wages. With my weekly contribution they were only out $9K, but still that is a cost of employing me to do their work. If all employers were forbidden from providing health insurance to their employees, then that $9K would be going into my personal pocket.

Though it would be going right back out if we had government single payer health insurance. It would just come out as another deduction on my pay stub.`

That's what I find disingenuous about argument against single payer health insurance and that it will cost us individually. It costs us individually NOW.


Back to the subject of this post, I found this link to be interesting in a general way but not applicable to me personally, first because I am familiar with fraternal organizations contracting for their member's and their families health care (via Greer and the ADR) but had not known religious organizations were doing it. And secondly as someone who doesn't attend church services on a even annual basis, I probably wouldn't qualify.

Mom of 3 Reviews Christian Health Ministries

The link comes across as lightly commercial, but the author and webmaster Melissa seems to cover more than just that subject on the rest of the blog. Just a few minutes browsing around gave me at least a couple of ideas for further posts here. I didn't read further into some of her off site links but if you think such a co-operation might suit you, check it out and let us know back on your experiences.


I know that the forum posts and comments here on Green Wizardry, and by extension on Greer's two blogs, and the ArchDruid Report, can make this community appear to be down on Christianity.

I want to just say, "WE ARE NOT ANTI-CHRISTIAN".

I want you to feel as welcomed here, as everyone should feel, and if you ever feel a post steps over the line, please say so, in a polite and respectful way. If you feel uncomfortable saying it in public, then send me an email. I'll check it out. I can't promise you that you won't disagree with what some people here post and that I agree with you.

I want this site, and the Green Wizard community to be open to participation by people in the Fringes of politics, opinion and discussion, but especially religion, to feel welcome though I don't make that welcome conditional on bashing the beliefs of the Majority. Like it or not, we all have to live on this "rapidly being screwed" lump of rock.

Green Wizardry's first commandment and guiding principle is "Dissensus", that is the strength in having many answers. Sometimes those different answers are strongly believed and while we respect your right to believe in an idea and consider it true, we expect you to give the same respect to someone else's strongly held belief, which you may consider wrong. Short of the "Great Spirit" which watches over us all, can any of us know it all.

Don't compromise your strongly held beliefs but be willing to entertain the idea you may not know it all.

Blueberry's picture

Mrs B an I pay Medicare $325.00 a month plus a supplemental policy which cost $675.00 so the total for the 2 equals $1000.00. When President Johnson signed Medicare into law a worker payed into the program each pay period. You were buying a annuity to cover most of the monthly cost when one is a old fart. Well the folks in DC added people who had payed in nothing now we have a big mess. Look at the cost of insurance using the Federal exchange for "O" care Ouch!!. If you want to see how DC runs a single payer system look at the VA. Go ask Vets what they think of the VA health care system.

David Trammel's picture

I hear what you are saying about "mission creep" aka making the mandate of a program bigger and bigger over time but I wonder if the way our current system runs isn't worse?

I've done casual research on trying to find the price of medical treatment for my broken foot after I had it treated with the area hospitals and doctor groups, good luck with that. Luckily my insurance cover almost all of the cost but I remember getting a bunch of bills from various doctors I didn't recognize telling me I owed them money. My own insurance had told me to ignore any such bills so I did. They eventually stopped sending them to me.

This is a direct consequence of in network and out net work. I haven't had it happen to me but a good friend went into the hospital for a procedure and he had to continuously deal with strange people in hospital garb, who stopped by his room and wanted to look over his chart or exam him. He had to ask "Are you in my network?" and make it plain that if they were not, he would refuse to pay any bill they submitted. These drive by examinations result in thousands of dollars in add on expenses, that often drive people nuts trying to figure out, or just drive them to bankruptcy.

Two weeks ago if I fell down at home and broke something, my bills would be covered. This morning, they wouldn't. The system has got to change.

I've pretty much decided that alternative and herbal medicine is going to play a big role in keeping me well over the next two decades and just hope that I die in my sleep some night.

Our income is currently so low (I'm writing as fast as I can) that the great state of Pennsylvania picks up the tab.
Even so, we don't go to the doctor unless we have to.

Bill and I are both 59. Fortunately, we're both relatively healthy. We take no routine or daily meds, other than Bill's melatonin and a decongestant (OTC) to keep his nose clear when he sleeps. Sometimes, he can skip the dose.

We're careful. We eat right. We exercise every day, even if its only walking. We keep to a regular sleep routine. We don't smoke and never have. We don't drink much. We picked the right parents so other than my family history of type 2 diabetes, we're okay.

If the state didn't pony up the costs, we'd go bare until we were eligible for Medicare and paid the fines. It's cheaper! Moreover, even Penn State Milton S. Hershey medical center will negotiate on price if you're paying cash. I know because Dear Daughter sprained her ankle and I had to pay $500 for a gym chit. She was in high school at the time, Bill had just lost his job, we had no coverage, and the school refused to take our word for it. The medical center was quite willing to negotiate a lower cost. They did it all the time.

I don't know what we would do if we had chronic health issues.
On the other hand, many, many chronic health issues are directly related to poor lifestyle choices AND eventually you're going to die of something. Nobody lives forever.

All of the answers seem bad. Part of it is mission creep, constantly adding new, costly features.
I DO NOT want to pay for illegal's healthcare! I think we should cover our own citizen's basic care first.

Everyone is in favor of rationing; they just don't admit it. The minute you say 'I won't pay for that alkie's second liver' you've approved of rationing. It's just a matter of where the line is.
We can't afford to pay for everything.
We can afford to pay for some basic things.

It would be hard to have a worse system than the U.S. does now.

Teresa from Hershey

mountainmoma's picture

I have medicare, but that can still have alot owed if I was to be hospitalized, so I decided to pay $50/month for what I would call "catastrophic" coverage from CHM, and an additional $60 or so a year for "brothers keeper", even more catastrophic coverage. That has a large deductable, but the purpose was to stave off bancruptcy if I have a large health problem. I would not by an add on to medicare as they are way too expensive.

I have heard from many people who use one of the various christian Health Associations for their entire health coverage and they are very happy with it. Liberty Health is religious while not specifically Christian, for those interested.

I know they talk about these over on another forum we are both part of, but I have heard good reports elsewhere too.

Good luck picking one out, let us know your experience

mountainmoma's picture

The problem is that we already have had too much vertical integration, ie., networks, hmo's, and lack of choice.

If I had to be part of a network or hmo, I would be very unwell as the standard medical establishment does not treat my condition, only certain doctors do .

Also, I spent the first 6 months of this calendar year with my mothers medical issues, and subsequent death. There are already huge pushes on one way to do things that I do not want to see furthered ! This severly impacted her and likely led to her death. The hospitals already just try and stabalize and push people out. ICU is to me like Hospital used to be, and when moved upstairs it is observation and a conceirage ( the call it "case management" but that person is not a case manager, she is a conceirage ) looking for how to get you out. So that you are readmitted next week.

We need to break up the monopolies of corporate medical care, the networks. We have anti-monopoly laws.

We need to have transparent pricing, and the same price for all ! I dont care who is paying. It is interesting that some of you see lower price for cash payment, out here in California the uninsured pay MORE, I was uninsured for years. The excuse is that some one with insurance pays a negotiated price and that I would have to pay full price, I own house so I would have no choice. We should know what a basic procedure would cost, and even shop around ! I tell you, at least bring your own asprin if you go in....

One we have choice again and transparent pricing, then we can talk about if we want to pay ourselves, buy insurance, or have the government pay. I think it would be a non-issue

Again, going back to what I have seen this year, the shear amount of people who do not contribute to actual medical care who get paid is mind boggling ! Give me more nurses and less case managers and social workers etc..... and we dont need, as mentioned above, so many specialists walking in and out of the room, how about a doctor who actual takes care of you.