Medical cost-sharing plans are not run by insurance companies. Members pay a set amount into a group fund every month. When a member gets a large medical bill, the fund pays some or all of that bill. Membership guidelines determine which expenses are shareable.
Before the plan pays out, though, the member must cover some of the cost first. This amount called the member’s “personal responsibility” or “Initial Unshareable Amount (IUA)” works just like a deductible does for health insurance.
Many of these plans, but not all, are linked to churches or people who share similar beliefs. We do not decline membership to anyone based on their religious beliefs. The groups have no contracts or legal responsibility for the medical bills.
This system has proven to be an effective alternative to traditional—increasingly complex and costly—health insurance. Members enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and stability of community medical cost sharing.