HEALTHCARE SHARING: AN AFFORDABLE OPTION FOR SELF-EMPLOYED

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Healthcare sharing is the best option for the 28 million uninsured people in this country–a fact supported by a 2019, Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) study.  The CBO study assessed how many people in the United States under age 65 have health insurance and how is that insurance paid for.  The CBO study can be found here: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-04/55094-CoverageUnder65_0.pdf.  The summary page from that study is here.

CBO’s findings aggregate this way for insured / uninsured persons under age 65:

243 million people: insurance paid by group employer policy or government subsidies.
(The 243 million figure is derived by adding: employment based coverage (157 million) + subsidized non-group coverage (8.4 million) + Medicaid/CHIPS (69.4 million) + Medicare (8.3 million)  = 243 million.)

28 million people: uninsured.

So, who are these 28 million uninsured people?

The uninsured population in the US are largely the self-employed and small business owners—people who make too much money to qualify for a government subsidy, but not enough money to pay for health insurance.

These are the people who are best served by the healthcare sharing alternative to insurance: the self-employed and small business owners who are locked out of subsidized programs, but often can’t afford traditional insurance.

We also see from the Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries data (http://ahcsm.org/about-us/data-and-statistics/) that 1.5 million people in the United States, and 144,000 people in the State of Texas participate in healthcare sharing.

These two data sources taken together reveal informative conclusions:

First, healthcare sharing is not drawing away healthy people from the ACA insurance pools, contrary to some claims.  1.5 million people participate healthcare sharing nationwide, compared to 243 million people whose insurance is paid by an employer or subsidized by the government is 1.5 million ÷ 243 million = .006.  That’s a rounding error.  We assess that healthcare sharing is not drawing healthy people away from ACA insurance pools because people whose insurance is paid by an employer, or the government, are unlikely to drop that paid-for insurance just to join a healthcare sharing program that they must pay for themselves.  Human nature is such.

Second, because healthcare sharing is universally more affordable than insurance under the “Affordable Care Act,” it offers an attractive, affordable option to the uninsured population of Texas, which we estimate at 2.5 million people.  These people are the small business owners and self-employed of this country.  So, it is in the interest of this various states to expand healthcare sharing options, not restrict those options.

Its time for broad acceptance of the value and benefits that healthcare sharing offers the 28 million uninsured of this country.

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