Q. Is there Ministry or Other Member Liability
A. United HealthShare Ministry DBA (doing business as) Freedom HealthShare (FHS) is not insurance. FHS is a Healthcare Sharing Ministry as outlined in the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. Each FHS member is solely responsible for the payment of his or her own medical bills at all times. Neither FHS nor other Members guarantee or shall be liable for the payment of a Member's medical bill. Further, no Member may or shall be compelled to make sharing contributions. If sharing occurs, the shared medical bills are paid by the Member that incurred the bill solely from voluntary contributions of Members, not from funds of FHS itself.
Neither FHS nor its Members are insurance or an insurance company. The payment of your medical bills through FHS or otherwise is not guaranteed in any way. FHS is not, and should never be construed as, a contract for insurance or a substitute for insurance. There is no transfer of risk for any purpose from a Member to FHS or from a Member to other Members; nor is there a contract of indemnity between FHS and any Member or between the Members themselves. As such Members cannot assign any amounts to any provider.
A. Each month we ask you to send a Monthly Share Amount to your ShareBox which is kept in a Trust Account, which will be shared with another member who has medical bills regardless of whether you have medical expenses. Giving regularly each month is how you remain eligible to have your bills shared by other active members. That amount varies depending on your program choices, age, and whether you are a single, couple or family.
Q. What about Pre-existing conditions?
A. A pre-existing condition is any condition at the time of enrollment that has evidenced symptoms, or received treatment or medication in the past 36 months. We share in pre-existing conditions according to the following schedule:
A. You can drop at any time. But, when you join, you pay your first annual dues of $125.00. Your Sharing Membership then lasts for one year. If you drop out within 30 days, your dues are refunded. If you drop your membership any time after 30 days, your annual dues are not refunded. You then become an inactive member. An inactive Member will remain on the list of members until their next renewal date. Inactive members can give as much as they can when they can. And if an inactive member has a need, it is shared among the other inactive members.Q. What guarantees do I have that my money will be used as it should?
A. Accountability and financial integrity are vital concepts at Freedom HealthShare. All that we do at Freedom HealthShare is done in a spirit of public trust. That trust is precious to us and there are numerous ways in which we practice that creed.
· Board Members are expected to contribute a serious amount of their expertise, time and energy to help grow and govern the Ministry for the benefit of all.
A. Members highly value the spiritual principle that our bodies are gifts from God and we must respect and care for our physical bodies. Further, we have an ethical obligation to our fellow members to live healthy as this keeps medical costs down. As a community of people we try our best to live out God's mandates. In general, a healthy lifestyle requirement includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Q. What if I'm unable to make the monthly contribution, or I'm late?
A. Members are asked to send their Monthly Share Amount by the 5th day of the month. If the full Monthly Share Amount is not received by the 15th of the month, the Sharing Membership becomes inactive. If your Sharing Membership is inactive for less than 60 days, you can reactivate. Simply contribute a Monthly Share Amount for each month that your membership was inactive! But remember, medical expenses that occur when your membership is inactive are not eligible for health sharing. For more information, see Sharing Guidelines.
Q. What do I say to my doctor or at the hospital when I need medical care?
A. Simply explain to any doctor or hospital that you are self-pay, but you are part of a community of people who have pledged to share your expenses called Freedom HealthShare. We advise using the PPO approved hospitals and providers but you can use any provider just make sure that provider accepts Freedom HealthShare's allowed amount otherwise you may be liable for a balance bill. Show them your membership card and explain that your bills should be sent either electronically or by mail as directed on your Membership card.
Q. How does my doctor or hospital get paid?
A. Each member, when they join, is assigned an on-line secure funds exchange account called a "ShareBox". Each month Freedom HealthShare Services, transfers your Monthly Share Amount directly to another member's secure "ShareBox". You will have an accounting that shows to whom your sharing funds have helped. When you have qualifying expenses, members' contributions are sent from their Monthly Share Amount directly to your ShareBox in proportion to your eligible medical expenses. When all the funds are accounted for and received, sufficient to meet your expenses, Freedom HealthShare transacts checks or ACH transactions directly to your providers. Those payments are disbursed from your "ShareBox" and you receive an "Explanation of Sharing" verifying payment to each provider.
Q. Do I have a deductible or co-pay?
A. Freedom HealthShare does not have deductibles or co-pays since we are a medical cost sharing ministry. However, there is an annual first dollar amount that members have agreed to not share together. We call it our Annual Unshared Amount. The Annual Unshared Amount (AUA) accumulates throughout your membership year, These AUA amounts are shown on the website under programs. They may change on a yearly basis. When your eligible medical expenses exceed the Annual Unshared Amount during the year, then sharing commences. If you are enrolled in the Platinum or Gold programs, your expenses are shared up to your program's limit.
Q. What if I have medical bills that are not eligible and I don't agree with the decision?
STEP ONE: Make a call. There can always be differences of opinion. Most disputes can be resolved with a simple phone call. If you disagree with a decision, always call and one of our helpful advisers will exhaust every possibility.
STEP TWO: Follow the "DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND APPEAL" process outlined in the Sharing Guidelines.
STEP THREE: Regardless of who wins or loses, remember who and what we are. Freedom HealthShare is a voluntary association of like-minded people who come together to assist each other by sharing medical expenses. Such a sharing and caring association does not lend itself well to the mentality of legally enforceable rights.
Q. Can I participate in Freedom HealthShare and also have medical insurance?
A. Of course. In fact, many participants have insurance through work or another source. They participate with us for the sheer excitement of helping others. They never expect to submit bills. And in those cases where money is still owed after insurance makes its payments, Freedom HealthShare's members can share the balance if the services are allowed in the Sharing Guidelines and the AUA is met.Q. What are the minimum and maximum amounts of medical bills I can submit to be shared?
MINIMUM: Once the annual unshared amount has been met, there is no minimum sharing amount.
MAXIMUM: For Freedom Gold is $125,000 per membership per year
MAXIMUM: For Freedom Platinum is $1,000,000 per membership per yearQ. What do I do if my bills are over $125,000 and I'm not a part of Freedom Platinum?
A. There is no recourse for expenses that exceed the sharing limit of $125,000 when the member is not a part of Freedom Platinum. In today's high cost medical environment, it's prudent to take caution. Enroll in Freedom Platinum today and don't let this happen to you!Q. Why was Freedom Health Coaching created?
A. Based upon our Shared Belief that we are all creatures of God and have a moral and spiritual obligation to care for our bodies, Freedom Health Coaching (FHC) was created so that Freedom HealthShare could enroll those who have chronic conditions particularly responsive to lifestyle changes. Those conditions are identified in the application process. In some cases it is mandatory to participate in order to become a member. The Ministry wants these members to participate in our medical cost sharing ministry while improving conditions such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity, as well as smoking cessation. Freedom Coaching assists members in making lifestyle changes that foster better health and reduce the prospect of progressive disease. Freedom Coaching participants are assigned a certified Health Coach. The coach assists them in developing personal goals, tracking progress, and reaching their health related goals. FHC participation is required for Sharing Members who have been identified in the enrollment process as having conditions at the time of enrollment that can be improved through lifestyle changes. A participant fee of $65 per month per person being coached is assessed in addition to the Monthly Medical Share Amount and the monthly administration amount while the member demonstrates progress and until their personal goals are met.
Q. I just joined Freedom HealthShare. I am in Coaching. What?s next?
A. First of all, congratulations on your decision to address conditions that are putting your health at risk. So much of our satisfaction with life is dependent on good health. You will need to make an appointment with your health coach using the health coaching scheduler located on the website or the Member Portal. Your coach will want you to complete the Advanced Health Assessment shortly after your first coaching session. You and your coach need to discuss the reasons you were added to Coaching and start setting goals.
Q. What can I expect from working with a Health Coach?
A. Your Health Coach is a partner in your journey to better overall health. The program is about supporting you through changes, big or small. Take advantage of it! You are required, at minimum, to communicate with your coach once a month. More communication may be necessary depending on the particulars of your individual health profile. You are encouraged to communicate with your coach as often as you feel is necessary. You will receive tips, encouragement and support, and even recipes for adjustments to your daily diet. This program is designed for you!Q. Do people ever finish coaching?
A. Yes! People do graduate from coaching. You may see success stories posted from time to time. While every participant and coach set customized goals and benchmarks for progress, Freedom HealthShare expects to see significant changes within the first year of enrollment.
Q. Why am I required to participate in coaching as part of my Sharing Membership?
A. Some aspect of the Medical Questionnaire you completed during the application process caused a review by our Health and Wellness department and revealed a condition particularly suited to health coaching. Based on your answers, in order to confirm your membership as a Sharing Member, you are required to participate in Health Coaching as a condition of membership. Our Health and Wellness department will contact you.
Q. I smoke or use tobacco. What is expected of me?
A. You must cease use of tobacco products within 6 months of enrollment. Testing for nicotine is required. There is a health coaching track that will help you quit. Otherwise your membership is terminated.
Q. What kinds of goals will I be expected to attain?
A. You and your coach will discuss your personalized goals and timeline. If necessary, you may need to consult with your doctor. Freedom HealthShare Services coaches recognize that lifestyle changes require time. Rest assured, continual progress is important as every little adjustment results in better health outcomes.
Q. How do I graduate and show improvement? Do I have to get tested or see my doctor?
A. You and your coach will have agreed upon goals, defining when you have reached the point of graduation. It may be necessary to conduct lab tests or visit your doctor - maybe not. Each member works individually with their coach so requirements are different. The goal is better overall health and a reduced risk of serious disease. This will be defined for each individual. If smoking cessation is your goal, then yes, you will have to submit to nicotine tests. If lowered blood pressure, better management of diabetes, or weight loss is required, a visit to a lab or doctor may be necessary.
Q. What happens if there is more than one coaching participant in my Sharing Membership?
A. A participant fee of $65 per person per month is assessed for each person in coaching.Q. Is there a time limit on how long I can be in coaching?
A. Continuation beyond the first year of membership will be assessed and determined by the Freedom HealthShare Services vendor coaching staff.
Q. What if I don?t do what my Health Coach advises?
A. We take seriously our pledge to take care of our bodies and be responsible for our health. As a coaching participant, responsiveness to guidance by a Health Coach is required as a condition of Freedom HealthShare membership. Failure to make progress or being unresponsive to health coaching, violates your responsibility to other members and may result in termination of Freedom HealthShare membership.
Q. What is an "Annual Unshared Amount (AUA)?"
A. The AUA is the dollar amount a Member Household must pay toward their Eligible Medical Bills during a 12-month period before their needs will be published for sharing. The AUA 12-month period begins with YOUR Effective Date.
Q. How do I meet my AUA?
A. You will present your card every time you visit a medical provider. Your provider should submit your medical bills to Freedom HealthShare Services via the FHS Services web based Point of Service (POS) payment system. Using POS ensures that you get the maximum discount. The bills will be processed and discounted, and then your provider will bill you for the portion you owe. Once the amount YOU pay meets your chosen annual unshared amount level, your Eligible Medical Bills will be published for sharing.
Q. What if I want to change my AUA level?
A. Members must apply in writing to switch Annual Unshared Amount (AUA). All family members in a household must switch together to the new AUA. There is an administrative fee of $200 to change AUA, and certain limitations apply as shown in the plan charts.
Q. How does Freedom HealthShare (FHS) know I met my AUA?
A. Your providers will submit all medical bills to FHS Services. At FHS Services, the bills will be processed and discounted if applicable. We would then apply eligible amounts toward your AUA or publish for sharing if your AUA has been met.
Q. What is the deductible?
A. Members do not have deductibles. Instead, our members have an Annual Unshared Amount (AUA). Members choose an AUA from those available. The AUA is the annual amount a household is responsible for before medical bills will be published for sharing. The AUA only applies to Eligible Medical Bills. After the AUA has been met, ALL eligible medical bills will be submitted for sharing for the entire household.
Q. What is the monthly premium?
A. Members do not have a monthly premium. Instead, our members contribute a monthly medical share amount based on age, how many in the household and the Annual Unshared Amount plus a separate administrative fee. The administrative fee goes directly to the Freedom HealthShare Services vendor. Both the medical and administrative fee are deducted separately by ACH from your checking account. The medical share amount is deposited in to the member's share box account. It can then be sent to another member to pay their medical bills.
Q. How does the claim (and sharing) process work?
A. Members do not file claims, nor does the ministry handle claims because we are not an insurance company. If your eligible medical bill is paid, it is paid with funds received directly from another member(s). Our members present their member ID card to their service provider. The service provider then discounts the bill accordingly, if within the Preferred Provider Organization network. The bill is then sent to us where we negotiate for further discounts. Here, we review the services provided to determine if the bill is eligible for sharing. After the AUA has been met and if the bill is eligible, it is eligible for sharing among the other members. For more details on what is eligible and how the AUA works, please review the Sharing Guidelines.
Q. Is my share amount tax deductible?
A. Your share payment is not deductible for federal income tax purposes as a charitable donation or as a medical expense. Since there is the strong possibility that your medical expenses will get shared by another Member, you cannot deduct your share as a charitable donation, even though United HealthShare Ministry DBA Freedom HealthShare? (FHA) is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit ministry. Your share payment is not tax deductible as an insurance expense because Freedom HealthShare? is not insurance.
Q. Will my share amount change?
A. Your share amount is subject to change at any time. A share adjustment may be necessary if the amount of medical bills submitted for sharing exceeds the amount of monthly shares coming in. Share amounts also may change annually based on the age of the oldest person in your household.
Q. Is Freedom HealthShare Judeo-Christian insurance?
A. No. Freedom HealthShare is not insurance. Freedom HealthShare is a healthcare sharing program where faith based persons share their financial resources to pay each other's medical expenses. Freedom HealthShare isn't insurance. Resources are shared directly between members. There is no overt pooling of funds because you know at any time what is in your share box and how much you have donated to another member. United HealthShare Ministry DBA Freedom HealthShare(TM) and the Freedom HealthShare program are not registered or licensed by any insurance entity, nor are we required to be. We do not collect premiums, make promise of payment, or guarantee that your medical bills will be paid. Sharing of medical bills is completely voluntary.
Q. What kind of oversight is there at Freedom HealthShare?
A. Freedom HealthShare is self-regulated by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for the policy decisions of the ministry.
Q. Who makes the rules for the Freedom HealthShare program?
A. The Directors make the rules! All Members may have the opportunity to vote on how they wish to care for one another. The Board of Directors review suggestions from Freedom HealthShare members and recommends changes to the Guidelines each year. Voting is used to help create, amend and change the program Guidelines; voting is not used for determining whether specific individual bills should be published for sharing.