There is a built-in protection for people like me, as explained here:
The health care bill that was passed Sunday night by the U.S. House of Representatives, often referred to as the Senate bill, contains a provision that exempts members of health care sharing ministries from the bill’s requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance. This is the bill that is awaiting the President’s signature. We are continuing to watch the reconciliation process, an effort to make changes to the Senate bill after the President signs it, for anything that would take away this exemption. Please be in prayer. --Samaritan Ministries email "Health care bill update," 3/22/10.The "House version" didn't contain this provision, and for a while it looked like I would be forced to purchase health insurance against my will. Thankfully, the Senate bill—as it stands now—will allow me to continue uninsured, as a member of Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter program.
A former post tells a bit about why I chose to terminate my health insurance and go the "sharing" way instead. If you are a born-again Christian, I urge you to prayerfully consider doing likewise.
Virtues of a health care sharing ministry include:
>> Low deductibles and low monthly cost. Mine are $300 and $120, respectively.
>> You and you only decide where to get the best care.
>> No such thing as "out-of-network." Every provider loves self-pays!
>> Many providers cut costs and grant discounts when they learn you are part of such a refreshingly non-bureaucratic way of paying your bills.
>> Shares go directly to meet another's needs. I heard today that $1 out of every $4 paid by an insured patient simply funds the bureaucracy of his insurance company.
>> No (unintentional) funding of unbiblical behavior. Every member of CHCN pledges to and provides references for Christian conduct: no smoking, immorality; limited or no alcohol.
>> No (unintentional) funding of bad corporate sponsorships. Did you know, for example, Aetna, Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield all proudly underwrite, with their members' dollars, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce?
>> Besides receiving checks for your medical expenses directly from other members, you receive cards and personal notes. No insurance company does that.
>> There's no medicine like the prayers of hundreds of other believers for you by name.
Remember, I write this as 1) a Christian striving to live biblically and 2) a worker in the the health care industry; but not as a person with any health needs (yet—thank God) beyond the occasional minor sickness or superficial injury, and not as someone whose employer provides insurance benefits.
Maybe it's not for everyone. Maybe there are situations when Christians should legitimately choose an independent health insurance policy instead of health care sharing. I can't think of any. But I invite feedback as we navigate this scary world of 21st century American health care together.