They thought they were buying healthcare coverage; instead they got ‘thoughts and prayers’

Sep 2012
Caveat emptor ...

They thought they were buying healthcare coverage; instead they got ‘thoughts and prayers’
When Meehan’s doctor recommended that he undergo back surgery, Meehan asked Aliera/Trinity whether the procedure was approved. He was advised that no pre-approval was necessary. After the surgery, Meehan sought payment for approximately $200,000 in medical bills. Aliera and Trinity then declined to pay, claiming that his back surgery was due to a “preexisting condition.”

At the time, Meehan did not fully understand that his monthly premiums were not for actual “insurance,” but rather a Christian-oriented “healthcare cost-sharing ministry” which, like others of its type, pools individual monthly contributions from members to cover (in theory) the medical expenses incurred by those same members when they get sick or are hospitalized. Over one million Americans are enrolled in these “faith-based” healthcare sharing “ministries” (referred to by the insurance industry as HCSMs), which operate legally in nearly every U.S.state.

These plans, which resemble large, coordinated GoFundMe operations, take pains to highlight their “faith-based” origins; nearly all of them make a point of refusing to pay for conditions traceable to a “sinful” lifestyle, such as substance abuse, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, or even sexually transmitted diseases. But the primary draw of HCSMs, for many Americans, is affordability: They are usually cheaper than the “normal” insurance plans covered by the Affordable Care Act, a fact that’s conveyed by slick advertising that’s at best seriously misleading, and at worst wholly fraudulent.

Sep 2016
My own world
Well, people were screaming they wanted their faith based groups exempt from insurance regulations. They were foolish as it meant the most important provisions wouldn't be covered either. They asked for it and they got it.
Although the 2010 Affordable Care Act passed by Congress prohibits qualified health plans from denying coverage or services because of preexisting conditions, health care sharing ministries are exempt.
By the way the Trump Administration was trying to get the preexisting provision thrown out from all plans. They have asked the Supreme Court to hold the review of the case until after the 2020 election. They were afraid they were going to win. Trump is lying that he won't take that protection away. He is trying to hide what the GOP are doing.
His base only watches right wing news that doesn't report the truth and only report Trump's lies.
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