In recent years health insurance has gotten crazy expensive so many people are looking for alternatives. One of the few alternatives to pop up in recent years is called a “healthshare” program. Healthshares are different than conventional insurance because rather than an insurance company paying out on claims its members pool resources to share the expense. One of the most noticeable differences to the user is that you may have to pay up-front in cash for medical services and get reimbursed later. The other very noticeable difference is that healthshares only cost about $500 for a large family, whereas regular insurance programs cost about $2,000 (much of this is often covered by the employer).
You can see from the chart below that healthshares started gaining in popularity in 2013 when they were relatively new and their popularity peaked in 2019. It’s unclear why fewer people are googling “healthshare” than they were in 2019. The decrease in searches could be either a change in language (people are using different terms such as the brand name of specific plans) or it could be a drop in overall popularity.
According to user reviews on Healthshare Reviews, Utah-based Zion Healthshare is the only plan that people really like. All of the other healthshare plans have fallen out of popularity–primarily due to difficulty in receiving payouts for medical bills. Zion does appear to be fairly new, though, having launched only in the last few years so it remains to be seen if they will be able to continue to provide services that people like.
A look at Zion Healthshare’s basic plan:
- $515/month for a family of 6 people
- The healthshare covers everything over $2,500 in medical expenses per year per issue. For example if you have a knee injury and also have heart surgery (unrelated), you would have to pay $5,000 that year and everything else should be covered.
- Certain routines appear to be covered 100% like childhood vaccinations.
- Preexisting conditions aren’t covered until after the first year or two
Personally, I think that Zion Healthshare does seem like a good deal. Anything to save a few thousand dollars a year on healthcare expenses is good in my view. It wouldn’t work as well for people who have a lot of seemingly unrelated medical expenses because you’d have to pay the deductible several times over for each issue.
Photo credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya