Last post, I wrote about how I cut down on some of the stressors in my life. One of them was a particular freelance client for which I wrote blogs and social media content.
Letting that one go was necessary for my health. My blood pressure was through the roof, and I felt wrong about some of the content that I wrote. Morally, ethically wrong. It was eating away at me.
The short story
The content was for a U.S. health insurance company that sold “Christian” health care plans. I was writing content in praise of for-profit health care and for-profit health insurance.
These particular plans are called “Christian” health sharing plans. They’re not insurance, but present themselves as an alternative to it. And they deny coverage based on their supposed Christian values. Which is to say, they won’t cover abortions at all, even those medically necessary to save the mother’s life. Most don’t pay for birth control, either, or maternal care. Don’t bother pointing out the contradiction there. And they’re allowed to deny care for pre-existing conditions. So if you want to sign up and you have a child with cancer or a disability, forget about getting any help.
In addition to these limitations, they’re U.S.-style health plans. That means they all have co-pays, coinsurance fees and deductibles. Those are payments out of your own pocket, amounting to as much as $1,000 per month.
To make it worse, there are maximums. These plans will only cover so much of your medical bill, in a country with the highest medical costs in the world, by orders of magnitude.
In other words, they’re part of a system that penalizes people who do not have enough money to afford health care costs that are 10 or 100 times what any reasonable person could expect. In short, it’s a system that denies care to people, based on their ability to pay.
To me, that’s just plain wrong.
It has nothing to do with socialism. The left-right political spectrum does not apply here.
Decades ago, I was raised in a religious home. I attended church. I was even an altar boy. Since then, I have read and studied religion, including Christianity. And there is no way, in any writing or preaching in this religion, to justify denying care to anyone for any reason.
That’s why I could not carry on promoting this.
Denying care to sick people is evil.
What the hell is a “Christian” health plan?
It’s not insurance, but it wears the trappings of U.S.-style, for-profit health insurance. It’s something that U.S. lawmakers grandfathered into the system, an exception under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Most of them are operated under the authority, or at least endorsement, of a faith group, usually a church. However, there is at least one Jewish plan.
They offer monthly fees or memberships that are usually less than real health insurance premiums. But as you might expect, they don’t cover as much.
This is the way it works: if you meet the requirements of the faith group, you pay a monthly fee, similar to a premium for health insurance. However, it’s essential to remember, this is not insurance.
When you have health bills, you submit them to the health plan for reimbursement. So you’re out of pocket for weeks, in the country with the highest medical costs in the world.
And because the plans are faith-based, they’re allowed to deny coverage for anything that they deem unacceptable to their religion. Abortion is, predictably, high on that list. For many, so is birth control. I know, it’s a contradiction right there. Many also exclude maternal care.
These health plans are also allowed to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
And they have caps. They have maximum payments as well as co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance fees.
Exclusivity: health care for those who can afford it.