My Personal Pros and Cons As A Liberty Healthshare Member
My family of 4 has been with Liberty HeathShare for almost 2 years now. I have had to learn a lot about how it works since we do more than just the once a year wellness visit. I joined Liberty because they paid for my homebirth and stayed because they continue to support my alternative medicine adventures like Chiropractic and Acupuncture.
There are definitely downsides to this service but the Pros have always outweighed the cons for me. Here are the details of my experience in hopes that it will help you decide whether to join them.
Backstory: I previously had a family plan with Blueshield. Then for a year, my husband and I joined Liberty since my son needed some very expensive drugs for a year. When that was done he joined our family plan and we recently added a baby to the mix.
And in case you didn't know, Liberty is NOT a health insurance which can be a little scary for some in the states. It is a cost-share service meaning they primarily reimburse you and you pay as a cash patient. Cost-share services are religious-based but Liberty does not require "proof" (some require a signature from your pastor!).
First huge PRO...
The cost to be a part of their service is amazingly cheap.
Family of 4 costs $499 a month.
Our deductible (they call it your AUA) is $2250 for the year.
You should have heard the shock in my voice when they told me our AUA does NOT increase with the second child. This is huge for people who want a lot of kids!
First huge CON...
I think the biggest con is how time-consuming this path takes. Now, if you have minimal needs and only do your yearly wellness visits, then this con won't apply to you. In fact, if that is the case, go sign up now and enjoy the no-hassle, affordable health care now.
I personally use this service to get optimal health care which is a PRO for me but it comes at a cost.
You also have to do your own billing which means you often need to get pre-note numbers ahead of time, confirm and fax documents like clinical notes to get a service approved. Then submit the superbill for reimbursement. Then check back and sometimes call OFTEN in case there is a mistake (and there have been quite a few for me). And if there is a mistake, the bill takes even longer to be processed. It can take up to 6 months to be reimbursed. But what's funny is this is still less annoying than long wait calls and lack of progress I had dealing with regular health insurance.
This might sound scary if you have an ER visit bill but don't worry you can submit the bill and mark that it is UNPAID. Hospitals won't make you pay upfront. Just give them your "health insurance" and tell them to bill it.
The surprisingly good thing to having to learn about all of this is that you become incredibly empowered when it comes to your healthcare. I never looked into my health insurance plans, never double-checked if things were charged correctly, etc. Even though it can be incredibly annoying, I am grateful to have been forced to learn the system.
And the rest...
Let's talk about another huge pro. Here are some things I got "covered" (they call it shared into).
12 chiropractics a year
My Naturopath (an ND) does my wellness visits
Acupuncture treated my TMJ
My Turbinate Reduction
Both my son's Frenecetemys
Post-Partum Pelvic Floor Therapy
You can probably see how I've racked up a lot of not yet reimbursed bills huh? But don't worry, they are legit. I gave a good squeal to my husband when we got our $5,000 homebirth reimbursement check. A reimbursement like that plus the low monthly cost makes up for the interest rates on our credit card.
Now, as mentioned above, a big con for you might be that they don't pay for drug prescriptions. They do have a program that gives discounts on drugs. In the beginning, our son was on Qvar which was about $200 a month so we waited till he was off all meds (also so he didn't have a pre-existing condition) before signing him up with Liberty.
You technically can have a pre-existing condition but it consists of joining a special program that meant not being covered for a while (double-check for me cause I didn't look too much into it).
So let's talk about something good again!
YOU CAN SEE WHOEVER YOU WANT!!
They have pretty minimal requirements. My Naturopath needed to be an ND. My midwife needed to be a nursing Midwife, etc. My chiropractor needed a license (laugh-out-loud). That being said, I recommend always calling ahead to find out exactly what you need to do. Sometimes I call a couple of times to speak with different people cause (con) you might be told different things each time.
They are also a little vague on exactly how much they cover. I have been told they compare prices to medicare which allows them to negotiate cheaper medical rates for you. This can be awesome but can also be tricky if a provider forces you to pay a premium rate and then Liberty doesn't quit share into it. I have had zero luck so far being able to find out ahead of time exactly how much a doctor's appointment is going to be shared into (except for surgeries when they pre-pay) but luckily it's completely shared into most of the time. The most I have had to pay is around $50 which is like the copays for a lot of health insurance plans.
I think this plan is perfect for those who don't want to be forced to spend a lot of money monthly and especially if you want an alternative health care plan (homebirths, acupuncture, etc.) as well as choosing your own providers.
If you also know a big bill is coming up (like a birth), this could be fun since you hit your "deductible" really fast so you can enjoy all the bonus services for the rest of the year.
But if you have the money and hate wasting time, this service might get annoying.
I also have great hope for Liberty. They are constantly making changes to their site and program which, yes, is annoying to keep up with but is meant to make improvements and accommodate the fast growth they are having. For example, up until this last Feb 2019, they previously had no place for you to be able to say whether you paid or not. Everything was processed as unpaid which led to a lot of confusion between me, Liberty and the providers since most out of network, premium providers make you pay upfront. But their new system improved this as well as other features. So I have a feeling a lot of my past issues won't be yours!
So there you go! I really hope you consider Liberty. Almost every time I am at one of my appointments, I overhear a conversation between another patient and the secretary says, "my health insurance doesn't cover this." I almost always interrupt to talk about Liberty because it has been such a blessing.
You can check out liberty on their website or call them at (855) 585-4237.
I do have one favor to ask. If you could mention my referral code: #232373686, you would be helping to support my family. <3
Have you had Liberty before? What was your experience? What are you concerned about? Maybe I can help!