Guest post by Tony Dale: Lowering healthcare costs

Simple church life is about living for Jesus 24/7.  We listen to Him and we do what He says.  Could this have anything to do with keeping our healthcare costs down?

Sixteen years ago, as a result of an accident to my knee (that will teach me to try to keep up with the kids on a basketball court!), I needed surgery.  I was so shocked by the bills, that I challenged them all and to my amazement everybody pretty much asked me, “What are you willing to pay?”  Felicity was asking the Lord what we could do to help support ourselves in a country where our medical licenses were not recognized, and out of this came The Karis Group. Our company has since negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in medical bills for individuals, insurance companies, and for the various Christian health care sharing ministries that have grown up across America over the past 25 years.

By working with these Christian groups, and watching the incredible job they do, we found ourselves wondering how we could promote this sharing costs approach to the wider body of Christ. Most Christians are not even aware that such groups exist. But as I spoke with various ministries and churches about the huge cost savings that they would see by working in this environment, the reply was always the same,  “We love the idea behind these groups, but does it really work for a big group like ours?  Can they handle the challenges of all of our staff and any pre-existing conditions that they already have?”

At that time, the answer to those questions was not really clear.

But things have changed, and The Health Co-Op is the answer that has emerged.  Built around the foundation of what Samaritan Ministries, by far the largest of the Christian health care sharing groups, has done, we have pulled together a collection of services that mean the Christian world now has a serious, non-insurance alternative to classic major medical insurance.  We have taken our 16 years’ experience and created a service that slashes costs while enhancing and improving the way that your medical bills are paid.  The typical family or Christian group that we are helping is able to cut their medical costs by upwards of 50%.  And all of this is done is an environment that glorifies the Lord by literally helping Christians to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2

I believe that the moral and ethical issues involved in health care are some of the key issues that American Christians need to grapple with.  Do we want a system that few can afford, and that does little to nothing to reward godly/healthy living?  Do we want our dollars being spent to provide for services and procedures that we actually stand against?  It is hard to say I am pro-life, and then pay into an insurance plan that puts my money towards paying for other people’s abortions!  It is to the Catholics great credit that they have been willing to challenge the way health care law is trying to shape modern medical practice in a way that is profoundly anti-Biblical.

So come and have a look at what we are doing.  You can not only probably save a lot of money, but you can do so in a context that shows The Health Co-Op providing quality answers to a challenge that may otherwise bankrupt this country.