11/18/2006

Affordable, Biblical Healthcare -- with a horrific catch

I can't believe it. I got a flier in the mail today from medi-share Christian care. They're a group of Christians who share medical bills by all paying into one fund and then paying for medical expenses out of that fund. (That sounds like an insurance plan -- which the American Evangelistic Association say it is not. I think the biggest reason it is not is that the plan is not guaranteed.)
Pooling resources and meeting everyone's needs sounds a whole lot like the early church described in Acts. I guess that's were medi-share gets the 'biblical' part from. (Their website says that Galatians 5:2 -- "Share each other's burdens" is the basis)
But what's this? Inside the flier I found "Good News . . . for Christians only!"
Come again?
You have to be a Christian to qualify. Because, of course, Christians make the most healthy decisions. (A disclaimer on the site puts it this way: )

"Our Medi-Share members and their healthcare dollars do not subsidize abortions, drug addictions, or any other unbiblical lifestyles that inevitably lead to the premature destruction of the body, mind, and spirit."

Further research reveals:

"Examples of behavior that can lead to non-sharing include, but are not limited to, the use of tobacco in any form, the abuse of drugs including legal drugs such as alcohol, excessive weight gain (weight that exceeds the Medi-Share height/weight standards), and participation in activities with willful disregard for personal safety."

Here's some other things that aren't eligible:

  • Routine mammograms
  • Routine pap smears
  • Routine screening tests and procedures without medical reasons (e.g., colonoscopy without specific symptoms)
  • Sterilization or reversals (vasectomy and tubal ligation)
  • Surgery (elective) during the first three months of membership
  • Veteran Administration care and treatment
  • Weight control and management
  • Well patient care, for example, annual physicals, routine lab studies, mammography, pap smears and well-baby check ups

and

  • AIDS treatment -- unless it came through transfusions, verifiable rape reported to law enforcement authorities, or contracted in the practice of a health care profession

So these Christians have made a healthcare club where only Christians are allowed, basic healthcare needs are ignored and then they had the gall to call it "biblical."

That makes me ill.

Update:

I've discovered that there are a few more organizations that have similar requirements and disclaimers -- though they're not as selfish sounding as the flier I got. In any case -- if you're not a Christian -- you're not allowed. Still completely contrary to the Gospel, eh?

15 comments:

Peter said...

Interesting post!

I wonder about the exclusion of mammograms and pap smears. Is cancer un-biblical? I'm not as familiar with the bible as some, but I can't remember a passage that deals with cervical carcinoma...

Kirk said...

They must be -- this group wouldn't do anything unbiblical! ;)

kitty said...

but I can't remember a passage that deals with cervical carcinoma...

You get HPV through sex. Sex is very un-christian...

Kirk said...

All that "begat-in" in the Bible - what were those people thinking?

Sean said...

Of course babies are un-biblical, just ask Abraham . . .

Kirk said...

Far too many nations from that dude.

Owen said...

For the record, a group like this doesn't represent all Christians. Many (most?) of us like to go out and drink beer, have a cigar, get mammograms if our doctors say they're a good idea, etc. For the record :)

Kirk said...

Hi Owen
You are so right. I rarely rant on Christians who act unlike Christians because like it or not -- we who follow Jesus are all inextricably connected. This particular "Good news . . . for Christians only" selfishness set me off.

Owen said...

No worries, this sort of crap ticks me off as well!

Kirk said...

It's nice to hear other people have the same reactionas I did.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about the "list" of non covered items making you ill shows me that you have a distain for organizations which don't fit your understanding of "taking care of the bretheren". I have been with CCM since the early 90's and found this type of health "insurance" to be both beneficial and cost effective. Every year the members vote on any changes in the makeup of the coverage and is constantly evolving to fit the needs of the members. I am glad there is alternatives to this type of coverage, so each of us can choose what type of coverage will fit our life style. I would caution you to be careful in condemming Christian ministries which are serving bretheran, just because they don't fit your view of service to Christ.

Anonymous said...

I clicked the publish button before I entered a user name: Bob W.
thank you,

bob

Kirk said...

Hi Bob
I completely support your right to be involved with any healthcare plan you choose. I just think that selfishness ("For Christians Only") is not and cannot be a part of anything associated with the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

I guess you didn't look too much into Medi-Share because you would know why they don't pay for mammograms or pap smears: They don't pay for routine doctors' visits! They pay for hospital visits. One of the benefits to only having $96-121/mo "premiums" is that you can pay for your own routine check-ups and exams.

This is similar to a "catastrophic" policy, but with lowes co-pays, with regular insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad that overweight people are excluded. I am overweight but have none of the common problems associated with obesity. My current doctor even tells me, "Sure you could lose some weight, but you are a very healthy person." No bloodpressure issues, no high colestorol, so diabetes.... don't want surgery either. Discrimination isn't really very christian either. I love Jesus and am a faithful church attendee...but this kind of annoyed me.