Family with a healthy lifestyle who are a good fit for Medical Cost Sharing.

Affordable Healthcare With Medical Cost Sharing

Date Published: 2023-03-16
Author: Team Sedera

Sometimes, the familiar way of doing something isn’t necessarily the best way. Case in point: the conventional way of paying for healthcare via health insurance has become a maze of high premiums, confusing policies, network limitations, and budget-busting surprise bills. 

The good news is that there’s a better way to manage large, unexpected healthcare costs with Medical Cost Sharing (MCS). MCS is a non-insurance approach that provides affordability, flexibility, and with Sedera Medical Cost Sharing, support to help you get the most out of your healthcare, without breaking your budget.

“Traditional” Doesn’t Mean Better

High health Insurance premiums are rising faster than wages and inflation.

The cost of health insurance continues to rise and, since 2011, health insurance premiums have outpaced increases in workers’ wages and the pace of inflation. Average annual premiums for employer-provided family coverage rose 37% from $15,545 in 2015 to $22,221 in 2021. In addition to premiums, out-of-pocket costs are rising as well. For example, families with high-deductible health plans can pay up to $14,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. 

Budgeting for the rising costs of health insurance has become increasingly difficult, stressful, and essentially unsustainable for most people. And with the rising costs of goods and services further impacting monthly expenses, now is a great time to look at alternative ways to pay for healthcare.

An Affordable Alternative to Health Insurance

Woman working on a budget thinking about an affordable way to pay for healthcare.

Medical Cost Sharing (sometimes referred to as “health sharing”) is a type of cost sharing where a community comes together and agrees to help each other pay for eligible medical expenses incurred by Community Members. It’s an extension of the sharing economy — a movement to share assets and liabilities without including a costly middleman. This is also known as peer-to-peer sharing, the gig economy, and collaborative consumption. Examples include Airbnb, Kickstarter, Uber, and Zipcar.

Here’s some helpful information about How Medical Cost Sharing Works. 

Why Medical Cost Sharing Works

  • Monthly costs with Medical Cost Sharing are often less than $500, while insurance premiums can easily get up into the thousands.

  • With no networks to worry about, members can select their providers based on personal preference, cost, convenience, and value. 

  • Medical Cost Sharing is so affordable because its flexibility leads to more efficiency and fewer wasted resources.

Members of Medical Cost Sharing communities are cash pay patients, meaning they pay their providers directly. Resources (in this case shared Community funds) are readily available, which reduces “transactional friction” by eliminating a complicated and expensive aspect of paying for healthcare — the intermediary or middleman (aka the insurance company). 

Without this intermediary, Medical Cost Sharing first reduces complexity, then increases efficiency, and finally reduces cost. Win, win, win.

The Power of the Free Market

Medical Cost Sharing is an important part of the free-market healthcare ecosystem. In a free market system, more options mean increased competition — which drives down prices, fosters innovation, and encourages a consumer-first mentality. 

Medical Cost Sharing creates more options for consumers, removes administrative red tape, and helps eliminate surprise billing because cash pay patients can request the cost of their care upfront. Community Members speak with their dollars and their patronage. Doctors and facilities who offer great care, at better prices, receive more business and can grow their practices in a more consumer-focused environment. 

On the other hand, the health insurance model generally obscures and complicates the process of paying for healthcare. Patients may not know the cost of their care until large, unexpected medical bills arrive in the mail, and they’ve no recourse but to pay the out-of-pocket expenses.

The Power of Community

Members of the Sedera Cost Sharing Community deeply appreciate flexibility and individual liberty when it comes to making decisions about their healthcare. At the same time, they understand the power of community and make value-driven lifestyle and healthcare decisions that align with Sedera’s key Member Principles and Commitments. In doing so, they help protect the physical and financial health of the Community, while also experiencing the joy of coming together to help one another shoulder the burden of medical costs.

Further, Sedera Members know that they are highly valued as part of Sedera’s innovative vision to help solve what’s broken in the healthcare system. Together, change is possible.

Savvy Consumers

Woman asking her doctor for cash pay pricing and itemized billing information.

Medical Cost Sharing Members are empowered to take ownership of their healthcare and utilize resources that enable them to be educated and engaged consumers. 

Just as they do for any other purchase, as active participants in their healthcare decision-making, members comparison shop for the best value for their medical care. They ask their providers for pricing and itemized billing information up front. They seek second opinions about costly procedures. They take responsibility for their health and well-being daily and these actions can result in excellent care, at far lower costs than those typical in the health insurance model. 

Sedera Medical Cost Sharing Members have access to add-on services provided by third parties, including telemedicine and discount prescription programs. 

Customize Your Healthcare Payment Solution

Medical Cost Sharing communities pair exceptionally well with another alternative to health insurance — Direct Primary Care (DPC) memberships. DPCs are a subscription-based membership model in which patients pay their physician directly, instead of paying an insurance company. These practices are growing rapidly, largely due to their efficiency, affordability, holistic approach to medical care, and emphasis on doctor-patient relationships.

Members of Direct Primary Care practices enjoy personalized care and better access to their physician for one monthly fee. DPC care is great for general medical issues including strep throat, sinus or ear infections, and pairs well with Medical Cost Sharing, which is an ideal solution to pay for large and unexpected medical costs.

Affordable Healthcare is Possible

People in a kitchen preparing healthy food who are happy they saved on their healthcare costs.

Americans are spending exorbitant amounts of their income on healthcare. In 2021, healthcare spending accounted for almost 20% of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product. That’s $4.1 trillion, or $12,530 per person per year — which is $4,000 more than any other high-income nation.

Let’s get back to the good news. Affordable healthcare is possible, but the traditional approaches to paying for healthcare may no longer be the best option. In other words, health insurance may be what feels familiar, but it doesn’t provide individuals and families with affordable healthcare. Instead, it’s expensive, convoluted, and can be confusing, all of which can have a negative effect on the quality of life and thus quality of health.

People are turning to other solutions to pay for their healthcare and as they learn more about Medical Cost Sharing, they’re realizing it’s an affordable, flexible solution that fits almost any budget. 

Sedera Medical Cost Sharing is not health insurance — It’s a Community of Members who help share the cost of one another’s large medical expenses through a secure platform. Sedera Members are saving on their healthcare costs, without sacrificing quality of care, and this lets them keep more of their hard-earned wages to invest in quality of life, rather than paying the high costs of health insurance.