Health insurance concept that's worth thanking God for

I've been struggling with the decision of whether or not to buy private health insurance now that I'm a freelancer and not an employee with cushy benefits. I have 30-some more days to make the decision before the 60-day magic window closes, and I was just introduced to a concept I'd never encountered: a Christian health cost sharing program called Medi-Share.

The program works like a private insurance company in that members pay a monthly amount and the risk is spread among many. However, the cost is called a "share" and is much less than almost every other private insurer's premium; most families pay around $173 a month. The "catch" is that the organization requires its members to be active members of a church, sign a statement of faith, and (here's the biggy) promise that they don't abuse alcohol or drugs, or smoke (and haven't for the past 12 months).

Sadly, the program won't work for me, as my husband has been flirting with a cigarette habit since he's been in the Army Reserves (darn you military and your tobacco products!). But the concept is brilliant; why shouldn't people only pay for the sins that they, themselves, commit? Our insurance system has the healthiest and most disciplined of us sharing the cost for those who choose to live on Cheetos, Big Macs, and Bud Light. It's hardly a just reward for my miles of biking and long hours making nutritious food for my family that I should have to pay the same amount as a family whose dinner revolves around a drive-through. I don't judge you for your choices: I just don't want to have to pay for them!

I think the healthy-lifestyle medical cost share plan is such a good idea, it should be replicated for those who may not subscribe to the same faith but who commit to some common beliefs about food, exercise, and lifestyle. We can't legislate good health, but we should be able to get rewarded for having it!

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