Ensuring Insurance

I love my congregation.  I am so blessed to be so loved and cared for by a group of people like this.  I wish that all my colleagues could experience such love and care in their ministries.  I know that not all of them do or have.  I try not to ever take for granted this blessing I’m experiencing.

But for some time now, I have repaid the kindness and care of my parishioners by freaking them out.

Not that this was my goal, it just worked out that way.  More and more disenchanted with traditional healthcare insurance plans and their skyrocketing costs, and infuriated by Obamacare’s insistence that all insurance policies include coverage for abortifacient prescriptions and devices, with the full blessing and support of my wife we opted out of traditional health insurance, opting for a Christian, medical cost-sharing program.  I’ve written about it a few times, and so far, we’ve been thrilled with it,.  Every month we send a check not to a company but to an individual or family dealing with a health care expense.  We know that our participation in this plan is more in keeping with Biblical principles that our current society is making it harder and harder to live by.

Of course, we’re pretty healthy, and haven’t had a healthcare issue in the last two years that would require us to avail ourselves of the program.  Perhaps if and when we do, we’ll discover some of the drawbacks or problems with the program.  I hope not, but I acknowledge that this is a risk that we take.

My parishioners see this risk as well.  And while they’ve certainly been willing to let us continue along this path, I know it has caused more than a few of them to really worry whether or not my family is adequately protected.  Since most of my parishioners are a few years older than I am, they know firsthand how health issues tend to crop up more often as you get older.

I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to participate in a plan whereby I am paying for someone else to get an abortion.  Thus far, Obamacare has allowed exceptions for religious organizations, allowing their in-house insurance programs to be exempted from such requirements.  I’ve argued from the beginning that this is only for a matter of time – and probably not much time.  At some point in the near future, I fully expect our government to rescind the exemption.  Lawsuits will ensue, and eventually churches will lose.

The exempted plan available in my denomination remains exempt (to the best of my knowledge).  But it’s also EXTREMELY expensive.  So when my Elders this year proposed putting us on the plan, I didn’t feel it was the best use of the congregation’s resources and opted to stick with our current medical cost-sharing program.  I promised them we could revisit the issue next year, because I know that it worries them and that they are acting in love.

But I just found out today that California, where we are blessed to live, decreed in August that women have the right to abortion – chemical as well as surgical (cutting up the baby inside the mother and sucking out the pieces and parts) – as part of “basic healthcare services”.  Seven California-based insurers MUST provide for such coverage immediately.  As near as I can tell this doesn’t yet affect plans outside of California, but I’m willing to bet it won’t be long until some way is found to force such plans to include that coverage.  Even plans that might be exempted from Obamacare’s provisions.

I first found out about it here, following a Facebook friend’s link.  I found the same information echoed in this article, then this one.  Finally, I went to the California’s Department of Managed Healthcare web site, and there on the main page were links to the letters sent to the seven California-based insurers.

Interesting that I haven’t heard of this elsewhere.

I maintain that more and more, Christians are going to be forced to opt out of services and plans that we have participated in for years (may even have helped start, theologically if not logistically), as those services and plans force us to violate our Constitutional rights.  Does this mean that more and more, we may not have access to the best options out there?  Of course.  is that lamentable?  Certainly.  Should we be surprised?  Not at all.

The early Christians lived out their faith in extraordinary ways, dying if necessary rather than capitulate to the demands of their society when they conflicted with their religious beliefs.  They were willing (though not eager, by and large) to die for their stance, and many of them did.  The rapid-fire way in which our elected officials and agencies are pummeling religious freedom in our country ought to alarm us all – Christians, Muslims, Jews and atheists alike.

2 Responses to “Ensuring Insurance”

  1. SB mom Says:

    Thank you for this posting and keeping us informed. We received a letter from our insurance company today, and because of your post, I made sure to read it carefully (instead of simply throwing it away or filing it, which is my standard response to these letters). Sure enough, one of the “changes” highlighted is the offering of abortion services. It is clearly time for our family to re-think our insurance choices in light of this.

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