Traditional health plans are now pricing people out of the market and consumers are looking closely at alternatives. Many consumers are finding cost relief in alternatives like healthcare-sharing ministries, which are cost sharing plans usually rooted in local religious communities. A Bloomberg report found that the number of people joining these sharing ministries was up 74% from 2014 to 2016. More than 1 million people are participants in these programs.
The report details the story of one family, the Bergevins, who realized that they had to make some big changes in their healthcare when they were charged $7,000 in out-of-pocket expenses that their insurance didn't cover after their son was born. Two years after the birth of their son, the couple ditched their health insurance plan, a move that helped them pay off the $7,000 debt.