Carol Clark, a 56-year-old had to use her vacation days, plus 120 sick days she had accumulated over her 17 years of teaching for appointments and surgeries due to her breast cancer. She was still too sick to return to work. Then the donations came in. A program the Los Angeles Unified School District called the “Catastrophic Illness Donation Program” allows for teachers to donate up to 20 of their own sick days to another member of the staff. Carol received more than 150 donated sick days from friends and strangers. Now isn’t that a cool story? Why couldn’t healthcare be like that? Well, there is something like it. It is a faith based program, exempted from Obamacare, called faith-based ministries:
It is part of a little-known national network of “health care sharing ministries” that link their members to kindred souls who pool their resources and promise to cover each other’s health care needs.
Details of the plans vary, but in general the health-share idea works this way: You pay a monthly “share” that goes to cover the “need” of other members in your plan. When you have a need, you present it to the ministry and – if it is accepted – your need is published to other members, who are invited to pray, send encouragement and help you cover the cost. Some send their “shares” to a central office. Some send them directly to your mailbox.
If only we ALL could trust each other in this country to do this (cover each other’s cost) then we could drive down the cost of buying insurance tremendously.