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There are options to Open Enrollment

By Charles Frohman

ObamaCare’s Open Enrollment is upon us, and families and businesses have until just before the holidays to sign up or face an IRS penalty come April 15.

With President Trump refusing to bail out insurance companies, more folks are having to bear the full brunt of health costs: double-digit premium increases costing more than a thousand a month and another couple thousand in uncovered expenses before insurance kicks in (not to mention shrinking networks of permitted doctors).

Is there any escape from this restricted cash heist?

Luckily, there are options to comply with the coverage mandate at a cost of half what most insurers charge and without losing access to your favorite doctor.

First there are non-insurance health payment options, which are perfectly legal due to “exemptions” under ObamaCare. These entities, offered through religious sharing organizations, operate just like insurance, except they’re half the price.

They do have limitations, so check them out first to see if they have what you need at a price that works for your budget. Medishare and Liberty are two of the better ones.

While serving as wonderful alternatives to expensive ObamaCare insurance, the religious sharing organizations above do have limits and aren’t for everyone.

For those wanting a sharing option that isn’t religious and does a better job protecting applicants with preexisting conditions, there us a group plan for businesses called Health Excellence Plus that actually has an option for individuals, as well.

Patients use a Health Savings Account for low-level expenses, and get a concierge shopper to call for help locating doctors or therapies. Monthly fees are as low as $249, with out-of-pocket options as little as $500.

Healthcare sharing offers a wonderful escape hatch from the ObamaCare Open Enrollment chaos imposed on us by the insurance-government cartel. There are other escape hatches that offer partial relief, such as monthly payment plans for primary care docs, but they don’t help with major expenses like cancer or accidents.

Could insurers offer affordable options during Open Enrollment? Possibly, but beware of multi-thousand dollar deductibles in order to shrink the monthly premium down to a few hundred monthly dollars (or reduced doc networks).

Maybe they’ll offer some of Trump’s short-term catastrophic-only plans, but that doesn’t help with low-level costs like sharing does. And it’s not as if Trump’s ObamaCare replacement would have cut premiums, since his bill last summer retained the regulations that jacked up prices in the first place.

We might as well give up on ObamaCare as a failed experiment for health care. Sharing may seem new — indeed, it equates to an “uberization” of the industry. But really it stems from a century or more of tradition based on mutual aid.

Half the country in the 1920s was protected from health expenses via membership in lodge or occupation-based plans. Sharing merely represents a return to a sane system, updated of course to accommodate the expenses of modern day medicine.

Check sharing out.

Charles Frohman is a political and commercial consultant, including for Health Excellent Plus, who grew up in Suffolk in the glory years of the 1970s, when Little League was based on neighborhoods (Go “Nansemond Gardens”!) Email him at frohman.charles@gmail.com.