Our Beliefs, Ethics, and Standards
Impact Health Sharing is a not-for-profit corporation that exists to create, exercise, and express practical applications of Christian faith, beliefs, and ethics. We believe in bringing together individuals and families in shared acts of common good.
We believe that the expression of these things, and the right to associate in the exercise of their expression, is a fundamental right guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
We welcome all people who are willing to honor and abide by our Statement of Shared Beliefs & Ethics, by which we operate. We are a community that shares a common belief that by coming together, sharing together and acting together, we provide greater opportunities for health and freedom to our neighbors and, in turn, we gain the same opportunities for ourselves and our families.
As a community, we believe that it is both true and self-evident that all persons are created equal and in the likeness of God. We believe that all persons have been endowed, by God, with unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As families and individuals, we believe we share the responsibility of ensuring that the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is available to all.
As a community, we share a belief that contributing to one another’s medical bills express our commitment to help each other pursue a life of liberty and happiness. At the core of what we do, and how we relate to and engage with one another as a community of people, is a set of common beliefs.
Our Statement of Shared Beliefs & Ethics is as follows:
1. We believe that our rights and liberties originate from God and are bestowed by God.
2. We believe that everyone is created equal and in the likeness of God.
3. We believe that all persons have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
4. We believe in the principle of “love thy neighbor as thy self.” regardless of race, religion or creed.
5. We believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to assist others in need.
6. We believe that sharing and contributing to each other’s medical bills is an expression of our commitment to our obligations to one another.
7. We believe that it is our ethical duty to one another to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid foods, behaviors, habits, or any choices and activities that produce sickness or disease to ourselves or others.
8. We believe that we have an ethical duty to each other to make legal, mature, and responsible decisions that do not create a risk of injury to ourselves or others.
9. We believe it is our fundamental right of conscience to direct our own healthcare in consultation with our physicians, family, or other valued advisors.
10. We believe we have a fundamental right guaranteed under the United States Constitution to associate in the lawful exercise of our common belief to voluntarily share health care expenses with one another.
A. Healthcare Sharing
Impact Health Sharing is a not-for-profit healthcare sharing organization that facilitates the sharing/payment of one another’s medical bills. This program is designed for sharing of medical expenses associated with new conditions related to illness, injury or accident.
To participate, members contribute a monthly share amount that is applied to the eligible medical bills of other members. The monthly share amount is based on the age of the oldest member in the household, the number of people applying (1, 2, 3 or more), and choice of Primary Responsibility Amount. If certain criteria are met, a Body Mass Index (BMI) Assessment of $125 pe month will also be applied.
B. Primary Responsibility Amount (PRA)
The Primary Responsibility Amount (PRA) is the dollar amount a household must pay toward their own Eligible Medical Bills during a 12-month period before their Eligible Medical Bills can be published and shared by the membership.
The PRA 12-month period begins on the Membership Date. The PRA resets on the anniversary of your Membership Date. Your Membership Date is the date that your membership in the Impact Sharing Plan started. A member can change their PRA amount on the anniversary of their Membership Date.
Once the Primary Responsibility Amount is met, the member pays 10% (the Co-Share amount) of all eligible medical bills. The remaining 90% is published for sharing to the Impact membership.
D. Co-Share Limit
There is a Co-Share limit of $5,000 per household, per year. In other words, after a total of $5,000 in Co-Shares is paid by the member, they will not be subject to a co-share until the amount resets on their Membership Date.
E. Provider Fee
At time of receiving service from a medical care provider, members pay the following:
- $0 for Telemedicine
- $50 for Primary Care
- $50 for each Allergy test/Serum injection
- $75 for Specialist/Urgent Care/Outpatient Services
- $150 for Emergency Room or Inpatient Hospitalization
- $0 for Impact Seniors
These fees are not applied to the PRA and are paid even if the member has met the PRA for the year. For eligible services, the Provider Fee is applied, then any remaining PRA, and finally the Co-Share is applied up to the Co-Share Limit.
F. Guidelines Govern
The Guidelines explain the program requirements and govern the sharing of medical bills. The Guidelines in effect at the time of service govern the program, not the Guidelines in effect when a member joined. The Guidelines are available online at ImpactHealthSharing.com.
G. Changes to the Guidelines
Changes to the Guidelines can be made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at any time. Notification to the membership of the changes will be made and all changes will be available at ImpactHealthSharing.com for 24 months from the date of the change.
H. No Member or Impact Health Sharing Liability
Impact Health Sharing is not insurance. Impact Health Sharing is a Healthcare Sharing Organization, as outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and was created to facilitate the sharing of medical bills and expenses among members, one with another, in accordance with these Guidelines, at Impact’s reasonable discretion. Impact Health Sharing is not liable for the payment of a Member’s medical bill. If sharing occurs, the shared medical bills are paid by the Member that incurred the bill from other Members’ share contributions only, not from funds of Impact Health Sharing itself.
IMPACT HEALTH SHARING IS NOT AN INSURANCE COMPANY. HEALTHCARE SHARING IS NOT INSURANCE nOR A CONTRACT FOR INSURANCE. THE PAYMENT OF MEDICAL BILLS THROUGH IMPACT HEALTH SHARING OR OTHERWISE, IS NOT GUARANTEED IN ANY WAY.
There is no transfer of risk from a member to Impact Health Sharing or from a member to other members, and there is not a contract of indemnity between Impact Health Sharing and any member or between the members themselves.
To be eligible to participate in Impact Health Sharing, an applicant must:
- Have abstained from the use of illegal drugs for at least 12 months prior to applying for membership.
- Agree with the Shared Ethics & Standards.
B. Membership Requirements
- Members cannot use illegal drugs.
- An adult child (18-25) needs to meet the same requirements in order to be on his or her parent(s) household membership and have their bills shared.
- Medical information is provided during the application process. IF AN APPLICANT OR MEMBER FAILS TO DISCLOSE MEDICAL HISTORY, LIFESTYLE HABITS, OR CHOICES THAT MAY DISQUALIFY THEM FROM MEMBERSHIP AND THAT INFORMATION IS DISCOVERED, MEDICAL BILLS MAY NOT BE SHARED AND/OR MEMBERSHIP MAY BE CANCELLED.
- Participation in Impact Health Sharing will be online and monthly share contributions must be made using Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs). The contributions will electronically transfer from the member’s bank account to a virtual share account in order to send funds to other members. Receiving members will receive those funds in bill pay accounts, the sole purpose of which will be to pay eligible medical bills.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) Assessment criteria (based on weight and height) have been established that may require applicants to pay an additional monthly amount. In order to remove this additional amount, members must provide documentation that shows they have lowered their BMI below the set criteria. You will be notified during the application process before you join if you qualify for this additional amount of $125 per month.
C. Family Members
The following family members may be included or added to the Impact membership if they meet the qualifications for Impact membership:
- The member's spouse.
- Any unmarried children (biological or adopted) until they reach age 26.*
- Children in full legal custody or guardianship of the Member *An exception is made for those who are disabled and still dependent upon and under the care of the member.
D. 65 Years and Older
Applicants who are age 65 or older must have Medicare Parts A&B. For prescription costs to be eligible for sharing, members must have Medicare Part D as well. All sharing will be secondary to Medicare. There is only one PRA level available to these senior adults (see pricing calculator at ImpactHealthSharing.com). This program is available only on an individual membership basis.
E. Non-U.S. Citizens
The following individual(s) can join Impact Health Sharing.
• Those who possess a U.S. issued Social Security number and a valid Identification Card issued by the U.S.
• Those who possess an Individual Taxpayer
Identification Number (ITIN) and also have a government-issued Identification Card issued by Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, and/or the United States
Membership will be canceled if a Member does not deposit the Monthly Share for more than 60 days. The Cancellation Date will be the last day of the month for which the last Monthly Share was deposited. Only Eligible Medical Bills incurred on or before the Cancellation Date will be considered for sharing.
A. Sharing Limits
For the first 60 days of membership, members are eligible to have up to $50,000 of their Eligible Medical Bills shared (excluding pre-existing conditions). Does not apply to newborns added within 30 days of birth.
Maternity sharing is limited to $150,000 per single pregnancy event.
There is an annual sharing cap of $500,000 per member per membership year.
There is no lifetime limit on sharing.
B. Approved Treatment
To be eligible for sharing, testing and treatment must be CMS or FDA-approved and submitted on a CMS 1500, or a UB and IB form, and ordered by one of the following providers:
- Medical Doctor (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
- Nurse Practitioner (N.P. or A.P.R.N.)
- Physician’s Assistant (P.A.)
- Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)
- Dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.)
- Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
These CMS or FDA-approved tests and treatments must occur in one of the following medical facilities:
- Surgery center
- Doctor’s office
- Diagnostic facility
Diagnosis and treatment are to be performed in the U.S. to be eligible for sharing, except in emergencies.
C. Eligible for Sharing
Medical bills related to a new condition, injury or illness are eligible for sharing, provided they are not listed in Section III. E. Ineligible for Sharing. These bills may be subject to limitations if they are listed in Section III. D. Limited Sharing. Eligibility for sharing cannot be determined until after medical services are received and bills are submitted for sharing.
Bills must be received by Impact within 12 months from the date of service to be considered for sharing.
Bills are to be submitted by the provider following standard healthcare industry submission and coding guidelines. This is necessary for bills to be considered for sharing.
In the event that a Member must submit a bill for processing, it must be submitted electronically using the Medical Expense Form at www.ImpactHealthSharing.com/forms. When submitting a Medical Expense Form (MEF), members are responsible for obtaining all information needed for processing. Only MEFs that contain all needed information will be accepted for processing.
D. Limited Sharing
Maternity is eligible for sharing after the mother has been a member for 12 months. Sharing is limited to $150,000 for any single pregnancy event, to include antepartum care, the cost of delivery and complications to the mother and postpartum care.
For ineligible maternity events, any fetal abnormalities and/or congenital abnormalities noted in medical records prior to the mother joining Impact Health Sharing, will be considered a pre-existing condition and would not be eligible for sharing.
In order for the bills to be considered eligible, the newborn's delivery must be performed by a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Midwife who is properly licensed, certified and/or registered in the state where the delivery occurred.
The newborn can be a member from birth if a request to add them to the membership is made within 30 days of the date of birth.
If the mother is not a member for 12 months prior to the delivery, the following are instances where maternity bills are ineligible for sharing:
- Medical bills incurred before the newborn’s Membership Date.
- Unresolved maternity medical conditions of the child or mother.
Expenses for Adoption Events are eligible for sharing for those who have been members for 12 months prior to the adoption, and is based on a scale per the following Primary Responsibility Amount(s):
Prescription medications must be purchased using the member ID card (see RX information on the card). Members pay 100% of the prescription amount at the pharmacy.
Prescription medication expenses for prescribed drugs that may be dispensed, injected, or administered may be credited toward the PRA if they are not considered treatment for chronic conditions that were preexisting when the member joined Impact.
After the member’s PRA has been met, the prescription amount may be shared as follows:
- After the first $25 on generic drug prescription.
- After the first $50 on brand name prescription when a generic is unavailable.
- Prescription medications must be purchased using the member ID card (see Rx information on the card)
- Members pay 100% of the prescription amount at the pharmacy
- Prescription drugs that may be dispensed, injected or administered
- Psychotropic medication and birth control expenses are not eligible for sharing
The sharable amount is limited to $1200 per member, per membership year after the PRA has been met.
Exceptions may be made in the case of medications for cancer and transplant recipients.
Note: Members 65 and older must have Medicare Part D for prescription costs to be eligible for sharing. All sharing will be secondary to Medicare.
Wellness visits/screening tests are eligible for sharing as follows:
One annual/well visit for members 6 years and older per membership year. Includes $150 allowance for the following routine labs as ordered by provider during the annual/well visit.
- Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Lipid Profile with Lipoprotein Particle Assessment
- Hemoglobin A1C
- Vitamin D-25 OH
- C-Reactive Protein
- Fecal Occult Blood Test
- Pap Smear
- Members under the age of 6 receive one annual visit. Additional visits will follow routine well-child guidelines.
- Infants and Children: Sharing for routine well-child care is eligible until the child reaches the age of six. Well-child care is defined as recommended routine check-ups and associated lab work, excluding vaccinations and/or immunizations.
- Women: Pap test—one every three years from age 21-65.
Mammogram—one every year for ages 45-54, every two years starting at age 55.
- Men: PSA test—one every year, starting at age 45.
- All: Colonoscopy—one every 10 years starting at age 45 or one every five years for members at high risk.
- All: As it pertains to eligible preventive care for both men and women, both the test and coordinated office visit will be eligible for sharing.
- Infants and children: Sharing for routine well-child care is eligible until the child reaches the age of six. Well-child care is defined as recommended routine check-ups and associated lab work, excluding vaccinations and/or immunizations.
Virtual Mental Health Care is eligible for sharing through a teletherapy provider approved by Impact. Members must pay 100% of the session consult fee at the time of service and may submit proper receipts to Impact for processing via the Medical Expense Form. Virtual Mental Health is considered a Specialist for provider fee purposes.
Outpatient Mental Health Care is eligible for sharing if performed by a qualified provider up to 5 visits per member per membership year. Outpatient Mental Health providers are considered Specialists for provider fee purposes.
Therapy is limited to 50 visits per member per membership year regardless of the type of therapy, provided it is included in the list below:
- Chiropractic adjustment
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Vision therapy
- Respiratory therapy
- Cardiac rehabilitation
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is any equipment that provides therapeutic benefits to a patient in need due to certain medical conditions and/or illnesses, can withstand repeated use, is appropriate for use in the home and is ordered or prescribed by a physician for a condition. DME related to an eligible need is eligible for sharing for up to $500 per member per membership year toward the rental or purchase.
Prostheses are eligible for sharing, up to two maximum per lifetime for the same condition.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Treatment-related to injuries received while in motor vehicles is eligible for sharing, provided all legally required and industry-recommended safety equipment was in use. Treatment-related to motorcycle accidents is limited to $100,000 per incident. Sharing will be secondary to the vehicle insurance. Treatment will not be shared if there was abuse of alcohol or legal drugs or the use of federally illegal drugs.
Medical cost-sharing for the needs of tobacco users 50 years of age and older is limited to $50,000 lifetime for each of the following four disease categories:
• Heart conditions
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Care for Members 65 and Older: Eligible medical bills for members 65 and older are eligible for sharing with no co-share amount and provided the member has both Medicare Parts A & B. Sharing is secondary to Medicare and is based on the difference between the Medicare-allowable charges and the actual amounts paid by Medicare. The member must submit a copy of the Medicare Explanation of Benefits and the CMS 1500, or UB and IB form.
Medical transportation to the nearest facility, including ground and air ambulance services to hospitals, is eligible in emergency situations or when medically necessary for transport for admission to another medical facility. Air ambulance is limited to a $25,000 lifetime maximum per member. Transportation for appointments is not eligible for sharing.
Skilled care at home services for an eligible need are limited to 40 visits per member per membership year by a registered ARNP, LPN, or RN. A visit is limited to a maximum block of 4 hours.
Hospice care services are eligible for sharing when prescribed by a physician and is subject to a lifetime limit of $15,000 per member.
E. InEligible for Sharing
Bills related to the following are not eligible for sharing:
- Treatment that is in violation of the Statement of Shared Ethics & Standards, including illness or injury arising from grossly negligent acts, use of illegal drugs, abuse of alcohol or any illegal activity, whether or not an arrest is made, charges are filed, or a conviction results.
- Treatment related to current use of illegal drugs.
- Procedures or surgery not medically necessary.
- Prophylactic (treatment intended to prevent disease) and preventive/preventive surgery without personal history of diagnosis and a doctor’s recommendation.
- Alternative or naturopathic treatment.
- Experimental treatment.
- Genetic testing not required for treatment of an existing condition.
- Hearing aids.
- Non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs and medical supplies/equipment.
- Fertility/infertility treatment.
- Direct Primary Care costs.
- Medical marijuana.
- Routine or preventive/preventive care not listed in Section D. above.
- Sleep studies unrelated to a specific disease or disorder.
- Treatment related to genetic defects, hereditary diseases, or congenital conditions present before membership.
- Weight management treatment or procedures.
- Dental or Vision services not related to a medical injury or illness.
- Orthotics are not eligible for sharing.
- Transportation to appointments.
- Cosmetic, transgender, or voluntary treatment or surgery.
- Psychotropic medication.
- Birth control.
- Vaccinations and/or immunizations.
- Treatment for members age 65 and older not Medicare-eligible.
- Pre-Existing Medical Conditions are conditions in which signs, symptoms, testing, diagnosis, treatment, or use of
medication occurred within 36 months prior to membership (based on medical records).
A Pre-Existing Medical Condition is eligible for sharing after the condition has gone 36 consecutive months without signs, symptoms, testing, diagnosis, treatment,
or medication (based on medical records).
If you have been diagnosed with cancer that is in complete remission and you are only undergoing testing for surveillance purposes, then bills related to those services will not be eligible for sharing for the first 36 months of membership.
If after 36 months you are without signs, symptoms, testing, diagnosis, or treatment (medication), medical expenses related to that cancer diagnosis will be eligible for sharing.
High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol that is controlled through medication will not be considered a Preexisting Medical Condition for purposes of determining eligibility for future any vascular or cardiac event.
The Preexisting Medical Condition limitations do not apply to members 65 years and older.
F. Use of Programs
If a member qualifies for public assistance or private benevolence programs, they must apply for the program benefit before the bill can be considered for sharing. If the member receives assistance through the use of a program, the next three months of their Monthly Share portion will be waived.
Members or providers are required to pre-notify Impact or any of the following treatments to be determined eligible for sharing:
- Cancer treatment
- Elective cardiac procedures
- Inpatient/outpatient surgery
- Non-emergency hospital/facility admission
- Organ/tissue transplant services
Providers must pre-notify by calling (855) 378-6777. Pre-notification of medical treatment and/or service does not guarantee eligibility or sharing.
If a member or their provider does not pre-notify Impact of the illness, condition, treatment, procedure, or event, the member will be subject to an additional provider fee of $1,000.
H. Medically Necessary Treatment
Eligible needs will be approved for sharing when medically necessary. Medically Necessary is defined as health care services that are clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, extent, site, and duration; for the evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of the member's illness, condition, or injury and ordered by a physician exercising prudent clinical judgment for the purposes of evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of the member’s illness, condition, or injury.
The Medically Necessary setting and level of service is that which considering the member’s medical symptoms and conditions, cannot be provided in a less intensive medical setting. Such services, to be considered medically necessary, must be no more costly than alternative interventions, including no intervention and are at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results without adversely affecting the member’s medical condition.
The purpose of medically necessary treatment and care must be to restore health. The mere fact that the service is furnished, prescribed, or approved by a physician does not define nor determine that it is medically necessary. The determination of medically necessary service, supply, or treatment may include findings of the American Medical Association and Impact's medical advisors. Impact reserves the right to incorporate CMS (Medicare) guidelines in effect on the date of service or treatment as additional criteria for determination of medical necessity and/or eligibility of need.
Medically Necessary service and treatment must not be:
- maintenance therapy or maintenance treatment;
- primarily custodial in nature; or
- a listed item or treatment not allowed for reimbursement by CMS (Medicare).
Off-label drug use is considered medically necessary when all of the following conditions are met:
- The drug is medically necessary to treat the specific condition, including life-threatening or chronic and seriously debilitating conditions.
- The prescription is for an FDA-approved drug.
- The prescribed drug use is supported by one of the following standard reference sources:
- The American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information;
- Medicare-approved Compendia; or
- Scientific evidence is supported in well-designed clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals, demonstrating that the drug is safe and effective for the specific condition.
The drug is Medically Necessary to treat the specific condition, including life-threatening conditions or chronic and seriously debilitating conditions.
I. Permitted Sharing Level(s)
Permitted Sharing Level means charges for medical care, which is medically necessary, for the care and treatment of illness or injury, but only to the extent that the fees charged therefore are within all of the applicable limitations and restrictions established in the Impact Health Sharing Guidelines (the “Guidelines”); including, but not limited to, the following:
- Hospitals (both inpatient and outpatient services), Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and Independent Facilities. The Permitted Sharing Level for medical care established by the Guidelines shall be based upon the average of 150% of the Medicare allowable amount for the medical care included in the Guidelines and 135% of the cost of the medical care included in the Guidelines; provided, however, that any such Permitted Sharing Level based on the cost of the medical care included in the Guideline, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed 175% of the Medicare allowable amount, or the amount of Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees for the medical care included in the Guidelines.
- Other Medical and Surgical Services. The Permitted Sharing Level for any general medical and/or surgical medical care included in the Guidelines not addressed under the immediately preceding subsection or subsection (d) below, may be established or calculated taking into consideration and/or based upon the average of: (i) allowable reimbursement amounts for such medical care included in the Guidelines according to the OPPS Reimbursement or other Medicare fee payment methodology, plus an additional 50%; (ii) the costs for such medical care included in the Guidelines, plus an additional 35%; or (iii) the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees as reflected in, or determined by reference to, or through the use of any other industry-standard resources or widely recognized data sources, including any resources listed above or any other fee and/or cost information, sources, lists or comparative data published or publicly available (free, for purchase or by subscription), or any combination of such resources that are sufficient, in the opinion of the Claims Delegate, to determine a reasonable amount of medical care included in the Guidelines.
- Facilities Lacking Requisite Benchmarks and Specified Services. In the event that for technical reasons Permitted Sharing Levels for medical care included in the Guidelines cannot be determined in accordance with the two immediately preceding subsections, and for other Medical Care included in the Guidelines specified below, the Permitted Sharing Levels may be determined as follows:
- Pharmaceuticals. The Permitted Sharing Level for pharmacy charges from any hospital or independent facility may be calculated based on pharmaceutical costs as follows:
- 150% of cost for pharmaceuticals other than High Dollar Drugs, but not to exceed the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees for such pharmaceuticals; or
- 120% of cost for High Dollar Drugs; but not to exceed the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees for such pharmaceuticals.
- 150% of cost for pharmaceuticals other than High Dollar Drugs, but not to exceed the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees for such pharmaceuticals; or
- Supplies, Implants and Devices. The Permitted Sharing Level for charges for medical and surgical supplies, implants, and devices may be based upon 120% of the cost to the hospital or independent facility in providing such items.
- Pharmaceuticals. The Permitted Sharing Level for pharmacy charges from any hospital or independent facility may be calculated based on pharmaceutical costs as follows:
- Professional Services. The Permitted Sharing Levels for professional services shall be determined based upon the chart for the professional service identified. This chart is available upon request.
- Dialysis Services and Infusion Therapy. The Permitted Sharing Level for dialysis services and infusion therapy visits, which shall include dialysis, facility services, supplies, and medications provided during treatment, shall be determined by review of the Medicare allowable amount for the billing hospital or physician in light of clinical considerations pertinent to the patient being treated.
- Medical Care Provided Under Direct Contract. The Permitted Sharing Levels for medical care provided by directly contracted hospitals or physicians will be the rates or fees established under the applicable contract; provided, however, that the amounts of such rates and fees shall be presumed to be usual, customary, and reasonable, only to the extent that they do not include otherwise improper balances, which charges shall be outside of the Permitted Sharing Levels.
In the event that the Permitted Sharing Level exceeds the actual charge billed for the treatment, service, or supply in question, sharing and payments to providers will be based on the actual billed charge. The Permitted Sharing Level for medical care will not include charges related to unbundling, errors, unclear description, or misidentification.
A. Impact Health Sharing Is Not a Substitute for Insurance as may be Required by Law
Impact Health Sharing is not insurance. However, Impact Health Sharing may be used as a substitute for, or as an exemption from mandated insurance coverage in the following circumstances:
- To satisfy the federal mandate effective January 1, 2014 requiring “applicable individuals” to maintain “minimum essential [insurance] coverage.”
- To satisfy a certain state's requirement to maintain “minimum creditable [insurance] coverage.” These are the only exceptions. Otherwise, members must not certify that Impact Health Sharing is insurance to avoid purchasing insurance required by law, rule or regulation; for example, workers' compensation insurance, or sports activity insurance.
B. Impact Health Sharing is Secondary to Other Sources
If a member has insurance or is eligible/qualified for any insurance benefits, or other health or welfare benefits, such as an employment-related health or welfare plan, workers' compensation insurance, homeowners insurance, or fraternal benefits, the member is expected to take all reasonable steps to qualify for such payments and to exhaust benefits available under those resources before submitting a request for sharing.
C. Assignment of Third-Party Claims
In certain instances where a sharing event may have been caused by actions of a third-party, the member may be required to assign to Impact any and all rights that member has against all parties responsible for causing the injuries or illnesses. This is up to the total amount members provided to, or for the benefit of the member and to reimburse Impact on behalf of members. This includes any and all amounts members provide to, or on behalf of a member as a result of injuries or illnesses which result from the actions or liability of a third party, and/or which result in a settlement, judgment, or other award or recovery to or by a member.
D. Sharing Appeal
A member can appeal bill-sharing decisions with which they disagree if they believe:
- the medical records were misread;
- the Guidelines were misapplied; or
- one or more of the member’s providers incorrectly recorded their medical history.
E. Mediation and ArbitrationWhile these Guidelines are not a contract for insurance, the Guidelines do outline the manner in which voluntary sharing occurs among members under the Impact Health Sharing program. Further, you have authorized Impact to exercise reasonable discretion to administer the Impact Health Sharing program according to these Guidelines. Any claim or dispute arising out of, or related to, enforcement of these Guidelines after a member has exhausted his appeals provided for in section IV (D) shall be addressed through mediation, with each party to bear their own costs, attorneys' fees, and 50% of the mediator’s fee, and with the mediation filing fee to be paid by Impact Health Sharing.
If resolution of the dispute and reconciliation do not result from mediation, the matter shall then be submitted to an independent and objective arbitrator for binding arbitration, with each party to bear their own costs, attorneys' fees, and 50% of the arbitrator’s fee, and with the arbitration filing fee to be paid by Impact Health Sharing.
Members agree that these methods of dispute resolution shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising under these Guidelines, or against Impact Health Sharing or its agents, employees and contractors; and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit for such disputes, except to enforce a legally binding arbitration decision.
To make Healthcare Sharing convenient and efficient, Impact Health Sharing deploys a technology platform called a Virtual Share Exchange (“VSE”). The VSE enables all Impact members to participate in the healthcare sharing process electronically, as well as to monitor the transactional activities of their individual Share Accounts and the Impact community at large. Your Impact membership requires that you activate your own Share Account and enable the Virtual Share Exchange Platform to administer the sharing process on your behalf. By activating your Share Account and accepting the Virtual Share Exchange Platform's Terms and Conditions and Disclosures, you give Impact Health Sharing and its agents express permission to conduct financial transactions necessary, necessary for the administration of the program on your behalf.
A. Share Account
To participate in the Impact Health Sharing community, all members must activate a Share Account on the Virtual Share Exchange Platform. Your Share Account is a virtual account and all funds deposited are received by America’s Christian Credit Union who holds them “For the Benefit of Impact Health Sharing members”. The Share Account will display your account balances, sharing transaction history and other relevant information, and includes your own dashboard management tools. The money in your Share Account is insured (see disclosure at ImpactHealthSharing.com) and is fully controlled by you.
To activate your Share Account, you will be required to provide the necessary personal information to comply with U.S. Banking Regulations. Once your information is submitted and verified, you will be required to link your Share Account to one of your external bank accounts, such as Bank of America or Wells Fargo accounts. Each month, you will fund your Share Account with an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) from your External Bank Account.
B. Monthly Share Notice
Impact members will receive a Monthly Share Notice through the VSE Platform to inform and remind them of the monthly amount that they are to contribute. The monthly amount that you are to contribute (Total Share Amount Due) is based on the Impact Health Sharing PRA level that you have selected.
The amount specified in your monthly Share Notice is transferred through an EFT drawn from your External Bank Account. EFTs are always used for the Total Share Amount Due. The Total Share Amount Due is outlined on every monthly Share Notice and it will include the current Monthly Share Amount, any Past Due Amounts and any relevant service fees.
The Total Share Amount Due may be paid in the VSE Platform or through Auto-Share (Recurring EFT) which you configure within the system.
C. Account Management
Your Share Account is a financial account that you own and manage. You will have the ability to add, edit or delete your Auto-Share settings, as well as your linked External Bank Account at any time. You may also choose to have your Eligible Medical Bills “anonymously” shared among the members, otherwise, the members who share in your medical bills will be able to see with whom they are sharing.
D. Publishing & Sharing
Participation in the Impact Health Sharing Community is voluntary. This means that when you are selected to participate in a sharing event, if you object to that particular sharing event for any reason, you must withdraw and terminate your membership during the three-day Publishing Period (described below) rather than participate in that sharing event.
Medical bills that are eligible for sharing are matched, allocated, and published to the membership prior to sharing. To be compliant with regulations and safe harbor provisions, Impact Health Sharing implements a member-to-member or Peer-to-Peer (P2P) approach to sharing, which means that members share funds directly with one another, rather than drawing funds from a pool.
Your medical bills will be submitted to Impact by your medical providers. Impact will process, all bills for eligibility per the Guidelines. Eligible Medical Bills are then submitted into the VSE Platform for sharing. All of the Approved for Sharing amounts are allocated to your fellow members who have been matched to share in (contribute toward payment of) your bill. Those members who have been matched to share your bill will be notified through a process called “publishing” as to the amount that will be withdrawn from their Share Account for the payment of your Bill Approved for Sharing. They will also be notified as to who will be receiving their funds, unless you choose the anonymous setting in your Share Account dashboard’s Sharing Permissions.
Once the three-day Publishing Period has ended, the amount published to each member is transferred to a Virtual Bill Account for the payment of your bill. Members who have been matched and allocated to share in another member’s Bill Approved for Sharing may withdraw from the membership prior to the expiration of the three-day Publishing Period, in which case no funds will be transferred to the receiving member.
Because a member may choose not to share in a particular Bill Approved for Sharing for any reason or no reason, the sharing process remains entirely voluntary for every member. However, as noted above, any sharing refusal requires withdrawal from the membership before the end of the three-day Publishing Period.
E. Virtual Bill Accounts
If you have an Eligible Medical Bill that has been approved for sharing, the VSE Platform will create a Virtual Bill Account for the payment of that bill. Virtual Bill Accounts are unique to a specific medical bill and are linked to your Share Account. Each Virtual Bill Account is unique to a Member of your household, a medical provider and a specific bill. Amounts collected in your Virtual Bill Account(s) are restricted and are displayed as a single line item transaction in your Share Account.
F. Provider Payments
Virtual Bill Accounts remain open until the amount Approved for Sharing has been fully collected and transferred to your medical provider as payment of your bill. While Virtual Bill Accounts are aggregated in the transactional view of your Share Account, these funds are restricted and cannot be withdrawn from your Share Account. Once all the allocated funds have been transferred from the members who were matched to pay your Bill Approved for Sharing, those funds are released for payment to your medical provider. The transfer of funds out of your Virtual Bill Account will be displayed as a single line item transaction in your Share Account.
G. Distributed Reserves
In order to process and pay Eligible Medical Bills quickly, Impact Health Sharing implements a practice called Distributed or Decentralized Reserving. Impact is not insurance, so we do not collect and hold medical reserves in a centralized bank account. Instead, the Monthly Share Amount is set at a level to build a small balance (or reserve) in every member’s individual Share Account. These Distributed Reserves enable Impact Health Sharing to better manage the ebb and flow of medical usage and payments.
BASIC TERMS UNIQUE TO HEALTH SHARING
“Contribute” or “Contribution” – The dollar amounts voluntarily transferred by a Member to Impact for continued participation in the Impact Sharing Plan. Because participation in the Impact Sharing Plan is not a contract for insurance and participation is voluntary, contributions are not a “demand for payment” for a product or service.
“Invoice” or “Statement” – A demand for payment for medical care services rendered, submitted by a medical care provider to a Member.
“Pay” or “Payment” – The dollar amounts tendered to a medical care provider or facility by Impact and/or a Member under the Impact Sharing Plan in consideration for a medical care service rendered by the provider to a Member under the provider’s contract for service.
“Share” or “Sharing” – The joint sharing of certain medical expenses incurred by a Member that are contributed to by other Members of the Impact Sharing Community.
“Share Notice” or “Notice” – A notification of voluntary contribution amounts due under the Impact Sharing Plan, submitted by Impact to a Member. Share Notices are typically delivered monthly as a “Monthly Share Notice.”
IMPACT PROGRAM & MEMBERSHIP
Bill Approved for Sharing – An Eligible Medical Bill that meets the criteria for sharing in the Guidelines and meets the other conditions for sharing, including whether the member’s PRA has been met and other sharing limits have not been exceeded.
Cancellation Date – The month and day membership ends due to the Member’s withdrawal or an administrative cancellation.
Effective Date – The date the Member’s current PRA has begun.
Eligible for Sharing – Any testing, treatment, procedure or service that meets the criteria for sharing as established in the Guidelines.
Eligible Medical Bill – An incurred medical bill that meets the criteria for sharing as established in the Guidelines, the Eligible Medical Bill may be reduced by any discounts, fees or other sources of payment.
Federally Illegal Drugs – Drugs which are classified as Schedule 1 in Title 21 United States Code Controlled Substances Act.
Member – Any Member of the Impact Sharing Plan, including each family member participating in a Member Household.
Member Household – The related family members participating in the Impact Sharing Plan.
Membership Date – The date a Member’s participation in Impact begins. Medical bills incurred after this date may be considered for sharing among members.
Pre-Existing – Any diagnosis, testing, medication, or treatment of a condition that a Member has received before their initial effective date with Impact.
Primary Member – An adult member that is the main contact for the household membership.
Primary Responsibility Amount (PRA) – The dollar amount a Household must pay toward their own Eligible Medical Bills during a 12-month period before their Eligible Medical Bills can be published and shared by the Membership. The PRA 12-month period begins on the Membership Effective Date.
Provider Fee– The portion of a medical bill that a Member pays to a healthcare provider at each visit.
SHARE ACCOUNT ACTIVATION
Auto-Share (Recurring EFT) – a Sharing Permission enabling a Primary Member to set up recurring electronic funds transfers (EFTs) to transfer the Total Share Amount Due specified in their Monthly Share Notice.
External Account – an existing bank account that is linked to the Primary Member’s Share Account and is used to transfer via EFT the Total Share Amount Due into the Share Account each month.
Manual Share – a function that enables a Primary Member to initiate an “on-demand” EFT to transfer the Total Share Amount Due specified in their Monthly Share Notice.
Permissions – are auto-enable functions (ex. Auto-Share) that are set and managed by the Primary Member.
Share Account – the member-controlled virtual account that is linked to both your External Account and your deposit account at America’s Christian Credit Union and is used for all sharing transactions and activities.
MONTHLY SHARE NOTICE
Grace Period – the number of days between the Share Due Date and Past Due Date.
Monthly Share Amount – the sum of the Share Portion and Required Miscellaneous Portions published in the Share Notice.
Due Date – the day of the month that a delinquent Total Share Amount Due becomes past due.
Past Due Reminders – are Share Notice Reminders sent to members who have not paid their Share Notice and are past-due.
Payment Reminders – are Share Notice Reminders sent only to members who pay manually, instead of automatically, and only if the Total Share Amount has not yet been paid.
Previous Balance – is the sum of any past due, unpaid amounts published in the Share Notice.
Required Miscellaneous Portion – an amount set by the HCSO to fund certain described activities such as its administrative and program expenses.
Share Due Date – the day of the month by which the Total Share Amount Due must be transferred via EFT in full.
Share Notice – the written notification to a Member that details the Total Share Amount Due for the month.
Share Notice Date – similar to a statement date or invoice date, it is the day of the month that the Share Notice is published and distributed.
Share Payment (Funding) – transferring funds (Total Share Amount due) from a member’s External Account to their Share Account.
Share Portion – the portion of the Monthly Share Amount that is collected and used specifically for member-to-member sharing of eligible medical bills.
Total Share Amount Due – the sum of the Monthly Share Contribution Amount (Share Portion and Required Miscellaneous Portion), Optional Portion (auto-enabled by the Member), Service Fee, and any past due amount (Previous Balance).
MEDICAL BILLS & NEEDS
Adjusted Amount – the discounted or repriced amount.
Approved for Sharing – the portion of the Adjusted Amount that is eligible for sharing as per the program guidelines.
Bill Status – References the processing stage/state of a specific Need or Bill.
Charge Amount – the gross amount billed by the Medical Provider.
Explanation of Sharing (EOS) – is a notice sent to a Member detailing the eligibility status of a bill, any discounted amounts and what portion of the remaining Charge Amount has been shared by Impact members, and any remaining amount that must be paid by the Member.
Member Responsibility – the portion of the Adjusted Amount calculated to be the member’s responsibility and will not be shared.
Need – is a grouping of medical bills by a medical event such as knee surgery. Individual medical bills may sometimes be referred to as a “Need.”
Published Amount – the portion of the Adjusted Amount that is eligible for sharing and has been published/allocated to the members for sharing.
Received Date – the date that Impact receives the medical bill and begins processing the bill for eligibility. Service Date – the date that the Member (patient) received services from the Medical Provider.
Shared Amount – the Published Amount that has been shared and collected in the Member’s Sharing Account.
MATCHING & SHARING
Sharing (Member-to-Member Transfers) – moving funds from a sending Member’s Share Account to a receiving Member’s Virtual Bill Account.
Available Balance – the total sum that is available for sharing a new eligible medical bill and/or Withdrawal. It is the Total Balance minus the Pending Balance minus the Restricted Balance
Debits & Sharing – The “Negative (-)” transactions debited out of the Member’s Share Account, which would be Miscellaneous Required Portion (i.e. Debits), Optional Portion, and Share Portion.
Deposits & Credits – The “Positive (+)” transactions that are credited to the Member’s Share Account, such as EFT Transfers (i.e. Deposits) and Shared Funds Received (i.e. Credits) that a Member might receive to pay their eligible medical bill.
Pending Balance – the sum of EFT(s) that have been initiated but have not yet posted to the Member’s Share Account.
Restricted Balance – the sum of funds that have been credited to the Member’s Share Account for purpose of paying an eligible medical bill.
Total Balance – the sum of the Pending Balance, Restricted Balance, and Available Balance in a Member’s Share Account.