Jeff Frey used to sell traditional health insurance, but with an increase of calls from clients with complaints and questions about their current health insurance plan and the constant changes, confusion about networks, monthly premiums skyrocketing and deductible amounts going up he thought, ‘there has to be another option’ for his clients. Jeff determined there really were only a couple options out there. He also realized, “You really don’t need health insurance, what you need is a way to manage and pay for your needed health care,” Jeff says.
Ultimately, he found that medical cost-sharing is safe, fast and straightforward. It’s kind of how health insurance started many, many years ago. Therefore, six years ago he launched AffordaShare. AffordaShare is not insurance but a private medical association.
“Once you become a member with AffordaShare, you no longer need traditional health insurance,” Jeff says.
His wife Lisa, also works for AffordaShare as the Operations Manager and member services liaison.
Jeff says his target market is primarily Small Business Owners, Independent Contractors, Real Estate Agents, Roofers, Landscaping Companies, HVAC, anyone that does not have access to a large group plan or that works for themselves and obtains individual health insurance on their own.
“Clients usually save about 30 to 50% individually or on their small group health insurance cost as well, all while still receiving great health care coverage and great customer service,” he says.
A lot of people think they can only change plans once per year, but that’s not always true. Typically, you can call or email your current health care provider and cancel any time throughout the year, they just don’t want you to do that. Health care plans and health insurance plans generally are month to month and can be canceled throughout the year with a couple weeks advance notice.
“At AffordaShare, we take new enrollments all year long,” Jeff says.
They do, however, see an upsurge in enrollments towards the end of the year as people and small businesses are planning for the upcoming year. Fall or open enrollment is an important time for you individually and for small businesses. This is the time you are trying to assess the next 12 months of your health care cost.
“This is a great time to compare AffordaShare to your current health care plan,” Jeff adds. “If we can save you money, still offer great health care protection and give you great customer service, why not do it? It’s a head’s you win, tails you tie. There is nothing to lose by simply comparing cost and coverage regardless of what time of the year it is.”
AffordaShare offers many different packages of various levels, with slightly different features and benefits to fit everyone’s needs and budgets, regardless of age or medical conditions. In addition, AffordaShare serves all demographics, from younger people who just got off of their parents’ plans, all the way up to those who are ready to switch over to Medicare.
“We have clients of all ages, married, single and families with children, and we are currently in 19 states,” Jeff says.
If you’re not sure if AffordaShare is a good fit for you, it doesn’t hurt to check them out. You can call them up or go to the website at AffordaShare.com click on the “Get-a-Quote” tab in the upper righthand section. Just complete the info there and hit “SUBMIT.” Within 24 hours you’ll have multiple options and prices to review.
“This way you can make a well-informed, thoughtful decision on what’s best for you, your business and your family,” Jeff says.
Of course nothing in life is certain. The Freys know this well. A few years ago, they got a call from a young man, 28-years-old, who was inquiring about AffordaShare because his mother wouldn’t stop telling him to obtain some type of coverage.
He told Jeff he was healthy, worked out, didn’t smoke, and wasn’t sure he’d ever need or use the coverage. He wanted the cheapest plan possible. Jeff set him up with the least expensive package that did not cover annual exams, dental or vision. However, if he had a major medical event, the most he would be responsible for paying was $6,000 a year. As fate would have it, this young seemingly invincible man was diagnosed with cancer six months later.
“His care and treatment extended out for almost two years, so he paid a total of only $12,000 out of almost $150,000 in medical expenses,” Jeff says. “He is very grateful he contacted us, and so is his mom.”
Jeff says a question he often hears is, “What am I not getting with you that I am getting with my current plan?”
“We do not cover ongoing serious mental health issues like severe depression, mental health hospitalization or drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” Jeff says. “Virtually everything else is covered, including broken bones, stitches, ultrasounds, maternity, cancer, strokes, heart attacks and anything in between.”
Though they don’t cover mental health rehab and therapy, they do cover office visits for things like depression, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
“If you need to go in and consult with your doctor a couple times per year about your medication, well that is just a simple office visit and we cover that,” Jeff says.
Lisa finds that potential clients will often want to talk to current members to ask how easy the process is.
“We have many members that have used us for years and have experienced various medical issues,” Lisa says. “I find that they are happy to share their thoughts and experiences of having AffordaShare with new or prospective members.
“They weigh the pros and cons and, after evaluating the coverage, talking with a long-time member and looking at the savings, they usually decide AffordaShare is the best option,” Lisa adds.
AffordaShare is located in Fishers, Indiana. For more information call (317)-431-7541 or visit affordashare.com.
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