Wendy Sweet rarely visits the doctor. But in October, after Blue Cross Blue Shield increased her family's monthly health insurance premium to $1,150, she sure felt like she needed one.
Sweet, 46, owns South Street Mortgage. As a small business owner, she has no one to help offset her health care costs.
So Sweet joined a small but growing number of people enrolled in faith-based alternatives to health insurance.
The Sweets are new members of Christian Care Medi-Share, a charitable ministry that collects monthly contributions and disburses them among members to pay medical bills. For $459 a month, the family receives help on costs greater than $250, up to $1million.
"We feel like this protects us in case of catastrophic events," the Charlotte mother of three said. "We can cover the other stuff with the money we save."
In a decade in which premiums have nearly doubled and the number of uninsured has grown from 38 million to 47 million, many people are searching for help.