TEI Care: Trust and Simplicity in Healthcare

John C. Rankin (2008 back to 1992)


  • A pending initiative …

Historically among the Amish and Mennonites, people take care of each other’s burdensome needs, including healthcare. No legal contracts or complexities – just simple trust, rooted in a shared culture and/or churches in geographical proximity.

Is such a model of trust possible nationwide? Yes – for those of us who embrace reality and simple ethics as rooted in a) the biblical order of creation, b) the covenant of marriage and thus c) truth telling. Specifically, members of TEI Care embrace this covenant:

  1. We affirm the goodness, trust, truth-telling and simplicity of the biblical order of creation, Genesis 1-2, as interpretive for all life.
  2. We affirm that trust, truth-telling and simplicity are first and best nurtured where human sexuality equals chastity outside of the marriage of one man and one woman, fidelity within, parenthood based thereupon, and where human life is affirmed fully from natural conception to natural death.
  3. We affirm that the stewardship of our bodies is best served by what is most naturally present in the biblical order of creation. Thus, healthy living means the pursuit of a wise diet, always preferring food and drink in their most natural state, of appropriate exercise, outdoor air and sunshine, and sufficient rest; healthy living also includes no use of inhaled tobacco, illegal drugs or substances, and no abuse of legal drugs, substances or alcoholic beverages.
  4. We affirm that religious, political and economic liberty for all people is intrinsic to the biblical order of creation.

Accordingly, members pool resources to meet each other’s burdensome healthcare needs, where an honest and open business model is in place, rooted in the assumption of truth telling in all matters. Thus, healthcare quality will be far higher, and costs will be far lower.

When ready to start, an application fee of $150.00 will apply to your first month’s participation, and the plan will become active when 300 family units are enrolled.

Once this plan is well underway, with proven demographics, a second plan is envisioned for people who do not affirm the biblical order of creation and/or the marriage covenant, but who want a similar simple system for themselves.

TEI Care has the power to free physicians and other health care providers to give the best medical care, and where patients are freed to pay only the simple and true costs. It has the power to greatly reduce, even abolish, the onerous costs of governmental and/or corporate interference with the doctor-patient relationship.

TEI Care Guidelines

   TEI Care is run by the Theological Education Institute (TEI), LLC, with the following ten guidelines, whereby money is pooled in a co-operative venture to share otherwise unmet medical expenses of fellow members:

  1. Potential members are interviewed orally, come to an understanding on references, health history and deductibles, their amount of monthly planned giving into the system, and how to share medical expenses with fellow members; upon such agreement, they will then gain a TEI Care agent through whom to go for all questions and needs. All specifics are tailored personally, reviewable annually, and made possible due to trust and truth telling.
  2. Three months of this giving will go into the overhead account before membership becomes active. The next 11 months of giving, paid on the 10th day of each month, goes into the medical account; the 12th goes into the overhead account, and this will be the annual pace thereafter. Thus, TEI Care overhead equals 25 percent the first year, and 8.3 percent every year thereafter.
  3. The overhead and medical accounts are strictly separate and the funds will never commingle; the records of income, expenses and balance in the medical account will always be available to members, online and/or otherwise.
  4. When members have medical expenses per their agreements, they contact their agent, and it will be processed quickly. If there are excess monies in the medical account at the end of the month, they will remain there for the subsequent month(s).
  5. If there is a shortage, a notice will be sent out to make it up with special gifts from the membership; if there still remains a shortage at the end of the calendar month, the due ratio (e.g., 95%) of all needs will be paid, and thus, the medical account will never carry any future debt to its members.
  6. Members are free to choose their health care providers, and as well, over time, TEI Care will build a professional list of heath care providers whom it will recommend, negotiating always the best possible pricing.
  7. Members are free to discontinue membership at anytime, but will have to reach a new agreement in order to rejoin; those who fall short in their monthly planned giving will have to discontinue their membership or renegotiate a new agreement.
  8. If a legitimate concern arises as to whether a member is consciously dishonoring the TEI Care covenant, he or she will be contacted and an arrangement will be worked out relative to continued membership. If such a person is unsatisfied, an arrangement will be made in concert with Matthew 18:15-17 to resolve it. TEI Care reserves the right to dismiss from membership anyone who is shown to deliberately violate the covenant.
  9. Since TEI Care is a moral covenant, rooted in oral agreement, and not a written legal contract, it does not pretend to carry any legal indemnification. It is far deeper than that, rooted in the relational freedom of earned trust. Hence, any disputes between patient and provider lie outside the scope of TEI Care. TEI Care reserves the right to dismiss from membership anyone who fails to pursue and fulfill Matthew 18:15-17 in such matters – whether patient or provider.
  10. For extraordinary needs that arise beyond the individual covenants, catastrophic health insurance is required. This is meant to be a segue until TEI Care is able to set up its own catastrophic care resources, that which needs sufficient demographics. Likewise, a prayer network will be in place.