Funding your health insurance is not an easy feat to achieve. That’s why a health insurance plan is an important factor to consider while job hunting. In the absence of such a job with health insurance, you would be motivated to search for an alternative – health sharing plans; a medical sharing plan for healthcare members.
Health sharing plans are basically for persons without health insurance, between jobs, or who simply want the experience. They are not necessarily as popular as traditional health insurance plans. However, they are a good option to protect yourself and your family.
Nevertheless, there has been an increasing number of healthcare members, ergo, the motivation behind this post on the 10 medical sharing plans.
Table of contents
- How Do Health Sharing Ministries Work?
- Do All Health Sharing Plans Accept Families?
- Can I Register for Both Traditional Health Insurance And A Health Sharing Plan?
- What Happens If I Have Pre-Existing Conditions?
- Medical Sharing Plans
How Do Health Sharing Ministries Work?
So, basically, everyone in the ministry pays a stipulated amount of money every month. This is called an “Annual Personal Responsibility” or “Unshared Amount”. Think of it as a deductible in a regular health insurance program.
Usually, you will have to show your health sharing membership card upon arrival for identification.
If however, your medical bills exceed a specific amount, the expenses are divided amongst the members of your ministry. And, if you need to pay some doctors or medical providers with cash, you will be reimbursed by the ministry.
Do All Health Sharing Plans Accept Families?
Yes, all the health sharing plans in this post accept families though each adult must meet the requirements for the particular plan.
The fees to be paid are usually higher based on the number of people signed up and any other basis as may be stated by the health sharing plan.
Can I Register for Both Traditional Health Insurance And A Health Sharing Plan?
Honestly, it would definitely cost a fortune, however, it’s very possible to register for traditional health insurance and a health sharing plan.
On some sites like Liberty healthcare, it’s stipulated that some registered members just sign up to help others and may not get around to submitting bills.
What Happens If I Have Pre-Existing Conditions?
While some medical sharing plans might not offer you eligibility for the first year of your membership, some may not cover pre-existing conditions at all.
So, ensure you verify from the health sharing ministry directly and read the fine print.
Ultimately, it differs from each health-sharing ministry.
Medical Sharing Plans
Here’s a list of some of the finest medical sharing plans:
#1. Zion Health
Zion Health was established by Nathan Udy who is an Entrepreneur and a Business Owner in 2019. He had honed his skills in the insurance industry with over a decade of experience managing healthcare plans. Nathan founded Zion Health to offer the best health share experience for its members.
With a 4.9-star rating, Zion Health offers great pricing, a user-friendly website, fast processing of needs, and unlimited sharing.
Zion Health is fairly new healthcare located in Utah that offers Direct Primary Care memberships.
Though Zion healthcare shares some similarities with the other healthcare ministries, it differs because that monthly share you pay yourself before you can share the medical bills can be shared.
It is bound to stand out considering how inexpensive it is, the unlimited sharing it provides as well as the Direct Primary Care memberships.
Zion health offers different types of memberships. They have a plan for single individuals, individuals with families, and also a plan for worksites.
Another upside to this healthcare is the ease of signup. You’re fully signed up online once you complete the process. You don’t need to receive any calls of confirmation because they accept all applications. You will receive a digital ID card and a welcome letter.
Zion Health also has some flaws though, like the lack of a member portal. Although it has been reported that they are working on one.
From the 4.9-star rating, it is clear that its an impressive healthcare program as most members are satisfied and heavily recommend it.
OneShare health sharing plan promises to portray the love and faithfulness of God to her members. To become a member, you would agree with the core biblical principles relating to life, health, and caring for others, as shown in the shared Statement of Beliefs.
OneShare offers different plans with varying price ranges their members can choose from. Members have to pay a monthly contribution and share one another’s medical bills to celebrate the mutual love and respect for one another.
These plans also encourage her members to choose their contribution and the coverage type.
Signing up is simple and can be done anytime by either e-mail, phone call, or social media. However, some people have reported receiving misleading information from healthcare.
This healthcare sharing program is however faulted with expensive pricing costing $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 per year for the different ISA tiers.
Ultimately, with 3.9 stars rating, they offer great programs for just emergencies, more frequent medical needs, and plans for a whole family.
#3. Samaritan Ministries.
Samaritan Ministries are available in some foreign countries and all 50 states. Unlike other healthcare sharing plans, the money goes directly to members so, there no need for the monthly share for medical care. However, the monthly share you pay is for administrative costs.
They also offer 4 different medical sharing plans – one person, two-person family, three or more-person family, and widowed or divorced with children.
To join any of these plans, you’d need to pay a $200 one-time startup fee. It’s not refundable even if you were a member for only a few months. Your payments will go to the office for the first two months of your membership. After which, you’ll send the payments straight to the members that need them.
This is to promote transparency as the members also get to participate by voting.
The major shortcomings are the withholding of valuable information concerning the covered procedures, and the cost of the repetitive visits to the office.
You’ll also have to attend a Christian church regularly and your church leader would have to sign off on it. Plus, you’ll be responsible for negotiating with the medical providers.
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#4. Christian Healthcare Ministries
Christian Healthcare Ministries is supposedly the nation’s first and longest-serving Christian health cost-sharing ministry with nearly $5 billion in our members’ medical bills.
They are basically Christian members striving to ease the burden of healthcare costs from their members in all 50 states and around the world.
They are not a typical insurance company, but a nonprofit health cost-sharing ministry where Christians share their members’ medical bills.
Members have to send agreed amounts depending on your medical sharing program. These payments sent in by yourself or fellow members have offset the medical bills of members.
CHM offers 3 programs – Gold, Silver, and Bronze. In addition to these, there’s also a program for extremely high expenses called the Brother’s Keeper.
You have the option of selecting different programs for people on the plan. That is to say, healthier persons can have a Silver or Bronze plan while the sick ones can select the Gold program.
The payments are made every month to CHM rather than individual members.
CHM does not place any restrictions based on geographic location, age, wealth, health history, or weight. They also let you negotiate the cost of your treatment
Signing up for Christian Healthcare Ministries is through their website in a simple process.
However, a few members have made reports of complaints due to stretched delays in reimbursements.
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Liberty healthcare claims to be a Christian membership-based, non-profit organization where they help facilitate the voluntary sharing between members to cater to each other’s medical costs.
With a 1.6-star rating, Liberty Healthshare offers three membership plans available in all 50 states: Liberty Share, Liberty Plus, and Liberty Complete. The membership programs are based on single, couples, and families. Also, the prices are based on two age brackets – under 30 and 30 years old & over.
Liberty share does not offer dental and vision expenses. However, those who choose Liberty Plus or Liberty Complete can get discounts on vision, pharmacy, hearing, chiropractic, and other services by signing up for SavNet Health Savings Discounts.
Liberty’s plans are considerably more affordable than most healthcare plans out there.
Signing up is also extremely simple. You’ll have to fill out a signup form. The sales staff is polite and accommodating if you have any inquiries.
Sedera offers a clear, though expensive program for medical cost-sharing. They are available in almost every state except Alaska, Washington, and Vermont.
Much like other healthcares, Sedera Health requires her members to pay an Initial Unshared Amount. Monthly fees are added based on age and number of family members.
Though Sedera may be expensive, there are surely more expensive healthcare plans. They also provide membership plans for individuals and worksites, just Like in Zion Health. However, tobacco users would need to pay an additional amount of money.
Signing up on Sedera is pretty simple and can be done on their website.
If you have any doubts or questions, you can get in touch with someone from Sedera’s team to put you through.
Established on September 25, 2018, Solidarity healthcare is a Catholic healthcare sharing ministry. Though they offer an alternative to regular insurance options, they do not hold to a biblical statement of faith.
However, you must comply with their lifestyle requirements to qualify for Solidarity Healthcare.
There are 3 available plans – Solidarity First, Solidarity Extend, and Solidarity Whole. Also, there’s the Annual Unshared Amount.
The shareable medical expenses with Solidarity HealthShare are wellness visits, ambulance, emergency room, hospice/home healthcare, hospital/surgical visits, fertility / NFP, mental health care, and maternity care.
The complaints by people who signed up are centered on the difficulty in contacting the staff, and prolonged delays in reimbursements.
With a 3.1-star rating, Altrua’s website is user-friendly and offers a chart that thoroughly explains every step within Altrua’s healthcare. However, their social media presence is not so strong.
Altrua offers three membership types -Gold, Silver, and Bronze. They operate with a Member Responsibility Amount (MRA) –the amount you pay out of pocket.
The MRAs are paid two times: the first is paid before the membership shares in qualified needs. The second is the percentage the members are required to remit after the first MRA and before the membership shares in eligible needs.
Signing up to Altrua is online and is simple. Altrua HealthShare is an exceptional healthcare plan that does not need a pastor or representative from a local church to sign an attestation verifying your church membership.
The complaints mentioned include issues with coverage, prolonged reimbursements, and difficulty in getting through to the staff.
Trinity Healthshare/AlieraCare offers you an opportunity to remain healthy at an inexpensive price. Their website is direct as it provides the most important, most sought-after information just at the beginning – pricing and contact.
It is a reasonably-priced alternative to insurance with varying types of membership plans at different costs.
Trinity HealthShare doesn’t reject people based on health but there may be a period of waiting for pre-existing conditions. However, they are open to all religious groups and as such may be unacceptable to those in search of a Christian health sharing company with a biblical statement of faith.
You can signup on the website, as usual, through an application.
The media-share sharing ministry is the product of the Christian Care Ministry. Christian Care Ministry was founded by Dr. E John Reinhold in 1993. They are a non-profit organization based in Melbourne, Florida.
Medi-Share is not a health insurance company like other healthcare sharing plans, with a lot of members.
Just like other healthcare, the website carefully explains its working processes. It also provides pricing information through an easy-to-use cost calculator.
Now, Medi-Share places a lot of emphasis on healthy individuals and offers them more benefits. However, Medi-Share payments are based on age, size of household, and the program option you select.
Users must be active churchgoers to join this health sharing plan.
The common shortcomings of Medi-Share are the complicated and tardy process of repayment.
It’s absolutely possible to migrate from traditional health insurance to a health-sharing plan. Though the difference in both medical plans may be significant, health sharing plans will surely save you a ton of money.
In choosing from the health sharing plans, don’t just go for the least expensive. Go for one that is most suitable for you and your family.
There are certain faith requirements you should meet before you can become a member. However, if you don’t meet the requirements or you have a chronic medical condition and prescriptions, I’d recommend using traditional health insurance.