Comparison of Healthcare Sharing Options

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Comparison of Healthcare Sharing Options

Many people are looking beyond traditional health insurance to faith-based healthcare sharing ministries. ⛪️

Not only can you stand up for the healthcare values you believe in, but you can often save money too.

Since the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance to cover pre-existing conditions, traditional health insurance premiums have skyrocketed🚀 Participating in a healthcare sharing ministry is often much less expensive than traditional insurance because these groups CAN make exclusions for pre-existing conditions!

So what options are available? Here’s a quick comparison of 4 popular Christian-based sharing ministries. This is a great place to start your research.

Resources:

Traditional Health Insurance Shopping Info by State – Written info from Take Command Health

How to Save Money on your Health Insurance – Podcast

Ministry Sharing Guidelines:

Medi-Share – Christian Care Ministries (CCM) Guidelines

Samaritan Ministries Guidelines

Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) Guidelines

Liberty HealthShare Guidelines

Here’s our list of Pros/Cons/Noteworthy points per ministry…

Medi-Share by Christian Care Ministry (CCM):

Pros:

  • No annual, per-incident, per-person or per-lifetime sharing caps
  • Free 24/7 access to virtual providers via MDLIVE
  • Bill Negotiation
  • Simple, Easy-to-understand Guidelines

Cons:

  • More per-visit fees: $35 per doctor visit or hospital visit, $135 for an emergency room visit
  • Services outside of network adjusted to “usual and customary charges” – may not all be covered
  • Does not work in Montana

Noteworthy:

  • More options for a higher “Annual Household Portion” (like a deductible) than some available – maybe offset by higher overall cost/fees?
  • Separate Senior Assist program available – like an extension (not supplement) of Medicare Parts A & B

Medi-share Pricing Calculator – Link

Medi-share – Request Info Link

Please note: We use Media-share personally and thus know more about this ministry than some of the others. See what people are saying about other sharing options below.

Samaritan Ministries:

Pros:

  • Broader range of expenses allowed for sharing such as Chiropractic and Homeopathic care
  • $300-1,500 sharing threshold per member

Cons:

  • Seems to have more conditions and small things to pay attention to – they have made a nice effort to simplify with some visual breakdowns in the PDF version of their guidelines
  • 250k per need/annual sharing limit

Noteworthy:

  • Direct Sharing to individual members versus Automatic collection and payout by the sharing ministry
  • Save to Share program does provide a way to get unlimited sharing – read guidelines for details
  • Sharing cost seems higher for people in 20-30’s age range?? More than the McFie family adult children are paying with Medi-share currently, but we also choose a high AHP – hard to say how the differences work out.

Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM):

Pros:

  • Low sharing prices
  • “Like family” experience – see what people are saying below

Cons:

  • You handle most of the bill negotiations – they do provide resources to help
  • 125,000 per diagnosis sharing limit + 100,000/yr with the Brother’s Keeper add-on – still limited annually per-diagnosis even with the Brother’s Keeper option

Liberty HealthShare:

Pros:

  • Low prices
  • Less strict Christian Lifestyle requirements

Cons:

  • The sharing guidelines read like a legal document – terms and conditions seem more complex
  • 125,000 to 1 million sharing limit per incident

Noteworthy:

  • A Case Worker may be assigned on “serious cases” to suggest Alternative treatment options – cooperation is voluntary but your actions may affect what expenses they are willing to share

What People Are Saying

A big THANK YOU to all of you who wrote in on this subject! Your responses were very helpful in this review, and we have chosen a few to share with everyone in this post.

Samaritan Ministries:

Amy says:

We use Samaritan Ministries because it seems like a more Biblical approach to healthcare – giving directly to brothers and sisters in Christ in need, and not indirectly funding abortion. 

We chose this one over another big one – I forget which, but it’s based out of Florida [probably Medi-Share run by Christian Care Ministries – they are based in Florida] – because that one was going to require my husband to get written doctor’s permission to work out, and they were going to charge more for having high cholesterol. Samaritan is more user-friendly. 

We are, however, open to looking into Christian Healthcare Ministries because I think it may cost less and people we know seem to be pleased with them, too. 

Dr. Donald says:

We use Samaritan Ministries the past couple of years.  We like the idea of sending money directly to those in need.

However, I’m thinking about dropping it because of the expense.  I am covered by Medicare part A but haven’t signed up for Part B – I know I will be penalized if and when I do.

Katherine says:

We have been using Samaritan Ministries for about 5-years now.  We send our monthly “Share” directly to participants in need.  I love that my check is written out to a person!!  This is done for 10-months; the other 2-months are sent to SM for admin costs.  We started out at approximately $360 per month for a family of 2; it is currently is $440. 

The only time we have submitted a need is for my husbands stem cell procedure on his knee. This treatment is not covered under traditional health care plans. SM covered it 100% after $350 deductible. The stem cell used was his own. It was completely successful and so he avoided a knee replacement.  This plan is not a fit for everyone but it works great for us.

Rob says:

My wife is part of the health care sharing Samaritan Ministries. I qualify for Medicare. We decided on Samaritan because it was a little cheaper than the others we looked at and because we get a discount at our primary care facility for belonging to Samaritan.

Dr. Miguel says:

We use Samaritan ministries. I chose them over the others because they pay for chiropractic and non-traditional therapies while the others that I researched strictly stuck to medical care. My wife has used them extensively it is paid for her to have IV therapies, Rolfing, functional medicine and other non-traditional therapies for a shoulder injury. It also paid for her to have shoulder surgery and we have been extremely happy. It paid for everything.

We were able to negotiate cash fees for the services for a substantial discount which went towards the deductible that Samaritan ministries and laid out. We pay $450 per month for my wife and I. This is substantially better than the best deal I can negotiate with traditional insurance.

Christian Healthcare Ministry:

Valerie says:

We have been members of Christian Healthcare Ministry since 2011. They have been amazingly supportive and prompt in processing any medical bills we incurred. We have chosen to be Gold level members at only $150.00/month.  Any discount given by the healthcare provider is credited to your deductible. We have also been members of their Brothers Keeper program which bills quarterly only if any claims above a certain amount are received. The quarterly gift amount has never exceeded 25.00 each. There is also a Prayer Page which lists people that have pre-existing bills and members can choose to donate.

After I had a surgical procedure I received a phone call from the Executive Director to check on me. And this was during the Christmas season!  They have experienced huge growth since Obamacare went into effect but have hired an additional team to support the growth. We recommend this to everyone.

Dr. Gregg says:

I’ve been using Christian Healthcare Ministries for more than 2 years.  It is very affordable and my out of pocket is minimal.  I’ve only had one claim in these two years and ended getting reimbursed from the the entire amount I had paid to the doctors and hospital (over $1700.)  I am a raving fan now.

Eric says:

We are “using” Christian Healthcare Ministries health care program. Have been “signed” up with them for maybe 3 or 4 years. We have never used or required their assistance to pay for any health care costs.

We pay $90 per month, plus $90 each quarter for the two of us. My wife is 61 and I am 63.

Shaun & Julie say:

Our family belongs to Christian Healthcare Ministries. They have been a wonderful family to us since January 2015.