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Aug 12 2019

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Affordable health insurance san antonio


Medi-Share Review: A Christian Health Insurance Alternative

My Medi-Share review below was originally written in 2009 when I was investigating them but has been continually updated (now for 2019) as I’ve been using them for almost 10 years. Hope it helps!

If you are in a self-employed situation like myself or just looking for a Christian health insurance alternative, you may want to consider Medi-Share.

It is the alternative to health insurance that I have been using for many years and for those wondering Medi-Share IS exempt from the Obamacare mandate.

While it essentially serves the same purpose as health insurance, they are very clear that it is NOT insurance. They call it, “Christian Healthcare Sharing.” It offers essentially all of the benefits of health insurance, but with lower premiums.

They say that most families will save 30-50% in monthly healthcare costs each year!

What is Medi-Share?

Table of Contents

Medi-Share = Insurance?

People are always asking me if it is Christian Medical Insurance. Simply put, no Medi-Share isn’t insurance, but most people wouldn’t really be able to tell a difference.

According to their website:

“Medi-Share is not “Christian insurance.” Rather, it is a health care sharing program facilitated by Christian Care Ministry (CCM) through which a community of believers voluntarily come together to share the cost of one another’s medical bills. Members choose to share with each other, governed by member-voted guidelines. Although there is no guarantee of sharing, Medi-Share members have been faithfully sharing each other’s medical bills for more than 20 years, trusting the Lord to provide in their time of need through the voluntary gifts of other believers. Since 1993, more than $1.5 billion in healthcare costs have been saved through sharing or discounting.”

How does Medi-Share work?

Each month all the members pay their “share” (a fixed amount depending on the plan you select) into an account with their name on it to America’s Christian Credit Union. The funds in all of those accounts are what pay the member’s medical bills each month. “Each plan essentially tallies medical claims each month, then divides by the number of members, officials say. After subtracting for overhead and administrative expenses, the rest goes to pay claims.”

The Medi-Share program is flexible with multiple choices of program levels, benefits, and of course out-of-pocket expense. You are given the option of choosing your own doctors and hospital, but there are discounts available for using networked professionals.

According to their website:

“Members open their own Sharing Account with America’s Christian Credit Union. Each member household voluntarily contributes their Monthly Share into their Sharing Account. For each member with eligible medical bills to be shared, Christian Care Ministry identifies one or more other members with sufficient funds in their accounts. CCM electronically transfers funds from each sharing member’s account into the account of the member with whom they are sharing. CCM processes payment from the member’s account.”

From my experience using them, this sounds more confusing than it actually is. They do all this behind the scenes, so as a member I am not involved in any of that process.

Our Updated 2019 Medi-Share Review

More updates are listed below, but Linda and I just recorded a quick video answering a lot of common questions that we get:

Is Medi-Share the Solution to Your Health Insurance Needs?

Unless you have a good employer-sponsored health insurance plan, or you’re on Medicare, you’re probably concerned about your health insurance. A major reason is the cost of premiums. They can easily be over $1,000 per month for a family, or even for a couple. And that’s even if you have a high deductible.

My wife, Linda, and I feel like we found a solution, or at least one that works for us. It’s a Christian health sharing ministry, called Medi-Share. We’ve had it for our family since 2009, and it’s been working well for the past nine years.

It’s a bit unconventional. As I said, it’s a Christian health sharing ministry, which means it isn’t traditional health insurance. But it fills the same role, and in our experience, it does it at only a fraction of the cost. And just as important, it’s a service that’s consistent with our faith values.

We get a lot of questions about it, and that’s what I’d like to discuss in our Medi-Share review here.

What is a Christian Health Sharing Ministry?

As a Christian health sharing ministry, Medi-Share is based on the faith community values and practices of the early Church. It was given within the community that each member would share one another’s burdens.

In that way, members of Medi-Share share one another’s medical burdens. They do that by contributing to the program through monthly contributions, called “shares”. The contributions go into a pool, where it’s available to pay for the medical costs of members in need.

In addition to payment of a member’s medical costs, the community also support each other in prayer, and sometimes with personal support.

Medi-Share is a nonprofit organization, and conducts the program along biblical principles.

What happens when you go the doctor?

They actually do have a good network of participating doctors, and if you use one the process is smooth since the doctors’ know how it works.

We generally use doctors from outside the network. That can be a bit of an issue because a lot of doctors don’t know how Medi-Share works. But we prefer going to doctors that we feel comfortable with, so we’ll make the extra effort.

But even out-of-network, we simply explain Medi-Share to the doctor, they do a little bit of digging, and then bill Medi-Share. Medi-Share will then negotiate a discount on the services, and we’ll pay the difference out of pocket.

Now for us, out of pocket is common, because we use the highest deductible plan Medi-Share offers. Much as is the case with traditional health insurance, we do this to keep the monthly contributions as low as possible.

This isn’t a major problem in our family, because we mostly go for routine checkups. There’s only been one or two times where we had to go back for something a little bit more complicated. Just like traditional health insurance, the high deductible works well when you don’t go to the doctor that often.

Like mentioned above, the simplest option is to stay in-network with your doctors, but if you can’t, it just requires a little more effort on your part.

Here is how they explain it:

“When a medical event occurs, you simply select a network provider from the Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) PPO network, which offers 700,000 providers nationwide! (Note: Members may select any provider of their choosing, including out-of-network providers, but in doing so may not benefit from discounting of medical bills as with an in-network provider.) Show your Medi-Share ID Card to the provider, and pay your provider fee—$35 initial charge for doctor visits, $135 for an Emergency Room visit. The doctor’s office or hospital sends your bills to Medi-Share directly.

PHCS negotiates discounts, an average adjustment of 30–35% by staying in-network. Your Provider Fee of $35 or $135 is also deducted from the total bill. Medi-Share processes the bills for sharing and notifies you of any amount you must pay directly in order to meet your Annual Household Portion. For any amounts to be shared, Medi-Share transfers sufficient funds from other members’ accounts into your account. Medi-Share notifies the sharing members of the recipient of their monthly share amount. Share amounts are used to pay providers. Once the dollars are transferred, Medi-Share processes payment to the doctor or hospital from the member’s share account.”

Medi-Share Cost

How much does Medi-Share cost anyway?

This is obviously a typical question, and the answer is for almost everyone Medi-Share costs a lot less than traditional health insurance.

When we switched from health insurance to Medi-Share, our monthly contributions fell to only about 50% of our previous health insurance premiums. And that’s with our family of four.

Now I said we have taken the highest annual deductible to minimize the monthly contribution. Our deductible is $10,000 per year, which means Medi-Share doesn’t begin paying our costs until we cross that threshold.

But as a result, our monthly contribution is about $230. It’s based on the age of the oldest member of the household, and that’s the contribution we’re paying with me at 37 years old.

The screenshot table below will give you a basic idea what the monthly contributions are with varying deductibles (referred to as the “annual household portion”). It’s based on a family of four, in which the oldest member is 40. Notice that there are seven deductibles, ranging from $500-$10,000.

On the far right side of the table, you’ll see a heading, Healthy Monthly Share. Medi-Share will give you a contribution discount of up to 20% if you meet certain health standards. These have to do with very specific metrics for blood pressure, abdominal circumference and body mass index. So if you’re super healthy, your monthly contribution will be lower still.

Is Medi-Share an alternative to Obamacare?

You’re probably aware that if you don’t have qualifying insurance, you’ll be subject to a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance mandate. There’s good news here. Christian health sharing ministries qualify as exempt for the purposes of the mandate.

Here is more from them on this:

“The Affordable Care Act includes a special provision for members of Health Care Sharing Ministries, so Medi-Share members are exempt from the mandate to purchase insurance or face financial penalties. And your healthcare dollars go to help other Christians rather than funding medical choices that are not God honoring-like abortion and the morning-after pill, which many insurance plans are now required to cover.”

What Are the Qualifications for Medi-Share?

One of the most fundamental requirements of Medi-Share is that you must adhere to a biblical lifestyle to join. For instance, they won’t cover abortions. Nor will you be covered if you’re injured in a drunk driving accident. You must also abstain from the use of tobacco or illegal drugs.

You need to know these limitations, but you should be good to go as long as you adhere to a biblical lifestyle.

Does Medi-Share Cover Pregnancy and Adoptions?

We get this question a lot, and it’s a good one. Simply put, your pregnancy related expenses will be covered as long as you’re making your monthly contributions.

How long do you have to wait to get pregnant?

From the horse’s mouth:

“Pregnant Members with an Annual Household Portion (think annual deductible) of $1,250 or higher who have faithfully shared from the month of conception through the month of delivery are eligible for maternity sharing.”

We haven’t been through the pregnancy experience, but we have been through two adoptions with them. They do cover certain expenses there as well. Adoptions can be very expensive, and we got about $4,000 back on our first one four years ago. On our second adoption we only got back $1,500, but by then we had opted for the higher deductible.

What About Customer Service?

When we first started working with Medi-Share, the wait times to get customer service would run 40 minutes to an hour. They’ve improved on this quite a bit since. But what we have found is that they’re consistently helpful anytime we speak with them.

We also typically find that they pray with us at the end of the conversation. As Christians, we find this comforting.

Why we opt for the high deductible plan

This is really a personal thing. As I said earlier, we set the deductible high to keep the monthly contributions low. And since we’re a pretty healthy family, it’s been working well so far. A lot of people are doing that now with traditional health insurance as well.

We work around the high deductible by budgeting a certain amount each month for out-of-pocket medical expenses. It’s kind of like an informal health emergency fund, ready if we need it. You pretty much have to do that if you have a high deductible with any program.

In a way, it’s a bit like self-insuring, at least for the first $10,000. But it’s comforting to know that Medi-Share will pay 100% of medical costs above that annual deductible.

What we like about it

  • With typical insurance, you pay a monthly premium, but have no idea where the money is going. With Medi-Share you are informed of who you are sharing with each month – you can then pray and send letters of support for those members.
  • For most members, there is a substantial cost savings over health insurance. Most families can save $2,000 a year.
  • They help cover adoption expenses (they sent us a check for $3,000 after our adoption!)
  • They have been operating for 25 years.
  • The members vote and make the rules. So each year the members vote on what will and won’t be covered.
  • There is no limit on the amount of bills that can be shared by members.

Things to be aware of…

  • You have to be accepted into the program – not everyone is accepted. And you must agree to their Statement of Faith.
  • You must adhere to living a Biblical lifestyle in order to maintain your membership. Not doing so can get you expelled from the program and will likely nullify any claims you may have as well.
  • “Medi-Share doesn’t share in all costs. All members vote on a yearly basis what costs to share. Routine physicals and health maintenance costs are currently not eligible for sharing.”
  • Membership is not denied due to pre-existing conditions; however, there are guidelines in place concerning pre-ex-that limit sharing of pre-existing conditions.

Final Thoughts on Medi-Share

Linda and I are both very comfortable with Medi-Share. More than anything else, it’s mostly a matter of getting comfortable with something different.

One of our biggest concerns when we were considering it was that we would be facing a huge medical bill and that the members would just decide not to “share” with us to cover it.

After talking to the Medi-Share representative, it sounds like that isn’t much of a concern if you follow the rules. She explained that in the last 24 years every eligible need has been covered (shared or discounted). But “eligible” is the key word here.

For example, she told me a story of a member who was in a bad car accident requiring lots of medical work, but since the person was intoxicated when they got into the accident, the expense was not covered by Medi-Share. On one hand, I think you should give the guy a break, but at the same time, it is the strict rules and policies that make the program work. The whole point is that by living a Biblical lifestyle you will be healthier, therefore have fewer medical expenses.

From what I understand, they often use leftover funds to even help cover ineligible expenses like these as a gesture of grace.

It seems like the program is perfect for healthy Christians who are committed to the Biblical lifestyle. If you already have many health conditions or are prone to lapses into substance abuse, it may not be worth it.

If you are interested in learning more just click the link below to get pricing info from them, and I would suggest calling them to ask any other questions that you have.

$40 Medi-Share Signup Bonus

As a member of Medi-Share they give us a bonus for referring new members, so if you decide to sign up and let them know that Bob Lotich referred you I am happy to share that bonus with you!

I am happy to send you a $40 Amazon gift card as a thank you! Just email me here if you do.

I would love to hear other Medi-Share reviews from other members – so if you have had experience with Medi-Share, please share about it in the comments…

I recently chatted with a friend of mine who uses Samaritan Ministries as their health insurance alternative and you can listen in on that conversation below to hear the differences between them and Medi-Share!

Related Posts

Bob Lotich is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®) and has over 10+ years experience writing about Biblical personal finance and is the best-selling author of 4 books including Managing Money God’s Way and has been named a top 20 social influencer in personal finance. His writing has been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, CBN, Crosswalk, Patheos and others. He has been a full-time writer since 2008 and loves uncovering financial wisdom in the Bible as well as discovering the best tools and strategies to help you put more money in your pocket.

Reader Interactions

Anna Mcmullen says

We have looked at this company a couple of times. We just never got a complete peace wtih going with them. Not really sure why. We totally agree with the mission statement and feel it is a body of people that would be great to partner with.
Thanks for the article.

We’ve been medi-share members since 1994 and have been very pleased. The premiums or shares are comparable to regular insurance but that’s where the similarity ends. With a very low deductible and no copay it’s wonderful. We love the concept of Christians helping one another and it really does work that way in reality.

So you don’thave copays? i am trying to figure out how it works. you pay your monthly amount. Then what? you submit all bills or only ones after you meet your deduct amt? is your monthly amount store for when your bills need to be paid?

you pay monthly premiums set at what your contribution is for the year towards your own medical expenses for example my premium is 127.00 for my 20 year old son with a $500 medishare towards his medical claims after i meet the $500 then i can submit my claims for the company to share with other participants to contribute to pay off my claims.

I, also have been looking into the Medi-Share insurance and am stuck on the fact they do not pay out for routine physical exams. So this means that on top of paying out the monthly premium I also have to pay for a physical exam. That doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t a company who is concerned about physical health be eager to have their clientele know about their physical well being before anything becomes more?

They don’t pay for routine physicals because Medishare exists to “share each other’s burdens.” So they are set up to help with major, often unexpected, medical events, But if you know every year that you need a physical, you have 12 months to save the money to pay for a physical. That’s how it was explained to me by a Medishare employee.

Keith Lamm says

Makes all the sense in the world. If individuals can keep spare change around to buy a Starbucks then they are planning for this expense which is a yearly calendar event.

People need to stop looking at health insurance they way they do. Our costs, regardless of plan, would be much less if people paid for the “routine maintenance” and had insurance for the big things. You might think you have a great plan cause your dr visit only costs you $10, but someone somewhere had to make up the rest of the actual cost. Your car insurance doesn’t cover oil changes, tires, windshield wipers, etc., it covers you when someone smashes into you or you slide into a ditch on the ice. Plus, if people would take a little personal responsibility in their lifestyles and eating choices, many diseases and conditions would not be the huge problem they are.
Apparently personal responsibility is a thing of the past…that’s why we are in the mess we are.

Heather, personal responsibility and maintaining your own health is not a thing of the past. That describes the members of Medi-share, Samaritan Ministries, etc. We have opted to group together to serve each other in the body of Messiah as instructed in scripture, but to be as responsible as possible in the process so as not to unreasonably burden each other.

Everyone needs to start thinking of health insurance the same way they do car insurance. You don’t file a claim to have your oil changed, or new tires, transmission fluid checked that would be called a “physical” inspection. Why should your health insurance pay for a “physical” inspection? The entitlement mentality has really gotten out of hand when it comes to health and insurance.
This has nothing to do with this post but someone mentioned earlier that Paul was telling gay people to get married? Are you serious? It is very easy to take a single scripture and twist it to fit your personal ideals but be very careful of saying that Paul would say this. Every word was by the inspiration of God, so you are now saying that God has contradicted himself many times by now saying gay’s should marry. Dig a little deeper into the word and take it for it means and not what you “think” it means. God, nor Paul would ever suggest that two men or two women should marry when so many times throughout scripture he has said just the opposite. You are buying into the liberal agenda which is obviously led by the enemy to distort the true word of God!

It wouldn’t make any sense to cover routine exams. Since this is burden sharing, if every member got an annual exam, the overall cost would require that every member’s premiums go up by exactly that amount plus a little, more due to admin and overhead costs. Members would literally end up paying more than if they just pay for the physical themselves. This isn’t insurance. It is burden-sharing.

Health insurance covers yearly physical exams precisely because it reduces the need for later major expenses. If something is caught early , it may be easily fixed. Maybe Medi-Share should require everyone to get an annual physical in order to reduce overall costs, and demonstrate that its members are serious about being healthy.

What would Jesus charge to help his fellow man ?

Lauren Sparkman says

Does they cover counseling services?

Not sure! I would check with them

Darren Davis says

Your review has been quite helpful. God bless the two of you, and your family.

Medi-Share includes specific wording that wasn’t clear until after I needed help. Once you meet the Annual Household Portion (AHP) amount I assumed that medical expenses after that are covered. They are not necessarily covered. We are in the $5,500 AHP and accrued roughly $7,600 in medical expenses. I assumed the $2,100 that was over the $5,500 AHP would be eligible for sharing. Wrong. Medi-Share reserves the right to reject your bills based on how much your yearly household income is. We are self employed and they include the business income in their analysis of our yearly income. We were told that they determine who is eligible for sharing on a case by case basis and we don’t need the help. For two years now I have paid my monthly share amount thinking that Medi-Share would kick in and help out when we ran into trouble. When our house hold that brings home $35,000 each year hit the AHP, Medi-Share bailed on us. They’re a wonderful company who prays for people after each phone call but won’t do the right thing by fulfilling what they have made apparent to be true. The experience with Medi-Share has been incredibly frustrating once we needed their help.

Hey Kaleb, after reading your comment and getting freaked out I called Medi-share to ask them specifically about this and they said that this “Medi-Share reserves the right to reject your bills based on how much your yearly household income is. We are self employed and they include the business income in their analysis of our yearly income. We were told that they determine who is eligible for sharing on a case by case basis and we don’t need the help.” isn’t true at all. Can you explain?

Thanks for writing this review. I’ve seen some advertisements for them and was curious about it. You’ve given me enough information to get an understanding of what they are about.

Ryan,
thanks for sharing – it is good to get some insight from someone who has used them…

I’ve been a member for over a year now and in that time have had an ulcer and a baby…I absolutely have faith in this company, its members and their goals to meet needs of other Christians. Every claim I’ve had has been paid and I love that I know where my premiums are going – also I feel that they are working with us to keep us healthy, not fighting us to try and avoid paying for our healthcare. They pray with us when we call in for asisstance and have always been wonderful. NOTE: For the past 20 years (my adult life) I’ve had typical Blue Cross, Aetna, Humana insurance – my last experience with one of them was terrible. We were paying almost $15,000 a year for insurance, still stuck with 20% of the bills, in addition to paying huge deductibles.

Medi-Share is indeed a leap of faith, as they are NOT insurance…I’ve had a great experience and given what is going on with our country right now wish Americans would continue to support each other MORE through the church and rely LESS on big government.

Thanks for the article, good assessment.

Nancy Buchli says

Hello, we are in the same boat as alot of others right now…self employed, paying our own insurance whith outrageous deductibles, and everything out of pocket…I am very interested in this Biblical plan of Christians helping Christians, but I do have a question that one of the ladies at my church brought up….are there tax implications when you do receive aid from the group? Do you pay tax on regular insurance proceedes? Do you pay tax on these “gifts”? How does this work? I need some direction on this…Thanks for any in put.

Dennis Holbert says

I am pretty ignorant of this type of plan. My wife and I are believers in Christ and have been looking at your plan.

I am looking at Medishare also and have the same questions as the person inquiring about whether payments to us are taxible? Are premium payments deductible on itemized deductions as they are with medical insurance? Thank you.

Call them. They can answer your tax-related questions.

Since it is not insurance, we can not write it off as medical insurance premium expense. So, we will take a tax hit for that. I will take that hit to avoid my money going to pay for abortions, which Obamacare is doing. Sine the money we would be receiving comes from many people, there would be no tax that I know of that we would have to pay on the money received to help us pay a claim.

If you can not use the ‘premiums’ as an itemized or business tax deductible item, could you not claim them as ‘charitable donations’ since you are assisting with the expenses of others? I am not an accountant, but I would definitely ask one if this issue is that important in your decision making process…

Q. Is my share amount tax deductible?
A. Your share payment is not deductible for federal income tax purposes as a charitable donation or as a medical expense. Since there is the strong possibility that your medical expenses will get shared by another Member, you cannot deduct your share as a charitable donation, even though Christian Care Ministry is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry. Your share payment is not tax deductible as an insurance expense because Medi-Share is not insurance.

From the site concerning a similar type of insurance.

Does the medical payment come to us and we pay the provider or does it go to the medical provider?

Darrell Clow says

Do you have any type of coverage for people over 65? Medicare will pay some, but how about a supplement or some type. I am in good health and usually go one time a year for my annual physical. Thanks for any info you could give me.

does Medi-Share, etc., qualify under federal guidelines as an HSA-qualified “policy”?

Medishare and Good Samaritan both are exempted under ObamaCare – if we have them, we do NOT need to follow the other insurance rules; and they are not required to pay for abortions, etc. It is a legal and moral alternative to Obama Care.

I’ve been looking in this company. In order to contribute to an HSA, you MUST be enrolled in a high deductible health insurance plan. Now, if you have an HSA already, as we do, you can still use those dollars toward medical expenses, but cannot add money into it unless your enrolled in an insurance plan. But you could still set up a separate traditional checking to contribute to and spend on medical expenses, it would just make taxes a little trickier at the end of the year.

I posted a comment awhile ago and would encourage anyone with questions to call Christian Care Medi-share directly or go to their website. No, you do not pay any additional taxes – it works like a coop and I’m not an accountant, but don’t think it’s considered aid or a gift. Sorry I can’t be of more help, also re. HSA qualified policy again – not sure. I do know that they clearly state that they are NOT insurance, so I doubt it. We have saved a TON of money and again, they are wonderful.

We have used Medishare in the past and were very happy with it. We are very healthy but self-employed and buying insurance on our own in the state of NY is soooo pricey. We recently tried a limited health insurance. They pay for office visits and preventive health care but my worry is that with a large claim we would go over the limit easily. We are going to go back to Medishare. We end up paying for our own preventive care and check-ups but I feel more comfortable knowing a large expense would be covered.

David Miller says

What about the current discussions in Washington? It seems that if (when) this passes, anyone without government approved insurance will pay a substantial penalty.

Shari Schultz says

They state on their website that those who use Medishare are exempt from the government requirement. And I don’t think the requirement will be “government approved” insurance. You will just have to have it.

Surprise. It is “Government Approved” as a requirement.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were covered by the Samaritan counterpart and said that it was as hard as working with any other insurance company. When she fell on some ice and broke her nose, it did not live up to their expectations. It’s a pity because it sounds like a good idea and less expensive. Of course it does work out for some and I think it worked out for them after a few headaches.

As for the guy in the car accident, I agree that he broke the terms. However the company also took a very Pauline approach, vs. a Christ-like one, and that saddens me.

Malon R. Bruce says

I would like to comment on the poor gentleman in the car accident while intoxicated. As it may seem like a Pauline approach, your own auto insurance company won’t cover a claim if you are intoxicated. It is an exclusion on most auto policies. I used to be a claims examiner for AAA and it was always a sad day when we refused a claim because they were intoxicated. In addition to that, all the medical vehicles and emergency vehicles aren’t covered either. There are heavy consequenes for driving under the influence and I appreciate and agree with everyone of them.

With no consequences, there is no change. Even Christ gave consequences for our actions.

When we say, “Even Christ gave consequences for our actions” would we be referring, for example, to the consequence of everyone turning and walking away from the woman caught in adultry? Was it not starting with the oldest till none were left to make an accusation or judgement or administer the consequence perscribed by law? None left, that is, but God Himself? Those that claimed to know God appeared on their high religious horses, but all fell off once faced with the consequence of God Himself standing in their midst. In the face of God, they were just as guilty, since real justification required sinless perfection. It’s amazing that the only One Who did not desire judgement (or consequences) was the only One Who had no stain of sin of His Own. Those with stains, in the name of “God”, clamored for judgement. However, under direct orders from God His Father, the only One Who refused to judge was the only One Who could not be judged, having never done a wrong. Sinless Perfection faced sinfulness and withheld judgement. Do I really know Him? Am I really like Him? I too have been utterly bogus, with stone in hand, acting for “God” like those who were so disappointed that God was not on their side in their desire for judgement. Their image of god was on their side, but God wasn’t. I don’t know about you guys, but I think I need to go and learn what this really means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. ‘For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I pray I will know this judge Who took my Judgement and not only mine but the judgement measured out for the whole world. He took it in full. Not in part. None is left for me to exercise against myself or another. I pray that this Spirit of Jesus will shine more and more brightly in and through the church, out to the world, so that the world will find the church to be a place of refuge and safety from judgements toward them as sinners, rather than a place of rejection because of their sins. Jesus is the only refuge there is for sinners and His arms for them are open wide. The church is His arms. If the church’s arms are folded in judgement I submit to you that that is not the Church, but the spirit of religion that will have to walk off, stones in hand, should God come down to face their facade of a church. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” If God does not count men’s sins against them, should I, at all, be counting? Religion counts sins. It is the business of religion. Apparently, God is not in the business of religion.

Nancy Walker says

I know the senario sounds harsh but some people just need consequences for them to turn away from addiction to alcohol. I don’t believe we should turn our backs on them and refuse fellowship except after much prayer but they must feel the consequences of putting themselves and others lives at risk.

Gary, this is not about judging or even God’s judgment. This is about insurance coverage and financial concerns. Rather than pay for everyone’s choices which leads to medical expenses that could have been avoided and therefore raising everyone’s premiums, I’d rather pay for those who avoid such choices, which would mean much lower premiums–which is the whole point.

I agree, it’s a far cry from stoning anyone.

What about those who have pre existing conditions. It seems wrong to turn them away. What would Jesus Do?

Hannah from Medi-Share says

Medi-Share was founded based on the biblical principles of sharing each other’s burdens, which, in terms of healthcare, are medical bills. In a perfect world, the burdens of all Christians would be light. But in reality, the cost of healthcare is very expensive. If members were to share in every burden of every member, the share amounts would be extremely costly. Therefore, we have let Medi-Share members have a say in what kinds of bills they would like to share. As you can imagine, Medi-Share members have decided to strike a balance between sharing as many needs as possible while still keeping the share amounts affordable. Thus, some limitations are placed on certain conditions and the affected members are notified before joining Medi-Share so they are aware upfront of certain conditions that will not be shared. By doing this, we are able to keep the share amounts reasonable, while still offering all members help for unexpected burdens they may face.

I believe Jesus would have healed them and then said “go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee” as he said before in another place. KJV

I do not think Medishare is about us judging each other concerning whether or not their claim is worthy; we are entering a contract, also known as a covenent. We are agreeing with other families that we will be responsible in our actions and life style choices; not take risks. This type of mutual responsibility is the only way a program like this could continue to be successful. Maybe that does exclude a few people or a few claims…but at least those people who are excluded made that choice all by themselves. Concerning the lengthy dissertation about the church being a place that all sinners feel welcome… The church is exactly that, we all fall short, but does that mean we are to continue to accept the same, unchanging, wrong choices without confession or improvement…or consequences? Myself as an example, 10 years I prayed for a change in my own behavior that was not honoring to my family or God. 10 years I turned to God, and to the mirror. 10 years later…the change is evident. God does work. Our covenant with Him is simple…faith in Christ as our Savior. Nothing else is required for salvation. See, we are ALL condemned…and then there are those, who know and are know by Jesus, that will be judged…for our choices. This judgement is not condemnation (hell or heaven)… It is based on the choices we made in our daily walk that honored Christ.

As for this car accident, if people were injured or killed as a result of this driver’s negligence, would it still be OK to approve the claim? If so, MS would need to do the same for other members. What would be the point of making the exclusion in the policy in the first place?

In the passage you reference (John 8:7), I believe Jesus was making the point that no one is without sin and is not in a position to judge others. Also, Jesus loves everyone, regardless of sins. However, in the natural realm, we must endure the consequences of our actions. These exclusions are written in secular insurance policies all the time. Why should a Christian-based healthcare organization not have the right to formulate policies unique to practicing Christians?

Actually, the reason why Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery is that the mob wasn’t following the prescribed order from the O.T. The man was to be stoned alongside the woman. The 2 or 3 eyewitnesses were the ones to cast the first stone. Jesus was implying that the witnesses (if there even were at least 2) were guilty of the same sin.

We are all in need of salvation. We are all sinners and Christ died for us. However he died to save us from sin and not to live in it. We all sin from time to time but if we continue willfully in sin which the bible calls sin and we say it is not sin then we are making God a liar. And we are denying the power of God to deliver us from sin. The first couple chapters of Romans tells of God;s attitude toward homosexuality. God loves us all. We are all under sin and it’s judgement until we come To Christ who took our judgement upon himself. He then gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us into his holiness and if we don’t receive the Holy Spirit we don’t belong to him. People judge people who believe in the inspired word of God and say they are bigots and racists.but they are not speaking for them selves they are speaking for God. I have struggles with sin but I confess it to God and ask him to help me be who He wants me to be. He loves us but He is holy and he will not compromise his holiness.

Gary, most people miss a fine point that would be well-understood by any Israelite but not by most others. Although Yeshua routinely lambasted the religious leaders for their extra-Biblical rules (takanot) (handwashing, no healing on Shabbat, etc.), he never broke even a single one of Yehovah’s instructions, for he “knew not sin”. That woman to whom you refer was accused, but not guilty under the law. The law required 2 witnesses to accuse her before she could even be tried. Once all the other men had left, Yeshua asked her “who accuses you?”, but there were no accusers. He sent her away, fully “convicted” in her heart, it would seem, admonished (to “sin no more”), but not punished under the law because the law did not allow her to be punished without first being legally accused and tried. In an amazing twist that eludes most readers, He showed MERCY by UPHOLDING the law.

That is why you must agree to live in a Christian manner. So the rest of us don’t have to pay for people uncommitted to the plan. Otherwise, you may as well go buy insurance from the gov’t! Once you start paying for irresponsible behavior, you drive up costs and the plan is corrupted. If you can’t live by the rules, please don’t join.

Hi Chavela, I work for Christian Care Ministry and I wanted to respond to your concern about why we don’t share in well-visits and routine checkups. Our members have voted not to share in those visits as they can be planned and budgeted for. By choosing to allow our members to budget for these visits themselves, it helps keep many of our costs down and helps to keep the monthly shares of our membership down. Hope that helps! God bless,

Forgot to add on the last comment that the Samaritan Ministries program wasn’t their choice but my BIL’s employer (a Christian highschool) did not carry a regular insurance program and would only give its employees membership in Samaritan Ministries. After several disappointments, my BIL talked the school into giving him the monthly sum they were putting towards Samaritan Ministries so that he could use it to put toward regular health insurance they decided to purchase privately.

I am very sorry to hear that your BIL had that problem. My family has had a Samaritan Ministries membership for 4 years, have had several needs shared (including an ongoing cancer battle) and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

i too would like to know if ineed to get medicare or if i pay the premium for this if it would cover. have no health problems. how do i get an answer.

Hi Ann. I’m not sure if I understand your question entirely, but the only members who need to be on medicare are those involved in Senior Assist for those over 65+. If you would like to ask a more direct question, feel free to call one of our representatives at 1-800-772-5623.

For people eligible for Medicare, Medishare has a senior assist program. My assumption is that you would have to have Medicare Part A, which is free for most, and Part B, which has a monthly premium for most, I know this post was done a long time ago but getting on Medicare A and B is a good thing for most all seniors. I have been checking out these programs since I heard an ad for something at 1-800-63-bible, which described Medicare as Biblical Health Insurance. As a Medicare counselor I was intrigued.

Could you post a link or some kind of reference to that characterization of Medicare as “Biblical health insurance” I would really like to hear/read that. It certainly doesn’t jibe with my own understanding, but I’d like to know if I am misunderstanding something. My own opinion is that because of the forced-participation aspect of Medicare, that it is a very bad thing. 1965 was a very bad year for health “insurance”, I think.

We have Medi-Share, and have had it for about 6 years. I have delivered two children with them and had a two week hospital stay with a blood illness. In the past I have been happy with them though dealing with a “share” has been difficult and much like dealing with any health insurance company. I have to call in with many of the shares and get more information. The two week hospital stay was near $70,000 and took almost two years for Medi-Share to pay. In this time we got several collection notices from the hospitals and ambulance company. Now I am expecting again and Medi-Share wants me to apply for Medicaid. We have an issue with applying for government assistance. We are now looking into other health “insurance” options.

I find it very interesting that the basis for this health plan is in regards to helping those in need, Ephesians 4:28. This concept of community is also found in the book of Acts and the first Christian church, where no one in “the church”, i.e. followers in Christ had no any lack because those with surplus shared. So why are pre-existing conditions criteria for rejection. No sane person asks to be afflicted with a physical condition, and people with pre-existing conditions certainly have need, but they also have things they can share. If you’re going to be bibilically based then help those in need, The only exclusions I see in scripture is when someone is living a sinful life. I feel this is hypocritical, because the real deciding factor, as with everything in western christianity seems to be just like the secular world, what’s the bottom line i.e. how does it affect our pocket books. I’m sorry to say this but this is really only partially biblically based. It’s so easy to justify and reason things out when it come to money.Other than this I think the idea is a place to start. Maybe it’s why the comment above where the author did not feel a peace about signing up. (some call that discernment)

Jennifer King says

The way I understand it while Medi-share may not cover a pre-exisiting condition, if you have a medical need that is not coverd and need help, they will make it known to the Medi-share members and they can donate money to help you. They facilitate a way for you to be helped. They have to have some rules about acceptance, or the premiums could not be so low. If you need help, they will try to find other members who are willing to give. I have already gotten names in the mail for maternity overages and non-covered services for people who need extra help. This is a great thing. It helps God’s people and does not line the pockets of big insurance. It just has strict rules, as does following Christ.

Regardless of the rationale of the program, paying for healthcare and medical costs is a numbers game; a mathematical equation.

There are basic rules in math like: 1 + 1 = 2. I am not being facetious. I am just saying that making an exception to this rule results in a different set of circumstances.

The point is, pre-existing conditons and the intoxicated driver story are completely rational in my opinion. As someone noted earlier, they do publish your need to the entire membership so there is still a chance you can get help.

I have to agree with a lot of what Brad said. While it is true that living a Biblical correct life style should be encouraged and even a standard. Denying people with pre-existing conditions is not the most Christ-like way to conduct business. Nor is it very Christ-like to assume that a person with high medical expenses and / or pre-existing conditions are not living, or at least trying to live by Biblical standards. We still have a spiritual enemy who attacks people who are living for Christ.

Such as my wife and I. We are a middle-aged Christian couple who both got saved as children, and were raised in God fearing family’s. We are very active in our church and the local Christian community. I won’t brag about or bore you with all we do, but the list is lengthy, and we are well known and respected in our church and community. I have M.S. which I did not receive because I violated spiritual principles, it’s just one of those things that happen. I’ve sought spiritual guidance, and been prayed for numerous times, as well as continuing to pray over it But the medicine which keeps my M.S. in remission costs over $3000 per month at full price.
That’s a pre-existing condition, but not as a result of living sinfully. Now I won’t say I’ve never sinned, because I have, and that’s why we have Jesus Christ as our savior from our sin. I have some conditions that I could do better with. Like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol due to being about 50 Lb overweight, and not handling that as well as I could. Those consequences are my responsibility, and others should not have to pay for my poor choices, yet M.S. did not come from poor choices.

Likewise my wife is overweight and has more problems then I do, but hers also is not a result of her life, but because she grew up near a nuclear testing facility that lied to the community about how safe their facility was. Long term exposure due to government cover ups messed with her thyroid causing uncontrollable weight gain, and mercury used in tooth filling for cavities filled as a child resulted in her having dental and autoimmune problems. But these pre-existing conditions would deny entry into Med-share for an otherwise very godly Christian couple.

Now if we had AIDS because we lived in sexual sin, or liver diseases because of excessive drinking, or lung cancer because we smoked, those would be different matters, but what we do have are not results of sin, but spiritual attacks from the enemy of all who follow, and teach others about Jesus Christ. For whatever divine reasons God has, we have not yet been healed of these long term and expensive pre-existing conditions.

Perhaps the elders, or leadership of this organization which claim to have godly roots should pray about and examine how godly they really are. Meanwhile I’ll keep paying my $350 per month in health insurance premiums, meet my $700 joint deductible, and $3,000 out of pocket max. All paid out to unbelievers to make an obscene profit from me, and I’ll praise God that I don’t qualify to pay over $500 per month premiums and disqualifications to an entity which claims to be godly, and perhaps they are, or perhaps they are like the Pharisees, looking good, clean, and pure on the outside, but inside is filled with death and filthiness. If all this really is of God, may it prosper, exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask for or think of, but if not, may it fall by the wayside and become exposed as a sham if that is the truth.

I’m looking at this for an option to stay off welfare and medicaid that is now the ONLY choice the government has given us with the laughable Affordable healthcare. a single person coverage used to be a little over $100/ month when we had it a few years back. Now I’m asked to pay a minimum of $750/month to cover a perfectly healthy family with $12,500 deductible, no prescription coverage and no specialist co-pays. So I get to hand over $9000/ year to have wellness visits covered which are typically $150 each to cover me in case I were ever able to pay an additional $12,500 if something really did occur. By then it would be the end of the year and time for the deductible to reset. So if I actually did have a medical emergency or hospital stay, I’d still need $22,000 to pay towards it myself.
So, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that Medi-Share wouldn’t cover a drug addict’s illnesses or certain pre-existing conditions that would cause the program to fail for the remaining people. That’s supposedly what the AC Act is there to help with, not denying people with pre-existing conditions.

How can your insurance company make an obscene profit from you when you admittedly cost them more than you pay in premiums?

This Medishare program is not a charity for the rest of us to pay for other Christians’ already high medical expenses. We are a group of relatively healthy Christians with low monthly medical expenses who are willing to join together to HELP each other pay for extremely high medical expenses in the unusual event that we get sick or injured.

You are telling us members that right off the bat, we are going to have to pay about $2,500 per month just for your MS meds, because your portion of the premium will only cover about $500 of it. That is not counting all the other expenses you and your wife will have each month that you would be asking us to pay. That is akin to joining a car club that helps members pay for expenses knowing that you go through a quart a day and get 5 miles to the gallon and travel frequently.

It does not mean we don’t wish you well, but we can not agree to pay for such high expenses every month knowing that you will never be able to help us pay our expenses if we ever need it. It sounds cruel, but if we did what you ask, the premiums would go up too high and most of us would not be able to afford to enter the program. Obamacare is finding out that what I say is true. They too can not keep premiums low AND pay for all the pre-existing condition expenses.

I don’t know the answer for people in situations like yours, but these cost-sharing programs are not going to be able to function and accept members who cost more than they contribute right out of the gate. Medishare has its place for many others who are not high risk. God bless.

I love the concept of the body of Christ supporting each other, providing they are living lives in accordance to biblical practices. And I do understand that Christians with preexisting conditions could throw off the whole program. The reason people are joining this program is to save money while being involved in a program with other Christians where they aren’t forced to pay for medical expenses incurred by a sinful life.

But what about folks like me. I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years. I found myself unable to continue working my job and was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. My health insurance was picked up by COBRA, but I suddenly find myself looking for coverage when I received a letter saying my coverage will be terminated March 1 ( in 4 days! ) because of circumstances I don’t fully understand concerning the company I worked for.

Trust me, I understand people not wanting to share this financial burden. If not for having a terminal illness myself, how would I truly feel? I would like to say I would support the acceptance of all Christians who apply, and I THINK I would, but I can’t be certain. I do believe, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to bear each other’s burdens.

I don’t think I will be able to obtain coverage I can actually afford because of my condition. Without health care, my end is not going to be pleasant. MediShare would have been a great option. Hopefully this won’t be mistaken as a criticism of other healthy Christians already in the program; however, the exclusion of brothers and sisters with preexisting conditions is in opposition with the teachings of our Lord, thus begs a bit more compassionate tone, Cathy.

I am putting my trust in God Almighty, believing He is sovereign and He is loving, good and merciful, and pray others in my situation trust Him also.

I know this is old but you would have had a special enrollment period under the ACA to use an exchange, which would not be concerned about pre-existing conditions. Based on your income your premiums and deductibles could have been quite low. Also, if your state expanded Medicaid, there is the new Adult Medicaid, you can get get some coverage.

I agree with Cathy – how do you figure the insurance company is making an obscene profit from you if only one of your many conditions costs ten times your monthly premium? No one is saying you have these conditions because of sin – but the insurance companies are able to cover larger amounts because on average they charge more people more dollars in premiums than they pay out in claims. Before the ACA, I imagine you were hard pressed to find a regular insurance company that would enroll you with your pre-existing conditions. Therefore, it seems to me you are best benefited by staying with a regular health insurance company.

This seems to be a wonderful ALTERNATIVE to regular health insurance, IF you qualify. I am not sure I will, as I acquired Hep-C from a surgery center where an employee was using the anesthesia drugs. When he was found out, he was arrested but I and some 35 other patients (including a nun who had been raised in a Catholic orphanage) still developed Hep-C. Not due to ‘sin’ on my part, but still a pre-existing condition.

Since I completed chemo treatment almost 15 years ago, the need for any further treatment is very unlikely – less than the odds of someone contracting Hep-C in the first place. But it is a condition I acquired prior to finding out about this program. This is not a hand out or entitlement program, it is a Christian ministry.

You need to re-read the scriptures about qualifications imposed on widows before being allowed to be “taken into the number” … in other words receive benefits from the early church group of believers. It is in Timothy 5: 9-10 and is quite eye opening and answers the concern about whether it is scriptural or not to deny someone benefits even if they aren’t in “sin”.

I’m considering this health care option and I had the exact same reservations as you. But upon further reflection I think it is in line scripturally. Here’s why:

As others have pointed out, it appears these ministries offer a mechanism for procedures not normally eligible to be shared to be sent out to the membership for consideration. Those that have more means can give to these needs as they are led. Those whose budgets are tight are under no obligation to do something that they can’t afford. The Biblical concept is that those that had additional shared with those that were in need….not that everyone shared an exact equal amount.

If the baseline rules for what can be shared were relaxed, what would be the result? The cost would go up equally for everyone. Now those of lesser means cannot afford to even be a part of the group. The group then gradually becomes exclusive to those in the middle and upper classes instead of those of more modest means.

Looked at from this angle, I think this model actually is the most compassionate. This is not an endorsement of any particular ministry, as I am still doing my own research, just a general observation on the model.

I know this puts those with pre-existing conditions in an uncomfortable spot. They could join one of these ministries, knowing that certain things would not be covered. They are then reliant on the additional generosity and compassion of those that have additional means to give to their normally not-covered needs as God leads them. But although uncomfortable, is that necessarily a bad place to be in? Perhaps it would be an avenue to see Luke 12:22-31 in action. Insisting on “guarantees” is not necessarily Biblical.

Seaside Roses says

my husband and I have been on this program since 2004, and we have been happy with them for the most part, other than that the premiums keep going up (now we pay $500/mo for both of us), and the claim process is really no easier than most insurance companies

Are you still using Medi-share Seaside Roses? Has your share gone up since March of 2010 since you originally posted. Curious how much. Wondering if the rates provided when you sign up are lower than the normal to get you in? I don’t have a challenge with increased rates as a rule …. the insurance companies in the last 5 years for my family have gone from $337 to $687 and increased my deductible from 7500 to 10,000. Am thinking Medi-Share a great alternative.

Here’s a question: if you have insurance, the insurance company negotiates much cheaper rates from doctors and hospitals; if you do NOT have insurance, you will pay very high “retail” rates that no insurer pays (in some cases insurers’ rates are 10% of the retail ones). So, what price do these medi-share plans pay? Is everyone paying the retail rate, or are they negotiating cheaper prices from the providers? And doesn’t that leave the consumer paying much higher rates on the things that aren’t covered (such as the regular checkups, or anything for a pre-existing condition)?

Are you kidding. Never known a healthcare provider who didn’t give some kind of a ‘discount’ to anyone paying cash!

Medi-Share members recieve discounts by using our Preferred Provider Organization. At times, members recieve discounts for unshareable services too because of the PPO. If you have anymore questions, feel free to call one of our representatives at (800)772-5623.

Many providers give discounts for cash. I had a surgery last year and the hospital discounted my surgery 50% and the physicians’ bills 35%. We had to pay upfront because we didn’t have “insurance.” It’s actually amazing to think we received such a large discount — it really drives home how inflated the costs are when a hospital will cut prices by 50%. We use Samaritan Ministries and have had the best experiences. Our primary care physician also discounts our office visits by 50% by paying at the time of service. The use of third party payers (insurance companies) is a major factor in high medical costs. Being the bargain hunter I am, I was so pleased with the surgery discounts that added up to thousands of dollars. The only thing better would have been if I had had my Perk Street Debit card and had been able to earn 2% cash back. (BTW: my surgery was at an esteemed University hospital and I received excellent care.)

I dont have medical insurance now but have just applied with Medi share. Since I live a Biblical life and agree to all the terms I am very excited about joining other Christisans supporting each others medical needs. I will say that when I’ve had to go to the doctor for a bad cold or sinus infection I told them I wont pay the retail rate but want to pay the Blue Cross rate. Both times they agreed. Life is a negotiation.

Nice to hear. Most things are negotiable.

It actually does not work that way. Nearly every medical provider with which we have done business has given us a “self-pay” discount or a “payment in full” discount, or both. 20% off is the low end, 50% is commonplace, and 75-80% off is not unheard of.

Hello, you wrote:
++++++++
Medi-Share was founded on the Biblical principle of God’s word found in Ephesians 4:28 which tells us to share with those in need.

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28
++++++++++++

This is only partially true. I spoke with a representative just the other day. Basically, this plan ONLY works if you already have the money to put into it. In other words, you can already afford some kind of insurance. If you are truly needy, as in our situation with my husband bouncing between unemployment and contracts, it does not help. We cannot afford the monthly share. So we are just stuck. So, no…the idea of it taking care of the needy is only partially true.

Also, one thing to find out before you join is what do they do if you lose your job and suddenly can no longer make the payments? Do they drop you?

What about this verse:
Act 2:45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

What about those needy?

One of the commenters above wrote that they were told to sign up for Medicaid. Having had to go the “government” route in the past, I have to say that this is appalling to me. Most people who recommend that route do NOT understand what they are really saying. Medicaid has very stringent rules about who qualifies. You are not allowed to better yourself.

I know of situations where people had to lie to keep their coverage. Recommending someone go on Medicaid instead of the body of Yeshua helping them is, in my estimation, akin to telling them to chuck their integrity.

You also wrote:
+++++
For most members there is a substantial cost savings over health insurance. Most families save $2000 a year on premiums.
+++++

Premiums are NOT the only cost involved. What about the fact that there are much higher deductibles than most insurance plans? Also, what about the fact that there are a lot of things that a regular insurance will cover that Medi-Share does not…things that have to come out of pocket. When you talk about savings you have to make sure you are comparing apples to apples and consider ALL the differences…including things you now have to pay for that you did not previously.

You also mention the voting process regarding what is covered. On the one hand, you do have a say as a member. On the other hand, all the other members could override you. Every year your coverage could change. One thing I do not know is this…what if you are currently being treated for something that is covered and ongoing and they decide to stop covering it. Do your treatments stop being paid? This is something you need to make sure you find out!

I realize that each of us have varying economical resources. However, the bottom line is this….

Pay for the little things (physicals, sore throat, etc) out of your own pocket and pay premiums on a high deductible policy to cover the catastrophic things. Same holds true with this.

If you do not have money for either, there are several resources available (medicaid, get rid of cable tv and iphones and put that money towards health care, friends, family, local church you actually belong too).

I am looking into Medi Share. I am a healthy Christian woman with a daughter. That being said ; I do have to have blood work done once a year for a pituary cyst I had in 2004. Would lab work be covered in this circumstance?

I feel that it is somewhat cavalier to say that if one can not have enough, to “cut the cable TV, iphones”, etc. This perspective can only come from someone who has never been truly needy. I have grown up in a family with a hard-working father, and we five children never had much but we had a wonderful family. My parents don’t qualify for medicaid, have no cable tv, no iphones, just don’t make enough to pay such high costs of insurance. I myself am considering Medi-Share, and I appreciate the basic premise of it, but am still struggling with some of the principles, and will continue to pray about it.

I can’t speak to the Medicaid issue, but I will say that they do not appear to be trying to duplicate the services of an actual charity for those who cannot afford the rate. I am a Christian, but in my business there is only so far that I can try to work with people; I do my best to give them value, but I can’t just waive my rates left and right. It would undermine my profession.

Also, many people already have high deductibles — particularly if they are in fairly good health — because regular insurance is that expensive.

Our experience with Medi-share (members for over 2 years) is basically the same as Marisa’s above. They have paid my bills, and that is the positive part. The negative is as follows–We did business with Medi-share (and it is business), and we got to know several of our friendly neighborhood collection agencies. We have been sent to 4 different collection agencies in the past 12 months. In every case, the situation was resolved before it negatively affected my credit.

I was told several times that the reason a bill had not been paid was due to the fact that they were not writing checks for invoices that recent (over 8 months old)! I think people should know this before they sign up, and I have told Medi-share this on several occasions.

I will say, though, that as I was willing to fight and make sure that the bill got paid, Medi-share came through every time. Just be prepared to be on the phone A LOT.

Medi-share has been anything but on time when it came to their paying our health providers, most notably with large amounts. It seems they fare better with smaller amounts and more routine visits.

I have also found that health providers become frustrated with this service, as they fail to understand why it seems so difficult to get their money from this organization. As a Christian concerned about testimony, this has been bothersome to me.

This is one of things I like so much about SMI. We send and receive checks directly to/from other members. All the organizational offices do is tell us who needs our help, and pign us with reminders if we forget to send a check on time to help someone with their need.

It does take at least a month for all that logging, calculating, and assigning of needs to helpers, but if we send in our expense documentation quickly, then this is not usually a problem.

Re. the “deductible”, I don’t know how that works with Medi-Share, but with SMI any discount we receive due to being a self-pay patient is automatically applied to that “deductible”. To date, we have never had to be out of pocket for that portion, because we always recevie sufficient discounts from the providers.

thank you this info has helped me i have a friend who has no insurance but is in need of two different surgeries to repair damage from work i have coverage but dont always do as i am told because there are sometimes remedies less costly traditional medicine has faults too

What bothers me most about this – and you have to understand, I am currently in the military, and have been a military praise and worship leader for a LONG time – is the fact that this company touts themselves as helping the needy and sharing medical costs the way God intended it.

But, getting out of the military after being covered with Tricare for twelve years – wife has had a tumor removed – son has vision problems – daughter has asthma, Medishare won’t cover anything associated with that.

WHAT. So, not only does the secular world not want to cover my family’s pre-existing conditions… which is a NEED… AND we can afford the best plan Medishare’s got… but this “christian” company won’t either.

Doesn’t seem like it’s really sharing in medical costs “the way God intended.”

Now, the people sure are friendly, but coming from serving the nation so this company COULD continue to operate (I dare it to try operating in Iran), not even I could be covered with this christian organization.

What happened to Yeshua’s way? Meeting the needy?

Seems like it’s false advertising to me.

And false advertising is not godly.

If it’s not godly, then there’s only one other alternative.

I can pretend to be a christian all day long, but if the inside of my house isn’t clean, it’s only a facade.

Someone’s making some good money off of this and it infuriates me. People and Organizations claiming to be christian yet are not help to deteriorate the world’s ability to come to the Father.

So, in my humble opinion, and I AM a christian, this organization at its roots really isn’t that good of a thing. At least, it’s no better than it’s worldly sisters. Which means it’s not truly a “christian” organization.

But, that’s just my frustration coming out. If I’m wrong, say I’m wrong.

I just hate it when people use God’s name to make themselves a fortune.

And if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly repent.

Otherwise, please, someone, HELP ME FIND INSURANCE FOR MY FAMILY! We’re exhausted and it seems there is no help here on this earth.

Jay,
You have exposed this money making racket that has wrapped itself in the biblical teachings of Jesus, for what it is….a scam. Hopefully the corporate republicans won’t do away with the ACA, and you family will get the health care that Jesus would want.

Lew Cipher says

Thanks, Sidney, for speaking for me! Good job! I love it when people are willing to jump into subjects they know nothing about and pound their chests and vilify anyone within earshot. Nastiness is its own reward , you know! And it’s always a special touch to wrap it all up in a phony Christian wrapper.

Hey Lew…isn’t it amazing how many people think that if they “wrap”up a scam in the name of the Lord….it’s just dandy??

There have been many of people who have belonged to this program for years, paying well over $500/month and when they needed it thus Christian organization declined their coverage.

This is a scam. Stay away.

Alecia Baptiste says

Your help comes from the Lord Himself. He doesn’t need insurance to provide for our medical costs. Trust in Him.

Father, I ask that you would provide abundantly for the needs of Jay and His family. You said that you hear the cry of the needy. I know that you hear his cry and the cry of many others who are in need. Come to their aid. Lord do not let them be put to shame. The bear your name. Do not let the world say, “Where is their God?” Father, pour out your mercy on them. Heal bodies that need healing. Heal hearts. Heal minds. Give them strength and grace to patiently wait on your provision. We put our hope in you. Amen.

Hi Guys, Thank you Bob for your great article, I am very excited to see members refer others and have great faith in this program. I am a representative at Medi-share, also I am a Medi-share member have been for about 10 months. I am very confident there is nothing better out there. I Invite you to call me to learn about it I will answer any questions you have, and explain the program. 1-800-772-5623 x2206

P.S. Please let me know Bob sent you thank you.

Medishare seems like a good Godly organization, and in fact it may be… However, I know of a minister who tried to get on it and was denied, for a preexisting disorder, diabetes, which they don’t cover anyways… A MINISTER… Also, I know of a 21 year old college student who is active in his campus Christian organizations whom was denied because he has an electrical disorder in his heart, not terminal, doctor said will not limit his life in any way, shape, or form… Except in the way of getting health insurance from a Christian organization… True Christians would never turn their back on a young man in need.

I applied a few days ago. I had planned on reading up on the company before I applied, but it just slipped my mind. I don’t like the slow pay stories here from other members. Even if they did come through. We worked hard to get out of debt which we now are. My business is doing great, and I really don’t want to have any collection calls. That part of our lives is over. BCBS is $90 more per month, but we will get the tax breaks of the HSA which will negate that extra premium. Preventative is also covered. I’ll probably be canceling my application.
Thanks for all of your feedback.

I just wanted to address one issue raised on this site. Medishare is not a ministry of a Church. It is a business that is inspired by and seeks to implement Christian principles. Medishare should not cover emergency needs that it cannot afford or force giving to meet any and all “christians” who want to join with “any” and “all” preexisting concerns. Such folks do need help. That is where the Church should step in. Medishare is not a Church. Moreover, Medishare is not hurting these people whom they reject. Such people would be no better off if Medishare didn’t exist?! I’m sure Medishare’s workers would love to cover everyone and everything, but they can’t. Bankruptcy and the abandonment of their members is not a better testimony. So, those of you who are not allowed in because of bad situations, that is a tragedy. I’m so sorry that you face that. But, please don’t demand that everyone else pay for it or hide behind Jesus’ words to suggest that members should be forced to pay for your needs. Again, charity is the work of the Church, Medishare is not the Church or a Church. They don’t preach, offer sacraments or do church discipline. They are a business that tries to be Christian in the way they conduct themselves.

Very well stated Matthew! Although I wouldn’t join Medishare for the higher risk it presents, you are so right in keeping us all in check. Being a Christian, principally-based company does not require that they become responsible for all of us like the Body of Christ should. If the Body of Christ actually did what it was intended to do, we wouldn’t need Medishare to begin with. 90% of the money needed to help those in the Body of Christ is actually available. the problem is it stays in the pockets of the congregation as the plate passes by. We live in a fallen world folks, and Medishare is at least doing something. Don’t hold Medishare responsible for your life’s woes. The comments concerning how unChristian it is for Medishare not to cover everything is unwarranted. All business’, Christian or otherwise have the right to determine what services they can or can not cover/perform. Would you rather they go completly bankrupt and not be able help anyone? I appauled their desire to help, and I hope they are an honest organization. You may not agree with what they cover or don’t cover because it doesn’t help you, but isn’t that almost like wanting another welfare system which we already see doesn’t work, has cost this country billions of dollars, which could have been used for better purposes and people take advantage of.

Just some thoughts.

John Buerer says

My wife and I have been members of Medi-Share for about 15 years and are in our early 60s. Medi-Share has always been professional and lived up to their rules. We have had one major operation, shoulder injuries, etc. They have paid these, and we are very satisfied and believe in the program.
On a claim, you cover the deductible of your claim each year, then cost sharing covers up to a certain level (which covers Medi-Share’s deductible on a major health insurance policy they hold), then costs above that are covered by the major insurance policy. The things that Medi-Share will cover matches the things that the major health insurance policy covers. Medi-Share is not sitting around thinking, “Shall we cover this or not?” You can be assured, just like with an insurance health policy, that what is written in the terms will be covered.
Medi-Share is now trying to encourage older subscribers to give up their agreement with them, and this includes somewhat higher rates. Medi-Share seems quite confident that older folks will be happy to drop this monthly expense and rely on Medicare and Medicade, and any bridging policy they may purchase. This has shown that, like an insurance company (which they are not), they do not value the length of time a person has been in the program; and that their decisions about age are more monetarily made than first meets the eye. They began as a group of ministers, and I suspect that the thought at the time may have been to help them all the way through life, but Medi-Share has unfortunately lost that vision.
My wife and I paid under $300 about four years ago. Now we are paying about $500 a month. I believe this reflects what is happening in the three major mutual help groups as they are affected by the economy. Medi-Share is also attempting to open the door a little and be less exclusive on membership it receives. This inevitably increases participant’s costs.

If I understand your comments correctly, Medi Share has an insurance policy that backs it up. This is an “aha” moment for me. We are applying with a high deductible and are only concerned with major medical but was wondering how they could manage with really expensive treatments. And it’s helpful to understand that like insurance, it has to deal with the fact that the older we get, the more medical attention we are likely to need. It also seems likely that most of the applicants will be older like ourselves. jpl

My wife (59) desires to enroll, but I see many Con’s. Her current policy pays 100% after the deductible – no pre-existing clause at all. She had minor colon surgery almost 4 years ago and just had a clean bill of health on a check-up colonoscopy. She has maintenace dosages of Boniva for prevention of bone loss and just had a density test. No problem. However, will these constitute treatments, thus starting a new 3 year period on each . What about other medications given as preventative treatments. Personally I don’t trust this program, and would be indebted to any readers who would enlighten me as to the negatives. E-mail me at [email protected] please.

Seems like it would be difficult for them to determine if you are living a “Biblical Lifestyle”

With that said it seems like a lot of people who are directly involved with Medi-Share like it. This is the first I have heard of it.

I wonder if, because they are not an insurance company, and because people come to them specifically because they are interested in this sort of thing, they have more leeway to ask “personal” questions — and, of course, have a right to expect an honest answer. For the man who was driving intoxicated, I’m sure it wasn’t all that hard to verify. There would have been a police report, etc.

Matthew, I appreciate your comment, however, I believe you’re misguided. Medi-Share IS claiming to be a CHRISTIAN business with CHRISTIAN members and leaders. Yes, it IS the church’s responsibility to be charitable. The “church” is not a building, it’s the body of Christ, which are fellow Christians. Therefore, Medi-Share IS part of the church.

I also didn’t feel as if the previous comments “blamed” Medi-Share for any of their problems. Only that the company itself is not living up to the main verse they say they hold so dear. It’s not fair to say that the previous comments feel Medi-Share is to blame.

If the program has worked for you, and others, AWESOME and PRAISE GOD! And if anyone has not been able to be accepted, or has reservations, I pray your individual situation can be resolved. Shalom,
AJ

Yes, the Church is not a building, but it is organized in such a way that there is the local parish (by whatever name) that is “home” for people in that area. I don’t see why this should be thought of as a complete replacement for that community, who are really closest to the issue.

My husband informed me last month that Medishare is approved/acceptable as qualifying as insurance under Obama’s healthcare plan. We currently are not insured, but I know a few families in our church who have used them for years and are very happy with them. We hope to join them soon.
Pat

Hello, have you joined medi-share? Are you pleased?
Thanks for your time!

My family (wife + 3 children) for 2 years. I have the $1,000 minimum
“per incident” and it’s auto-deducted from my credit card each month.

I retired in 2001 and after COBRA ran out 18 months later I was with
Assurant health (via State Farm).

I started with Premiums at around 800 a month and
over the next years they increased to almost 1,400 a month in spite of
my raising my limits (deductibles) to the highest limits.

We served with a ministry in S. Korea in 2007. The wife of another
U.S. couple serving there was diagnosed with breast cancer. After
much research, they had the surgery, chemo, and reconstruction
all in S. Korea (a major city 1 hr. south of Seoul). This family
had Medi-Share and the expense was enormous as you can imagine.

Medi-Share paid all eligible expenses and to my knowledge (we know
the family very well) nothing was denied. All receipts had
to be maintained of course and I believe it took so time to get
fully reimbursed (since Medi-Share had no service provider in S. Korea,
the family self funded the surgery, etc.. and then applied for reimbursement).

So with that reference, we went with Medi-Share. When we joined
I was overweight and they put me on a special program for exercise and
weight reduction with weekly calls with a health coach. This was an
addl. $75 per month. This coach provided encouragement, weekly
education about various health topics, accountability,
and monitored my progress. I believe the real incentive was that
at some point I could lose eligibility if I didn’t show progress.

It took me over 1 year but I met their
requirements (I was 40lbs over) and “graduated” from the program.

Many families in our community (San Antonio) use Samaritans. I spoke with
many of these families. It is similar and less expensive. But it doesn’t have
all the coverages and it’s limits are more restrictive. But again, I recall it
was much less (maybe by 1/2 ?) of Medi-Share. Also, you had to do all
your own paperwork. Everything was self-pay and reimbursements came
directly from other members – which required more record keeping and
follow up that I desired. Since I cut my Assurant Health premiums by
2/3’s I was really happy to not have the paperwork hassles and chose
medi-share.

I have not had any claims over my “per incident” (not cumulative annual,
but “per incident (injury/illness – make sure you understand this)). But
per the above comments, they are very professional and their customer
support has been excellent. You get assigned an “advocate” to that
you go to for everything (you need to pre-qualify all / any major
planned surgeries).

Also – most physician take their “insurance” so their is no payment at time of visit. They have a large provider network and every existing Dr. I use was covered (and the Drs. for my wife and children).

All in all, I am very pleased so far with Medi-Share and highly recommend this health care sharing organization.

p.s. to the above comment that they didn’t “trust” this organization. Their
wife had insurance with no-prexisting, etc.. Then why switch? Many
company plans FORCE the insurance company to waive pre-existing but
most self-insurance plans do have pre-existing clauses.

And I agree frankly with the fact that the claimant who was drunk didn’t
get reimbursed. Like getting drunk and jumping off a roof into a
swimming pool – breaking your neck – then suing the pool company, home owner, etc.. AND WINNING!! With standard insurance that comes right back to policy holders!!

And to the comment about “how do they know?”. They don’t. God
does, and if you lie to them it will catch up with you when you
file your claim and get denied!

Alan and everyone else,
“I have not had any claims over my “per incident”

I enjoyed Medi-share as well until I went over the “per incident” amount. Like I said, they came through, but after months of non-payment to providers, I would receive notices from collection agencies (4 times for separate providers). For full disclosure, I have been off of Medi-share for almost a year. But when I was with them, their payments were delayed several months from the date of treatment. I would ask them about this specifically before you sign up. Ask them how long payment to providers will take from the time of treatment. Trust me, your providers will care, and it’s your head on the chopping block, not Medi-share’s.
If I were with Medi-share again, I would be more proactive connecting the provider with Medi-share in the immediate months after treatment, to keep the the bills out of collections. Notifying Medi-share and even immediately sending them copies of the bills didn’t help.

I have looked into both companies and, honestly, I can’t justify using them. I understand that they wish for their share holders to live a Christian life but to deny someone coverage when they had a moment of weakness IMHO is not christ-like at all. We are to forgive all wrongdoing of our fellow man and to stiff someone on a bill is not forgiveness. Jesus did not say to love each other, only if they do what you tell them to, or to give your brother your 2nd shirt only if he agrees with you.

Good luck on your search.

I think that is a strange concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness as I see it is not harboring resentment — not necessarily giving in undiscerningly to all requests or demands. That’s a bit like saying that no one who is remorseful should ever be required serve a term in jail, or that people who are in bad relationships need to demonstrate their good faith by remaining in them. I can’t quite believe He intended there to be no distinction between the spiritual and the temporal like that, or “Christian” would be synonymous with “doormat.” Gentle as doves…wise as serpents.

Bob, thank you for posting this it was very helpful. It has convinced me that Medi-share is not for me as I am in an HSA and do not want to give that up. Many of you seem to take issue with pre-existing and the conditional coverage. I would just like to point out that God’s love, mercy and forgiveness are conditional. The Bible does NOT teach un-conditional love, only man does that. The word “if” is a condition and “sin” is a pre-existing condition. Medi-share is well within the Biblical principle.

With all respect, Alan, I disagree. God’s love is most assuredly not conditional — none of us would ever measure up. I believe what you might be trying to express is that humans have the freewill to accept or reject God’s invitation. I do not know whose doctrine is reflected in your comment, but I hope you will rethink it.

Michael Patry says

I just heard about this plan online today. I looked at their site. I think this type of sharing system sounds great. The only time I have ever had health insurance that cost less than theirs with no deductible and good coverage was under a ‘group plan’ offered by my former employer. COBRA costs are outrageous and buying individual health insurance is not going to work since the premiums, deductibles, co-pay, etc. are way beyond what this Medishare offers. The plus of this plan seems to be the lifestyle exclusions where a person living a pagan life will not receive the benefits of the others labors (i.e. their premium monies) unlike general health insurance. Also, the government cannot mandate coverage for lifestyle choices like abortion, sexual activity, sexual orientation, etc. since it is not insurance but a cost sharing plan based on democratic voting by existing members. I also like its non-profit status. The typical executives at health insurance companies make millions while people die for no reason. That system is satanic. This system of medishare for Christians is not satanic, but seems rather inline with the teachings of Christ through Himself and His apostles. I will look into this system one day.

I don’t know anything about this program other than what I read here. I hope this business is more legit than not. But please, lets not forget the external realities that are outside of this program’s control. These are just a few:
-Physical world with limited resources.
-Monetary system that creates even more scarcity through price inflation and debt.
-Prices for Medical treatment is extremely overinflated thanks to the existence of insurance companies.

In other words, from an unconditional Christian love point of view, this business was a failure before it even started because it exists in a limited physical world and monetary world.

When we think Christian, we think unconditional love, therefore unconditional help and so forth. But again, we live in a physical world and if you expect this from any organization including your favorite church, you will be disappointed.

Please put emotion aside, and think rational, I know it is hard to do when ill or having a loved one who is ill. It is easy to fault others for their lack of help when you are desperate with an illness. However, lets not forget this program is not God, and cannot fix all as we expect God to do.

Having worked in the medical field for many years I would suggest that you keep in mind the fact that much (I would suggest most) of the controlling environment in medicine is atheistic/agnostic and openly sarcastic of Christianity. It is very big business and money absolutely rules. Use it prayerfully and only if you have no other hope. The vast majority of health problems are due to deep-seated guilt problems working their way to the surface. A Christian is one with absolutely no guilt, and thus, far less likely to be plagued with sickness. I am not saying no sicknesses. But the medical community has to deal with all people. The overwhelming costs and problems facing us are a symptom of the spiritual condition of our land.

“A Christian is one with absolutely no guilt”
.Do you mean a saint? Friend, most of us aren’t there yet. I’m trying…I just went to confession.

Demi Imoru says

Simply put… get the mission of the company. Its mainly for xtians to live a healthy life. I don’t want to put my money there and they r using it to treat preexistin conditions for others and when its my turn they r out of money. Its business people. Am sorry bad things happen but that’s just ow business works. They calculated their risk n tot dat for us to keep d busines on, we need not to cover preexisitin sickness. U n I know its not fair. U r only complainin cuz u want others to pay for ur sickness. (Forgive my tone). No matter ow much bil gate has n no matter ow much he gives to charity. He cannot give but less than ten percent cuz that way he can keep microsoft alive. Its plain common sense.

My husband and I used medishare for many years, over 10, I think. When he “aged out” and went on Medicare, my rates went thru the roof. They consider me a “single woman” and I pay more than what married couples pay for coverage. To cover two adults for less than what I pay just for myself infuriates me and I have a hard time believing that there is statistical data to back up their position. I have asked often for actuarial information to support their position and have never been able to get an answer. It makes me very uncomfortable with them. By the way, I have been blessed with excellent health and have cost them very little. I do not recommend them to my friends or fellow church members.

This sounds interesting. Too bad in found out after open enrollment. For those of you upset about your high premiums…try family of four…$475 per month…$3000 deductible. IT COULD BE WORSE.

Shari Schultz says

That’s still less than we pay. $900/mo to cover me and 2 kids – husband is covered by company. We have a deductible after $500 covered expenses. – so $11,000/year.

I didn’t read everyone’s posts to find out if this is already discussed. We had an HSA, but the costs even for that went through the ROOF! So, we switched to Medi-share. When I called the HSA to see what we need to do with the money in that account, she seemed to think that it could be used with any High Deductible Health Plan. My question is…is a sharing program like Medi-Share considered, by the governing rules of the HSA, to be a HDHP?

To answer your question Sarah, you can use the money in your HSA to pay any of your eligible health expenses regardless of your current insurance plan. The IRS publishes a list of qualified health expenses (just do a search).
You cannot contribute to your plan now since you don’t have a HDHP. Medi-share plans do not qualify. For more info, Google “HSA road rules 2011”.

Hi there :o) I saw this and wanted to write a quick review. We have been with Medi-share for a couple years now and I love the whole concept, and most importantly that it is based on biblical principles and really wish I could give a good review and am sad that I cannot.

The original article/review on Medi-share is pretty accurate. We are that healthy Christian family who live according to biblical principles, as noted in the article. In fact, we have 3 children, we don’t ever have to go to the doctor except for something serious and for routine physicals (which are not covered). Other than that, we strive to be healthy and are on no pharmaceuticals of any kinds and haven’t needed to go to the doctor in years apart for stitches for a toddler (well before we were with Medi-share.) We have paid of monthly sharing faithfully on time for years, and never had an issue worthy of going to a doctor. We invest a lot into natural health and it has blessed us as we are really healthy.

Not to boast (all glory to God :o) – but just to give some background to confirm that we are committed to godly lifestyle … we love the Lord with all hearts mind soul strength and lead a bible study and are planting a church, so we are very committed to truth in all regards.

When we joined with medi-share, it was in April a couple years ago. We were previously with a different secular insurance company and we wanted to go with a Christ-Centered one. We wanted to be wise and wait until well after my son was born to make sure there were no medical needs/issues as a result of the birth (in January of that year) and so we waited until we were positive everyone was completely healthy and then switched in April (many months following the birth).

In June, I started to mysteriosly and very suddenly have excruciating tailbone pain and went to the doctor. After many doctors, tests, x-rays and so on, they discovered a severe tailbone dislocation and fracturing that was not fixable. I saw the best of the best to try to have it relocated and fixed, numerous times by many top docs over the past 1 1/2 years. Medi-share covered all visits which was great.

The problem came when I was referred onto a Neuro-Surgeon for surgery. I literally have to get my tailbone removed (ughh) and this is a pretty big deal and can only be done by a neuro-surgeon. The biggest mystery is how this all happened. I have told the truth to every doctor and specialist, that I don’t recall ever falling or any accident to cause this injury. It was sudden and mysterious. I would tell each doctor, the only thing I have done is sledding all winter with my kids (with no falls or pain) and a while back I gave birth (with no complications or pain or injury.). So while most docs noted unknown cause, some must have noted, possibly due to sledding cause unknown, and some must have noted, possibly due to birth, cause unknown.

Well, Medi-share put my surgery into a “pre-eligibility review”. It was a lot of work on my end as I had to contact each doctor (there were many) and have them send all their records to medi-share, and then I had to confirm that medishare recieved them. The review took 8 weeks (on top of the year I have already lived with an injury of this magnitude which is excruciating). We were SHOCKED when they came back and declined. Their decline was based on a couple words in docs notes saying possibly from birth.

We were so sad because we purposely wanted to be so careful this would not happen and that is why we waited until April to switch (son born in Jan) to make sure completely healthy and symptom free for many months. Then on top of that my first complaint of pain and first appointment was not until well into June. 3 months after joining and 6 months post-birth. One of my docs, the one who had to refer me onto the neurosurgeon, is a top Ortho Trauma specialist who takes care of the Olympic US Ski Team. He was furious and wrote a letter to Medi-share with clear medical records and notes that there was no causal relationship between the birth and this injury. In fact, by the time I made my way up to that specialist, it was over a year after the birth of my son.

I have pleaded with Medi-share, written letters, prayed with them on the phone, and my docs have written letters. I appealed their review and that whole process was another 8 weeks of painful waiting, and they declined, based again on a couple notation words, ignoring the appointment dates, the letters, and I have spent so much time in tears on the phone explaining everything from beginning to end.

The sad thing is that they come in the name of Christ and Christian principles and morals. But they have sadly not walked the walk as they talk the talk. We have faithfully paid 530 per month for years and never used a penny of it up until this unexpected injury. With the previous company, had I never switched companies, this would have been covered no problem. In fact, we paid $800/mth with our previous company and for years never entered a doctors office except for stitches once and for routine physicals that came back healthy. Otherwise, not ever costing them a dime.

The same is the case with Medi-share. It feels like being robbed. Imagine paying all that money each month and striving to live a life of truth and of health, just to have it result in this. What’s worse, is now if we were to switch to another place such as Samaratin Ministries or another Insurance Company again … my tailbone would never be covered as it would be pre-existing condition. So I feel so robbed and helpless and so ANGRY that they use the name of Christ and then do such things so people will look at that and think “Christians are no different – they robbed me – Why would I ever consider Jesus when this is what it’s all about!” That infuriates me as it defaces the name of Christ our Lord and Savior who is the most faithful trustworthy of all!

I sadly cannot recommend Medi-share as our experience has been worse that any secular company we have used for our lifetimes. They have not shown any Christ-Centered actions – regardless of what is boasted with words. It’s a great concept, yet sad that it is not lived up to.

Hope that helps.

I was so close to sending in my application to MediShare this week, but decided I needed to do more research and prayer to have peace about this big decision. Well, I’m so glad I came across this article and these reviews, particularly those of MediShare members. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. This has truly helped me in deciding what is best for my family.
To Mommyof3PreciousOnes: My heart goes out to you. Sorry to hear of the negative experiences and all the stress accompanying it. Please know that your review was extremely helpful in guiding my decision.
My family and I sound like the ideal household to participate: very healthy, hardly ever need medical attention, committed to healthy, pure, organic lifestyle, dedicated Christians, we play by the rules,financially responsible…but it’s my concern about major medical incidences (like your story) and issues with future EOI(evidence of insurability/ proof of good health) that prevents me from leaving our current “safety net” of the traditional health insurance plan. Although we have no chronic health problems, accidents and the unforeseen happen.
It’s too bad because I was really enthusiastic about the whole concept.

Did you bring it to the Seven Participant Appeal Panel?

There are christian trial lawyers all over the country. You could try and go that route. I’m sorry about what has happened to you and hope it all works out.

Mommyof3preciousones – so sorry about your story.
What a cautionary tale.
I believe this happens because this whole thing is based on a cockeyed idea of what being Christians together is.
We should certainly care for one anotheran and it -may- be that we as a group are healthier, but maybe not – I’ve seen the number of donuts people can eat at coffee hour!
Instead, the basis ought to be on being the kingdom of God together – and that would mean blessing our neighbors as well. From that perspective, perhaps the Christlike perspective is to be part of a ‘secular’ plan and contribute not only toward our own health care, but if we’re really so healthy, toward our neighbors’ care as well. That good Samaritan comes to mind.
The notion that Christians ought to pull out and only insure one another because we’re so ‘healthy’ is bankrupt – as you have seen, the world, creation and nature are all fallen, and we get it in our own flesh as well as anyone.

John Buerer says

Thanks, McFall, for your very good overview dated today, January 13th (you can see my comments August 23, made, unintentionally, on my Bday!).
A point I may not have made clearly enough: as we members vote on guidelines, the organization negotiates those guidelines with our major health insurer. We remain within our guidelines in each case so that the insurance policy will cover those cases should they develop into major needs. I guess that when there is a question about applying the guidelines, the office must take that up with the insurer because they must both agree on the interpretation.
I think Christian Care is a very compassionate way to operate. We individually agree when we join, and cumulatively agree when we vote, exactly how we are going to express our compassion toward each others needs. When you compassionately agree to help with my medical care and I agree to stay away from illegal drugs, for instance, then I overdose on them, I would be completely out of place to accuse you of being an incompassionate person for keeping the agreement we both came to. In fact, unless I were a completely self-absorbed person, I would expect you to keep your side of the agreement and would agreeably commend you for doing so.
My encouragement to the office is to continue to orchestrate the agreement, no more and no less (as I believe they are doing), as the managers of the compassionate contributions of others. To do otherwise is to become less compassionate toward those who are donating to meet specific needs of others in this way. Occasionally the office has developed its own sense of compassion toward a hospital in Africa, or another project not related to the distribution of the compassionate healthcare of participants. However, I am sure contributions are in reality designated and should not be channeled in other directions. No doubt many members and many people in the office express their individual compassion by giving generously to other such causes through organizations set up for those purposes, and this is as it should be.

Bryce D. Neier, Atty at Law says

Good article. Let me tell you folks, I have litigated against major medical insurnace companies, who basically jerked folks around in paying the claims; talk about “wing and a prayer”; the regular medical insurance companies certainly have more exclusions of coverage than Med Share here. I have health insurance with a good company now, but with all the regulations etc… believe me, red tape abounds.

So, when they bash your program, they need to take a look in the mirror. Why do you think there is such a cry and hue for health care reform. Looks to me like Med Share was light years ahead!

I agree with you Bryce – claims issues abound with health insurance companies. However, you must admit that Medi-Share has some serious problems with paying legitimate claims in a timely manner. I have been in the health insurance world for over 10 years and haven’t seen such a consistently poor response to paying legit claims by any carrier. I friend of mine has said the same things that have been posted here. He is very diligent with finances, yet he and his wife have spent countless frustrating hours trying to get Medi-share to pay their providers for two claims. This is a major stress factor for people who already have challenges with health concerns and finances — this is truly adding insult to injury (or sickness). Having to deal with collection agencies, etc. for legitimate claims related to childbirth, etc. is totally unacceptable.
I think Medi-share is a great concept. I think it works wonderfully for those who don’t exceed their share limit. However, they really need to address their claims-paying process.

Hey Greg,
I don’t know too much about the claims issues with Medi Share; have read their ads over the years; got a packet about two yrs ago; was looking at it;
Any others out there who can share their claims experience?

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Medi-Share Review: A Christian Health Insurance Alternative

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