What Makes a Christian Healthcare Ministry Different From Health Insurance?
If you are unhappy with the current structure of your health insurance, it could be time to consider a cost-sharing Christian healthcare ministry.
It’s not uncommon to have questions about medical cost sharing, if it’s right for you and your loved ones and what advantages it has over traditional health insurance plans. Decisions about your health are not made lightly, so having the right tools and knowledge about Christian healthcare-sharing ministries is essential as you weigh your options.
Christian Healthcare Sharing Ministries: What Are They?
Unlike traditional health insurance, healthsharing programs are a Christian-based alternative that many members find empowering, as they can take more control over their health while having a support network to lean on. Healthcare sharing ministries are voluntary organizations of groups of people who share a common faith and contribute certain sums each month. These monthly gifts are then used to help pay for other members' medical expenses.
These sharing programs are not health insurance, and health insurance regulations do not govern or influence them. This means that individuals who do not receive employer-sponsored health coverage or otherwise are unable to obtain traditional health insurance have more options. Members of healthsharing programs may join at any time, not just during a limited enrollment period.
For those without access to marketplace subsidies, Christian healthcare sharing ministry programs are typically more affordable than conventional health insurance. The right Christian healthcare ministry will also offer special guidelines for pre-existing illnesses and other concerns.
What Distinguishes Health Insurance from a Christian Healthcare Sharing Ministry?
The lack of typical contracts is a significant distinction for Christian healthcare sharing ministry members. There are no rigid contractual agreements or assignment of risk. Being a member largely comprises an informal covenant amongst persons who freely come together to assist one another while affirming their identity as Christians who live by biblical teachings. Membership comes with the understanding that your contribution goes where there is a necessity, and that the contributions of others will come to you when you need help to pay for your medical care.
There are provisions in place, seeing as healthsharing ministries have been active for many years, and hundreds of thousands of members support them. It’s important to keep in mind that state insurance regulators do not oversee healthcare sharing ministries, so these communities cannot “promise” that medical expenses will be shared. However, there is more flexibility as you can find treatment anywhere and choose your own physicians, and monthly contributions are often lower than the high premiums and deductibles that come with traditional health insurance plans.
Some other insurance-related limitations do not apply to healthsharing ministries, such as being boxed into choosing from a small network of for-profit companies. A Christian healthcare ministry is a not-for-profit entity. Membership is the only thing that matters; the goal is to exalt God and serve His people.
Your monthly financial contributions help other Christians to pay for their medical expenses, apart from a small administrative cost (about 12 percent). Similarly, additional donations apply in full to members who have medical expenses, making it a compassionate healthcare cost solution.
Who Should Join a Christian Healthcare Ministry?
Although anyone can enroll, Christian healthcare ministries have particular criteria for membership. Members should adhere to "biblical principles regarding the consumption of alcohol" and may not use tobacco or illegal narcotics, for example. These programs also request and expect members to participate regularly in worship or prayer.
Members of faith-based medical cost-sharing programs are supported by a Christian community that spans far and wide. This differs from health insurance plans, which are purchased on a state-by-state and county-by-county basis. Instead of being constrained by the communities that are physically close to you, healthcare sharing ministries provide you the opportunity to choose the community that best suits your needs.
Join the Liberty HealthShare Community Today
At Liberty HealthShare, we provide Christian families and people who value their health with an affordable solution by sharing the cost of medical treatment in a supportive environment. We are a Christian, membership-based, non-profit organization—not an insurance provider—that aids in encouraging members who voluntarily contribute to each other’s medical bills. Learn more about our community by getting in touch with us or requesting more information today.