Medi-Share Review: A Christian Health Insurance Alternative

MediShare Review...I have now been using Medi-Share (the Christian health insurance alternative) 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 the last few years and for those wondering Medi-Share IS exempt from the Obamacare mandate.

My Medi-Share review below was originally written in 2009 when I was investigating them, but has been continually updated (now for 2018) as I’ve been using them.  Hope it helps! 

Has anyone heard of, tried, or currently use Medi-Share?

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.” I have spent some time digging into it and it looks very intriguing – it seems to offer most 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!

A little about Medi-Share

Is it Christian Medical Insurance?

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.”

Is Medishare an alternative to Obamacare?

Yes, it works as an alternative to the ACA (aka Obamacare).  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.”

How does it work?

While their website answered a lot of my questions, I still called to get a more thorough understanding of how the program works…

How does it work?

While their website answered a lot of my questions, I still called to get a more thorough understanding of how the program works…

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.

What happens when you go the doctor?

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.”

How long do you have to wait to get pregnant?

Having maternity bills covered obviously is a deal-breaker (or maker) for some.  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.”

Christian Health Insurance Alternative - Medi-Share.png

What I 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.

My Personal Experience

To give you an idea of costs, my family of 4 pays around $175/month for the high deductible plan.  You would obviously pay more a month for a lower deductible plan. This also includes a 20% discount that we got for answering their health questionnaire (which I believe is an option for all members) which took about 20-30 minutes.

I have found the process of bill paying to be very similar to traditional health insurance as long as you stay in network for your doctor visits. If you go out of network, it can get a little more complicated with the doctor billing you, you going to Medi-Share to see what they will discount, you sending the payment directly to the doctor’s office.  So bottom line – just stay in network and you’re golden.


Final thoughts

One of my biggest concerns was that I would be facing a huge medical bill and that the members would just decide not to “share” with me 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.

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 check out their website and I would suggest giving them a call.  They have always been incredibly helpful with any questions I had for them.

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

Update 01-03-12: I have now been using Medi-share for a couple years and I do recommend it still for some people, but not all. It is definitely a lot cheaper than health insurance, but for those who visit the doctor regularly, it definitely is more work. So it comes down to a little more inconvenience, in exchange for cheaper health coverage.

Normally, when I go to the doctor I have to get a bill from the doctor and then mail it to Medi-share (Supposedly the in-network doctors will bill Medi-share directly, but I have found that this isn’t always the case.) Next, the doctors office sends me an updated bill (after Medi-share discount or % they pay) then I have to pay the remainder of the balance to the doctor myself.

So it adds a couple more steps to the process, that are normally taken care of with “normal” health insurance. But if you really want to save money and have the energy to do a little more work, it is a great program for you. However if you visit the doctor regularly and are looking for something that is just as easy as regular health insurance, Medi-share is probably is not best suited for you.

Update 01-12-16: We are still Medi-share members and now have our baby boy on the plan with us, not much to add except that they are awesome for covering adoption expenses. They covered over $3,000 of our adoption expenses – which came as a wonderful surprise!  

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  1. Matt Jabs

    Sounds just like Samaritan Ministries, of which my cousin is a long time member and avid proponent.

    • enness

      As long as there is enough disclosure I don’t see the problem…some people are looking for a system that conforms to their beliefs. If it’s not what you are looking for, you’re not obligated to join. (I would also point out that a) typical health plans may still “discriminate” by charging higher rates to smokers, and b) gay/lesbian individuals and people who procure abortions tend to have unique health problems.)

    • Cathy

      The whole idea is that the risk pool is lower for Christians who live by Biblical principles. When you start factoring in STDs and accidents from people who live immoral lives, the health care costs go up. This is all about Christians helping Christians pay their medical bills. I am thrilled to help support people who have similar beliefs as mine and know that they will help support me if I need it too. I do not want to pay for health care of people who take risks and live immoral lives. I will pray for them, but they can use a traditional insurance program and pay more for the risks that they choose to take. It is all about choice and I am thrilled to choose this program.

    • Mike

      I agree with Cathy. People who take risks, like driving while intoxicated, should stick with your typical insurance plans, while those who choose to live lives according to Biblical principles should fit right in with a medical sharing program.

      Plus, most any Christian you speak with will say they love the idea of helping other Christians with there medical expenses because we all know how surprise doctor visits can bankrupt many Americans.

      It seems there are more steps involved in getting expenses paid, but it’s worth it if you cannot afford the traditional insurance plans, or are looking to pay into something that really helps your brothers and sisters.

    • Sarah

      My only concern here is that the primary uses of insurance for families is the yearly check up for the kids, and vaccines The other issue is not covering pre-existing problems. I don’t see anything Christian in either of these limitations. We are supposed to care for families as the foundation of the church. I can see not covering things from un-biblical lifestyle choices but just because I have asthma or my husband has acid reflux has nothing to do with our beliefs. Why shouldn’t we be able to get help?.

    • Barbara

      Excellent comments that I embrace! Couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t want to be aligned with people who pervert the Holy order of God. That is why I am choosing medishare. I too, like you, pray for those who choose the wide road. : )

    • Barry Putnam

      Simon, I realize that every one of us is well considered to be scared to sign up with Obamacare, it is truly the monster with incalculable harms which can come from being tied into its tentacles. that being said, you should know that Medishare is not intending to lend credence to the concept some gays may have in thinking that they are also Christians. It is truly impossible for one who is Christian to be engaging in a practice, for WHATEVER human reason, which it is so very clear to ALL is ABOMINATION in the eyes of God, and is worthy of destruction of the body, soul, and spirit, as demonstrated in Sodom, and Gomorrah. You, Sir, have an option in Obamacare, but ONLY in Obamacare

    • JA

      Barry, Your response to Simon is an “abomination.” Christ came not to condemn, but to save (John 3:17).Therefore, you were not created to condemn others either. Do you truly believe in your heart that your judgmental response will draw anyone to God? Let he who has no sin cast the first stone. Do you have NO sin? NO. So don’t throw any stones. Period (see John 8:7-11). Homosexuality is no WORSE than any other sins; including hatred, dissensions, jealousy, fits of rage, greed (Gal 5:19-21, 1 Cor 6:9-11)., Christ came because we are ALL sinners, and there is no sin worse than another (with the exception of the only unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31). If you are going to condemn others and have a critical, judgmental, and unforgiving attitude towards people whom God created and loves just as much as he loves you; then please do not advertise yourself to others as a Christian. People respond better to love than they do to criticism, judgment, and/or anger. God is love. God loves you, Simon, me and everyone else He has ever created just as much as the others. Only He knows our hearts.. Please try to have a kinder more Christ-loving heart towards others so they will be drawn to Christ through you and not turned off from Him because of you.

    • bp


      Jesus’ words are that we, His followers, are the salt of the earth.

      Matthew 5:13 – 16

      13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
      14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
      15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
      16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

      What Barry said is the TRUTH.

      John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

      This states that Jesus is the Word. So then you are against the Truth of the Word then you are against Jesus and cannot have communion with Him.

      1 Corinthians 6: 9 -10

      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      We are in the last days of the church where “Tolerance” is the truth of the apostate church instead of the Biblical Truth adhered to by a God fearing Body of Christ.

      2 Timothy 3

      1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
      2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
      3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
      4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
      5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
      6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
      7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
      8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
      9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

      As Christians we need not waver from the Word of God. We must not make apologies for our beliefs.

      8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
      9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
      10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
      11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
      12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
      13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

    • Barbara

      JA, I encourage you to read 1cor 5:1-13. concerning your remarks. We are to take the entire Bible and use it as a guide. We are not to take verses out of context which I believe you have done. I know you are well meaning and it appears you’ve been married to the “religious system”. I would be very careful and you have just turned right back around and judged your brother in Christ. If you read and interpret the whole of God’s Holy Word you will see that there is truth to what each of you are communicating but neither of you are in agreement with the whole of God’s word.
      Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into ALL truth and be on guard for Satan, the father of lies is constantly trying to deceive all of us who are seeking truth. God bless you as you seek His truth.

    • Lallo Riker

      I agree with JA. I will add that Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 tells people who do not trust themselves with passions of the heart (sexual desire) that they should get married rather than risk fornication. I take this as permission for LGBT marriages. After, all we superstitious humans used to kill redheads for fear that they were devil spawn, LGBT are no different. ALL were created by God, and it was good.

    • David

      You missed the next few verses that talk about husbands and wives. Notice that passage does not say husband and husband or wife and wife. Please keep scripture in context. Remember if what you believe contradicts what other parts of scripture say then what you believe is wrong.

      Romans 1:24-27:
      24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

      26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

    • Nikki

      With all due respect. Simon, your points are exactly why Medi-Share is unique. The members, themselves, set the rules, not any corporate entity. It is privately owned and member-operated, so they have every right to set the criteria. The truth is, whether you are a member of the LGBT community or wish to abort a baby, there are a myriad of options for you already. MediShare offers an alternative for me so that at least my healthcare money is not going to procedures that I consider wrong, such as the murder of an unborn child. I pay for these procedure, unfortunately, unwittingly, through other taxes. This is one way to avoid paying for medical procedures that I find repulsive, such as abortion.

    • Lisa

      Medishare is not as Christ-like as they advertise themselves to be. About two years ago, I went through a miscarriage. For the next year and a half, it seems as though I was not able to get pregnant. Finally, I paid out of pocket to have some fertility testing done, knowing that Medishare would probably not pay a dime to help me find out what was wrong or if there was medicine that might help. We discovered a couple of minor things that led to an inexpensive medicine and some vitamins. We were thrilled to discover that we were pregnant soon after, but our joy was cut short as we went through another miscarriage.

      I went to a local obgyn to ask some questions about what to do for recurring miscarriages. She explained that she did not have the expertise to diagnose or treat me and referred me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist at one of the top clinics in the country. I started to feel hope after this terrible loss, but when I called Medishare, they very firmly told me that they would not cover a doctor who does fertility treatment. I tried and tried to explain that I was able to get pregnant, but my babies died, and this was an effort to save the life of my little baby. I was put on hold. I thought I would have the opportunity to speak to the supervisor, but the supervisor could not be bothered to speak to me. I want the world to know that “Christian” Medi-share does not care about the life of my unborn child.

    • Cathy

      I’m confused. If you can conceive a child, then you are fertile. Fertility treatments would not be needed. You are having trouble carrying the baby to term. That is not a fertility issue. It is a gestational, mechanical issue of maintaining the pregnancy. If we agree to pay for what you want to have done, all of our costs will go up, as many more women will be asking for expensive specialists to perform operations so that they can carry their pregnancies to term. Having said that, it may very well be that the members would agree to adding the treatments you would need to the accepted treatment list. It would need to go through the proper channels. I would rather pay for that type of treatment than to pay for male genital mutilations. Apparently we pay to cut off a perfectly healthy part of a boy’s body before he is old enough to consent to having their body altered cosmetically. So, yes, I would vote for your treatment, although I can’t afford too much more of a premium hike. Can we vote again to remove coverage for male circumcision though?

    • Hannah VW

      Thank you for speaking up on behalf of newborn males.
      I hope that you have formally contacted Medi-Share expressing your moral opposition to paying for male genital cutting.
      I brought the matter to their attention a few years ago, and the CEO and the Board of Directors decided not to take the issue to the membership for the vote.
      I sent info on the financial costs, morality, medical issues etc.
      I see a handful of people posting on this post that are opposed to paying for circumcisions.
      I know a handful of other members of the same conviction, as well as several people who have not become members for this reason.
      I would love to work with you Cathy, to bring another formal request to the organization to remove this procedure (as it does not fit with the stated guidelines of the organization) or bring it to the membership for a vote.

    • Cathy

      I would very much like to see circumcision removed from the approved coverage list. Cutting off a perfectly healthy part of a male’s genitals without their consent is abhorrent. I can tell you from experience that the skin being removed has an valuable function that the wives will appreciate, not to mention the men themselves. There are mechanical and sensitivity issues that are beneficial to intact men and their wives. Tell me what we need to do to get this barbaric procedure stricken from the books!

    • Jon Sutherland

      God ordained circumcision. I think I might hesitate to condemn the practice.Just saying.

    • Cathy

      When we signed up for Medishare, we signed a faith statement that agreed that we believe in a triune God. Jews do not recognize our Trinity and are not eligible for Medishare for that reason. Circumcision is a covenant between Jewish men and God. We are not Jewish and are not bound by the Jewish covenant. The Apostles made that very clear. Circumcision or no circumcision…it is irrelevant when it comes to our salvation.

    • Dean

      RE: Circumcision
      Circumcision was an external covenant seal of an internal commitment to God, or more exact, to the recognition that the Jew was to overcome the flesh in favor of salvation (foreseeing Christ). As Peter tells us Baptism has replaced Circumcision. The “benefits” of not being circumcised are several, but the cutting off of the sensual aspect is the very thing that the old testament covenant was emphasizing with the removal of the foreskin. I, for one, am grateful that we are no longer required to circumcise to be considered in a covenant with God… I’ll take Baptism any day… (well, you only need it once).
      No Christian should circumcise, as it is merely a “custom” that has carried on with no benefit…

    • rakeys

      If you are having trouble with getting pregnant or keeping the baby until term, I highly recommend you check out NaProTechnology: Natural procreative technology. and Dr. Hilgers in Omaha. There are also doctors across the country. This is an outgrowth of Natural Family Planning.
      My Daughter lost several babies but after using NaProTechnology the doctor discovered she had low progesterone after implantation. Now she gets supplemental progesterone when she gets pregnant, and now has three boys.
      My biggest question is- does Medi share cover contraceptives? Obamacare now forces me to pay for contraceptive coverage., But Pregnancy and fertility are not a disease.
      In contrast, the World Health Organization .has classified the Pill as a Category One carcinogen, the same as cigarettes, and asbestos. The Mayo clinic reports that in 21 out of 23 studies, women who take the Pill for 4 years prior to their first full term pregnancy have a 50% increased risk of BREAST CANCER..
      Taking the Pill actually violates God’s Plan for marriage and sexuality. Besides Natural Family Planning works: 98% effective. It just requires abstinence for one week each month if you want to postpone getting pregnant at this time

    • Christopher

      OK, let me understand this. Are there more risks in a monogamous “Christian” marriage or one where it is not? Plain and Simple. Risk management. You know the rules before you sign up. . It is a private member organization. It is like saying my charitable contributions have to go to some organization that don’t approve of. Bottom line, no one is forcing you to utilize this ministry,

    • Cindy Haley

      I would like to know if natural doctors are on the plan.

    • Lauren (SeedTime Editor)

      Hey Cindy – I would reach out to MediShare directly to get an answer to your question!

  2. Anna Mcmullen

    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.

    • C Brown

      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.

    • cowens

      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?

    • cindy

      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.

    • Chavela

      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?

    • Cassie

      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

      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.

    • Heather

      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.

    • Neville

      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.

    • Chad

      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!

    • JEly

      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.

    • rakeys

      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.

  3. Mia

    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.

  4. bob

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

  5. gmachayes

    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.

  6. Nancy Buchli

    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

      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.

    • cindy


    • Maura A

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

    • Cathy

      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.

    • P Mobley

      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…

    • Gre

      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.

    • Chavela

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

  7. Darrell Clow

    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.

  8. David

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

    • Jessica

      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.

    • Colleen

      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.

  9. gmachayes

    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.

  10. MelHofmann

    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.

  11. David Miller

    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

      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.

    • Greg

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

  12. Mrs. Micah

    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

      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.

    • Gary Hoch


      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

      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.

    • Brad

      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.

    • enness

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

    • Laura

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

    • Hannah from Medi-Share

      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.

    • Audi

      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

    • D Hunter

      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.

    • Victoria

      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?

    • Nikki

      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.

    • Terry

      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.

    • Neville

      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.

    • Carl

      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.

    • Chavela

      I agree.

    • Hannah

      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,

    • Karen

      Well said.

  13. Mrs. Micah

    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.

    • Neville

      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.

  14. ann davis

    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.

    • Nikki

      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.

    • cindy

      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.

    • Neville

      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.

  15. Marisa

    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.

  16. Brad

    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

      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.

    • Richard

      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.

    • Byron

      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.

    • Tracy

      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.

    • Cathy

      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.

    • Penny

      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.

    • cindy

      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.

    • P Mobley

      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.

    • Greg

      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”.

    • Jerry


      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.

  17. Seaside Roses

    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

    • Shelley F

      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.

  18. Sgillesp

    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)?

    • Vicki

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

    • Nikki

      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.

    • Terri

      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.)

    • Elaine

      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.

    • Karen

      Nice to hear. Most things are negotiable.

    • Neville

      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.

  19. Abigail

    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!

    • Richard

      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).

    • Sonseerae

      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?

    • Natasha

      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.

    • enness

      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.

    • enness

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

  20. Jason

    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.

    • Neville

      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.

  21. cindy

    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

  22. Jay

    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.

    • Sidney18511

      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

      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.

    • Sidney18511

      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.

  23. Alecia Baptiste


    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.

  24. Michael

    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.

  25. Addie &Travis Parker

    My husband and I are currently researching different insurance companies. It was through a friend of the family that we learned about Medi-Share. Considering we were already researching insurance, we had a lot of questions that our new friend Alan was happy to answer for us. We figured we would share our questions and the answers we got with all of you.

    -Does this program cover prescriptions and medicines?
    A: No. Unfortunately they don’t. However they do encourage a supplemental insurance plan that covers what they don’t, and with the cheapness of Medi-share, you can usually afford the supplemental insurance too.
    -What qualifies as an “office visit”?
    A: An office visit is anytime you go see your doctor or a specialist.
    -Is this a non-denominational organization?
    A: Yes. 😀
    -What is the Manna Christian Disability Sharing thing?
    A: It is a similar organization that assists Disabled people.
    -Are there fees for signing up?
    A: Yes. There is a one time, non-refundable $50 fee for processing your application. There is also a one time $125 membership fee paid on the first month. And then there is a final fee of $25 for the processing of the Health Incentive application.
    -Are things like glasses and dental work covered?
    A: No. Optical and Dental are not included. However, Medi-Share will cover these things if they have something to do with a bigger illness or incident, like if you get in a car accident and need dental surgery. See answer 1.
    -How do taxes work with this program?
    A: All payments are considered gifts, and you don’t have to pay taxes on them. The money doesn’t ever touch your hands so it’s never yours to be taxed.
    -Are y’all HSA qualified?
    A: No because they aren’t an insurance company.
    -Why are you exempt from the Health Care Bill, and can you guarantee that you won’t be exempt later?
    A: They can’t guarantee that they won’t be exempt later; however, in the bill itself that President Obama passed, it states that they exempt people participating in Health Care Sharing Ministries. Go to this link –> <– to read about it.
    -If you lose your job and can't pay your monthly portion, are you dropped?
    A: Not necessarily. Simply call and talk to someone about rearranging your payment plans. They only do a 5% late fee and are very willing to work with you.
    -We heard that sometimes it takes a long time for the payments to make it to the hospitals, etc., and we heard that some people even had to deal with collection agencies. Why is this?
    A: Especially for larger bills, they go through everything with a fine tooth comb. They try to work out discounts and everything before they pay. Sometimes this takes time. However, they try very hard to get everything done as soon as possible.
    -Do you cover pre-existing illnesses like cancer? Why or Why not?
    A: It depends. There are many different kinds of cancers, and they have to know what kind of cancer you have to know how much your treatments will be. Usually there is just a longer waiting period for things like this, but just because you have cancer or some other pre-existing illness does not mean you are automatically not qualified.

    Every other question we had before these were answered by the little package they sent us. Also our Medi-Share representative, Alan, has been more than helpful and is always eager to answer every question we have. You can reach Alan at 1 (800) 772-5623 ext. 2298. He's absolutely amazing. 🙂

  26. Jasper

    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.

  27. Jason

    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.

  28. Matthew

    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.

  29. Dan

    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.

  30. John Buerer

    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.

    • Jon Lewis

      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

    • Nikki Roberti

      Hi Jon,

      I work for Medi-Share so I thought I could clear some of this up. We do not have an insurance policy that we use. We used to, which is why long-time member John mentioned it. However we are now completely member-to-member sharing and have shared over $550 million over 18 years.

      As for dealing with older members who need more medical attention, as you brought up, we now have a program we launched this year called Senior Assist for people 65+.

      There’s more info on this on our website ( but I encourage you to speak with someone on the phone if you have any more questions. 1-800-772-5623

  31. Jim Gay

    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.

  32. Ben

    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.

    • enness

      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.

  33. AJ

    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,

    • enness

      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.

  34. Pat

    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.

    • Liz

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

  35. alan

    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

    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! 🙂

  36. Jason

    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.

  37. Aya

    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.

    • enness

      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.

  38. Alan

    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.

    • enness

      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.

  39. Michael Patry

    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.

  40. zak

    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.

  41. ctw

    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.

    • enness

      “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.

  42. Demi Imoru

    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.

  43. susan

    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.

  44. Mason

    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

      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.

  45. Sarah

    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?

  46. Greg

    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”.

  47. Mommyof3PreciousOnes

    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.

    God Bless.

    • Josie

      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.

    • Nikki

      Did you bring it to the Seven Participant Appeal Panel?

    • Sad

      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.

  48. sgillesp

    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.

  49. mcfall

    There are many misunderstandings and inaccuracies on this website and in this thread. The Medi-Share member-voted Guidelines are clear that pre-existing and congenital conditions aren’t eligible for sharing. People need to read the guidelines before they apply. There is an appeal process if something is ruled ineligible for sharing and in a rare gray area. As a part of the appeal process a 10 member peer panel makes the final ruling before going to arbitration. The panel members are ordinary members of Medi-Share and not on the payroll of Medi-Share. If they rule that the medical records show the condition is pre-existing or congenital then the member-voted guidelines are applied and the condition isn’t shared. There is no profit motive for Medi-Share to deny anyone’s medical claims. In the situation of a condition that isn’t eligible for sharing, the members have created a benevolent program called Extra Blessings. A family from my church got over $10,000 of help through the Extra Blessings program 6 years ago. All of the sharing ministries (there are three but Medi-Share provides the most help financially and administratively) exclude pre-existing conditions. One sharing ministry (not Medi-Share) several years ago tried to accept pre-existing conditions and they went bankrupt. To accept pre-existing conditions is essentially to become a charitable organization–not Medi-Share’s mission. Medi-Share is primarily a stewardship program, not a charity. Several people in this thread are wanting to hold Medi-Share to a higher standard than their local church. Your local church also has limits on their benevolent programs and the charity that they can provide. In 17 years of ministry, Medi-Share has paid out over $530 million in medical bills and the program has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau:

  50. John Buerer

    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.

  51. Bryce D. Neier, Atty at Law

    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!

    Bryce Neier

  52. Greg

    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.

  53. Bryce

    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?


  54. John Buerer

    Greg, I have been with Medi-Share a long time and had major claims, and I’m wondering specifically what the problems your friend had with receiving reimbursements for his claims, because it could have been for various reasons that Medi-Share makes clear with participants from the beginning. For instance the organization is a member of the PHCS network of the PPO MultiPlan and reimburses amounts to medical providers accordingly. If your friend received care outside the PPO, then the providers may have sent him bills to cover the differences in costs, whereas providers within the PPO are not supposed to do that, and it may have taken him time to clarify and take care of all that. If your friend thought the providers would bill Medi-Share directly and delayed collecting his bills and sending them in, then payments would be later than he expected. As you see, there are several ways he could have been disappointed if he tried to handle things outside the clear methods. Just to say he was disappointed with late payments overlooks the reasons it happened. I haven’t run into that personally.

  55. Greg

    John, My friend had two separate claims; Both of them were with in-network providers. He did things the right way, so the delayed claims payments were no fault of his own. If you read through the posts here, I think it is plain that this problem of delayed claims payments and the resulting problems (collection agencies) is not very uncommon with Medi-Share members. Maybe I’m wrong to make this assumption. As one person posted, it is important to be very proactive about claims. I think the sharing concept of Medi-Share is great. This seems to be one drawback that hopefully Medi-share will improve.

  56. Naomi

    Based on my perusal of this article and the exclusion criteria made available on Medi-Share’s website, I would highlight an additional hazard for potential participants (and an additional reason for concern that unBiblical principles may be at work): Medi-Share’s blanket exclusion of “Psychiatric or psychological (mental health) counseling, testing, treatment or hospitalization.”

    Apparently the portion of the Evangelical subculture that still stigmatizes mental health disorders has a strong enough voice in the Medi-Share membership to deny coverage of legitimate medical issues that do NOT in any way stem from living an “unBiblical lifestyle.” The suicidally depressed teenager, the mother who suffers a schizophrenic break at 35, the soldier who comes home from Iraq with PTSD — all of these will be forced to cover their own treatment expenses for devastating and even life-threatening illnesses because of… what, exactly? An underlying assumption that “real Christians” don’t suffer from psychiatric problems? You might as well arbitrarily refuse to cover broken bones because “real Christians” aren’t subject to the laws of gravity.

    A tremendous amount of misinformation and superstition around mental health still persists in both the Christian and secular spheres; however, a Christian organization explicitly devoted to providing healthcare through Western medicine has a responsibility to be fully aware of the most accurate medical information available. Medi-Share will continue to make unjust and, yes, unChristian decisions surrounding mental health coverage so long as it continues to fail in this regard.

  57. Judy

    Medi-Share has done nothing wrong by saying they will not cover claims of people who drink and have an accident while intoxicated. It is OK to put that in your guidelines and then stick to it. Jesus set down guidelines. It is not un-Christian to stick to your guidelines that you have laid out. When you sign up with Medi-Share, you are promising to not drink alcohol. If you break rules, there are consequences. When the Highway Department says, “Drink, Drive, Go To Jail”, it would be sad if they never sent people to jail. We would have drunks all over the roads, worse than we have now. Read the scriptures which talk about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. A person who drinks and then expects a company to break rules for them is barking up the wrong tree. This would be considered a form of tough love. Read the stories in the Bible where Christ had tough love. My main point is, that if you sign a contract which says you will not drink because we will not cover if you do, keep your end of the contract, but do not point a finger when they keep their end of the contract. As for the claim that Medi-Share would not pay, an Extra Blessings fund is set up for those instances.

  58. Robert

    I’ve been on the search for health coverage for over 12 years. I have also been self emploeed for a majority of the years. Being a small(emphasis on small)business owner for 7 of those twelve years. I have found that my greatest resource is taking GOD at his word. Having an HSA or any other form of insurance including a medical sharing program is fine and wonderful, but don’t ever exclude the power of the Almighty and his son Jesus to fill in any and all gaps. When the body of Christ comes together as in one heart in prayer and supplication, all things are possible. My point is simple, put your trust back in GOD and he WILL provide. I read all the stories above about the intoxicated man, and how un-charitable it was for his coverage to be denied. Wake up! GOD is a mericful and loving God, but he is also a just God. He forgives us daily of many un-told sins, but he does’nt take away the consequences of those sins every time. When David fell into sin with the tragedy of Bathseba, he was forgiven but still paid a very steep price. David seen his sin and acknowledged it before GOD. David took ownership of his sin and GOD did as he promised in every way. Also remember that Medi-share is a business, and shares are calculated no different than how insurance companies calculate them, risk vs cost. They have to base the value of a monthly share in to proportion of the claims recieved. Insurance companies than add a tremendous amount on for “profit and overhead”, which is un-disclosed except to the board and comptroller. At least medi-share is up front with there math. And let’s not take the responsibility of the exuberante cost of health care away from the Hospitals and Physicians to, they to have lost sight of the hypocritical oath! I am a general contractor by trade and have seen first hand the vast greed in the health care industry. I could send you pictures of some homes along with the ammeneties that are built for these people. WOW does sin abide! Doctors, lawyers, executives on the rampage without any Jesus to pilot there ship but there own sin nature. I conclussion, if medi-share accepted every pre-exsisting condition and did’nt operate with good wisdom and stewardship, many people wouild not be able to afford medi-share at all. Satan would win, the company would go bankrupt and thousands would loss in the end!
    Just chew on this for awhile!
    Thanks, In Christ service,

  59. Eldon Martin

    My wife and I have used both Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries. My wife’s first C-section was covered by Medi-Share. The money came through just fine, but there was a long wait. We become pretty uncomfortable because we felt the hospital should not have to wait that long (it was several months). We would have paid for it ourselves and had Medi-Share simply reimburse us, but some friends of ours tried that and waited more than a year to get their money. We switched to Samaritan before our second child and our experience with them was much better. Since we are the saving type, we simply paid the bill out of our savings and waited about two months to get reimbursed by the other members. Others we know have had good luck with Medi-Share, but we like Samaritan better.

  60. Billy

    I am a 59 year old male who was laid off 2 years ago. Since then I have only been able to get temporary part time work which doesn’t have health insurance. I had been looking at Medishare for the 2 years since I got laid off. But I was able to get my same medical plan as my former employer, an HMO with very low out of pocket and no deductible, for only $120.00 a month. This was due to the stimulus plan. In October, my HMO coverage was continued for another 18 months, but at $475.00 a month. Suddenly I became interested in alternatives to COBRA coverage. The Medishare plan of $360.00 a month with a $1,250.00 annual deductible does look appealing.

    I have had high blood pressure, controlled with medication for over 20 years. I wasn’t expecting them to cover that. I can get my medications from Wal Mart, Target or Wal Greens for $20.00 for a 90 day supply. That isn’t a concern for me.

    I applied for Medishare, and answered their questionnaire on-line about two weeks ago. A few days later I applied for Anthem Blue Cross. Although, Blue Cross has a a deductible of 3,300 per year (then pays 60% until you reach a total out of pocket of $6,800 per year) the premium is only $293 a month (that is with a 25% up-charge over the quoted rate for my pre-existing condition). Although the total out of pocket on Blue Cross is high, it does cover 2 routine doctor visits per year without needing to meet the deductible. Medishare doesn’t cover routine visits.

    I have already been approved by Blue Cross and received my ID cards for coverage starting March 1. If I accept Blue Cross I can cancel the COBRA effective Feb 28.

    Blue Cross was OK with going with my doctor’s records from my last visit in August. However, Medishare wants me to visit my doctor to get my current weight verified (I weigh 165 now, but in August I weighed 170. But at 5’8 inches the 170 is not over weight). They also want my doctor to verify my height, waist size and blood pressure, even though my doctor has 20 years of records on these. They even go as far as recommending I take a tape measure with me to my doctor visit. I guess doctors don’t often measure waist size. No problem with that. But is my current health plan going to pay for my office visit to get these things verified for my new health plan? If not it is $140.00 for an office visit.

    I paid Medishare $50.00 for an application fee. But if I am approved I will owe them not only my first months premium (share) of $360.00, but another additional fee of $125.00 approval fee in addition to the already paid $50.00, plus whatever the doctor’s visit will cost. So the first month isn’t cheap.
    Also note that the first month with Medishare I am not covered for any medical expense sharing for the first month, except for an accident. That is limited to $50,000. Except for the high blood pressure I have been healthy and not in the hospital since July 31 1966 (yes, since before we landed on the moon!).

    If I go with Medishare the first month will be very expensive:
    $50.00 application fee
    $125.00 fee, plus the first month share of $360.00
    Plus $475.00 to my old insurance company for my COBRA coverage to be continued for another month since Medishare does not pay for any medial expenses the first month (except as noted above). So, basically I am paying for double medical coverage the first month.
    Total first month cost: $475 + $50 + $125 + 360 = $1,010

    That $1,010 will pay 3-1/2 months of Blue Cross premiums.

    The only reason for anyone over age 40 to ever needs health insurance is to not worry about their life savings wiped out in case of a medical catastrophe. The older you get the more likely you are to have a major medical event. I don’t want to spend a week or 2 in the hospital and come out with a $250,000 bill that will wipe out my savings (because basically that is all I am living on now) or require me to file for bankruptcy.
    Despite the various opinions on whether the medical expenses of the drunk driver should have been covered, my main concern is if I have a major medial event due to no fault of my own, am I going to be covered? The stories I’ve read about calls from collection agencies, the 2 years it took to pay a $70,000 bill, and the lady with the tail bone issue have me thinking this Medishare is not a good way to cover yourself against unexpected large medical expenses.

    If I am approved and 6 months from now I need heart bypass surgery are they going to try to get out of paying because I already have high blood pressure? (which is controlled with medication). Remember people with normal blood pressure have heart issues.

    If they do pay, will I need to put up with 2 years of collection calls and threat of lawsuits before it is paid off? Someone recovering from a major health issue doesn’t need the additional grief of worrying: “Are my bills going to get paid or are they going to take my house to cover my bill?”

  61. Charlie

    I was happy to hear of such a plan that appears to Glorify God. I would love to participate but my chronic illnesses since childhood would prevent acceptance. So I’m sticking with the plan Jesus picked out for me and the great retirement plan too.

  62. Oriana Hammerstrom

    I’m coming in a little late to the discussion, but I wanted to address a comment by Sgillesp regarding “retail” medical care. I recently went through a hospitalization as an uninsured patient and every billing department I dealt with except the labs offered a 30% discount for cash payment and an additional 10% if you were able to pay within 30 days. Which makes a person wonder who is paying retail?

  63. Michael

    I have had some issues with insurance in the past. I currently have a simple plan with a somewhat hefty deductible, and I wanted to look into other options. The Medi-share plan seemed appealing since it is a “Christian” organization and supposedly non-profit.

    When I contacted Medi-share, I was informed about all the perks and benefits which would lead any discerning individual to consider this as a viable option. We went over a few prerequisites such as no smoking, leading a moral life as defined by the bible, etc. All of this is fine for me in terms of my belief system and personal morals. We then went over a few medical related questions, and the issue of pre-existing conditions came up.

    Without sounding like a hypochondriac, I can say that I have a few medical issues which requires regular medication and probably will for the foreseeable future. All issues are hereditary and cannot be traced to any lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, none of these ailments, one of which is asthma (which has placed me in the hospital in the past) is supported by Medi-share unless I have not had any recurrence (including maintenance medication) for at least three years. My medication doesn’t have a generic form and is very expensive. I cannot simply give it up for three years in order to have it covered.

    While Mr. McNair was very friendly over the phone, he could offer little in the way of comfort for my pre-existing problems. He did mention that there is a plan for if I were to incur a medical expense over $2,500 in one instance (i.e. hospitalization), but seeing as how I almost didn’t survive such an encounter last time, I am reluctant to depend on such a “perk”.

    All in all, Medi-share seems like a very viable and good health-care program so long as the applicant is healthy and has no issues that can cause problems in the near future. I was truly hoping for an affordable alternative to insurance, but it seems that Medi-share is the same as any other insurance plan as far as coverage and care are concerned.

    For now I will stick with my current insurance. As simple as it is, it does cover my asthma and all its treatments (once I pay off my deductible). Hopefully, in the future, there might be a Christian organization that truly will help those who really need an alternative to insurance.

  64. Brenda

    I am seriously looking into the Med-Share “plan” and based on comments in this thread regarding payment of claims I contacted the company to ask about this. I was told that they didn’t have a current “report” that showed the data about how long it is taking to pay claims but that “about a year ago they were paying in 83 days” and they were working on improving the time. This is very close to 3 months! I find this appalling and unacceptable that doctors have to wait that long and it affects the patient to doctor relationship. I asked for a current report and they have not replied, nor have they even acknowledged my request. This is really poor customer service. I gave them this link to read up on what people have to say about their experiences with them.

  65. Sheryl

    I need someone’s advice. Please help, if you can.

    I’m a fairly healthy 62-yo single woman with moderately high BP, controlled with medication. I’m self-employed and my Blue Cross premium for myself alone recently went up to $850/month! Ugh. I don’t see how I can continue making these premium payments. I’m barely covering my basic living expenses.

    I’m considering Medi-Share. I have read EVERY post above dating back to June, 2009, so no need to go back over ground already covered. However, I wonder if anyone can/will succinctly answer these questions.

    1. With Medi-Share, what’s the very worst that could happen?
    2. If I give up my Blue Cross insurance, I will be considered uninsured, right? Which means I will never again qualify for health insurance, correct?
    3. What happens when I turn 65 and qualify for Medicare?
    4. Is the additional plan for prescription meds worthwhile?

    Thanks for your experience and insights.

    • Bevie Resmondo

      If you get a supplement once you are on Medicare, then you will still need a policy for prescriptions. The supplement is very expensive but if you go to specialist on a regular monthly basis then it will probably be worth your while. If you don’t go to specialist all that often, then an Advantage plan would most likely do for you. They take care of everything including meds. You may or may not have a small co-pay for your primary dr. If you go to a specialist, you will have a larger co-pay. Mine is $45.00. I have no co-pay for my primary. I have an HMO so I get referrals from my primary to go to a specialist. I cannot afford a supplement so the advantage plans are best for me. When you reach 65 years of age, your existing conditions do not matter. Sheryl, I just saw the date on your question so I guess that you are now old enough for Medicare. Still, I hope this helps you. I used to be an insurance agent so I am pretty much able to figure all this out. You will need to figure out the costs and what is best for you.

  66. Mary

    Not a good idea if you have a claim. Although the intentions may be sincere, the talk definitely is not the walk. Just try to get an approval for a medical procedure (which takes two months or more just to be reviewed) or try to get a claim paid. Experience speaks volumes. Good intentions are just what they are until put into action. I have yet to see this.

  67. Billy

    Sheryl, Since my last post on Feb 13, I decide to go with Anthem Blue Cross.
    I am a healthy male, 59 years old with moderately high blood pressure that is controlled with medication. I also have a past history of slightly elevated cholesterol but it has been normal the past 2 annual checkups. They are however charging me a 25% premium surcharge for my pre-existing conditions. But my monthly premium is only $294.00 a month. I do have to pay two months at a time though.

    The way to lower your monthly premium is to raise your deductible. My deductible is basically $6,900 a year. But they do allow two office visits per year for a $40.00 co-pay without meeting the deductible. If you are basically healthy you probably only go to the doctor twice a year anyway.

    I said basically $6,900 a year because it works like this: $3,900 a year deductible. After that is met, they pay 60% until your total out of pocket is $6,900. Then they pay 100%. There is no cap. I know $6,900 is a lot of money, but it is better than a $50,000 medical bill and no insurance. Most people can fit $6,900 on a credit card.

    To answer your questions: “1. With Medi-Share, what’s the very worst that could happen?”
    You have a large medical bill that doesn’t get paid in a timely manner and you are sued. Medishare does pay claims, but sometimes it takes them a while to pay the entire amount. I know large insurance companies are slow at paying too. But everyone has heard of Blue Cross. If you are unknown you sometimes need to do better than the known companies.

    “2. If I give up my Blue Cross insurance, I will be considered uninsured, right? Which means I will never again qualify for health insurance, correct?”
    Yes, you will be uninsured. It won’t prevent you from qualifying for insurance but the rate could be higher. Medishare emphases they are not insurance. When my past insurance plans have ended, because my employer switched companies, the insurance company always sent me a Certificate of Prior Insurance. You won’t be getting that should you end your Medishare plan.

    “What happens when I turn 65 and qualify for Medicare?”
    In three years Medishare should have Medicare supplement plan. I was told their board of directors were working on getting a plan in place but they don’t have one now.

  68. Tracey

    We are presently with Medi-Share and have been for about 3 years. We have only used it once, when my husband cut his finger open in a welding accident. It was finally taken care of (less our responsibility portion) about a year later. Also, when my husband turned 55 our rates went up. I have recently found something very similar, called Christian Healthcare Ministries, which operates on the same principle, only it will cost me $250/mo less and the price does not increase as we age. So I have decided to switch.

    • David

      Have you used the Christian Healthcare Ministries organization yet? I’m curious as to your experience with them.
      Thank you!

  69. JVarner

    I would greatly discourage any one from this plan. Everything that has been submitted to this plan has been rejected as a pre-existing condition, even things that were clearly not pre-existing. There really is no one watching over them to keep them honest. All of this doesn’t even come close to what you may be used to with a “regular” health insurance plan.

  70. AJ

    Good initial article.
    I’m a current representative with Medi-Share (was formerly an insurance agent) and my job is to essentially answer questions pertaining to the program and to help people determine if Medi-Share is the right choice for them in a casual, conversational manner. Oftentimes information can get twisted, and some posts I read through were out-dated as Medi-Share has made continual improvements (Offering a medicare supplement in August this year). I’m not posting to sell you on Medi-Share, but offering my contact information so you can receive direct answers to direct questions.
    I’m happy to help. 1-800-772-5623 extension #2350

  71. AlohaJason

    I would like to remind anyone reading this that having health insurance or sharing healthcare costs is not a license to be negligent of taking care of yourself and constantly educating yourself on how to do so. I believe that the basics of eating right and exercise on a consistent basis is crucial for OPTIMAL health. (Remember Daniel??) Note I say OPTIMAL, not just problem free. Of course, dealing with spiritual side of things by keeping faith in the Ultimate Healer and doing your part to deal with stress and promptly forgiving those that hurt you or forgiving yourself. Spiritual issues affect the body.

    Without getting too deep, I would suggest (if not happening already) that Medi-share would have spiritual counselors or health consultants that would work with people with healthcare needs. Ideally, these can should be in your community and local church. True sharing not only means our monthly dues, but our time, space, things, food, expertise, knowledge, kind words for brothers and sisters in the Faith. Anyway, having a doctor hotline could help offset costs from your deductible (instead of running to a doctor every time something comes up). One I’ve used and recommend is Life Extension Foundation, which is only $75/yr and whose doctors have a both a traditional and natural medicine understanding. You call in a talk to a doctor, tell them your symptoms, and they’ll give you recommendations. If its serious, they’ll tell you to see a doctor in person. Or you can ask questions for other people or about long term issues.

    My point is take charge of your own health. Do your own homework. I am looking for an “insurance” plan that would be around $50/mo since I would require only coverage for emergencies. Checkups and such I believe should be out of pocket.

    • Nikki

      Christian Care Ministry actually does have a commitment to health in the ways you describe and there are health coaches for members who are in the Restore program. Non-Medi-Share Members can also be a part of Restore. Here’s a link about the program:

  72. Rick Bogani

    I am a heath insurance agent in Florida. I have been selling all forms of health insurance since 1986. I find Medi-Share to be very intriguing and potentially a great way to reduce cost yet I have some reservations. I am considering joining (I did put in my application) but after reading all the details in the material I received, I find that there could be some very slippery ground. Or course from a spiritual standpoint the concept is phenominal (with the exception of the pre-existing condition stance) yet from a worldly view there seems to be verbiage that would raise huge caution flags to me if I were dealing with an insurance company. The premesis of living a bilically based lifestyle sounds great but from a worldly perspective, my concern is that it may also be a clever avenue to get out of claim payments while standing behind Faith Based reasoning. The other concern I have is that with Medishare, if things don’t work and I drop from participating, Im concerned there could be a loss of the big benefit of pre-existing condition coverage takeover. In Florida, pre-esisting conditions are fully covered on group health plans as long as you are coming from another health insurance plan with no more than a 62 day lapse in coverage. I am not sure if Medishare qualifies as prior health insurance especially since they themselves say they are not health insurance. What this means to me is that if someone were to come onto this plan and for any reason it doesnt work out, they will no longer have the ability to get on a group health plan and have any pre-existing conditions accepted. That frightens me and one of the main reasons I have not fully bought into this yet. Finally (I’m really bearing my heart here), IF they are TRULY in the spirit and IF they are TRULY in their hearts acting through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then I’d jump right on the program and tell all my friends to do so too. However if at their core they maintain a business mindset and not a spiritual mindset than the pre-existing condition limitations and exclusions, “life style stances” and heavy underwriting causes me great concern. If they maintain a business mindset behind the closed doors and not a spiritual mindest, I’d personally run as fast as I could from this program. I think under this scenario, they could wrestle out of any large claim based on tecnhicalities or rules. I am actively researching wheter or not there has been any significant complaint history to try to put this concern to ease. With an insurance contract , although probably more expensive I feel there is more black and white to operate within. I still may move ahead with membership but after much more research. If I feel at peace in my heart with Medishare after my due diligence, I will become their largest advocate! I have to pray more about this decision and obtain a peace that I am resting my health care in the hands of a truly Spirit led ministry and not a business. I’d love to be able to move forward because from first appearance, it looks great to me; just checking under the hood.

    • Karen

      Rick – Have you found any other pros/cons with your research or concerns from an insurance agents’ point of view? Did you sign up with Medi-Share?

  73. Mike

    Find this to be as bogus and self-serving as any other health care/ supplemental provider. You are eligible as long as “they” determine you will not need care. You get the income support as long as everybody agress to pay it (a very self-serving approach). I am not a Bible scholar, but I do believe carrying the burdon of your brothers means helping those with the greatest need, not those that can afford to pay or the ones the group decides to help. I wouldn’t touch this program with a 10-foot pole.

  74. Lynn

    Does MediShare negotiate with hospitals and doctors before paying bills like insurance companies do?

  75. Nikki

    Medi-Share uses a network of PPOs to keep shares down and also negotiates bills for the members.