As the cost of traditional health insurance continues to soar, more Americans are choosing to make the switch to Christian health sharing. Today, millions of individuals and families participate in faith-based health sharing programs and are saving hundreds of dollars each month in the process.
Even with its rising popularity, Christian health sharing may be a relatively new concept for many. To help you understand these innovative programs, here are answers to commonly asked questions about faith-based health sharing.
How is Christian Health Sharing Different than Traditional Insurance?
Faith-based health share programs operate as non-profits, and use a completely different model than traditional insurance, including ACA health plans. Christian health sharing isn’t subject to the same mandates and stringent regulations as traditional health plans, which allows more freedom for people to choose the healthcare services they want.
In a Christian health share program, participants agree to share healthcare expenses across all members, which can often result in significantly lower monthly costs. Unlike traditional health plans and Obamacare, Christian health sharing also offers a close-knit community of people who share similar beliefs and who are there to support each other during challenging times.
Who Can Join a Christian Health Share Program?
Christian-based health share ministries welcome individuals and families who share similar Christian values and beliefs, and who live by Biblical principles. Members also typically agree to embrace healthy lifestyle choices that can help keep costs low.
How Is Medical Billing Handled with Christian Health Sharing?
In most cases, the Christian health sharing program will facilitate and negotiate the cost of eligible medical expenses on behalf of their members, once a request is submitted. Some Christian health share programs require their members to negotiate medical bills themselves, so be sure to ask how the billing and payment for medical expenses are handled.
Do Christian Health Sharing Programs Help Lower the Cost of Prescription Medications?
Different faith-based health sharing programs offer different approaches when it comes to prescription medication. When comparing Christian health share programs, look for one that allows the cost of prescriptions to be distributed among members and/or one that offers discounts on prescription drugs.
Will I Be Able to Choose My Own Doctor with Christian Health Sharing?
Many faith-based health sharing programs offer a wide nationwide network of providers, which means you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to choose the doctor and provider you want.
Do Christian Health Sharing Programs Accept Members with Pre-Existing Conditions?
Christian health share programs vary in what pre-existing medical conditions they accept. In many instances, members of a faith-based health share program will decide whether to “cover” someone’s medical condition, and there may be a waiting period while the decision is being made.
However, keep in mind that people who have pre-existing conditions do participate in Christian health care sharing ministries, and that some health sharing programs will even provide access to services that can help manage chronic conditions. So don’t rule yourself out.
What If I Fall Ill or Have an Accident?
Life happens. It’s a good idea to look for a faith-based health sharing ministry program that offers options to help with the costs of long-term illness and unexpected accidents. As part of a Christian community of people who agree to look out for one another, you’ll have the support of your fellow members.
How Do I Choose the Right Christian Health Share Program?
There are a wide range of faith-based health sharing ministries out there and choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. To start, look for reputable, established health sharing programs that have independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, and that are based on Christian religious values that align with yours.
Other factors to consider when researching health care sharing programs include monthly costs and deductibles; the size of the provider network; availability of telehealth options, wellness programs, and preventative care; limits on provider visits and cost per visit; and options for discounts on medications, vision and dental services.
If you’re not sure how to go about selecting a Christian health share program, start your search here.