Patient reviewing chart with doctor
Health insurance plans under the ACA and health sharing ministries differ considerably.

Paying for a doctor’s visit, medical procedure, or hospital stay is extremely expensive and financially out of reach for many Americans. While private health insurance policies exist, even these can cost thousands of dollars every year. This has left millions of Americans without adequate medical care coverage.  

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was established to extend health care coverage to uninsured Americans who are otherwise unable to pay for medical costs or health care insurance. Individuals who may not have been able to afford private health insurance or who were uninsurable as a result of pre-existing conditions were now able to obtain health insurance coverage through state or federal health insurance portals.

There are significant limitations to the ACA and the health insurance coverage that are required under the act. Fortunately, Americans now have other alternatives to both government-funded and private health insurance policies with programs provided by healthcare sharing ministries.

The question is, how do ACA health plans and health sharing programs differ from one another?


Health insurance plans under the ACA are bound to the act’s policies, which require that everyone is accepted into plans. Even those in poor health or who currently have pre-existing conditions must be accepted.

On the other hand, health sharing programs are not required to abide by those ACA regulations. Instead, eligibility for membership is dictated by the specific ministry’s standards and protocols.

That means that members of health sharing programs have peace of mind knowing that their voluntary monthly contributions are made to a pool of funds that is based on health levels and lifestyles. They can share medical care costs with other like-minded people rather than having to contribute to an insurance pool that must be shared among those in poor health or who lead alternative lifestyles with which members may not always agree.


Health insurance programs typically restrict policyholders in terms of the list of physicians and health care facilities that can be visited. The types of medications available are also limited.

Members of health sharing ministries, in contrast, are free to choose whomever they wish from a huge nationwide network of providers to see without compromising coverage.

Patient reviewing chart with doctor
Health sharing programs are more affordable and flexible than ACA health insurance plans.


Insurance premiums for health insurance can be very expensive, and the high deductible can also make out-of-pocket costs for insurance far too much for some households to afford. In 2020, the average health insurance premium for ACA plans was $456 for individuals and $1,152 for families.

Monthly contributions to health sharing programs can be a lot lower than the cost of health insurance premiums. In fact, members of health sharing ministries can save as much as 30% to 40% compared to the cost of conventional health insurance plans.

Although both ACA-mandated health plans and health sharing programs are available to Americans to help cover the cost of medical care, they differ significantly.If you are looking for a different way to cover healthcare costs for you and your family, get in touch with a representative from USHealthShare today to discuss your options and learn how to share the health.