Healthcare costs in the U.S. soared to $11,172 per capita in 2018, and have only increased in recent years1. A good chunk of those costs can be attributed to health insurance. In 2018, the average American paid $3,400 for health insurance — almost twice as much as they paid in the mid-1980s2. As that cost continues to rise, many Americans are looking for ways to lower expenses without sacrificing the quality of care.
One of the fastest growing alternatives to costly traditional health insurance is Christian health sharing programs. By 2018, an estimated 1 million Americans had switched to Christian health sharing, up from 200,000 Americans in 20103. To understand why people are turning to Christian health sharing, let’s take a closer look at what these innovative programs have to offer.
Christian health sharing programs — also known as healthcare sharing ministries — are faith-based, non-profit organizations that distribute healthcare costs across all their members. Faith-based health sharing programs typically require members to share the organization’s Christian belief systems, follow Biblical principals in their daily lives, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Many Christians choose faith-based health sharing programs to be part of a supportive community of people who share their values and embrace religious freedom. Along with a likeminded community and fellowship, members of healthcare sharing ministries also enjoy a wide range of advantages not found with traditional health insurance plans.
By spreading healthcare costs across members, Christian health sharing programs can significantly lower your healthcare-related expenses and make quality care more affordable. Many faith-based health sharing programs have also adopted telehealth options, which can drive costs down even further while making healthcare services more convenient and accessible.
What’s more, faith-based health sharing members are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pay for medical services they won’t end up using. Instead, members have the option to choose from a variety of program levels based on their individual healthcare needs and budget. Because of these combined features, Christian health sharing program members can potentially save hundreds of dollars each month over traditional health insurance plans.
Along with telehealth options, many faith-based health share programs offer their members a wide range of tools and resources to help them proactively manage their own health. This holistic, whole-person approach to healthcare includes dedicated care teams, online patient portals, and tools to help with mental health as well as healthy lifestyle habits. All of which make Christian health sharing an attractive option for anyone who wants more control over their own healthcare as well as costs.
More Flexibility and Choice
Many Americans are attracted to healthcare sharing ministries because of the greater freedom and flexibility they offer. With a wide provider network, faith-based health sharing programs give their members an excellent choice of doctors. In fact, 95% of medical care providers in the U.S. are part of Christian health sharing networks, and 90% of pharmacies accept health sharing programs4.
While traditional insurance plans offer a limited window to enroll — called Open Enrollment — members can join a faith-based health sharing program at any time throughout the year. And with Christian health sharing, you have the freedom to live by your religious beliefs and values without being financially penalized for doing so. You also have the freedom to make your own healthcare choices for you and your family.
If you’re looking for an alternative to inflexible and overpriced traditional health insurance, Christian health sharing may be a good alternative for you. Explore your options and learn more here.