My family and I have had a Christian Health Sharing program with “Samaritan Ministries” for almost 2 years now. We first learned of this specific program through our local church. Several families at the church had been with Samaritan for many years. We were initially attracted to Christian Health Sharing because:
- It is a health coverage program in which our money did not go to a giant insurance company, but rather, went directly to other Christians to support their medical needs.
- The prices were much less than we were paying for major medical health insurance and the company was highly recommended by many of our friends.
- Our family was healthy with no preexisting conditions.
- We were planning on having more children and the coverage for pregnancy was excellent.
This particular health sharing program worked quite different than any type of health insurance we had used before. With it, we are cash paying customers, we have to file and submit our own bills for reimbursement, we send our monthly check to a specific person for a specific health need, and we receive checks directly from other members for our submitted needs. We also pay for normal doctor visits out of pocket, only submitting a claim when we have a covered health need that went above $300. This does create a number of unique challenges, such as, making sure we had the money to self-pay (although they do have programs you can use for bigger bills) and my wife spends more time collecting/publishing bills and writing checks. But, in our experience, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Medishare is another Christian Health Sharing program and they deal directly with the providers for bills. This would make it easier for my wife and so we have considered switching to them for our Christian Health Sharing. We are agents for Medishare here at Georgia Health Insurance and we think they have a great program.
One of our favorite aspects of Christian Health Sharing is that we get to help other Christians. We know what medical issue our money is going to support, and we are encouraged to write a note and pray for the individual we are supporting. This personal touch stands in stark contrast to traditional health insurance. We also have complete control of the doctors we choose to visit as we are cash customers wherever we go; there is no restricted network of providers. We enjoyed getting cards from other members and knowing that they were praying for us when we had our latest child.
We have also enjoyed the lower prices, and we just got a reduction in our monthly cost! That is almost unheard of in a world where health insurance costs are always rising. We pay more for our normal doctor visits but since we are generally healthy we do not need to go to the doctor often. In exchange, we have lower monthly costs and we have very low out of pocket expenses when we go to the doctor for something major (like having a child). We just had a child and we ended up only paying $300 for everything!
Christian Health Sharing is not for everyone. There are major considerations such as coverage for preexisting conditions, certain medical conditions that are excluded from coverage, coverage type and classification, etc…that would preclude many for getting a Christian Health Sharing plan such as Samaritan Ministries or Medishare. Christian Health Sharing is a different way to go about covering your health needs and it works great for some people. Either way it is nice to have more options for health care.
If you are interested to know more about Christian Health Sharing, give us a call and we can see if Christian Health Sharing would be a good fit for you.