Back on April 27th I wrote about cancelling our health insurance and joining Medi-Share from Christian Care Ministry, a Christian healthcare sharing ministry where members share each other’s medical expenses. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me about Medi-Share or gripe about their current escalating insurance premiums. My wife and I have been with Medi-Share for about a year now, so I thought I would give you an update on our experience with them so far.
As of April 27th: They have been around since 1993 and have 189,000 members.
Update: They are now a year older and have over 214,000 members and growing. You can follow their growth on Facebook.
As of April 27th: Medi-Share meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care).
Update: It still meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
As of April 27th: We share and believe in the core beliefs of the organization.
Update: We signed a Testimony & Commitment form, which includes a Statement of Faith and lifestyle commitments which aligns with our beliefs. You can find the specifics on their website.
As of April 27th: We kept all our doctors. Medi-Share is part of the PHCS PPO network.
Update: We have used Medi-Share several times with our current doctors, paying a $35 office visit, with bills being submitted just like our previous health insurance process.
As of April 27th: Medical bill processing is handled the same way as traditional insurance coverage.
Update: The bills are submitted to Medi-Share for evaluation. Bills are discounted accordingly through PHCS just like traditional insurance. I have found the discounted rate to be very much in line with traditional insurance discounts. A very clear and concise explanation of benefits (EOB) is posted on the Medi-Share website and then sent to the provider. We then pay our provider the balance on the bill because we haven’t reached our Annual Household Portion, which is the same as the deductible for health insurance.
(Side note-Upon receiving the final balance, I have called the provider and negotiated a 10% discount on several bills simply by asking for a “better price”. This is between me and the provider.)
As of April 27th: There is complete transparency of how payments are received and allocated.
Update: We receive monthly updates of when our monthly portion (premium) is received and when our monthly portion is shared to help our Christian brothers and sisters. As part of the update we are given the opportunity to pray for specific individuals who receive funds for eligible sharing.
As of April 27th: Almost without exception your calls are answered promptly. Yes, with a real person.
Update: I have called Medi-Share several times over the last few months and I can’t tell you what a joy it is to talk to someone about medical expenses who is truly concerned about helping me and my family.
As of April 27th: That same real person will offer to pray for you and your family.
Update: Every time I call, an offer is made to pray with me or for me. Let me assure you, the prayers offered are not “canned talking points”. These are truly Godly individuals praying for you.
As of April 27th: Monthly we are invited to pray and write cards to fellow members facing medical difficulties.
Update: This is a meaningful prayer opportunity that we try to honor.
As of April 27th: A financial good health incentive is offered after the first month. In our case, it reduced our monthly portion/premiums by 20%.
Update: This is an annual incentive that can be achieved by obtaining certain healthy standards. In January we’ll re-apply for the incentive. Hopefully my waist will be below 38”. Doesn’t it make a lot of sense to reward a person for a healthy lifestyle?
As of April 27th: The overall benefits far out-weighed the trade off to pay for some healthcare expenses not covered by Medi-Share.
Update: Medi-Share doesn’t cover preventive care, i.e. annual physicals. Medi-Share only covers prescription drugs related to eligible treatment for up to six months. There are sharing limitations for certain pre-existing conditions. You can get clarification on their website site or call a representative for any explanation.
As of April 27th: And yes, we saved over $11,000 a year in premiums. Our monthly portion/premium is now $285 a month instead of $1,268 with a similar type deductible which Medi-Share calls “AHP”, Annual Household Portion.
Update: At my birthday anniversary there was a slight increase, but the $285 a month is still greatly reduced compared to the $1,268 a month we were paying at the end of last year. I assume if we had stayed with our previous insurance provider another premium rate hike was coming this year. Connie and I feel so blessed by this organization that we send in an extra $50 a month to their Extra Blessings program to help those who have medical needs not met by the program. When was the last time you heard of someone sending in extra money to their insurance company?
Certainly there is a lot more to understanding Medi-Share than I’ve addressed in this blog and my previous April 27th blog. I encourage you to visit the Medi-Share website for a complete understanding of healthcare sharing versus traditional health insurance and to fully understand their respective requirements for membership.
As I stated before, this is not an endorsement, but simply telling our story. Medi-Share is not for everyone. You can decide after your own research if this type of program has benefit for you and your family. All I can tell you is Medi-Share works for me and my family.
And one final note: Medi-Share is more than just saving significant dollars. It helps us to create financial margin in our life that can be returned to our church, community and world through tithing and giving.
Before you hurry on with the rest of your day, do you know someone who is struggling to pay their insurance premiums or simply looking for a new approach? If so, forward my blog to them, and thank you. And as always, I would be glad to answer any questions or put you in contact with my representative.