If you have been considering the alternatives you have to standard healthcare insurance, you should read this Medi-Share Review. It provides a basic explanation of the scheme, how it works, the benefits and the drawbacks. After reading it, you should be able to decide if you want to apply to join over 40,000 members who are now using Medi-Share to take care of their medical expenses.
What is Medi-Share?
Medi-share is a program that helps Christians to pay for their medical expenses through the sharing of resources. Since it was established by the Christian Care Ministry in 1993, Medi-Share has provided a platform for Christian believers to share over $900 million worth of medical bills.
Medi-Share is founded on the biblical New Testament principles of sharing and caring for one another through a common pool of funds. It is based on the following Bible verses (taken from the New International Version):
Acts 4:32 – All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”
Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:28 – He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Although the Medi-Share website clearly states that it is not insurance, it is a scheme whose operations are similar to healthcare insurance. However, Medi-Share is much bigger than healthcare. It is a unique community of Christian believers who are committed to praying for one another, through the support and coordination of a ministry that delivers vital healthcare knowledge and education while upholding biblical standards of living.
How Medi-Share Works
Medi-Share provides seven options from which you can pick one that suits your budget. Each option has an Annual Household Portion (AHP) that serves like a deductible. Each AHP requires a monthly payment known as the share amount. For you to know your monthly share payment, you need to provide two important data items on the Share Calculator webpage: the number of participants and the date of birth of the oldest person. Then you will be taken to a webpage that displays the seven options and the corresponding monthly payments. An example for two participants with the oldest person born in November 1975 is shown below:
AHP SMS (HMS)
$500 N/A (N/A)
$1250 $626 ($500)
$2500 $506 ($409)
$3750 $407 ($330)
$5000 $351 ($285)
$7500 $265 ($216)
$10000 $197 ($156)
AHP – Annual Household Portion
SMS – Standard Monthly Share
HMS – Healthy (Discounted) Monthly Share
The discounted healthy monthly share is provided as an incentive to encourage you to live a healthier life and cut down on your medical bills.
New Medi-Share members need to pay a one-time membership of $120 along with the initial monthly share payment. Also, there’s a setup fee of $5 for the American Christian Credit Union sharing account.
All applicants are expected to undergo basic medical examination to determine their health status, and they must have stopped using any kind of illegal drug or tobacco at least 12 months before applying. In addition, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:
- Adhere to a written statement of faith and possess a verifiable testimony of Christian living
- Be an active, disciplined, financial member of a registered Christian fellowship
- Abstain from sex outside marriage and treat the body as the holy temple of the Spirit of God
How Members Share Medical Expenses
Here is a brief outline of the medical bill sharing process when you become a member.
1. Need Notification: You get a monthly share notice to make the monthly share contribution (either standard or healthy) to meet the needs of other members.
2. Call to Pray: You are asked to pray for the members you are sharing with, you may even send them some comforting words to encourage them through internal mail or by public email.
3. Call to Give: You may give “Extra Blessings” (beyond your regular monthly share) to members who have needs that can’t be covered by standard shares.
4. Deposit Your Shares: You pay your shares and extra blessings to your ACCU account
5. ACCU Processes Shares: ACCU sends the shares you’ve paid to CCM and deducts their admin fees.
6. CCM Processes Shares: CCM matches your share and those of other members with the needs that were published. The shares are then transferred between various members’ accounts to meet the eligible needs. Then CCM issues a check to the Provider to cover a member’s medical bills.
How Your Medical Needs are Met
1. If you have a medical event such as an accident, injury or illness, you should approach a medical care provider. CCM advices you to approach a provider, who is part of the network, so you can qualify for a discount.
2. You present your Medi-Share card to the provider. Then you use the online form on the website to send a notice to Medi-Share.
3. The provider sends the medical bills to Medi-Share for processing.
Which Medical Expenses Are Covered?
The beauty of this scheme is that if you become a member, you can vote and decide along with others on the type of expenses that the scheme should cover. The expenses that members agree to cover are called eligible needs. However, there are standing rules that regulate bills pertaining to overweight persons. The scheme does not cover abortions or drug abuse. But Medi-Share can provide cover worth $1 million dollars annually for individuals who are below 65 years.
If you are trying to decide whether this particular Christian healthcare insurance’ scheme will be suitable for you, here is a brief review of its pros and cons.
- The scheme is very stable with proven results and testimonials. In fact, it has been in operation for about 20 years and the rates have remained stable for the past 5 years
- You will enjoy discounts on your bills anytime you use networked care providers, but you are also at liberty to select your own doctors
- Significant cost savings have been reported by members with several families saving up to $2000 annually in insurance premiums
- You have the privilege to know exactly what your money is being used for. This is not possible with standard healthcare insurance
- The rules of the scheme are set by the members
- There is a referral program called “Refer-a-friend” that pays you $100 when your friend becomes a member
- Joining this scheme exempts you, by law, from compulsory healthcare insurance
- It is restrictive and it is only available to users who will adhere strictly to the principles of the Christian faith
- It does not cover the treatment of routine medical bills beyond your AHP
- You need to pay an obligatory $30 fee in cash any time you see your healthcare provider
- It only covers the treatment of HIV and AIDS when they were contracted through blood transfusion
- If you are overweight, you are not eligible for treatment of diabetes or heart related ailments
- Some prospective members consider the strict Christian rules as an invasion of their privacy
In summary, the Medi-Share healthcare scheme will be of immense benefit to a committed Christian believer who is already (or is ready to start) practicing the basic biblical principles of giving, prayer, self discipline, healthy eating, and sexual purity. Medi-Share also provides special support for Seniors through their Senior Assist Program. However, those who are not active members of a Christian fellowship or cannot abstain from sex outside marriage and treat their bodies as the temple of God should not bother to apply.