Healthcare sharing ministries aka medical cost sharing is beneficial when combined with a Direct Primary Care practice.
Healthcare sharing ministries have many advantages for patients willing to be responsible for their own health care and cost decisions.
While this is not health insurance, members of these sharing plans are exempt from the ACA requirements and exempt from the tax penalty for not having ACA qualified insurance. There are no network requirements and you are able to choose your doctor freely. When you enroll you will receive a healthcare sharing card to present to your physician of choice or you can be reimbursed after you pay out of pocket.
These plans are built on the premise of sharing the cost of health care much the same way that the early Christian church shared with one another. However, you are not required to be of Christian faith. Each member or family has a ‘share’ in which they are expected to pay each month. This is analogous to the monthly insurance premium although it is substantially less expensive.
Generally, small medical bills are expected to be paid by an individual. This is what makes cost sharing plans such an asset when pairing with a Direct Primary Care (DPC) membership. The DPC membership covers the day to day routine primary health care costs while the share plans are on standby for major medical expenses (hospitalization, surgery, etc.)
Here’s a list of some healthcare sharing programs that many DPC members use to keep their cost of health care reduced.
* This is not an endorsement in favor of any particular program and it is not advising patients to not have the appropriate health insurance.
|Zion Health||Medi-Share||Christian Healthcare Ministries||Samiaritan|
|Members are ACA Exempt||√||√||√||√|
|Allows non-evangelical faiths (e.g. Catholic, Mormon, other)||√||√ *||√||√|
|Requires health questionnaire||√||√||√||√|
|Limits on pre-existing conditions||√||√||√||√|
|Sharing starts immediately||√ *||√||√||√|
|No network (Use any doctor/hospital)||√||√ *||√||√|
|Monthly sharing payments automated (versus manually sent to individual members)||√||√||√|
|Medical bills processed electronically (e.g. membership card used with provider)||√||√|
|Automatic bill negotiation with providers||√||√|
|Includes prescriptions||√ *||√ *||√ *||√ *|
|Catastrophic program options available||√||√||√|
|Shares in alternative and natural treatments||√||√|
|Available in all states||√||√|
|Annual Personal Responsibility||$1,000/$2500/$5000 indiv/couple/ family||$1,250-$10,000||$500/$1,000/ $5,000 Gold/Silver/ Bronze||$300 x 3 individuals Or $900 per family|
|Monthly Cost Range (Min Individual Max Family)||$108-$507||$64-$627 – (age based)||$90-$450||$180-$405|
|Max Limits||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit|