Are you looking for the best healthshare plan but feeling overwhelmed with all the options? Let me help! With eight years of personal experience and extensive research, I’m ready to give you an overview of the top choices regarding cost and coverage, customer service, and more. By the end of this comparison, you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to pick a healthshare plan that works well for your family.
Starting at $103/mo
Starting at $119/mo*
Starting at $161/mo
What are the Best Healthshare Plans?
According to the Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries there are over 100 healthshare plans in the U.S. The reality is that there are only a small number of plans that are worth your trust. We’re here to help you sort through the best options.
Non-Religious Healthshare Plans
These healthsharing plans are more inclusive and don’t make a particular religious requirement. Although most still have some type of lifestyle requirements:
1. Zion Health
Founded in 2019 by Nathan Udy, an entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience managing healthcare plans in the insurance industry, Zion HealthShare is a reimagined healthsharing community built around healthy living, inclusivity and personal responsibility.
Zion HealthShare offers members a comprehensive healthcare experience. With security for unexpected medical events, annual provider visits and other preventive services without meeting an IUA, unlimited telemedicine office visits, access to discounted prescriptions from any pharmacy, and mental health resources from LifeWorks all at a small additional monthly cost, Zion HealthShare provides its members with everything they need for a complete healthcare experience.
You do not have to be a Christian to use Zion HealthShare. The plan is open to all faiths and beliefs, even non-believers, and is an excellent option for those looking for affordable health care coverage. Learn more about Zion Healthshare.
Sedera is a not-for-profit Medical Cost Sharing community that brings an innovative, non-insurance approach to managing large healthcare costs. With a focus on serving members and pursuing its community-centric mission, Sedera unites like-minded individuals who are committed to taking ownership of their healthcare decisions.
Membership in the Sedera Medical Cost Sharing Community is available in almost every state. Sedera, however, is currently not accepting new Members in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.
With a Sedera membership, members gain access to a variety of tools and resources that help them make informed decisions about their healthcare. These include convenient telehealth services for basic needs, expert second opinions, wellness support, and medical bill negotiation services to ensure Members are not overpaying for their healthcare costs.
Other Non-Religious Healthshare Plans we plan to review include: Universal Healthshare, MPB Health, and Knew Health
Christian Healthshare Plans (Ministries)
Some of the largest healthshare plan providers are specifically for Christians. Here’s our list:
Medi-Share began in 1993 with a mission to remain faithful to a Christian healthcare model– supporting fellow Christians through medical needs. Depending on the age of the oldest applicant and how many family members are involved, participants pay monthly shares that can be likened to insurance premiums. A household portion (AHP), similar to a deductible, ranges from $3,000-$12,000.
The AHP chosen when enrolling will determine what amount must be paid out-of-pocket before bills are eligible for sharing by other members. Each month, the participant’s share goes toward another member’s medical costs and details about whose bills have been shared will be made known.
In addition, Medi-Share offers limited coverage for pre-existing conditions, up to $100,000 per year after 36 consecutive months of sharing and up to $500,000 annually after 60 unbroken months of participation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include dental, vision or hearing expenses; however, members can use provided savings cards for discounts of up to 30%.
Medi-Share is one of two health-sharing plans to receive accreditation from the Healthcare Sharing Accreditation Board.
I’ve used Medi-share for several years. For more information about Medi-Share please visit our full review!
Samaritan Ministries is a faith-based, non-profit healthcare cost-sharing ministry based in Peoria, Illinois. Founded in 1994, Samaritan Ministries offers an alternative to traditional health insurance programs by allowing members to share each other’s medical bills and pray for one another.
Samaritan Ministries provides a unique way for its members to manage their healthcare expenses. Members pay a monthly financial share directly to other members who have submitted their own eligible medical bills. This direct payment from one member to another helps alleviate the burden of high medical expenses that individuals and families can face when navigating the healthcare system.
To become a part of Samaritan Ministries, applicants must be practicing Christians living according to Biblical principles as defined by the organization’s Statement of Faith. All members must agree to submit monthly financial shares and abide by all policies as outlined in the Member Agreement. Those interested in joining can apply online or contact Samaritan Ministries directly for more information.
Samaritan Ministries is one of two health-sharing plans to receive accreditation from the Healthcare Sharing Accreditation Board.
Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is the first and longest-running health cost-sharing ministry, with over $3.5 billion in members’ medical bills shared. It is available in all 50 US states as well as countries outside of the US.
When it comes to their offerings, there are three different programs – Gold, Silver, and Bronze – each with its own monthly premium and maximum out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, there is an optional Brother’s Keeper program for extra protection against catastrophic medical bills.
Be aware that pre-existing conditions can include some limitations; the CHM does have a specific pre-existing condition program but you must meet certain criteria if your bills are to be shared by them.
Unfortunately, this plan does not cover dental, vision, hearing, or chiropractic care. However, there is an option to join Careington LivingWell Plan for discounts on those services at an additional monthly expense.
For more information about Christian Healthcare Ministries be sure to check out our full review!
6. Liberty Healthshare
Liberty HealthShare is a health care sharing ministry based in Canton, Ohio. It was founded in 1995 and is sponsored by The Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc. It operates on the principle of members pooling their funds to pay for the medical expenses of those within the group.
To participate in Liberty HealthShare, members make a monthly contribution to an online ShareBox. The ministry’s ShareDirect bill payment then transfers funds from one member’s ShareBox to another’s to pay for eligible medical expenses.
Members can choose their own doctors and the ministry works with both members and medical providers to keep costs fair and reasonable. The ministry also helps members find the best provider for upcoming medical procedures while eliminating unnecessary costs.
To be eligible for Liberty HealthShare, members must lead a healthy lifestyle, not use tobacco or abuse alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs, and strive to live in accordance with biblical principles. They must also pledge to abide by the Statement of Shared Beliefs, and truthfully disclose information about themselves when joining and when submitting medical expenses for sharing.
Want to learn more? Be sure to check out our full review of Liberty here.
Other Christian Healthshare Ministries we plan to review include: Unite Health Share Ministries, netWell, Share Healthcare, Altrua Healthshare, Solidarity HealthShare (Catholic-focused), and OneShare Health.
One healthshare plan we won’t be reviewing is Trinity Healthshare as they went bankrupt and are out of business.
Other Healthshare Plans/Ministries
These healthshare plans are based around other faiths:
United Refuah Healthshare is the first and only Jewish healthsharing organization that brings back control, freedom and flexibility to its members. It offers higher reimbursement rates to allow them to access the care they need without being restricted by out-of-network limits.
Families can save up to $20,000 per year on their medical expenses with United Refuah Healthshare, letting them keep more money in their pocket.
In addition to offering an economic advantage, United Refuah Healthshare prioritizes its community’s Torah values. Healthcare dollars are distributed within the healthsharing community instead of going toward corporate overhead and procedures that may not always align with these values.
What are Healthshare Plans?
Since you’re here reviewing the best plans, you most likely know this already. Still, it’s important to cover the basics. Healthshare plans are an alternative to traditional health insurance that operates more like a community of people who come together to share their medical expenses.
Given that, the members of a healthshare plan typically make regular contributions to a shared fund. When one member has a medical expense, the funds are used to pay for it. Some healthshare plans may have certain criteria like lifestyle choices or religious beliefs for membership.
Healthshare plans can be a great option for some people, but it’s important to talk to consult current members, your medical professional, and your financial advisor to understand if it’s the right choice for you.
How Do Healthshare Plans Work?
Healthshare plans allow members to pool funds to pay for each other’s medical expenses. Usually, each member contributes a set amount of money – called a “share” – on a regular basis (often monthly). These funds are then used to cover the medical costs of members who have submitted eligible expenses such as doctor bills, lab tests, and hospital stays.
To illustrate, let’s say there are 100 members of an healthshare plan contributing $100 each month. If one member has a medical expense of $5,000, 50 members would have their share go towards that expense while the remainder stay in the pool for future use.
It’s important to recognize that not all medical expenses can be covered with these plans, and that there may be limitations or exclusions specified in the plan. Additionally, some healthshare plans have caps on how much can be shared for a particular treatment or condition, as well as total annual coverage.
Although this is changing rapidly, what differentiates most healthshare plans from traditional insurance is their lack of oversight by state or federal regulations. As such, they are exempt from covering pre-existing conditions and may have restrictions on how much they’re willing to pay per treatment or condition. For these reasons, it’s essential to read through the specifics of the plan before enrolling in it.
Benefits of Healthshare Plans
Healthshare plans come with a variety of benefits, including:
- Lower costs; they can often be less expensive than traditional health insurance, particularly for those who don’t use medical services frequently.
- Greater control over healthcare decisions; members can select their own doctors and providers.
- Flexibility; fewer restrictions and regulations than traditional health insurance.
- Personalized care; additional benefits such as telemedicine and health coaching are available.
- Sense of community; members come together to support each other with medical expenses.
How to Choose the Best Healthshare Plan
Choosing the right healthshare plan for you and your family can be a daunting task. To make sure you choose the best option for your needs, here are some helpful steps to consider:
- Research: Explore different healthshare plans available and compare their costs, coverage, and benefits.
- Budget: Determine how much you can realistically afford to contribute to a healthshare plan, and make sure it fits within your budget.
- Providers: Check that the plan covers doctors and medical facilities that are convenient for you.
- Track record: Read feedback from current and past members of the healthshare plan you’re considering in order to get an idea of their satisfaction and experiences with the company.
- Exclusions: Make sure any plan chosen does not exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions or necessary treatments in the future.
- Professional opinion: Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if a healthshare plan is right for you and which will be the best fit.
Remember, it’s important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of each healthshare plan before making a decision; they may be less regulated than traditional insurance but they still have limitations on what they cover, such as pre-existing conditions and preventive care services.