The primary reason for writing this article is to help you make an informed decision, based in part on our own family’s experience, before enrolling into a Christian healthcare sharing ministry such as Medi-Share by Christian Care Ministry where members share each other’s medical expenses.
There are several options available for Christian’s looking for low-cost Christian Health Care Sharing alternatives to traditional medical / health insurance. A quick search on the web reveals five solid options:
- Medi-Share by Christian Care Ministries
- Samaritan Ministries
- Liberty Healthshare
- Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM)
- Altrua HealthShare
This quick review focuses on Medi-Share positives and negative because our family of 7 (husband, wife, and 5 sons) has been using Medi-Share as a health insurance alternative for just over two-years in total. We used it for one year, left the program for a year because my work gave us traditional health insurance, and then we rejoined Medi-Share again a year later. We love Medi-Share, which is why we returned to it, but using it definitely has its positives and negatives.
For full disclosure, our family is also part of the Medi-Share Refer-A-Friend Program that gives us a free month of coverage every time someone enrolls in Medi-Share through our referral link. However, at the time of writing this article, no one has ever used our link to enroll in Medi-Share. Therefore, in our opinion, you should NOT join Medi-Share with the thought of getting FREE health care or using it as a get-rich-quick-scheme.
The Positives of Medi-Share
- Free Telehealth through MDLIVE: To us, this has been the biggest benefit of using Medi-Share. If we wanted to, we could do a call or video call with a licensed doctor every day of our lives if we wanted to without incurring any additional fees.
- Discounted Prescriptions: Our family doesn’t have any month-month medication prescription needs at this time, however, when we do get sick and need a prescription (usually called in by MDLIVE Doctor above), we’ve used and compared our FamilyWize Prescriptions Savings Card, GoodRx Prescription Discount Card, and our Medi-Share Group, BIN, and PCN numbers (located on our Medi-Share card) for our medications. In our experience, our Medi-Share numbers have always saved us the most money.
- Discounted dental, vision and hearing through Careington: This is a positive, but, honestly, we haven’t used it. We have a dentist that our family has used for years that is not part of the Careington network. Therefore, we personally use Delta Dental for our dental insurance. We also have an existing optometrist with an office inside of Walmart. Their prices are so reasonable without insurance that we see no need to switch providers in order to use Careington discounts.
- Prayer: Each and every time you talk with a Medi-Share Representative, they will offer to pray for you. In fact, they’ll pray with you for a very long time if you need them too with absolutely no pressure for you to get off the phone with them. This is a much appreciated service.
The Negatives of Medi-SHare
- Medi-Share‘s preferred provider network, PHCS: Perhaps the biggest hurdle to using Medi-Share is their network. Before moving to Carbon County, PA, we lived in Lehigh County, PA where the Lehigh Valley Health Network and the Lehigh Valley Hospital are the predominant health care providers. They are not part of the PHCS network. However, instead of submitting bills for you, they give Medi-Share members an immediate 40% discount on their services and you can then manually submit your bill to Medi-Share for processing. Now that we’ve moved to Carbon County, the predominance health care provider is St. Luke’s and they DO accept Medi-Share. Happy days are here again!
- Extra cost if overweight: During enrollment, Medi-Share has you submit your height and weight and charges you extra an extra $99.00 per month for their mandatory Health Partnership program if they deem you overweight. This program provides you access to their Health and Wellness team and resources. If an optimal weight is achieved, you graduate from the program and your monthly $99 fee is removed. The good news is that even with the extra $99.00 per month, you can still save a significant amount of money compared to traditional Health Insurance
Ready to Start?
Was this review helpful? If no, contact us for more information and we’ll be happy to help you. If yes and you’re ready to start enrolling into Medi-Share, begin your enrollment today. 🙂
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