If you’re looking for health insurance, but either missed or couldn’t find a good fit through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, these Obamacare alternatives are sure to meet your needs.
Medishare Health Insurance Plans
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Medishare Health Insurance
- What Is Medishare Health Insurance?
- Who’s In Charge Of Medishare Plans?
- Is Medishare Actually Health Insurance?
- How Much Does Medishare Cost?
- What Medishare Covers
- How To Join Medishare Plans
- Getting Quotes For Medishare Plans
What Is Medishare Health Insurance?
Medishare is an alternative to traditional health where payments are made to a religious community of individuals who all share each other’s medical bills. Medishare plans are gaining popularity among the Christian community because it only reimburses coverage for medical procedures that are biblically approved. For example, medishare will not cover abortion or the morning after pill.
How Does Medishare Work?
Medishare works a bit differently than a traditional health insurance plan and even includes some different terminology. Here’s how it works:
Every month, you and your family will deposit what’s called your share into your own bank account. Your share is essentially the medishare equivalent to a monthly premium. However, the difference here is that your share is an amount specific to you, and is based on what you can afford.
On the other side of the spectrum, other medishare members will have their medical bills published for the community to see once their annual household portion is met. Your annual household portion is the medishare equivalent to a deductible.
Your funds and others are used to match the cost of medical bills for other members. Once a match is made, funds are sent electronically from your account to the account of the published medical bill holder to cover the costs.
Medishare will ensure that your share is used for biblically approved medical services by paying the medical provider directly, so you never have to worry about where your money is going.
Medishare also notifies you with exactly who is getting your funds, without disclosing any confidential medical information. Notifications allow members to offer words of encouragement if they choose, and really creates a sense of community.
It goes without saying that if you needed help paying for a medical bill, you can have your bill published to find matches. Once matches are found for you, other medishare members will share in your medical costs and send funds to help cover your costs.
Example Of How Medishare Works
Say you are a medishare member, and you need to go to the emergency room for a shooting pain. It turns out that your gallbladder is the source of your problem and needs to be removed. You go in for surgery to get the problem taken care of.
You receive your bill, and it comes out to $5,500. You have an annual household portion of $5,000 that you need to pay, and once you do, the remainder of your medical bill is published. There is another medishare member who’s monthly share was $500, which is an exact match for you. Their $500 share is electronically transferred to your medishare account to help cover costs, along with the following message.
I’m happy I was able to help you cover your medical costs during your time of need. My family and I will be praying for you to have a speedy recovery.
Not only did you get help paying for your surgery, but you also received words of encouragement that helps lift your spirits. This is the reason medishare plans are becoming so popular because they are more personal than traditional health insurance plans.
Who Should Sign Up For Medishare Plans?
Anyone with strong Christian values should consider signing up for a medishare plan. These plans are a great way for you to feel as though you belong to a similarly minded community and will make sure your money only goes towards medical services that align with your belief system.
People who are looking for affordable alternative options to health insurance may also want to consider these Christian based plans because medishare costs are often less than the costs of traditional health insurance. Although, you will have to adhere to certain guidelines, and some medical services may not be covered.
Who’s In Charge Of Medishare Plans?
Members of the medishare plan are in charge, however, there is oversight from a leadership team, board of directors, or both. Usually, the members get to vote on policy matters, and often set the guidelines by a voting method. The board of directors implements the changes medishare members want.
Is Medishare Backed By The Government?
No, medishare plans are not backed by the government. There are disclaimers on medishare websites that state:
Medishare plans are not subject to the regulatory requirements or consumer protections of your particular State’s Insurance Code or Statues.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that medishare health insurance plans are completely voluntary. Since it is not a traditional health insurance policy, members can choose whether or not they will assist you, and members who choose not to assist with payments will not face legal ramifications.
Dave Ramsey On Medishare
Dave Ramsey is a popular financial personality who had positive things to say about medishare but did inform his followers to understand the drawbacks. He notes that since medishare is not health insurance, and there is no guarantee your bills will be covered to make sure and enroll in a medishare program that a great track record. As long as you do your research, Dave Ramsey says medishare can be an affordable alternative to traditional health insurance.
Is Medishare Actually Health Insurance?
No, medishare is not health insurance, nor should it be considered a form of health insurance. Medishare is an alternative to health insurance but does not offer the same coverage a government-backed health insurance company would.
Is Medishare Legitimate?
Yes, medishare is a legitimate method for paying off medical bills. While medishare cannot guarantee your bills will be covered, some of the most popular medishare plans do have a perfect success rate when it comes to published bills being paid.
However, unless you choose to live your life to the strict guidelines of the Christian Medishare community, this may not be a legitimate option for you. Many services that are considered unbiblical won’t be covered, regardless of it you have helped pay the medical bills of others, and regardless of if you are a longstanding medishare member.
How Much Does Medishare Cost?
The cost of medishare plans depends on the service you are using. First Quote Health took a look at some of the most popular plans, and the cost breakdown for each level of coverage is as follows:
|Annual Houshold Portion||Standard Monthly Share||Health Monthly Share|
Just from initially looking at prices, it’s easy to see how much you can save by enrolling in a medishare plan. For families of three or more, you would only be paying $5,000 out-of-pocket for your annual household portion, while only paying a $375 share each month. Just like it works with premiums and deductibles, the lower you want your annual household portion to be, the higher your share each month will be.
Medishare Healthy Incentives
There are healthy incentives for medishare plans that can save you even more money on medical bills. If both spouses meet health criteria and apply for healthy incentives within one month of each other, they can receive discounted rates.
Some of the required criteria include low blood pressure, a low body mass index (BMI), an even waist size. If you and your family qualify, it’s definitely worth applying for healthy incentives to save some extra money each month.
Are Medishare Costs Tax Deductible?
No, medishare costs and payments are not tax deductible. Although, any payment you make towards your own medical bills can be deducted from your taxes. This is true regardless of if you are enrolled in a medishare plan or a traditional health insurance plan.
What Medishare Covers
Medishare plans don’t cover anything themselves, rather other members of the Christian Medishare community will cover limited medical costs if they are matched with you. It’s considered limited coverage because there are medical services that traditional health insurance plans would cover that medishare does not.
Christian Medishare plans will cover any medical service that is permissible according to the bible. However, the following services will not be covered by most medishare plans. This is a non-comprehensive list, so additional services may not be eligible for shared payments.
- Any illness that results from drug or alcohol use.
- Sexually transmitted diseases with some exceptions.
- Medical conditions that result from engaging or planning to engage in illegal activities.
- Any wounds that you intentionally inflict on yourself.
- Abortion or contraception care with some exceptions.
- Maternity expenses that result from relations out of wedlock.
- Alternative care.
- Medical services for mental or behavioral health.
- Cosmetic procedures that are not medically necessary.
- Fertility or infertility treatments.
There are also other medical services that may not be provided by your medishare plan, even if they don’t conflict with biblical laws. Preventive services like physicals won’t be covered, and neither will dental. For a comprehensive list of what is and is not covered by your medishare plan, make sure to consult your policy guidelines.
Will Your Doctor Accept Medishare?
Yes, your doctors will accept medishare. Just like traditional health insurance plans, you will receive a medishare card that you present to your medical provider. Once your procedure is done, many medical providers will actually be able to send the bill straight to your medishare plan. However, you will still be responsible to pay your annual household portion before receiving a match.
What Is Manna In Medishare?
Manna is part of your medishare plan and is the Christian Medishare equivalent to disability coverage. If you have an event that puts you out of work, the manna disability program will allow members to replace up to a certain percentage of your lost income until you are well enough to get back to work. There are limits to how much you receive from the manna program, so be sure to check with your policy guidelines for a more detailed breakdown.
How To Join Medishare Plans
Joining a medishare plan is straightforward. Start out by doing your research on the major medishare plans available. Read the reviews and community guidelines to find a plan that fits your needs. Once you find a Christian Medishare plan you like, you’re ready for the next step.
Applying For A Medishare Plan
The application process is a bit different than traditional health insurance. First, you will have to fill out some private information about yourself, choose a plan, pay a fee for your application, and personally attest that you have a relationship with Jesus. Depending on your medical history, you may also have to submit your medical records.
Once your application is sent, there will be an approval process. After you are approved, you need to set up your Personal Sharing Account, so funds can be deposited and transferred to potential matches.
Can You Be Denied From Medishare Plans?
Yes, you can be denied from Christian Medishare plans. Each plan will have different guidelines which have been voted on by the community of members, and if you don’t meet the standards set forth, you can be denied membership.
Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but you can be denied membership for not having a relationship with Jesus or affiliation with a church, being a tobacco user, drinking alcohol or using drugs, or if you have participated in any unbiblical acts such as engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. Read through the medishare guidelines before applying.
What Is Your Annual Unshared Amount?
Your annual unshared amount refers to the money you are required to pay before another medishare member will share in your costs. This is very similar to a deductible in a traditional health insurance plan.
Getting Quotes For Medishare Plans
If you feel a medishare plan is for you, then it’s time to get started with your search. First Quote Health makes finding medishare quotes easy by connecting you with agents in your area. Get started today.
Does Medishare cover adoptions?
Most medishare plans will allow members to share in adoption costs. However, there is usually a limit on how many adoptions will be shared before you will have to pay for all costs out-of-pocket.
Do you have to pay a tax penalty if you have a medishare plan?
No, you do not. While medishare is not considered health insurance, being a member of a Christian Medishare plan will exempt you from the tax penalties in place under the Affordable Care Act.
Why doesn’t medishare cover preventive care?
Medishare is designed to ease the burden of expensive medical bills, it’s not a form of health insurance.
When was medishare started?
Medishare was officially organized in 1993.