Reader Interactions

67 Comments

  1. We have been CHM members for several years. Although we’ve never filed a claim with them yet, we save hundreds of dollars every month. Plus, it’s nice to know we’re helping other members with a similar vision.

  2. Your information is very outdated. Medi-Share is in all states! Go to mychristiancare.org for all the details.

    • I did not find anything that said it was or wasn’t available in all states, unless I missed it in their wealth of information. However, it appears that you do need to be careful to choose a provider that is accepted through Medi-Share.

  3. Our family switched from health insurance to Zionhealth.org and we pay half. That savings has helped our financial situation so much. I know we had to be healthier with little or no pre-existing conditions, but that is exactly what we needed. We are a healthy family and feel like we are getting to save money where we deserve it.

    • That’s good news! Not all health plans are one size fits all, although many are set up that way. Shopping around or trying alternatives can really pay off.

  4. We are coupling our membership with CHM and fortunately have found a physicians office, locally, who participates in Direct Primary Care Practice (this is absolutely amazing; integrative and comprehensive appointments treating the whole person(s) without being ruled by insurance). I am self employed and the marketplace plans for us are outrageous. Coupling the two: CHM and DPC meets our family needs, and cuts the expected marketplace fees to less than half for our family. Thanks for sharing your info as we are living in a time where many are not familiar with alternative resources, and the needs are rising.

    • Yes, with rising healthcare costs it makes it harder than ever to afford the help and care you need. In turn that means looking for the best price you can get for insurance coverage is more important than ever. I’m glad you found something that works for you and we appreciate your comments.

  5. They do not have to pay, or it can take a long time and meanwhile you have to file for bankruptcy!

    • There are some health sharing plans that do have loopholes to get them out of paying high dollar claims. You must be very cautious about the wording of them before agreeing to anything. You have a good point.

  6. I signed with Liberty Share three months ago and it has been very confusing. I am on their Facebook page and the negativity has made me want to quit. They are having a lot of issues right now.

    • You could always contact them about anything you find confusing to see what they have to say. Maybe they can offer some insight.

  7. I recommend a critical care benefit, as well, from providers like Colonial. A couple didn’t make the list that function on rent traditional networks. But, this is one solution to the health care cost problem.

  8. Kelly, I started with LHS about 2 years ago (June 2017). When we began they were really good. It only took about 45-60 days for bills to be reimbursed. However, in the last 5 months (January – May 2019) things have really gone down hill. I’m trying to stick it out, but they agreed to pay a bill directly to the provider and now we have received a collections notice from the provider. They started a software update in January that really has taken things for the worst at LHS. Hold times calling them are around 30 – 45 minutes, emails are going unreturned, and Facebook messages are handled with generic responses. I’m feeling unsure and concerned about using them in the future.

  9. I joined Liberty Health Share (LHS) in 2018, because my Kaiser went from $550 per month to $780 per month. Liberty was 6 months behind on the average for adjustments and payments, and I received many collections threat letters. I contacted them several times, but the representatives didn’t even know how their coverage worked and I had to file for reimbursements. Then I twisted my right knee badly and I needed a total knee replacement, so I called to find out an estimate of coverage. I was told by one rep to pay for it (between $15,000 to $40,000), then file for reimbursement and see what I get. After about 3 months of research I got the pricing down to $12,000 + hospitalization when LHS decided to assign me a patient advocate. I gave her the information that I had collected and a month later she called me back to give me back the information that I had given her. At that point I decided to bite the bullet and go back to Kaiser, because at least I new what I was getting and paying for. Kaiser had gone up to $1009 per month for 2019, but my knee is fixed. If LHS departments worked together they would be a great value, but 6 months behind on paying bills would have any normal citizen in bad credit and bankruptcy.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you continue to have good health and good results from Kaiser.

  10. Liberty Health Share is horrible. I’ve been with them for over 3 years. The first year was great, but now, bills are not being reimbursed. I’ve spent months on the phone speaking with multiple representatives who all tell me my bills are in processing. Then, nothing happens and I spend hours on the phone again. Liberty feels like a scam. We pay our monthly bill on time but, they are not holding themselves to the same Christian values they require from their members. Stay away!

    • Thank you for your comments. If you haven’t already, you have the right to contact the insurance commissioner in your state for help. Good luck and I hope you get the reimbursement you should have according to your health plan.

  11. Thanks for this post! I’ve been with Samaritan Ministries for over 6 years now, and it has been wonderful! I’ve had over $100,000 of medical bills shared through the ministry and I’ve always been able to pay my bills on time.

    I wanted to point out two facts this post got wrong about Samaritan though.
    1. “One major downside about Samaritan is that you are responsible for negotiating with medical providers directly.” This is actually not true. Samaritan Ministries actually has two negotiating partnerships that will help negotiate bills on their members behalf. Yes, Samaritan asks their members to inquire with the medical billing office if there is a “self-pay” rate, but there is also the option to have one of Samaritan Ministries’ partners negotiate the bill for you at no extra cost.
    2. “Samaritan Ministries are available in all 50 states and some foreign countries.” What I want to point out about this statement is that it sounds like Samaritan has networks, but they don’t. Samaritan Ministries has members in all 50 states and many foreign countries. Because of being considered a cash-pay patient, you can submit medical bills for sharing regardless of the country of origin. Samaritan Ministries will share for medical costs incurred anywhere in the world. This is perfect for the person who loves to travel!

    The last thing I will say is that I highly recommend calling and speaking with a Samaritan Ministries representative to get a more complete picture of the benefits of Samaritan. a one person memberships starts as low as $100. The phone number is 877-764-2426 opt. 2.

  12. Thank you for this information.

    Just as a point of clarification from a Samaritan Ministries member: Samaritan Ministries pays for negotiators, too, so we members are not solely responsible to do our own negotiating.

  13. Samaritan Ministries in available in all 50 states. Unlike the others, Samaritan will share ambulance and life flight transport from the scene of an accident and doesn’t require you to apply for or use government assistance. Also, despite the mostly accurate information given above, you are NOT responsible to acquire your own discounts. You can seek to do so, but they have 3rd party negotiators that will do if for you absolutely free. Save to share is only $133 per year for individuals and $266 for couples and makes the sharing limit pretty much unlimited. I have had Samaritan for years with several medical needs and love it!

    • Thank you for your comments and viewpoint. I’m glad you are having success with Samaritan Ministries.

  14. I have had a terrible time using Liberty Healthshare. It has been 10 months since my son’s wellness visit. I’ve made numerous phone calls and sent emails and there’s been no reimbursement. can only imagine how horrible it would be to deal with a major illness or accident with this company.

    • The next time you call or send something, ask for a manager or for your situation to be escalated. If you’ve already done that, you certainly have the right to contact the insurance commissioner in your state to see if you can get further direction or help.

  15. Wow, after having Liberty Healthshare for about five years now, and even referring others, I see many are having issues with them, and that’s sad. I call them and leave messages and never get a call back. If I do get through to customer service, they pass the buck to someone else who never calls me back. I just left another message today that I’m looking for another plan because of the shoddy customer service.

    • I’m sorry that you are having trouble with them. Thank you for your comments and for sharing your viewpoint.

  16. I don’t see why you keep saying to contact the insurance commissioner in your state if there’s problems since these all explicitly state that they are not insurance. The risk in these programs is that they have no legal obligation to pay. So, you can be going along and everything seems fine until you run into serious problems. Then they suddenly stop paying leaving you up the creek.

  17. I am a Samaritan member and love them! They have a first class customer service team that’s truly in a class of their own compared to any organization I’ve ever dealt with. They do provide third party negotiators. My wife and I had a horrible car accident. WE had excellent results and reimbursements on HUGE bills. My providers like them and they are flexible in waiting for payments. I’ve heard no complaints, only all compliments for Samaritan Ministries this far! I highly recommend them! I’ve saved over $12,000 in insurance premiums since becoming a member 15 months ago!

    • It’s great to hear that you’ve had good experiences with them. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Deacon, since these are not health insurance plans, I believe the Insurance Commissioner does not regulate them and any complaints would not make it very far.

    • Thank you. This already been pointed out. However, you might be able to get helpful tips from them that enable you to get your medical bills paid. In addition, as a member with this type of health sharing plan, you have the option to make complaints against them up to the highest level when they are not honoring your membership agreement with them. You can also threaten to drop them and go with a different or traditional type of insurance plan.

  19. Samaritan would be a great choice for my family. I just can’t understand their stance on not paying maternity costs if the pregnancy is a result of fertility treatments. Many couples need assistance with this these days. I understand fertility treatments not being covered, but the pregnancy itself? That’s a huge disappointment. Members use all other categorical advancements in medical treatment at their disposal, but pregnancies resulting from fertility treatments for struggling couples are not covered? It seems ridiculous to say the least.

    • That might be something to contact them about. Maybe if enough people ask them about it they will update their plan to include such coverage. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

      • The Catholic Church’s stance is that IVF is wrong under any circumstances, even when embryos are implanted within the woman’s body. All conception must take place naturally within a woman’s body, says Father Doran. But if a child is conceived in vitro, that child will still be welcomed by God.

        Typically, IVF results in some embryos being destroyed or frozen.

        If multiple embryos are implanted, some are aborted in order to reduce the number of babies or if multiple births do happen, they are typically low weight babies and require very expensive care. Often times in the $ millions per child.

  20. I am also having a hard time with Liberty Healthshare. It’s hard to get in touch with a representative, and then there’s not much information when you do. I waited a long time for a major reimbursement and I’m still waiting for more to be processed. They blame it on the new system, which was supposed to make problems like this disappear. I will be looking into the other plans mentioned here, so thanks for posting this article.

    • You’re welcome. I hope you are able to get your claims resolved.

  21. I have used Samaritan for over 10 years. What a Blessing. Not only has it cut my medical billed by 2/3s but I have had major surgeries ie double knee surgery. The bills were over 120,000. They paid all of it. They even paid for 2 months of my pharmaceutical bills that went with it. If I had still been with Blue Cross I figured that I would have paid around 40,000..
    plus the joy to get checks from around the country and notes from people praying for you.
    Many of my friends and children have signed on with Samaritan. What a wonderful option. I highly highly recommend it!!

    • I’m glad to hear you had such a great experience with it. Thank you for sharing!

  22. My family has been with Samaritans Ministries since fall of 2016. I can’t say enough good things about it. It truly has been a blessing to us.

    • That’s awesome to hear you’ve had such success!

  23. Article def needs to be updated. There are other Cost-share companies that are non-faith based & in my opinion, much better because they offer more benefits to their members. Check out Knew Health. http://www.knewhealth.com

    • Thanks for the suggestion!

  24. I have given up on Liberty Share, I waited over a year for a medical procedure that was preapproved by LS. I would call once a week to get progress updates on billings and I am now getting from a case manager that their new system from almost two years ago must have dropped my submitted medical Bill’s. Yet just 3 weeks prior, my last case manager said he has received my bills through their new system and they were being processed. I have come to the conclusion that LS is about to fold financially fold, or they stall so as to ease other obligations. Dont enroll with liberty Share!

    • I’m sorry to hear your had such a poor experience! Thanks for sharing the experience you had!

  25. I have been using Medishare for almost 2 years. I am 62 and the rate is about $488 and that is with a healthy discount. When I started it was about a $100 less. This is all with a share of about 3,000.00. I haven’t had to use anything yet but the ACA for me would be over $1,000.00/month. With Medishare there is a $120 application fee but I will say they are good about answering questions and praying for you. I only wish preventative care was covered. Last year a mammogram cost over $500. You have to be at the poverty level of $43,000 to qualify so any income over that amount excludes you. I used to pay $25 for a physical but decided to forego since my last bill showed the cost would be over $800. Even if you self pay it would be at least $400. All better than whats offered through the ACA network.

    • That’s good info to know. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  26. One major consideration you left out was repricing. This has been my greatest (among many) frustrationa with LHS. If a doctor charges $150 for a service but LHS reprices it to $90, that’s $60 that *doesn’t* go towards my unshared amount. It’s strictly out of pocket. This feels like a hidden cost bc the repricings are not published anywhere. It’s a really large oversight if you are trying to compare cost effectiveness of the different programs.

    • This is a good point! Thank you for sharing this. It’s good to keep in mind things like this so you’re not hit with anything unexpected. Thank you!

  27. My wife has had Christian Healthcare Ministries for at least 5 years. We have never (thank God) needed to use it. But recently we needed to call them to change our credit card info and what a nightmare connecting with them. We are now looking for another group to sign up with. If CHM is this difficult to call or connect with when trying to update your payment details, I don’t want to be caught in a crisis needing to draw upon their medical reimbursement.

    • I’m sorry you had a poor experience with them! Hopefully, you can find a good alternative! There’s some great alternatives in this list!

  28. I’m on this site because we dropped Liberty. They continue to give the reason as to not getting reimbursements as their new software system for months now. We tried to be patient & understanding, but when I saw well over 200 complaints on BBB, that was the final straw. So, on the hunt again after 2 yrs. with them.

    • Hey Shelley, thanks for sharing your experience! I’m sorry you had such a poor one! I hope this list can give you some good options for alternatives!

  29. Thank you to everyone who submitted a review. I am researching the best alternatives for health insurance. I think I will seriously look into Samaritan Ministries.

    • Glad this helped! Best of luck!

  30. I too am very thankful to the author for investing the time in doing a general review of these options. I’m still vacillating between Medi-Share and Samaritans. I’m sure these reviews helped me not choose Liberty.

    • Glad that this was able to help. I hope you find something that is right for you!

  31. Hello,

    I only need catastrophic coverage (for unforeseen medical – cancer, surgeries, etc.) as I’m a healthy 62 year old. I pay out-of-pocket for annual exams, small medical care issues. Are there any healthshare organizations which offer catastrophic coverage?

    • We went with Christian Healthcare Ministries and they offer a Brother’s Keeper which is for catastrophic coverage. Take care!

  32. Liberty Healthshare is awful. They’re new software system has failed miserably. Do not sign up with them or you’ll regret it. This article has given me several other options to check out. I’m so over LHS and how they run the organization on empty promises and excuses. Done!

    • So sorry to hear you had a problem with them! You’re not the first person who I’ve heard who has had an issue with Liberty. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  33. Do NOT join LIBERTY HEALTH SHARE. They are paying pennies on the dollar. I live in Utah and none of the provider will accept LHS anymore because the payments are so abysmal. So, now I am required to pay up front for all my medical needs and hope that LHS will reimburse me. Recently, my husband had a heart stress test that cost $11,000. LHS “repriced” it at $1,670! LHS is a scam.

  34. Same issue with Liberty Health Share as the others on this site. They are not reimbursing for routine visits and procedures that they are supposed to pay for. Calling does no good and getting in touch with a supervisor is not helping either. I am looking for a different provider also.

  35. Liberty Health Share was really bad for us during 2016-17. We paid for expenses, per their instructions. Then were rejected when we applied for reimbursement, stating the amount was too high (we live in an expensive area) or the procedure was unapproved or unnecessary. They then pointed us to “patient advocates”.

  36. We’ve been with Christian Healthcare Ministries since February and have been really happy so far.

  37. I have chm and they are wonderful. A lot of times people complain about issues like wait time for reimbursement but they are very clear that it can take up to 120 days. If you read everything carefully, there are no surprises. I have had to use them for 2 medical issues and they were a blessing to deal with and they shared my bills each time. This is the way all insurance should be. I would never go back to the rip off ahc. Regular insurance gets the price reduced and then you have to meet your deductible or a 20% and then they pay the remainder. It cost you more to have regular health insurance then it does having a Christian healthcare sharing plan.plus Christian healthcare ministries treat you with respect and they do care unlike regular insurance companies that are looking for a profit and their mission is to pay as little as they possibly can or wait you out until you die.

  38. My spouse and I have been with Christian Healthcare Ministries for over 4 years and are very happy with them! My spouse broke his collarbone a few years ago and CHM paid 100%! We did ask providers for discounts (received 50% off the hospital bill!) which I didn’t mind doing since that allowed more for other CHM members bills. It does take long for reimbursement-sometimes 6 months but I’m ok with that too. My understanding is that they’ll work with providers for discounts and possibly pay right away if it will result in substantial savings. We have the gold plan and brothers keepers so $300/mth for both of us and depending on the claims members send in, about $25-$30 total each quarter. There’s also an annual fee of about $100 total too if I can recall. We’ve paid about a third of what cobra/oboma care would have cost – not to mention their $5-$6,000 ded. We figured at that time it’d pretty much cost us $15-16,000 a year in premium/ded before they’d cover much of anything vs the approximate 3,800 we spend now. That being said, they don’t cover ongoing meds so that’s something to keep in mind too. For us, it’s been wonderful and is right in line with our Christian beliefs!!

  39. This commentary has been extremely helpful. I am on COBRA, but it ends February 1, 2020. Who would have ever thought COBRA at $550/month and a $1,000 deductible would be about half the cost of the “Affordable” Health Care plan. I am 63, self-employed, very healthy and looking for an affordable alternative after COBRA ends. This has helped me narrow the choices. Thank you.

  40. Please do another review of Liberty Health Share. They have been horrible. I signed up with them a year ago and in the beginning they were good. Now I cannot get any service. After following their advice 6 months ago and seeing my doctor as recommended, I am now facing a surgery. I called for pre qualification and after over 10 phone calls and endless hours on hold, with NO answer, I began to do some investigating. Every review site I have read says the same thing. “RUN” !! The BBB has a red flag on them. I am thankful that I found this out before my surgery. Sadly however, now I will fall into the “pre-existing” category for health insurance. This will be very costly to me and most likely will prevent me from having the needed procedure until I can qualify again.

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