6 Best Health Sharing Plans


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While it is definitely worth the leap of faith to become self-employed, one thing is for sure.

Paying for your health insurance, after never having done so, is one of the biggest downsides to self-employment.

If you’re not prepared for the costs of buying your own insurance plan, it can be a huge pain.

I know because I left my corporate, 9-5 job last year, and the awesome insurance plan that went along with it.

If you don’t have insurance, are between jobs or need a new alternative, health sharing ministries are a great option.

While not nearly as common as the ACA Marketplace or COBRA insurance, health sharing ministries are a great way to protect yourself and your family.

What is a Health Sharing Plan?

Here’s everything you need to know about health sharing plans as an alternative to traditional health insurance.

If this is the first time reading about this topic, you might be asking, “What are health sharing ministries?” If this is you don’t worry, I was there too until last year.

Before starting a home-based business, I had never heard of a health sharing ministries.

Now I read regularly about other self-employed bloggers, freelancers and people without insurance choosing them. 

To clarify, health sharing ministries are not health care or health insurance.

And you must meet all requirements and/or have the same religious beliefs to be accepted into any health sharing ministry.

These are ways to help plan for unexpected expenses if you don’t have typical health insurance.

Health-sharing ministries are not a discounted insurance program and are totally different than traditional health insurance.

They are alternatives that will help you share the cost of expenses with others in your plan. 

Medical cost-sharing ministries are a group of people who band together to help each other pay for medical expenses.

Unlike traditional health insurance plans, there is no network such as Blue Cross Blue Shield.

You can visit any provider of your choice and use your membership card when they ask for insurance.

Depending on the health sharing ministry, you will pay in person and be reimbursed, or they will be billed directly. This is very different than traditional health insurance.

Healthcare Sharing Ministries

To help you narrow down the best option, here are the details on five of the most popular health sharing plans.

(For more specific questions and restrictions about health sharing ministries keep reading to the FAQs.)

1. Medi-Share

Best Overall

Medi-Share

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A low-cost alternative to health insurance. Monthly cost can be significantly less than traditional insurance and you can get up to 20% off if you are healthy.

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Medi-Share is a health sharing ministry that is very popular. Unlike some health sharing ministries, Medi-Share does help negotiate expenses on your behalf.

This feature is a huge benefit as it can be difficult to negotiate without the help of insurance providers.

Also, get up to 20% off your monthly share amount if you meet their health incentive requirements.

Medi-Share bases its payments on age, size of household and the program option you choose.

There is an annual amount of qualifying medical bills that a family must meet before any eligible bill may be shared among the members.

Once you meet your annual household payment, all eligible bills will be processed for sharing for the entire household. Not per person or event. It is one amount for the whole family for the year.

There are seven AHP options to choose from:

  • $3,000
  • $3,000 with co-share (30%)
  • $6,000
  • $6,000 with co-share (30%)
  • $9,000
  • $12,000
  • $12,000 with DPC (Direct Primary Care fees)

The co-share options allow for a lower monthly fee and higher AHP portion.

The DPC plan option allows for monthly fees to go toward your AHP provided your primary care provider meets certain qualifications.

Members pay a $35 provider fee at each office or hospital visit and $200 for emergency room visits. It’s important to note these fees do not count towards the AHP.  

See our full Medi-Share review here.

Noteworthy: You need to be an active church goer and cannot vape to join this health sharing ministry.

What You Need to Know

To be a Medi-Share member, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must have a valid Christian testimony indicating a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Share the conviction that believers are to bear one another’s burdens
  • Not engage in sex outside of traditional biblical marriage
  • Not use tobacco or illegal drugs in any form
  • Be a U.S citizen or a permanent resident with a visa or green card and SS number

Like other healthcare sharing ministries, Medi-Share is not insurance but still worth noting. Learn more about Medi-Share here.

Pros

  • Helps negotiate medical expenses
  • Health incentive discount available
  • Wide variety of program options to choose from

Cons

  • Limited to those in the Christian religion
  • No tobacco use

2. Samaritan Ministries

Most Accesible

Samaritan Ministries

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Available in all 50 states and some foreign countries. The monthly sharing expenses can vary as they depend on your marital status, age and the number of dependents.

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As stated on their website, “Samaritan Ministries members are a group of believers that have come together in Biblical community to help bear one another’s medical burdens without the use of health insurance.”

Samaritan Ministries are available in all 50 states and some foreign countries. The monthly sharing expenses can vary as they depend on your marital status, age and the number of dependents. They offer two packages; the Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic.

Here is an example of the breakdown for a married couple who are both 40 years old with one dependent.

Samaritan Basic / Samaritan Classic Plans

  • Monthly share: $300/$530. This is based on plan, age and household size. It is the amount you send directly to other members each month.
  • Initial Unshareable: $1,500/$400. The sharing only starts once a need exceeds these two threshold amounts.
  • Sharing Percentage: 90%/100%. Once you are eligible for your shareable amount, 90 or 100% of anything additional is covered.
  • Maternity Limit: $5,000/$250,000. This is the maximum that can be shared for any maternity need. If you are pregnant or plan on having children, the classic is the only way to go.
  • Max Shareable Amount: $236,500/$250,000. This is the maximum amount that’s shareable per need.

What You Need to Know

Joining either of these plans will cost you $200 as a one-time startup fee. This fee is non-refundable, even if you are only enrolled for a few months.

For any need over $250,000, you can join the optional, Save to Share plan. This is $399 per year, with a $15 annual administrative fee.

For the first two months of the membership, you will send payment to the office. After the first two months, you will then send payments directly to members in need.

With other ministries, you will send payment directly to them, and they will dispense to the recipients as needed.

One major downside about Samaritan is that you are responsible for negotiating with medical providers directly.

Lastly, if you wish to join this health sharing ministry, you do need to practice an evangelical faith.

Pros

  • Range of plans amounts for various budgets
  • No network restrictions for doctors, pharmacies, or hospitals
  • Share your designated monthly fees with others you want to help

Cons

  • $200 startup fee applies
  • Limited to those in the Christian religion

3. Christian Healthcare Ministries

Best Options

Christian Healthcare Ministries

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Options include Gold, Silver and Bronze. Plus a “Brother’s Keeper”

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Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is an affordable, biblical and compassionate, faith-based healthcare cost solution for Christians in all 50 states and around the world.

CHM is a nonprofit health cost-sharing ministry in which Christians share each other’s medical bills. Again, this is not a typical insurance company.  

They offer three main programs; gold, silver and bronze. You also have the ability to add on “Brother’s Keeper.

This is a catastrophic medical bill program that increases your lifetime max per illness for anything over $125,000.

The annual fee for “Brother’s Keeper” is an additional $45 per family.  

Gold Program ($172 per person, per month)

  • The Gold program provides members with the ministry’s most extensive financial support.
  • Christian Healthcare Ministries will cover 100% of bills for any medical incident over $500.
  • Unlimited financial assistance with Brother’s Keeper.

Silver Program ($118 per person, per month)

  • The silver program allows you $2,500 personal responsibility before CHM contributes.
  • Once your $2,500 is met, you can receive up to $125,000 per illness.
  • Brother’s Keeper increases $100,000 of extra support. You can accrue up to $1 million per illness.

Bronze Program ($78 per person, per month)

  • The bronze program allows you $5,000 personal responsibility before CHM contributes.
  • Once your $5,000 is met, you can receive up to $125,000 per illness.
  • Brother’s Keeper increases $100,000 of extra support. Like other plans, you can accrue up to $1 million per illness.

Using the previous example (40-year old married couple with one dependent) here are the prices for each program:

  • Gold Program: $516 per month
  • Silver Program: $354 per month
  • Bronze Program: $234 per month  

Each person is known as “units.” For example, two people are equal to two units.

You can also choose different programs for different people on the plan.

For example, you can be on the gold program while a healthier spouse or child can be on the silver or bronze plan.

Mixing and matching will change the price listed above. If someone is healthier or younger, a bronze or silver plan can save you big each month.

What You Need to Know

To be a CHM member, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be Christians living by biblical principles (this includes abstaining from the use of tobacco and the illegal use of drugs)
  • Follow biblical teaching on the use of alcohol, and attending group worship regularly if health permits
  • There are no restrictions based on age, weight, geographic location or health history.

CHM does not help negotiate your bills or make payments in your name. Also, payments are sent directly to CHM.

Pros

  • No restrictions based on health history
  • Different programs for different health levels
  • Variety of monthly share amounts for all budgets

Cons

  • Limited to those in the Christian religion
  • No tobacco use allowed

4. Liberty Healthshare

Most Comprehensive

Liberty HealthShare

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Program options include Liberty Complete, Liberty Plus, and Liberty Share.

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The final health sharing plan is Liberty Healthshare. Unlike Medi-Share, Liberty is available in all 50 states and has a strong reputation online.

They offer three programs; Liberty Complete, Liberty Plus and Liberty Share.

All programs are based on single, couples and families. The prices are also based on two age brackets – under 30, 30 years old & over (see guidelines for exceptions).

Liberty Complete Sharing Ministry Plan

Liberty Complete is the most comprehensive plan offered by Liberty HealthShare. All members share eligible medical costs up to $1,000,000 per incident.

The annual unshared amount is $1,000 for individuals, $1,750 for couples and $2,250 for families.

Here are the costs for the most expansive plan offered:

Member StatusMonthly Fee
Single$399
Couple$499
Family$675

Liberty Plus Sharing Ministry Plan

Liberty Complete is one of the middle plans offered by Liberty HealthShare. With this plan, all members share eligible medical costs up to $125,000 per incident.

The annual unshared amount remains the same at $1,000 for individuals, $1,750 for couples and $2,250 for families.

Here are the costs for the mid-range plan:

Member StatusMonthly Fee
Single$374
Couple$474
Family$624

Those who choose Liberty Plus or Liberty Complete can also receive discounts on vision, pharmacy, hearing, chiropractic and other services by enrolling in SavNet Health Savings Discounts. The SavNet fee is included in both of the above plans and only requires a one-time, $10 setup charge.

It is a huge benefit to choose one of these two plans as it can save you and the group tons in the long run.

Liberty Share Sharing Ministry Plan

Liberty Share is the second most basic plan offered by Liberty HealthShare and great for those who are on a tight budget. With this plan, Liberty Share members share up to 70% of eligible medical costs up to $125,000 per incident.

Medical expenses are met on a per person per incident basis when treated by urgent care facilities, physicians, emergency rooms, clinics or hospitals. This applies to both inpatient and outpatient services.

The annual unshared amount is $1,000 for individuals, $1,750 for couples and $2,250 for families.

Here are the costs for Liberty’s most basic health sharing plan:

Member StatusMonthly Fee
Single$349
Couple$449
Family$599

Liberty Select Sharing Ministry Program

This is the most basic medical sharing program offered by Liberty HealthShare. With this plan, members share eligible costs up to $500,000 per incident.

The annual unshared amount is $6,000 for individuals, $12,000 for couples, and $15,000 for families.

Member StatusMonthly Fee
Single$199
Couple$299
Family$399

What You Need to Know

To be a Liberty HealthShare member, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Agree to share one another’s burdens and all other shared beliefs mentioned in their comprehensive qualifications page.
  • Believe that your body is a temple
  • Eat foods that nourish your body, not harm it
  • Do not drink alcohol in excess
  • Do not use tobacco products
  • Exercise regularly
  • Worship regularly with others

If you choose Liberty HeathShare, I would recommend the Liberty Complete or Liberty Plus as you can access the SavNet discounts as well.

Pros

  • No network restrictions on doctors, hospitals, pharmacies
  • Some discounts available on vision, chiropractic care, etc.
  • Health coaching available

Cons

  • Must agree to live a Biblical lifestyle
  • Strict rules on alcohol/tobacco use

5. Sedera

Most Straightforward

Sedera

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Sedera offers a transparent medical cost sharing model for the whole family.

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Sedera offers a transparent, affordable approach to medical cost sharing.

This health sharing company operates in nearly every state in the U.S. with the exception of Alaska, Washington state and Vermont.

Sedera bases your out-of-pocket costs on one of five membership plans. We’ll outline the plans next.

The plans do not include your Direct Primary Care Monthly Membership fees.

The plans are based on your age and the number of people in your family.

The Initial Unshareable Amount (IUA) is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket per year before costs are shared with the company.

$500 IUA

  • Member only: $208 to $244 per month
  • Member & spouse: $396 to $469
  • Member & child(ren): $384 to $449
  • Member & family: $574 to $678

$1,000 IUA

  • Member only: $195 to $237
  • Member & spouse: $370 to $454
  • Member & child(ren): $357 to $437
  • Member & family: $538 to $659

$1,500 IUA

  • Member only: $174 to $212
  • Member & spouse: $328 to $404
  • Member & child(ren): $317 to $389
  • Member & family: $477 to $586

$2,500 IUA

  • Member only: $153 to $172
  • Member & spouse: $286 to $324
  • Member & child(ren): $278 to $313
  • Member & family: $416 to $471

$5,000 IUA

  • Member only: $113 to $147
  • Member & spouse: $207 to $274
  • Member & child(ren): $202 to $266
  • Member & family: $300 to $398

There are additional costs for tobacco users and other costs too. See the Sedera website for more information.

What You Need to Know

Sedera has member guidelines as well. They call their guidelines “Principles of Membership”.

Some of the Principles of Membership include abstaining from the use of illegal substances, a commitment to practice good health and lifestyle measures.

Also, you need to agree to understand that Sedera is a benevolence organization and that they don’t guarantee payment of medical expenses.

For more information on Sedera, visit their website at the link above.

Pros

  • Members not limited by religion
  • Patient responsibilities more flexible than some other companies
  • Variety of monthly costs for every budget

Cons

  • Some patient responsibility to negotiate prices and find low cost healthcare
  • Unavailable in some states

6. US Healthshare

US Healthshare isn’t a health sharing ministry per se. Instead, it’s a company that helps you compare all Christian healthshare companies.

When you go to the US Healthshare website, you can work with a licensed insurance specialist to help you find the right health sharing program for you. You will first have to share your basic information to get started.

Since health sharing isn’t actually health insurance, it’s important to know exactly how it works. And it’s important to know which health sharing plan is best for you.

For that reason, US Healthshare can be a great resource. This is because the company’s representatives get healthshare plan quotes from all of the major health sharing ministries.

So if you’re looking to save both time and money on your health sharing plan, consider using US Healthshare.

Pros

  • One-stop shop to compare many health sharing companies
  • Makes health sharing plan comparison easier

Cons

  • Not an actual health sharing company

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re thinking about signing up for a health sharing plan, here are answers to some of the most common questions.

1. How do health sharing ministries work?

In most cases, you will present your health sharing membership card upon arrival. In essence, everyone in the ministry pays a specified amount each month.

This is known as an annual personal responsibility or unshared amount. Think of it similar to a deductible in a traditional health insurance program.

If your medical bills go past a specific amount, then the expenses are shared by the group within your ministry.

If you need to pay some doctors or medical providers with cash, you will be reimbursed by the ministry.

2. What are the differences in plans between each of the health sharing ministries? 

While none of these plans are health insurance, they have similarities to major plans.
Instead of paying a monthly premium (like in health insurance), you pay monthly amounts for yourself and your family.

Each plan also has different requirements and total covered amounts per event.  

3. What type of restrictions are there for new participants? 

Each health sharing plan has its own restrictions and qualifications.

Make sure you read through them carefully to ensure you qualify and are eligible to enroll in the specific plan.

4. Are families allowed in health sharing plans?

Yes, all the plans mentioned above do allow families. Each plan will be different, but each adult must meet all the requirements on each site.

The fees are higher as the costs are dependent upon the number of people enrolled in the health sharing plan.

5. How does it work with the Affordable Care Act?

As members of a non-insurance health care sharing ministry, members have an exemption from the federal requirement that they must have insurance or pay a penalty tax.

6. Do I still have to pay if I don’t have any medical expenses?

Yes, similar to not having any insurance claims, you are still responsible for making your monthly payments (or share) even if you don’t incur medical expenses.

7. What if I have pre-existing conditions?

This is different for each health sharing ministry. Some of them might not allow you to be eligible for the first year of your membership like Liberty Healthshare.

Some of them may not cover pre-existing conditions at all. So be sure to read the fine print or ask the health sharing ministry directly about your health situation.

8. Is there a commitment to my membership?

No, from what I’ve researched, there are not six or 12-month terms. But, if you miss a payment or it’s late, your service will become inactive, and you might need to re-enroll.

9. Can I enroll in both traditional health insurance AND a health sharing plan?

Technically, yes, you can enroll in both. However, it would most likely be much more expensive.

On Liberty’s site, it notes that some members enroll simply to help others and never plan on submitting bills.

Healthcare Sharing Ministries vs. ACA

Now that you have learned about health care sharing ministries, you should take time and compare them with your current plan. Figure out what will work best for you and your family.

You might want to stick with traditional health insurance if you do any of the following:

1. Take prescription drugs

Some health sharing plans won’t cover all medications and prescriptions, unlike ACA plans. Paying prescriptions without any type of insurance can be incredibly expensive! 

2. Indulge in tobacco use

If you use tobacco, none of the four health sharing ministries above will allow you to enroll. While this might be a good reason to stop using tobacco, know that it is not permitted with any of these health sharing plans.

3. Have an HSA (health savings account)

Unfortunately, you can’t pair an HSA with a health sharing plan to save even more on taxes.

If you do have a HSA compatible plan already, though, check out Lively, which is Free, FDIC insured, and it takes about 5 minutes to set up.

4. Have a chronic or pre-existing condition

Some, but not all, health sharing plans won’t allow you to enroll if you have chronic or pre-existing medical conditions.

Even if you have a recurring condition, I’d recommend sticking with traditional health insurance.

Recurring incidents will be charged each time as a new medical service even though it might be treating the same issue. 

Who Might be a Good Fit for Health Sharing Plans

Healthcare Sharing ministries won’t be for everyone, but they might be a good fit for:

  1. A Christian who likes the idea of sharing costs with like-minded individuals. If you believe in helping others and sharing costs, this is a great option.
  2. You want to use doctors in different networks and areas. With health sharing ministries, you don’t have to worry if your provider is in-network or out-of-network. This can be a huge benefit for someone who doesn’t love going to one provider or wants multiple opinions on complex medical conditions.
  3. People who live in expensive ACA states. Each individual’s costs will be different, but some states are much higher costs than health sharing plans.
  4. Healthy individuals. These plans can be great if you rarely go to the doctor but want a safety net in case something big does come up.

Alternatives To Health Sharing Plans

If you are self employed and looking for a competitive insurance option, check out Sidecar Health which is another affordable alternative to ACA plans.

They have a 4.4 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and A+ rating with the BBB.

Summary

Switching from traditional health insurance to a health sharing plan is always an option.

If you’ve been enrolled in a traditional health insurance plan, it might feel like a big difference, but it can save you thousands each year.

Remember, don’t just choose the plan that is the cheapest, find the one that works best for you and your family.

Health-sharing plans are much less expensive, generally have a lower deductible, lower annual costs and helps you share the cost with other like-minded individuals.

But, if you have chronic medical conditions, prescriptions or don’t meet the faith requirements, stick with traditional health insurance.

90 thoughts on “6 Best Health Sharing Plans”

  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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • Peter,
      I’m researching different Christian Health share companies right now. Trying to choose. It would be helpful to know which one you used. Please

  5. 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.

    • Knewhealth.com Their needs processing is only 14-60 days for members to get shared funds! & you don’t have to be Christian to join!

      • Liberty Healthshare is a nightmare. I have been paying for months and can’t get them to answer a phone or email. Very confusing and claims take forever to be handled. Also very hard to get Pre-Authorized. I cancelled.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • We are with Solidarity and I’m going to take a guess that they are one with Liberty, and that’s why they service has gone downhill; Liberty may be trying to get Solidarity up to speed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    • This has been my experience with Liberty also. I am currently 35 min on hold with them for a mammogram done in July and this is probably my 10th phone call for this simple bill. Looking at options right now!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

    • I totally agree about the repricing and out of pocket comment with Liberty Healthshare. The entire amount you pay for a doctors visit should go towards your AUA. I also agree with all the comments about how they have really gone down hill. I have bills from July and it’s now January that I’m still trying to get paid and I’m told they have no idea when this will happen. If I could afford to go back to an actual insurance plan I would. Praying Liberty Healthshare will get their issues worked out and go back to the way they were when I first joined.

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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”.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!!

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. thank you all for post and and comment. I got tons call for insurance plan recently as lost insurance due to lost job and tried to get insurance through Obama care. most call were labeled scam by the phone. by talk with some callers, and found the plan like mentioned in the post. it is great to know there are so many similar plan here. The premium is very attractive especially for people like me just lost a job. The rate is only 1/3 of you can get from Obama care. I ask those callers, if this is real practical plan why the two parties in our country fight so many years for Obama care? why should not we directly go to this kind health share? I am wondering LHS has problem now, could it be caused by the financial issue no the software, and Samaritan may follow the similar loop in the future? Is there any authority or rating company that rate their financial condition to prevent that those who are healthy now paid membership now and will get reimburse back when they get sick in the future. again, thank you so much to share your experience, I definitely wish there is such better health plan, but there is no free lunch as we are told from the kid. Could this kind plans be true and last long?

  40. I had Samaritan for two years and had two claims – a broken ankle and kidney stones. Samaritan paid 100% and I always received my
    reimbursement within a reasonable time. I also used the teledoc and that was very helpful and convenient. I did have to pay for my own prescriptions, but ACA does not cover all my prescriptions anyway. I used GoodRx and that is cheaper many times than the insured amount. Another thing about Samaritan is, if you negotiate to get your price lowered, Samaritan will reimburse you 100%. Everyone at Samaritan was always very nice to deal with… always very respectful and helpful. Also, since monthly shares are paid directly to other shareholders, its nice to “meet” others and help with their needs each month.

  41. Unite Health Share Ministry (UHSM) should be on this list. No caps, no limits, operated with a traditional style of billing, no reimbursements which is stressful. UHSM has wellness/preventative offered 100% free even on their Catastrophic plans called the Fundamentals. Highly recommend for individuals or families who want to save money, but also have an easy set up with their healthcare.

    • They are a brand new program with no track record to look at. There are so many brand new ones starting up. Medi-Share, CHM, and Samaritan all have been in operation for 20-30 years approximately and have proven track records. I have seen a few of these new ones be shut down by states and our federal government. Please be careful and do your research.

  42. Does anyone know of a Cost Sharing program that accepts/reimburses for naturopathic care? We have been with CHM for several years and have only needed 2 reimbursements for traditional care. We have had a great experience with CHM but they don’t accept alternative docs/care.

    • Knew health allows sharing for alternative/functional medicine by the member submitting a treatment plan & est costs from their licensed provider for prior approval.

    • I’m researching these too to switch from COBRA and found both Samaritan or Solidarity (Catholic) Health share gives you the option to go to your own doctor – no network doctors and one of the two definitely will cover naturopathic care, just don’t remember which right now. Am still researching…

  43. Why does this article only refer to Christian Cost-shares? There are other options that don’t require their members to be of 1 specific faith.

    Why don’t you show support for the other cost-shares that welcome those of all faiths & same sex marriages?
    What about Sedera or Knew Health?

    I’m a member & really satisfied with the support from their team & getting discounts on labs & with the supplemtns I take

  44. Ditto on liberty. horrible. been a member for 3 years. i shudder to think if i’d needed them for anything major since the few minor bills i submitted disappeared into the liberty abyss with all the same experiences trying to get reimbursed everyone else has already stated.
    thanks for all the info—will look into knew-health and samaritan. there’s another new one called zion. anyone have any experience with them?

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