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Friday, June 14, 2024

Is Health Sharing Only Religious?

The number of people signing up for faith-based medical cost-sharing programs has skyrocketed since Obamacare passed. These health care sharing ministries aren’t regulated by state insurance departments, and consumers who have problems with them aren’t protected by consumer protection laws.

Members make monthly payments, known as “monthly shares,” that go to other members for eligible medical bills. These plans generally don’t cover preventive care, maternity or abortions.

Membership Requirements

Health sharing ministries are nonprofit organizations that help members share their medical expenses. Most of them are faith-based and require members to follow a set of religious standards. For example, some ministries like Samaritan Ministries require members to be part of a certain denomination while others, such as Medishare and netWell, only allow members to choose doctors from their network.

These organizations also don’t cover certain medical conditions, such as tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse, and some don’t allow out-of-wedlock pregnancies or abortions. Additionally, they usually have a waiting period for certain medical procedures and an exclusion list for some conditions.

While these requirements are different from those of insurance companies, some may find that they are still restrictive. Luckily, there are some non-religious options available for those who want to save money on their healthcare costs. Choosing the right program will depend on your personal values and lifestyle preferences.


Health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) aren’t insurance companies, but they help members reduce their medical costs. These cost-sharing programs are open to people of all faiths, but most sharers are Christian. They’re controversial because they don’t comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates. Many also don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Most health sharing ministries share only those expenses that align with their member guidelines. For example, some sharers won’t pay for drug abuse, abortion or maternity expenses out of wedlock. Other expenses include funerals and adoptions.

Most HCSMs require a monthly contribution to share in members’ eligible medical needs. This is often referred to as a “share amount” or “monthly share.” Some members may also have deductibles or co-pays. Members can usually use their share amounts with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Many also offer discounts on dental and vision services. Some HCSMs don’t require membership fees, but they often have higher monthly share amounts than traditional health insurance.


A health sharing program allows members to break free from traditional health insurance. Instead, you share medical expenses with fellow members who have similar beliefs. This type of healthcare-sharing program does not provide the protection of a health insurance policy and may not be available in all states.

Healthshare ministries take to heart the Gospel’s mandate in Galatians 6:2 to bear one another’s burdens. These non-profit 501(c)3 organizations also give back to their communities. They have become increasingly popular with the rise of ACA premiums.

The benefits of a Christian health sharing ministry include low cost coverage and spiritual support. While many people join for the financial benefit, others enjoy the sense of community that comes with it. These programs often provide personal checks to members with medical needs, along with get-well cards and notes of encouragement.

Unlike a health insurance plan, these programs do not typically cover pre-existing conditions. They also do not pay for medical care that conflicts with their religious beliefs, such as abortions and gender reassignment surgery.

Choosing a HealthShare

Healthshares, also known as healthcare sharing ministries or medical cost-sharing programs, are non-profits that aren’t subject to the same regulations as traditional insurance. As such, they can offer significantly lower costs for the same benefits.

Choosing the right plan can be confusing, and it’s important to understand what’s being shared, how much you’ll pay and whether there are exclusions. You should also speak with a medical professional and other members of the share to get their feedback.

Many healthcare sharing ministries require membership in a particular faith, and some have strict requirements including a commitment to abstain from tobacco or drug use, follow healthy lifestyle habits, and attend church regularly. They often exclude procedures that violate the tenets of their religion, such as abortion and maternity expenses out of wedlock. In addition, some sharers are required to sign a statement of faith or have their membership revoked if they fail to comply with these stipulations.

Kaifi Ahmad
Kaifi Ahmad
Through his work, Yasir aims not only to inform but also to empower readers, equipping them with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions in an increasingly digital financial world. With a commitment to accuracy, integrity, and innovation, Yasir continues to be a driving force in shaping the discourse surrounding fintech on FintechZoomPro.net.

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