If you’ve ever heard of it Medi-ShareYou might be intrigued by the promises to cover your healthcare expenses.
Curious? We went over the details to find out how Medi-Share works – and if this is a good option. Here is our honest, unbiased review of the program.
What is Medi-Share?
Medi-Share is a health ministry made up of members united by their faith.
This program and similar medical sharing ministries rely on their members to provide for one another through financial contributions and prayers.
The details work in a similar way to typical health insurance. As with a deductible, members select an amount to contribute as a household before they can submit bills to the community for payment support.
A monthly share payment works like a premium, ensuring that you are eligible for assistance should you need it.
There is no guarantee that Medi-Share will cover your medical expenses, and there are numerous exceptions that you need to consider before applying.
However, if you are particularly religious and healthy, you should consider this alternative to traditional health insurance.
How much does Medi-Share cost?
First, the upfront cost: it’s $ 50 to apply, and you pay a one-time membership fee of $ 120 with your first monthly payment. You pay an additional one-time fee of $ 2 to set up your “Sharing Account”.
In terms of your monthly payment options, Medi-Share’s system is similar to choosing a deductible and a monthly premium for health insurance.
As an example, we calculated the cost of a 30-year-old Florida woman seeking membership only for herself. The share amounts change annually based on the oldest member of the household.
If she chooses an annual household share of $ 12,000 – the amount of medical bills the member must pay out of pocket before being eligible to share – her standard monthly share is $ 118.
If she met certain health and fitness requirements, she could qualify for a healthy monthly portion, which would bring her cost down to $ 115 per month.
As a Medi-Share member when you need medical care and Visit a medi-share providerThey pay $ 35 for doctor visits and hospital stays and $ 200 for emergency rooms. Telemedicine visits cost nothing.
You submit the rest of your invoices to Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) for payment.
The Christian Care Ministry that operates Medi-Share is a 501 (c) 3 but your payments are not tax deductible.
Do you have to be religious to use Medi-Share?
Just as Medi-Share takes up the idea of a community of members who support each other, it also believes in membership that embraces the Christian lifestyle.
“Medi-Share members and their dollars Don’t pay for abortions, drug addictions, or other unscriptural lifestyles, ”According to the website.
Medi-Share also assumes that you will do your best to take care of yourself when you are ready to take care of your Christian community by sharing the burden of medical bills.
Some health problems such as heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes make applicants compulsory Health partnership programThis connects you to a health coach and costs an additional $ 99 per month.
What if you have persistent health?
While Medi-Share can be an attractive option if you are healthy, it is probably better to turn to an ACA health insurance program for coverage.
“The main purpose of Medi-Share is to share the burdens of the members.” explains the program. “Charges are unexpected medical bills that you cannot plan for (e.g. broken bones, cancer, etc.). Low monthly stakes allow you to plan for routine family care that can be scheduled. “
Prescription drugs can be approved for shared costs, but only for up to six months during the member’s lifetime.
Behavioral and mental health care are also not eligible for insurance. This includes psychiatric or psychological care as well as “counseling or support for learning difficulties or behavioral problems” such as ADD or autism.
But here’s the big catch: Routine health examinations cannot be split between cost sharing either.
Good patient care Pap smears and child screening are not included. Dental and visual aids are also not eligible.
For example, if your doctor recommends having a colonoscopy because you have reached a certain age, you will not be able to submit the test for Medi-Share payment. If you have symptoms that warrant the same test, the program may grant payment.
So is Medi-Share legitimate?
Here is our conclusion: Medi-Share is not a scam.
It is completely legal and has a strong membership base to support it and programs like it.
However, for most people, this probably isn’t the cheapest health care option. The ideal candidate for Medi-Share is in excellent health and has a robust savings account that can be paid out of pocket for routine medical care.
One risk: Medi-Share and other cost-sharing programs do not exist subject to regulation like typical ACA programs.
While a typical health insurance benefits brochure may clearly explain what is covered and guarantee coverage up to a certain amount or percentage, Medi-Share participants may not be able to find out in advance what medical bills will be paid by the program.
While Medi-Share may not be the best financial choice for most people, it serves as an option for anyone who doesn’t have access to job-sponsored health insurance or who find individual ACA insurance options prohibitively expensive.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com