The Ins and Outs of Medi-Share

Medical insurance has been at the forefront of American minds for years now. Rising costs have led to many calls for reform within the American medical system, but others have developed their own solutions for the problem. One unique solution is a program known as Medi-share. Much like any new program, there are a lot of unknowns regarding Medi-share. The biggest of these being what exactly is Medi-share, and how does it work?

Medi-share is a truly unique health insurance option in that it is not really health insurance. According to the official Medi-share website the program does not include any contractual agreement to pay medical bills. Instead, users are matched with each other to help pay for medical expenses through community giving. Users pay a monthly premium that is then used to help pay the medical expenses of another member. When that user then has their own medical expenses to deal with, the community reaches out to help them cover their bills.

Medi-share offers members a variety of plans for individuals and families, and boasts a plan to fit any budget. Under Medi-share 2.0, members determine their monthly payment based upon an Annual Household Portion (AHP) level.The (AHP) is very similar to a Deductible. In other words, users determine how much of their yearly medical bills they can afford to pay before Medi-share publishes bills for payment support. Medi-share plans include the following seven AHP levels:

$500 $1,250 $2,500 $3,750 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000

The price for each monthly plan is also determined by the number of individuals covered. After the AHP is determined, prospective members need to select the number of individuals in the household (one, two, or a family of three or more), and provide the age of the oldest individual the plan will cover. All these factors play into the final monthly payment owed.

Medi-share also offers a special plan for senior citizens called Senior Assist. The goal of the plan is to assist those with Medicare Parts A and B by covering the gaps in their Medicare coverage. Senior Assist is available to those who apply, ideally, before their 66th birthday. The Senior Assist program works the same way as the general Medi-share program, where other members help cover medical expenses. However, the coverage is limited to the following expenses:

Copayments Deductibles Hospitalization Stays in skilled nursing facilities Urgent care at out of country providers

Medi-share may seem like, pardon the pun, a gift from God. A faith-based community of strangers banding together to help one another cover their medical costs, but enrollment does come with a hitch. Those who wish to become members must be able to prove their faith in the following ways:

Regularly attend services and actively support a ministry Complete a Statement of Faith and have a verifiable testimony of a relationship with the Lord Believe biblical doctrines that view the body as a pure entity and treat it as such Not engage in sexual intercourse outside of a Christian marriage Not use tobacco or abuse drugs or alcohol

Medi-share is indeed a unique program for providing assistance with medical care, but unlike health insurance programs this route uses blatant discrimination to prevent certain individuals from benefiting from its service. specifically points out that only those engaging in sexual intercourse within a “Christian” marriage are allowed to join. This immediately eliminates gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals from enrolling in Medi-share. The program also places limits on services it covers based upon religious beliefs and states specifically that abortions will not be covered under any circumstance.

To be clear, Medi-share is not an insurance program. Medi-share operates as a non-profit group and while members pay into a group fund each month, the money is never Medi-share’s money. Furthermore, Medi-share is not required to pay any bill, nor keep cash reserves on hand.

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