Christian Healthcare Ministries Guide 2024

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Health Insurance, Health Sharing Programs, Heathsharing | 0 comments

Christian healthcare sharing ministries and their predecessors, fraternal benefit societies and mutual aid associations have been helping members in need for centuries.

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Today, Christian healthcare ministries – the primary driver behind modern health sharing plans – continue to be an excellent choice for people who want to save money, and gain more control over their own healthcare choices compared to traditional Obamacare-style Marketplace health insurance plans.

In this article, we’ll look at how these Christian healthcare ministries work. We’ll also discuss how they can help you find a more affordable solution to paying for the high cost of healthcare – while staying true to your Biblical values.

The Values Gap

It’s no secret that the beliefs of many Christians conflict with the practices of most health insurance companies and political leaders.

Much of this disagreement centers around medical procedures that are contrary to Christian beliefs.

Qualified Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans often cover procedures many Christians find objectionable, such as abortion, in vitro fertilization, and gender reassignment surgeries.

That means a portion of the money you pay into these plans could be used to support these procedures.

The discrepancy is clear. Christian values and the practices of traditional health insurance are often not aligned.

High Health Insurance Costs

But there are other issues with traditional insurance plans as well:

  • They deliberately use confusing language and exclusions, making it difficult to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.
  • High operational costs get passed down to the customer as higher premiums, and these costs continue to rise.
  • Filing claims and getting approvals can be slow and cumbersome due to a crazy amount of required paperwork.
  • There’s no ability to customize services specifically to your own needs. This means you are often paying for coverage you don’t want or need, such as drug addiction and alcoholism treatment for people who don’t use drugs or drink at all.

People need alternative solutions that accommodate religious and ethical beliefs, allow for more flexibility and choice, and provide great services at an affordable price.

Compare Pricing on the Best Insurance Plans Available

Christian Healthcare Sharing Ministries

That’s where Christian healthcare sharing ministries – the organizations that sponsor and operate Christian health sharing plans – come in.

First, health sharing programs are not the same as traditional insurance.

Instead, health sharing ministries are non-profit associations of health-conscious people with similar values that get together and agree to share each other’s medical bills.

The costs are usually lower than unsubsidized  insurance premiums. And you are typically free to choose your own providers. Most health share ministries don’t restrict you to any narrow networks of approved providers, and instead allow you to use your benefits with any doctor or provider.

While most health sharing organizations have Christian principles, there are also some non-denominational healthshare organizations, as well as some that do not have any religious affiliation.

History of Christian Healthcare Ministries

This approach to health care has a rich history, deeply rooted in the Christian tradition of mutual aid.

The concept goes back at least a century. Amish and Mennonite communities in the United States would pool money to help members facing medical debt.

Health sharing plans underwent a surge in popularity in the 1980s, as rising healthcare prices in general forced many families out of traditional insurance.

A number of new health sharing ministries arose to meet the demand. These newer organizations were much more sophisticated than their earlier mutual aid society predecessors.

Health sharing plans experienced another boost when Congress exempted health sharing members from the Affordable Care Act’s health sharing mandate – a surge in popularity that continues to this day.

These healthsharing plans are an excellent option for those who are in relatively good health, who don’t qualify for a significant subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, and who are already committed to living a healthy lifestyle.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you consider joining a health sharing plan:

  • There may be sharing limits, so it’s important to know the specific guidelines of each program.
  • They may not share costs for checkups or preventive screenings. So be prepared to pay out of pocket for these services – or join a direct primary care practice.
  • You may have to pay some costs up front, then submit your receipts or superbill to your health sharing organization for sharing after receiving the services.
  • There are usually waiting periods before pre-existing conditions and surgeries can be shared, so it’s important to research the details.
  • Unlike some health insurance premiums, contributions are not tax-deductible.

While these are all important factors to consider, many feel the overall savings outweigh the costs, especially for those not eligible for ACA subsidies. Health sharing plans typically save up to 50% off the cost of unsubsidized traditional health insurance premiums.

There are some excellent programs out there to help provide the best of both a health sharing program and traditional insurance, such as the HSA MEC plan. Reach out to a Personal Benefits Manager if you’d like to know more about this option.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: Aligning Your Values with Your Health Care

Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is a non-profit organization founded on Christian principles.

CMH operates as a ministry, not as an insurance company. They are one of the oldest health sharing programs in the US with more than 2 million members.

Members contribute monthly financial amounts, called “shares,” which are used to cover the eligible medical expenses of other members. This model is based on the biblical principle that we should share each other’s burdens to make it easier for all.

Here are a few of the key features:

  1. Cost Sharing: Members share medical expenses through monthly contributions. These contributions are often lower than traditional health insurance premiums.
  2. Eligible Medical Expenses: CHM outlines specific medical costs that are eligible for sharing among members aligning with Christian values.
  3. Membership Requirements: To join CHM, individuals typically need to adhere to a Christian lifestyle, agreeing to live according to biblical principles.
  4. Pre-existing Conditions: CHM has guidelines on how it handles pre-existing conditions, often involving a waiting period before such conditions are eligible for cost sharing.
  5. No Coverage Mandates: CHM is not required to cover all procedures mandated by the ACA, so it typically doesn’t cover practices that conflict with that organization’s Christian beliefs, such as abortion or gender reassignment surgery. You won’t be stuck paying for services you don’t agree with.
  6. Freedom to Choose: Members of most CHMs are able to choose their own healthcare providers, and are not limited by pre-defined networks.
  7. Community Support: Beyond financial assistance, CHM emphasizes spiritual support among its members, encouraging prayer and community in times of medical need.

Christian Healthcare Ministries offers a viable, money-saving alternative to traditional insurance.

Members can save up to 50% compared to the cost of unsubsidized ACA plans. This is a significant savings!

Compare Pricing on the Best HealthShare Plans Available

Christian Healthcare Ministries Conclusion

Health sharing ministries offer a refreshing alternative to traditional health insurance, and Christian Healthcare Ministries stands at the forefront of this innovative approach.

HSA for America is the leading health benefits broker in the United States when it comes to health sharing plans. Our Personal Benefits Managers are sought-after experts when it comes to connecting people with the best possible health plan for their own particular needs and budget.

Contact a Personal Benefits Manager today to find out more, and for  assistance with the enrollment process. You deserve a healthcare program that can provide the services you need while upholding the principles you cherish.

For Further Reading: Christian Health Insurance [2024 Guide] | Unraveling Healthcare Sharing Ministries: Faith-Based and Secular HealthShare Options | How a Christian Healthcare Sharing Ministry Can Benefit Your Church, and It’s Congregation

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