Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health: An HSA for America Comparison Guide
Looking to compare healthshare plans? In this edition of the HSA for America Healthshare Comparison series, in-house expert Lou Spatafore compares Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health, two of the most popular healthshare plans on the market.
Just here to compare costs? Click the Free Quote button below to run an instant quote on a healthshare plan in your area.
Q: What are Healthshare Plans?
Medical Cost Sharing Programs, usually known simply as Healthshare Plans, are an alternative way to pay for emergency or unexpected medical bills. It’s not health insurance, but rather a community-based system designed to share the cost of medical bills among members.
If you’re new to the concept of health sharing, you can get a crash course by reading our complete guide, All You Need to Know About Healthshare Plans.
Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health: Quick Insights
- Choosing the best healthshare plan for you is about considering your personal needs; There is no single plan that would be best for everybody. Working with a Personal Benefits Manager can make it easier to find the right fit and get enrolled fast.
- Liberty Healthshare’s recent controversies, cost-increases, and leadership shake-ups have caused many members to seek a different plan.
- Zion Health’s DIRECT plan is specially designed (and priced) for Direct Primary Care members.
- Zion Health is the more affordable of the two
- Maternity care is eligible for cost-sharing through both companies
Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health: Which Plan is Best?
Liberty Healthshare Review
Liberty Healthshare offers three different cost-sharing programs, each with different monthly costs, out-of-pocket responsibilities, and added perks. Liberty Essential is the most affordable plan starting at $159 per month. While this is higher than Zion’s starting rates, many members appreciate the more Christian-focused atmosphere of Liberty.
Liberty’s recent rate increases were significant, and were unpopular for many members. In addition, a recently settled lawsuit against Liberty has caused some controversy. The result is that many existing Liberty members are now looking for another option.
However, Liberty recently appointed a new CEO, who has introduced a plan to address these issues and improve the member experience.
Pros and Cons of Liberty Healthshare
- Good prescription discount programs (HealthShare RX and SavNet)
- Some preventive care services are available
- Low Initial Unshared Amount (IUA) for most plans
- Higher sharing maximum for pre-existing conditions (after 1 year of membership)
- More expensive than Zion Health
- Some controversy around recent lawsuits and unpaid bills
Zion Health Review
Zion Health is known for having some of the most affordable contribution amounts, starting at just $103 per month for an individual. In addition to low monthly cost, Zion is the only healthcare sharing ministry that offers a plan exclusively for Direct Primary Care Members (Zion DIRECT).
An HSA-compatible healthshare plan is also available through Zion.
All Zion members can augment their plan with low-cost upgrades, including pharmacy discounts, mental health services, and unlimited Teladoc for as low as $5 each. Group plans are also available, giving small businesses a more affordable alternative to employee health insurance.
Pros and Cons of Zion Health
- Low monthly contributions ($75 for the individual DPC plan)
- DPC and HSA-qualified healthshare plans available
- Low-cost add-on options available
- Zion health reviews are overwhelmingly positive
- Adoption and fertility expenses not shareable
- Not a good option for insulin-dependent individuals
Compare Pricing on the Best Healthshare Plans Available
Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health: Point by Point Comparison
Next, we’re going to look at how Liberty and Zion compare when it comes to these critical factors:
- Monthly Contribution Amount: How much the healthshare membership costs per-month
- Member Responsibility Amount: The amount that needs to be paid out-of-pocket before medical bills become eligible for sharing (similar to a deductible).
- Statement of Faith / Statement of Belief: Some healthshare plans are faith-based, others are non-religious. In either case, all healthshare members must agree to certain community and health-based guidelines in order to join.
- Preventive Care Benefits: While healthshare plans are not designed for preventive care, some newer plans are offering cost sharing on select services.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Most healthshare plans have a waiting period before pre-existing conditions are considered eligible for sharing.
- Maternity Care: Maternity care is available in some, but not all healthshare programs.
Monthly Contribution Amounts
*Depending on age and plan options
Individual: $159 – $359
Family: $499 – $849
Individual: $75 – $268
Family: $250 – $790
(Click here to see how much Zion Health would cost in your area)
Member Responsibility Amounts
*Depending on age and plan options
Liberty Healthshare “Annual Unshared Amount” (AUA):
Individual: $1,000 or $4,000
Family: $2,250, $3,000, or $10,000
Zion Health: Choose from $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 per member
Statement of Faith
Liberty Healthshare: A ‘light’ statement of belief according to Christian principles.
Zion Health: None; No faith-based statement is required.
Preventive Care Benefits
Liberty Healthshare: Annual wellness visits are shareable up to a maximum of $400. Mammograms, prostate exams, and Cologuard are eligible for sharing after two months of membership.
Zion Health: 1 free annual office visit, and preventive mammograms and colonoscopies after 6 months of membership. (Note: By pairing Zion DIRECT with a DPC membership, it’s possible to get unrestricted preventive care in addition to emergency cost sharing).
Waiting Period of Pre-Existing Conditions
Liberty Healthshare: 1 year waiting period, $50,000 sharing maximum during years 2 and 3.
Zion Health: 1 year waiting period, $25,000 sharing maximum during year 2, $50,000 cap during year 3.
Liberty Healthshare: Six month waiting period (not available with the Liberty Select plan option)
Zion Health: Maternity is shared as long as the member becomes pregnant after joining. Members pay IUA, but can submit an additional share request to have the IUA waived.
The Verdict: Liberty Healthshare vs Zion Health
In terms of price and versatility, Zion Health has more to offer. The Zion DIRECT plan, for example, starts at just $75 bucks a month if paired with an existing Direct Primary Care membership.
In addition, recent cost increases and legal controversies have driven some members away from Liberty, and towards some of the younger healthshare companies.
This isn’t to say that Liberty isn’t still providing a viable cost sharing option for many people. There’s no question that their more explicitly faith-based structure is important for many, and some of their plan options are more comprehensive than what is available with Zion.
Healthshare Comparison FAQ [How to Choose / Compare Healthshare Plans]
Q: Which health sharing ministry is best?
A: When comparing Liberty Healthshare vs.Zion Health, many choose Zion as the better plan due to its lower cost and better reputation. However, Liberty Healthshare offers higher sharing limits for pre-existing conditions during early years of membership.
Q: Are healthshare plans legitimate?
A: While not the same as ACA health insurance, Healthcare Sharing Plans are a viable way to cut monthly costs while maintaining emergency health protection. Healthshare plans and Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) are both 100% legal and available to everyone.
Q: Is Zion Health faith-based?
A: Unlike some healthcare sharing ministries, Zion Health has no faith or religion-based membership requirements.
Q: Does Zion Health cover maternity?
A: Maternity costs including prenatal, delivery and postnatal care are all eligible for cost-sharing through Zion Health. Unlike other HCSMs, Zion Health does not charge an additional fee for maternity sharing. Members must meet their plan’s Initial Unshared Amount (IUA) before maternity costs are shared.
Q: What are the biggest Liberty Healthshare complaints?
A: In recent years, some Liberty Healthshare members have complained about turnaround times for cost sharing and slower customer service.
Catch Up on the HSA for America Healthshare Comparison Series
Start Your Healthshare Plan Today
There are no enrollment periods for health sharing plans. That means that you won’t need to wait long to have your new health plan in place.
If you’re ready to sign up, the next step is making an appointment with your Personal Benefits Manager (no-cost). We can make sure that you’re getting the best rates possible, and answer any lingering questions you have about your plan.