MediShare is one of the oldest and largest health sharing programs in the country. But is it the best one? In this MediShare comparison guide, we’re comparing two of the most popular healthshare plans: MediShare vs. Zion Health. We’ll use six different comparison points to see which healthshare comes out on top, including membership requirements, monthly cost, plan options, and more.
MediShare vs. Zion Healthshare Comparison [Key Takeaways]
- Both MediShare and Zion Health provide a viable and low-cost alternative to health insurance, but healthcare sharing is not the right choice for everybody.
- MediShare is the best option for anyone looking for a community that fits with their Christian lifestyle. Their 98% customer satisfaction rating is unmatched in the industry.
- Zion Health is a more modern healthshare program, offering membership to everyone regardless of religion or faith. Their DPC healthshare option is custom-tailored to work alongside a Direct Primary Care membership.
- The best healthshare plan for you will depend on your age, location, budget, and health needs, among other factors.
New to all this? Here are the Pros and Cons of Health Share Plans
Before making any educated healthshare comparison, it’s necessary to know a little more about how medical cost sharing programs work.
Here are the basic pros and cons of health share plans to get you started:
Health Share Plans: Pros
- More affordable than unsubsidized insurance
- You don’t have to pay for coverage that you’re not using
- Totally legal alternative to Obamacare
Health Share Plans: Cons
- More limitations than insurance for preventive care, primary care, and pre-existing conditions
- Many (but not all) healthshare plans have annual and/or lifetime cost sharing limits
- Some hospitals and doctors do not accept MediShare
MediShare vs. Zion Health: How to Compare Healthshare Plans
This healthshare comparison guide will consider both MediShare and Zion Health using the following points of comparison:
- Statement of Faith / Statement of Principles: Faith-based healthshare organizations require members to agree to a statement of faith, while non-religious healthshare plans may require adhering to an even more flexible Statement of Principles.
- Membership Requirements: Most health sharing programs require members to maintain certain health standards, like abstaining from illegal drugs. Faith-based health shares may require members to agree to Biblically-inspired lifestyle requirements like going to church.
- Monthly Cost: Healthshare members submit a voluntary monthly contribution in order to gain access to cost sharing.
- Annual Household / Member Portion: Like traditional insurance, healthshare plans require members to cover a certain predefined dollar amount before cost sharing “kicks in”. MediShare calls this the Annual Household Portion, or AHP. Zion Health calls this the Initial Unshared Amount, or IUA.
- Plan Options: Most healthshare organizations offer a number of different memberships, each with different monthly cost, annual member commitment, additional features, and more.
- Sharing Limits: Health share plans may come with daily, annual, or lifetime sharing limits. This is the highest dollar amount that will be cost-shared by your specific plan.
Compare Pricing on the Best Healthshare Plans Available
Healthshare Comparison Guide: MediShare vs. Zion Health
Part I: Statement of Faith
|Medishare Statement of Faith:
MediShare’s Statement of Faith is mandatory for all members. It is based on the Biblical principles of integrity, community, and spiritual excellence, and is designed to strengthen MediShare’s Christian member community.
|Zion Health Principles of Membership:
Zion’s Principles of Membership is a series of 5 non-religious statements that members must attest to. These include the belief in community, sharing one another’s healthcare cost, practicing good health measures, and caring for the physical and mental well-being of family members.
Part II: Membership Requirements
|MediShare Membership Requirements:
In addition to agreeing to the MediShare Statement of Faith, all members also agree to:
|Zion Health Membership Requirements
In order to qualify for membership, Zion members must:
Part III: Monthly Cost
|MediShare Monthly Cost:
MediShare programs have different monthly costs depending on which Annual Household Portion (AHP) you choose. Individual programs begin around $130, while health sharing for a family of four could be as little as $350 per month.
|Zion Health Monthly Cost:
Zion Health is one of the most affordable healthshare programs available, with individual memberships starting at $105 per month. Members who want a smaller out-of-pocket risk can choose a plan for $185, and only be responsible for a $1000 Initial Unshared Amount if they need to use cost sharing.
Part IV: Annual Household / Member Portion
|MediShare Annual Household Portion
MediShare members must meet the Annual Household Portion (AHP) before they can access cost sharing through the community. Members can choose from seven different AHP options, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. The higher the AHP, the lower the monthly cost of that specific program.
|Zion Health Initial Unshared Amount
Zion members can choose an Initial Unshared Amount of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000.
Part V: Plan Options
|MediShare Plan Options
MediShare offers only one medical cost sharing program for all of its members. However, members can choose from a range of cost options.
|Zion Health Plan Options
Zion Health has three different IUA options for their main membership. They also offer a DPC Healthshare Plan that is designed to work alongside an existing Direct Primary Care membership.Zion Health also offers healthshare programs that are built exclusively for small businesses.
Part VI: Cost Sharing Limits
|MediShare Sharing Limits
MediShare does not impose an annual or lifetime limit on any of its members.
|Zion Health Sharing Limits
There is no lifetime limit on the dollar amount that can be shared by a Zion member.
MediShare Review: “Christian Health Insurance” (That’s Not Really Insurance)
MediShare has been around for a long time, offering members of the Christian faith a new way to pay for medical expenses. Since the beginning, MediShare has offered sharing programs for less than half the cost of unsubsidized insurance plans.
The biggest advantages of MediShare are a low monthly cost, and the opportunity to join like minded people in an explicitly faith-based community. MediShare is also popular for their health incentive program, which makes it possible for members to lower their rates even further by completing simple health tasks.
Q: Is Medi-Share Insurance Legitimate?
Medi-Share is a legal, legitimate company; however, it is not an insurance company. Healthshare plans like those offered by MediShare are private, membership-based cost sharing programs.Read More: “Does MediShare Cover Dental” – HSA for America
Zion Health Review: A New Breed of Flexible Healthshare Plan
The Zion Health family of healthshare programs, which includes MPB Health, is a good option for anyone looking for a non-religious health sharing plan. Zion accepts everyone into their programs, regardless of pre-existing conditions or personal religion. (However, pre-existing conditions are subject to a waiting period before cost sharing becomes available, with some exceptions).
MediShare vs. Zion Health: Healthshare Comparison Final Verdict
The best healthshare plan for you will depend on a few things, including:
- Your current health
- Your ongoing medical needs, including prescriptions
- Your budget
- Your personal preferences
MediShare is a good choice for people who want to enroll in a Christian health sharing program and don’t mind committing to a biblical Statement of Faith. MediShare is also one of the largest and longest-running HCSMs, which gives them added credibility in the growing healthshare market.
Zion Health (Or MPB Health) is the only health sharing program that offers an HSA compatible plan. Unlike MediShare, no one is denied membership based on prior medical conditions or religious beliefs. MPB Direct is a popular plan option, designed to lower monthly costs even further by pairing with Direct Primary Care.
Read the Full HSA for America Health Sharing Plans Comparison Guide
Would you like to get a better grasp of medical cost sharing and how it works? Visit our website to read our complete guide, ‘Best Healthshare Plans Comparison Guide 2023’.
Ready to sign up for MediShare or Zion Health? With HSA for America, you can get free, expert help from your very own Personal Benefits Manager. Click here to schedule a no-cost consultation, or give us a call at 800-913-0172 to get started.
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Here are some additional articles on healthsharing programs: MediShare vs. OneShare Health: How Two Popular Health Sharing Plans Compare | The Most Effective Healthcare Strategies for Small Businesses With Less Than 50 Employees | OneShare Health Review – 2023 Update
Mike Montes is a Personal Benefits Manager at HSA for America. His aim is to help you make smart and informed healthcare coverage decisions that will fit your needs and budget. Read more about Mike on his Bio page.