Please complete the request form below to receive available plans and rates on the Sharing Ministry plans in your area. Remember, these are NOT insurance policies, but Faith based Organizations that pool funds together and share in health costs of all their members.
Our personal thoughts on these type of plans is this: They are great plans, only problem is there’s no guarantee your medical expenses will be covered, and there are plenty of exemptions to consider before you apply. What we tell our customers before they make a final decision is to weight out the Pros and Cons.
The main positive is you can save lots per month and it will work similar to an insurance plan, but not exactly.
In no particular order:
1. You must adhere to living a strict Biblical lifestyle in order to maintain your membership.
2. Depending on which plan you take, because there are multiple Sharing Ministry Plans, none of them cover pre-existing conditions on the effective date. Some you have to wait 2-3 years before they are covered, while other do not ever cover pre-existing conditions.
3. Since these plans are not insurance, they are not available for purchase on the marketplace. They are exempt from the ACA rules, therefore you cannot get a subsidy to pay for them, and they don’t have to cover things like maternity, preventive care, etc like an ACA plan does.
4. Prescription drugs can be eligible for cost-sharing, but typically they are only are covered for six months for the lifetime of the member.
5. Most Sharing Ministry plans do not share in all costs, for instance routine physicals and health maintenance costs may not be eligible for sharing.
For those who visit the doctor regularly, these plans are definitely more work on you as the patient. Typically how it works is: You go to the doctor and you get a bill from the doctor, then mail it to the Sharing Ministry Plan you have chosen. All of the members of that plan then determine what portion will be paid. Next, the doctors office sends you an updated “adjusted” bill, with the Sharing Ministry Plan discount or the portion they paid amount deducted, then you have to pay the remainder of the balance to the doctor.
Most of the claims are approved for payment, however, if a claim involves use of alcohol, drugs, or is as a result of a non-Biblical lifestyle, it would be reviewed and could and probably would be denied. If this happened, your plan would also be cancelled. If this happened in the middle of the year, you would not qualify for a special event to get enrolled into an ACA plan, and therefore would go the rest of the year until open enrollment without insurance. This would probably be one of the biggest problem we see with these type of plans.
Our general recommendation, the program is perfect for healthy Christians who are committed to the Biblical lifestyle; ie don’t smoke, don’t drink. However if you already have multiple health conditions, take maintenance medications, or you smoke, drink, etc, you need to look at an alternative. One alternative would be, if you are mostly healthy, a short term plan may be perfect. The main thing with it is since it is not ACA qualified, you may be subject to the penalty when you file your taxes. Another alternative may be small group insurance if you own a business. It just takes one w-2 employee to qualify.
Look over all of these options at 2017HealthOptions and hopefully you can decide for yourself.