Health & Wellness / Medicare / Your Medicare Advisor

What Is a Healthshare Program?

HealthShare

Dear AMAC,

I am expecting to retire at the end of the year and have been doing some research about my options for insurance. A friend mentioned to me that they have a HealthShare plan through their ministry. My friend says the premium is very affordable and seems to be happy with the coverage, but I’ve never heard of this before. What is a HealthShare plan?

-Gerald (Lexington, KY)

Hello Gerald,

HealthShare programs have been around for quite some time, however they became more recognized in recent years as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Although membership is not limited to a certain age group or location, these plans are usually offered by faith-based groups. These programs are not “insurance”, but they can help pay for healthcare services.

This is how it works: HealthShare plans have a fee-pooling system where all members pay a monthly membership fee and some sort of deductible up front. When one of the members has a claim, they submit it to the program for payment. Some plans will not cover your until you have made a predetermined number of payments.

HealthShare programs can decide not to cover pre-existing conditions, preventative care, reproductive care, or services for substance use disorders. They can also determine which health services they will choose to cover and may deny claims for services that do not align with their religious beliefs. There is also no legal protection for the consumer should the HealthShare program go bankrupt or fail to pay claims since they are offered by private groups.

HealthShare programs are not designed to replace your Original Medicare or drug coverage. If you fail to pick up Parts A, B, or D, then you could incur a penalty later. The HealthShare plan is not a supplement to Medicare either. If you have Medicare and a HealthShare plan, your provider will bill Medicare first. You can take the unpaid portion of your bill to the HealthShare plan, but there is no guarantee that they will pay towards it.

These are the risks associated with HealthShare programs, however it’s not to say that they can’t work for some. These plans may cover items that traditional insurance does not, like funeral expenses, adoption fees, etc. Also, there is a sense of community among members that is unique to this type of program. They promote that they are non-profit and therefore are more affordable because they don’t have a big overhead like major insurance companies. But again, you could run the risk of having significant out of pocket costs so it may not be that affordable in the long run.

If you would like to review specific plan options, our licensed agents here at AMAC are happy to assist you. They are licensed with top-rated insurers throughout the country.

Call 1-855-611-4856 to speak with one today!


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Randy
1 month ago

Well Pete, you just made it onto their list. Never threaten the lives of other people on social media. No one can stop you from thinking it when you are angry about something like this, but you are setting yourself up to become a target by making such statements here.

Karen
1 month ago

We have Samaritan Ministries. My husband has been doctoring for 1 1/2 years. Recently diagnosed with post hepatic bile duct cancer, and had whipple surgery at University of Chicago hospital. SM worked with ACCU to secure a loan for up front financing, and our shares will pay this loan. We have ‘Classic plan, and participate in ‘Save to Share’, so we are not capped at $250,000. As a member, you must ask for a self-pay discount. Often this requires full up-front payment. We plan for this, but cancer treatment is really expensive. SM has helped us figure it out, and they pray with us. We’re pleased with Samaritan Ministries.

Editor
Sabrinah Cave
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

Hello Karen,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your HealthShare program. Cancer treatments can be very expensive, and I am glad to hear that you will not have to face this burden alone. We will be keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Dan W.
1 month ago

How do HealthShare plans handle random large claims (claims that exceed $250,000) ?

Do the plans buy separate stop-loss or reinsurance policies to cover the amount of large claims over a certain amount or do the plans simply cap the amount that can be paid on any single accident or illness ?

Editor
Sabrinah Cave
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Hello Dan,

That is a great question. HealthShare programs may have per incident or per lifetime limits, however some programs have unlimited lifetime sharing. It really depends on the organization you obtain the coverage through and whether they will cover such a large claim.

Marchia K. Razayeski
1 month ago

I belong to Medishare. I am very happy with this organization. It
Helps families and Seniors. I would recommend it to all. It will not cover abortion. same sex marriage, or other non Christian
Ideas.

charles
1 month ago

thank God.

Patricia M
1 month ago

Yes…Thank God is right! Amen! I am a Catholic Christian and am against abortion, same-sex marriage, sex change too. and other un- natural actions (for lack of the correct term).

Dan W.
1 month ago
Reply to  Patricia M

We don’t need a lecture about un-natural actions from a member of the Catholic church.

You’ve got a problem that has been going on for decades in the Catholic church that you need to keep focusing on before casting stones at others.

Bill
18 days ago
Reply to  Dan W.

I’m not a catholic but am a Christian. Nice try Dan. Leftists always use name calling and intimidation first so well done. You follow that pattern well. You may as well call me racist too, typical of your ilk.

Editor
Sabrinah Cave
1 month ago

Hello Marchia,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It certainly is a plus to be aligned with an organization that shares your beliefs. Many people have mentioned that is one reason why they enjoy their HealthShare plans.

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