Comparison Guide to Health Sharing Plans
(also called Christian Medical Sharing Plans)

This simple chart allows you to directly compare the major Christian health sharing plans.  These plans are allowed as a substitute for  the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) a.k.a, "ObamaCare", so you won't pay a tax penalty if you switch to one of these.  But you WILL likely save hundreds to thousands of dollars per month!

Below is a comparison table that lists the 6 major health sharing providers. The prices and numbers below are exact in some cases and ranges or estimates in others.  This is due to the pricing models of each of the companies; some have simple flat pricing models, while others ask a number of questions and give you several choices and create a unique quote for each case. In those cases, we provided the general ranges. Keep in mind, if you are looking at this page on a cell phone, that is a terrible idea.  The information is way too complex and voluminous for your cellphone to display it properly. Please switch to a computer, laptop, notebook, ipad or tablet!

Key Points about Health Sharing Plans:

  • You can see any doctor or health care provider you want; there is no network you must stay within.
  • You just show the provider your membership card when they ask for insurance.
  • You either pay in person and are reimbursed or the bill is sent directly to your Plan.
  • These are Christian plans; religion is the one exception allowed to Obamacare, so you must agree abide by the principals, which include common sense health practices, like maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, not drinking to excess, nor taking illicit drugs, etc.
  • You will not be subject to any IRS penalties; these plans are legal and acceptable replacements for an ACA plan.
  • Pre-existing conditions, especially ANY form of cancer can be a problem. Liberty won't even take you until 5 years has passed from treatment of cancer, even in simple cases like prostate cancer in which the prostate was completely removed.
  • Some plans negotiate costs with providers, some do not.
  • Some plans pay seamlessly, your provider bills the plan, others don't
  • Samaritan may take 2 to 3 months to reimburse you: "The sharing turnaround time is normally within two to three months from receipt of your medical bills and required information. If your Need Processing Form is correct and complete, and there are no ongoing financial negotiations with providers, your need will be shared at the beginning of the second month after we receive your need. For example, a need received by the end of September would be processed in October and shared at the beginning of November."

Here are some terms you also need to know.

To shift from thinking from traditional insurance plans to health sharing plans, these are the terms:

  • Deductibles are called personal responsibility, annual household portion (AHP), or the Annual Unshared Amount (AUA), or
    Member Shared Responsibility Amount (MSRA) or Member Responsible Amount (MRA). For simplicity, we use the terms interchangeably.
  • Premiums are called a monthly “share” or monthly contribution.
  • Claims are called eligible event, need, incident, or illness
  • Explanation of Benefits (EoB) is called the Explanation of Sharing (EoS)
  • Pre-existing conditions - Any illness or accident for which a person has been diagnosed, received medical treatment, been examined, taken medication, or had symptoms within the plans defined period of time prior to the application date.

 

Click here for a PDF print version of the table below

(if you are viewing this on a cellphone - a bad idea, the table is too big ]and scroll inside the table to the right] - And on either a cell phone or tablet,  you will want to turn the phone or tablet sidewaye to landscape

 

Comparison Guide to Health Sharing Plans

Keep in mind, in some cases, the prices provided are estimates - you must contact the provider and provide your details for a specific quote.

  Liberty
(website)
Christian Health Ministries (CHM)(website) Samaritan Ministries
(website)
Medi-Share
(website)
AlieraCare
(website)
Altrua
(website)
Plan (column)
 /
 Feature (rows)
Complete choice Plus Share  Gold /Silver / Bronze plans Basic Plan Classic Plan
One, plan, but many choices in deductibles
Value, Plus and Premium Plans They have 4 plans (combined below)
Overview If you have no pre-existing conditions, especially cancer, within 5 years, Liberty could be the best option at the cost. Although their monthly shares are low, since their deductibles are "incident-based" , it could become costly. Samaritan seems very complex, does not cover preventative care, and you must negotiate prices with the doctor or provider. Medi-Share seems like a pretty good option if you are generally healthy, especially when paired with their upgrade. But it doesn't cover preventative care. AlieraCare is more like traditional insurance, with 3 plans and 3 deductible levels for 9 different combinations, focused on preventative care, minor doctors visits and catastrophic They have a 2 tier deductible. After the 1st deductible is met, the plan pays 75%, after the 2nd, it pays 100%. They use different age ranges than the others, too.
Single Total monthly share
 (age 18-29)
$299 $274 $262 $150 / $85 / $45 $100 $160 Roughly $50 to $200 (depends on exact age and the deductible you choose) $142 to $266 Ages 0 to 39: ranges from $100 to $269
Single Total monthly share
 (age 30-64)
$299 $224 $199 $150 / $85 / $45 $140 $220 Roughly $100 to $600 (depends on exact age and the deductible you choose) $175 to $490 Ages 40 to 49: ranges from $100 to $269.
Ages 50 to 59: $100 to $363
Ages 60 to 64: ranges from $100 to $470.
Single Total monthly share
 (age over 64)
$299 $274 $262 $150 / $85  / $45 $100 $160 Roughly $50 to $200 (depends on exact age and the deductible you choose) N/A Not covered
Couple Total monthly share
  (age 18-29)
$349 $374 $381 $300 / $170 / $90 $200 $440 Roughly $55 to $350 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) $260 to $370 Ages 0 to 39: ranges from $150 to $403
Couple Total monthly share
  (age 30-64)
$399 $324 $299 $300 / $170 / $90 $280 $440 Roughly $150 to $900 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) $319 to $683 Ages 40 to 49: ranges from $150 to $444.
Ages 50 to 59: $150 to $625
Ages 60 to 64: ranges from $150 to $820.
Couple Total monthly share
  (age over 64)
$349 $374 $381 $300 / $170 / $90 $200 $440 Roughly $55 to $350 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) N/A Not covered
Family Total monthly share
  (age 18-29, and kids)
$479 $504 $529 $450 / $255 / $135 $250 $495 Roughly $170 to $800 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) $357 to $513 Ages 0 to 39: ranges from $150 to $403
Family Total monthly share
  (age 30-64, and kids)
$529 $454 $429 $450 / $255 / $135 $350 $495 Roughly $200 to $1,000 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) $439 to $947 Ages 40 to 49: ranges from $150 to $444.
Ages 50 to 59: $150 to $625
Ages 60 to 64: ranges from $150 to $820.
Family Total monthly share
  (age over 64, and kids)
$479 $504 $529 $450 / $255 / $135 $250 $495 Roughly $170 to $800 (depends on exact ages and the deductible you choose) N/A Not covered
1 One-time fees
(plus any annual dues in the row below)
None, just the $135 annual fee below None, just the $135 annual fee below None, just the $125 annual fee below It looks like there are none. One time startup fee
$200 Non
Refundable (plus the annual dues below)
Medi-Share applicants pay a one-time, non-refundable $50 application fee. New members pay a one-time $120 member fee that is paid with the first monthly share payment (does not apply to Senior Assist members). There is also a one-time fee of $2 for setting up your sharing account. $125 non-refundable application fee All new members pay a $100 application fee and a $25 fee that goes to Altrua Ministries that is not refundable. 
2 Annual additional dues or fees $135 first year, $75 in future years $135 first year, $75 in future years $125 first year, $75 in future years It looks like there are none. First year fee is also 2 shares
(2 month's "premium", future years are 1 month's share)
None. None None
3 Coverage Eligible bills up to $1,000,000 Eligible bills up to $125,000 70% of Eligible bills up to $125,000 Gold  covers 100% of any medical incident exceeding $500 as long as all other Guidelines are met.  At the Silver level, you have a $1,000 personal responsibility per incident. At the Bronze level, you have a $5,000 personal responsibility per incident 90% above annual deductible 100% above annual deductible 100% above annual deductible 100% above MSRA (like an annual deductible) See the annual deductible section. After the 2nd deductible (MRA), the plans pay 100%, Between the 1st and second MRA's, the plans pay 75%. Below the 1st MRA, the member pays 100%.
4 Limits $1,000,000 $125,000 $125,000  up to $125,000 per illness. See item 6 below $236,000 $250,000  Eligible Medical Bills have no annual or lifetime limit. $150,000 / $250,000 / $500,000 per incident and $1M lifetime for all plans  Lifetime Limit of $1,000,000; Bronze also has a limit of $50,000 per calendar year
5 Annual deductibles $1,000 for an individual, $1,750 for a couple, $2,250 for a family Their plans are $500 deductible per medical incident (example, per illness or injury, from diagnosis through completed treatment), so if you have a broken leg, malaria and appendicitis, in one year, that would cost $1,500 (3 incidents) $1,500 $300 from $1,000 to $10,500 depending on the plan you choose.  Higher deductibles means lower premiums. They offer 3 levels for each plan:
$5,000, $7,500 and $10,000
GOLD -  $500 per person per calendar year before the 2nd MRA applies. Between $500 and $2,500 the plan pays 75%.
SILVER The member is responsible for $1,000 per person per calendar year before the 2nd MRA applies. Between $1,000 and $2,500 the plan pays 75%. 
BRONZE  The member is responsible for $1,500 per person per calendar year before the 2nd MRA applies.
For Gold, silver and Bronze plans, the plan pays 100% after the 2nd MRA.
COPPER The member is responsible for $7,500 per person per calendar year before the 2nd MRA applies. Not Applicable.
6 Additional upgrades N/A At the Gold level and also join Brother's Keeper, you will have unlimited financial assistance available to you for all eligible medical bills (all eligible medical bills over $500 per incident. Added to Silver or Bronze, it provides an additional $100,000, accruing up to $1 million per illness.
 
They have something called "Special Prayer Requests" where you can ask other members to contribute to your need. For needs over $250,000
Save to Share
(Optional)
$133 per
year
+$15 annual
administrative fee
For about $50/month, you can add a gap policy which has a $200 annual deducible and pays for the costs between that and your annual MSRA (deductible) for certain severe major health conditions, like an accident that breaks a limb, a heart attack, accidents, strokes, etc. For about $50/month, you can add a gap policy which has a $200 annual deducible and pays for the costs between that and your annual MSRA (deductible) for certain severe major health conditions, like an accident that breaks a limb, a heart attack, accidents, strokes, etc. N/A
7 Vaccinations and other preventative care Included, subject to annual deductibles I couldn't find anything about it on their website The following are NOT covered: Physicals
--Immunizations and vaccinations
--Lab studies
--Screening mammograms
--Screening colonoscopy
Not included Included, subject to annual deductibles, but Since you do get 1 to 5 office visits included for a $20 consult fee (copay), you can use these for the office visit portion (but not the lab fees). You get an annual physical covered at 100% that even includes a colonoscopy Included, subject to annual deductibles
8 Doctors visits Included, subject to annual deductibles Gold: Incident-related
Silver and Bronze are not covered
Included, subject to annual deductibles Included, subject to annual deductibles You do get an annual physical (after 9 months of coverage) and depending on the plan, you get 1 to 5 office visits included for a $20 consult fee (copay) each visit Six office visits per person per calendar year are allowed; up to $300 each..
9 Copays N/A N/A N/A Members pay a $35 provider fee at each office or hospital visit and $135 for emergency room visits. But these fees do not count towards the AHP. $20 as described above Gold and Silver: $35.00 office visit/urgent care MRA (copay). Bronze gets 6 office visits, but must pay 100% until the 1st MRA is met. :
10 Specialists Included, subject to annual deductibles Gold: Incident-related
Silver and Bronze are not covered
Included, subject to annual deductibles Included, subject to annual deductibles Included in the premium plan otherwise subject to annual deductibles Included, as above
11 Prescriptions Included, subject to annual deductibles Gold: Incident-related
Silver and Bronze are not covered
Included, subject to annual deductibles  Prescription medications, including maintenance medications and allergy injections, are eligible for sharing for six months per each new condition that is not pre-existing. Not included, but they have an included discount plan of about 40% off Altrua HealthShare offers discounts for name brand and generic prescriptions.
12 Emergency room Included, subject to annual deductibles Included, subject to incident deductibles Included, subject to incident deductibles Included, subject to incident deductibles Depends on the plan: Included after annual MSRA or $500 or $300, only for life threatening conditions and are reviewed. Included, subject to incident deductibles
12 Vision, Hearing, Dental Not covered Not covered Not covered Not covered Not covered Not covered
13 Maternity (of course you MUST be married) Included, subject to annual deductibles Gold: Up to $125,000 per pregnancy or unlimited w/Brother's Keeper. Silver  treatment (up to $125,000 per pregnancy) or up to $2,500 for midwife services per pregnancy. Bronze: like silver but no midwife 2+ Person:
$5,000.
A One-Person Membership is not eligible for maternity care sharing unless, prior to conception, the member either 1. Adds another member or 2. Signs up for Maternity Care Sharing.
2+ Person:
$250,000.
A One-Person Membership is not eligible for maternity care sharing unless, prior to conception, the member either 1. Adds another member or 2. Signs up for Maternity Care Sharing.
Pregnant Members with an Annual Household Portion of $2,500 or higher who have faithfully shared from the month of conception through the month of delivery are eligible for maternity sharing.  Sharing is limited to $125,000 for any single pregnancy event, to include antepartum care, the cost of delivery and complications to the mother and/or child(ren) and postpartum care.
 
Only covered in the Premium plan with a $5,000 maximum, and only covered after 10 months of being in the plan. For the Gold and Silver plans, a maximum of $4,000 for a normal delivery or a maximum of $6,000 if a medically necessary C-section is required.****. No coverage for maternity on the Bronze plan.
14 Preexisting conditions Included with waiting period, exemptions and review. Don't assume - ask them before you sign up.
They don't accept anyone who has had any form of cancer treated within 5 years of signing up - Even completely treated cancers, like after prostate surgery or breast cancer.
 Medical bills cannot be shared if, at the time you join CHM, the bills are for pre-existing conditions that are actively undergoing treatment other than with maintenance (routine) medications. After the incident is over and your doctor states that you are on a maintenance treatment regimen, bills for any new incident related to the pre-existing illness are eligible for sharing according to the information below. See their website for details of coverage. I assume they are not covered. I couldn't find anything about it on their website A Member can receive an optional, preliminary determination of whether or not his or her proposed treatment appears to be eligible for sharing. Final eligibility determination is always made after the medical bills are submitted for processing. It is possible a treatment will later be  determined to be ineligible There is a 24 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions.

Cancer coverage is provided after 12 months of continuous coverage, if a pre-existing cancer condition did not exist prior to or at the time of application.
Coverage is limited for the first 12 months of
membership. Certain limitations may apply for more than 24 months’ dependent
upon the condition. Ask before you apply!
15 Other conditions         1. Need Defined - Bills related to the same condition, including those for separate
incidents, (e.g. separate treatments or episodes of symptoms) will be shared
as one need and accumulate towards the maximum amount shared. If at least 12 months pass
without any symptoms, medication, or other treatment for the condition that
originally created the need (or related subsequent conditions), and the condition
thereafter recurs, it will be treated as a new need. Tests or a doctor's statement
may be required to verify the lapse of symptoms, medication, or other treatment.
2. Multiple, Simultaneous Needs - If more than one shareable condition is
treated during the same time period, the member may submit separate
needs for each condition.
Members must follow the Christian lifestyle and agree to the Statement of Faith. This is essential for medical bills to be shared.  Examples unacceptable behaviors are
- the use of tobacco in any form
- the use of Illegal Drugs
- the abuse of drugs including legal drugs, such as, alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medications
- sexual relations outside of Biblical Christian marriage
- participation in activities that represent a willful disregard for personal safety

 
Surgical benefits have a 2 to 6 month waiting period. Cancer is covered only after 24 months, and not for pre-existing cancer.  
16 Other info You are responsible for negotiating prices with medical providers directly. You are responsible for negotiating prices with medical providers directly. Medi-Share does help negotiate expenses on your behalf  

Other health sharing plans we're still researching:

  • Solidarity - the ONLY way to get any pricing information from this company is to submit your specific details and wait for a call back.  That makes it impossible to include in the table above. ANd it makes us suspicious as to why they are unwilling to publish the prices and other details.

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