Medi-Share is one of the largest healthcare sharing programs in the United States that has seen steady, rapid growth since 2010, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was passed by Congress. Since the act was passed, the government has begun implementing the program by stages.
Many Christians are dissatisfied with some of the requirements and provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which include access to contraception and abortion, and the expense of purchasing the required health insurance. People who participate in Medi-Share pay significantly lower amounts for their care and can feel peace of mind in knowing that their money is not supporting activities that conflict with their faith.
Medi-Share has grown by about 20 percent each year since the Affordable Care Act was passed and about 62,000 members are currently part of the program. Families of four typically pay less than $300 per month, a significant difference from traditional insurance plans.
How Does Medi-Share Work?
Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of a healthcare sharing program and are left wondering, “How does Medi-Share work?” Money that is paid into Medi-Share is disbursed directly from members to other members who need it for their medical care. Becoming a member of Medi-Share means that you are connecting with thousands of other believers, receiving support from them when you need care and offering it back when they need it.
Medi-Share was given an exemption from the Affordable Care Act, which would have required people to purchase health insurance coverage, even people who were members of a healthcare sharing program like Medi-Share. People who are members of Medi-Share are not required to buy health insurance because of this exemption.
Medi-Share is different from a health insurance coverage plan. Members of Medi-Share decide as a group what medical issues will be covered under the program. Not all medical conditions are covered. However, since the program’s founding nearly 20 years ago, no one with an eligible health condition has been denied coverage.
There are deductibles for emergencies and other medical problems, and preventative care, well-visits and other routine care are not shareable under the program, with the exception of well-baby visits. However, Medi-Share is affiliated with many physicians’ offices, and members are eligible for discounts for certain types of visits. The low cost of the program and discounts make it easy to plan and budget for routine care, and other members share the burden of unexpected injuries and illnesses.
People who want to join Medi-Share must apply and sign a pledge that they will live a clean, biblical life, which means that they will abstain from tobacco, alcohol, drugs and other activities forbidden in the Bible. By living a biblical life, members will have happier, healthier families. Members support each other through times of trouble and help carry their fellow believers’ burdens. This builds a strong community of believers in which every person is uplifted by their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Does Medi-Share Cover Prescriptions?
The most common question about the program is, “Does Medi-Share cover prescriptions?” Medications that are prescribed to treat a condition that is eligible for sharing are covered for six months under the program. Medications for pre-existing conditions are not covered, but Medi-Share offers members resources on finding discounts for prescription drugs.
The program is affiliated with NeedyMeds, an organization that offers a medication prescription card that can give cardholders discounts of up to 75 percent on their medications. This discount, along with the inexpensive health plan that members receive by choosing Medi-Share as opposed to a traditional health insurance plan, still results in lower healthcare costs. Medi-Share members can also use eDrugSearch.com, a free cost-comparison engine that helps consumers save 50-80% off all their prescription medication costs.
Does Medi-Share Cover Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an important, joyful part of a family’s life, but many married couples delay or forgo having children or expanding their families because they do not know how they will pay for the medical costs of pregnancy. Young couples or people who want to grow their families wonder, “Does Medi-Share cover pregnancy?”
- Members at certain membership levels can pay for their pregnancy-related expenses through Medi-Share as long as they have been members since conception.
- Mothers who are eligible for coverage for their pregnancies can receive coverage for pregnancy-related complications and other issues.
- Newborns whose mothers are members at the time of their birth can be added to the family’s plan. Well baby visits are shared under the plan for up to $775 per year. These visits include checkups, vaccinations and other doctor visits for the first two years of the baby’s life to promote happy, healthy babies.