Compare Christian HealthCare: an alternative solution
Medi-share, Christian Healthcare Ministries CHM and Samaritan Ministries are not insurance. However they serve the same purpose and mostly they offer similar benefits, with much lower out-of-pocket expenses. The monthly premiums are invested in non-profit organizations instead of a commercial money-making business.
Members pay their monthly 'share', which is the monthly "premium". The funds all go into an account and medical bills among the members are shared.
Listed below are the two major Christian healthcare organizations. We found -for many reasons- that Christian Healthcare Ministries is the best one out there, which we explain next. The ministry is also supported and recommended by Dave Ramsey (the Christian financial guru).
Compare Christian HealthCare VS Medi-Share
Click to compare!
Monthly Cost per person
CHM: $240.00 (any age)
MS: $270.00 + $99(?) (age 40)
CHM $240.00 - Gold Plan (no matter your age). A family of 3+ pays maximum $720 regardless size of household or age. If you add "CHM+ (formerly "Brothers Keepers" for an unlimited dollar amount coverage per medical event, you pay $27 per member - up to 3 members. Lesser expensive plans available (Silver $138, Bronze $92 per month, both not recommended as the coverage is not as comprehensive and out of pocket expenses are high).
$270.00 - based on 'oldest' member in house hold age 40, with a $3,000 'deductible'. Medi-Share bases the premium on your age and zipcode.
Please note that there might be an additional $99.00 "health coach" fee, per month, if you are not of healthy weight, or have high blood pressure. Medi-share bases this on weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and other criteria.
Total annual cost including monthly premiums, fees, setup cost etc.
CHM with CHM+: $3,204.00
MS Complete 3000: $3,544.50
CHM $3,204 per year, regardless your age, -includes Gold plan including CHM+ which includes an unlimited coverage amount per medical event.
$3,544.50. Age related premiums. Please note that there might be an additional $99 fee per month if you are not "healthy". Medi-share bases this on weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, pre-existing conditions and other criteria.
Lifetime max coverage Amount
CHM: Unlimited (with Brothers Keepers add-on)
MS: Up to 1 Million
Unlimited coverage (Gold plan) -no maximum- with the Brothers Keepers program (included in the yearly price above). If you don't choose for the
optional Brothers Keepers Program the Max coverage for the Gold plan is $125,000 per medical event (there is no lifetime max coverage).
Up to $1,000,000. See also pre-existing conditions below.
Out of pocket expenses / Deductible
$1,000 per year, per person as long as all your total bills add up to be $1,000 or more -after discount for a covered medical event.
$3,000 family deductible per year
Also additional copays on doctor visits and ER visits
Pre-existing conditions Coverage
CHM: Immediate Coverage
MS: No coverage until year 4
Immediate limited coverage:
Year one $15,000 coverage
Year two $10,000 additional coverage (max $25,000 for 2 years)
Year three $25,000 additional coverage (max $50,000 for 3 years)
Year four and beyond: your condition is no longer seen as 'pre-existing'.
So after 3 years you have unlimited amount because of Brothers Keepers program.
IF you have a medical event within the first 4 years, and the total bills for a covered medical event is more expensive than your coverage, you can be added to the prayer page where many CHM members will donate money to help you with your bills. CHM members donate millions of dollars per year to other members on the prayer page.
No coverage on pre-existing conditions for 3 full years. After being a member for 3 years, you'll get coverage for pre-existing conditions. There is NO coverage for the pre-existing condition(s) in the first 3 years. If you didn't had any symptoms or treatment in the last 3 years, or when you are a member for 3 years, then you will get $100,000 coverage per year. Up to $500,000 if you didn't have any treatment or symptoms in the last 5 years, or when you are a member for 5 years.
Maternity Coverage and Copay
CHM: $1,000 - $1,500
Awesome maternity program included. Coverage from A-Z. Unlimited dollars coverage with Brothers Keepers. You pay a $1,000 to $1,500 copay. ($1,000 if you are willing to go thru a pregnancy training/prep program, which is included).
Good coverage. It's only available to members with a Annual Household Portion ("deductible") of $3,000 or more. So your out-of-pocket expenses are at least $3,000.00 + copays. Max coverage is $125,000.
Am I restricted to a Network?
CHM: No network
See any doctor and choose any medical facility you like! There is no network.
Yes, Medi-Share has their own network, however you can choose to go out of network but you end up paying 20% more per bill.
Are Wellness / Routine Visits Covered?
Yes, covered with the Gold plan if your total bills (visit, labs, test etc.) are over $1,000 for all bills together regarding this medical event. If your routine visit is less than $1,000 for all bills together, there is no coverage (you typically get great "self-pay" discount at most offices. Click here for detailed information).
Many tests, like Endoscopy, Colonoscopy etc. are covered after your $1,000 deductible has been met.
No, you are a self-pay patient. If your routine checks out 'all healthy', there is no coverage (you typically get great "self-pay" discount at the doctor's office). If you need medical testing done, you are responsible for your $3,000+ deductible.
Doctor's office visit coverage
CHM: if over $1,000 total bills for visit and testing (etc.) then you are covered. FREE unlimited online visits
MS: $35 + unknown cost, see details below. Free unlimited online visits
For Gold plan members: If your bills are over $1,000 (due to blood work, x-rays, follow up visit etc.) you will be covered. For regular doctors below $1,000 you can not submit for reimbursement, but you typically get a great self-pay discount at most medical facilities/offices, see "money saving tips: on next page
Medi-Share has a copay of $35.00 when you go to an in-network doctor. However you still get billed later on from the doctor's office for the remaining amount. The $35 is applied towards your total bill. The total doesn't count towards your 'deductible'
Can I talk to a doctor online (telemedicine) and is Dental and Vision included?
CHM: Yes, free unlimited telemedicine
MS: Yes, free unlimited telemedicine
Included for every CHM member. CHM members can connect with doctors free of charge over the phone or through video chat. Telemedicine provides a practical solution for a wide range of non-emergency conditions. You will have easy 24/7 access to US licensed physicians.
Included with Medi-share as a discount plan, from Carington.com. For regular doctors visits you typically get a great self-pay discount, see "money saving tips" on the next page.
ER and/or Hospitalization Copay
$1,000 deductible (personal Responsibility-PR). Your bill has to be over $1,000 to be covered (which the typical ER bill is, easily!). Typically the ER / Hospital has a "self-pay policy" in place. Just tell them you are self pay and ask if you get a discount. In meanwhile setup a payment plan once your bill comes in, until you get your reimbursement from CHM.
Copay of $200.00 when you go to the ER. You are responsible for your 'deductible' as well ($3,000+) in this example. So your minimum out of pocket expenses are at least $3,200 plus possible copays.
Hospitalization in/out patient included?
Yes included. Your deductible (or PR - Personal Responsibility) is $1,000. Submit your bills easily online and you will get reimbursed.
Yes included, you are responsible for your copays and deductibles (in this example there is a $3,000+ deductible)
Is Surgery covered?
Yes, surgery is covered. The total bills have to be $1,000 or more before CHM will pay (what surgical bill is below $1,000 anyways?) Again, you have your $1,000 deductible unless you already have met your annual deductible (or personal responsibility).
You will pay at least your 'deductible' of $3,000+
How to submit your medical bills
CHM: Easy online portal submission.
MS: Facility will bill for you. Limited network.
Easy Online system. Fill in the online forms, scan (or make pics) your itemized receipts and upload them to the portal.
If you choose an in-network provider, they will bill for you. However it's a limited choice you have from in-network providers. If you go out of network they have an easy online system. Fill in the online forms, scan in your receipts and submit them with the claim form.
How to obtain Doctor(s) / Medical facility "self-pay discount"?
Most doctors offices and facilities have a "self-pay" policy in place. If not ask for a self-pay discounts. If no discounts are offered by the medical facility, CHM will help you negotiate. They have a team in place. Personally, I never had to negotiate or ask!. They all have a discount policy in place, which is satisfactory to CHM.
Medicare works with both organizations. For CHM it works as a supplemental insurance. CHM will pick up the 20% Medicare doesn't cover, for covered medical events. Simply submit your Medicare statement (no need to keep track of your receipts). Your PR - Personal Responsibility is $500 instead of $1,000
Christian Healthcare Ministries Info:
Year organization started: 1981
Christian Healthcare Ministries is a well organized, non-profit organization with a financial stable history. They haven't missed any eligible payments because of financial issues.
Year organization started: 1993
This is a well organized, not for profit organization with a financial stable history. However they do spend a lot of money on advertising (you hear them on the radio all the time) which is very costly, and technically you are the one paying for that!
We only compared the best plans with the lowest out-of-pocket expenses / deductible. The reason that we didn't compare the 'lower' plans, is because of the 'deductible'/out of pocket expenses are extremely high, just like commercial insurance.
Ask yourself this question: Do you have $5,000 - $10,000 'deductible' to pay before any medical bills are shared?
Not many people do, so that's why it is smart to invest in a better plan, which still saves you lot's of money, and in case of a medical event you can have a $0 deductible!
There are many 'sharing' organisations popping up everywhere. Be aware that some of them are not 'non-profit' organisations,
meaning they are a business, they are in it to make money.
Please note that you have to be a Christian and you have to follow Christian guidelines and have a Christian lifestyle to be eligible for any of these organizations.