|Christian Health Sharing Arrangements|
These arrangements are people grouped together to assist each other in paying their major health care costs. These arrangements started in the 1980's and have become an alternative to formal health care for an estimated 100,000 Americans. Such groups range from small community based arrangements to multi-state organisations such as Samaritan Ministries International and Medi-share, which each year direct the flow of millions of dollars of benefits from individuals to members with eligible health care expenses. Such arrangements have started to gain mainstream recognition, with such arrangements gaining exemption from the recent healthcare bill passed in the US.¹
Eligibility for Christian health sharing programs is normally dependent on lifestyle requirements such as regularly attending church and having such attendance verified by a pastor. There is also normally a requirement to be healthy, or if not healthy to work with a health coach to regain health. There is also sometimes a requirement to be a non-smoker and to abstain from alcohol or not drink to excess.
Medi - Share - Medical Bill sharing
Medi-Share is for Christians who want their healthcare dollars to help fellow believers who are living the same lifestyles they are, based on biblical principles and service to others. Medi-Share is NOT INSURANCE. Health insurance comes with a contractual guarantee to pay your medical bills. For over 18 years our members have been faithfully sharing medical bills on a non-guaranteed basis, trusting the Lord to provide in their time of need through the voluntary gifts of other like-minded Christians.
Eligibility - Each adult must:
• Have a verifiable Christian testimony indicating a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and profess the Statement of Faith
Samaritan Ministries International
Samaritan Ministries is a health care sharing ministry and recognized 501(c)3 tax-exempt charity founded in 1994. It has members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several U.S. territories, and around the world.
Samaritan ministries makes it clear that they are not Christian health insurance, as insurance implies a contract where one party agrees to be responsible for another party's risk of loss in exchange for a premium. In their arrangement Christians share to assist one another with medical expenses through voluntary giving.
Each member commits to sending a set "Share" amount each month. These "Shares" are sent directly through the mail from one household to another, to the members with "Needs". Samaritan Ministries uses a database that randomly matches Shares to Needs, so that the Sharing is coordinated and Shares go to the appropriate members with Needs.
Members must be professing Christians who attend church regularly. They must agree to abstain from sinful practices such as drug abuse and sexual immorality. They must be accountable to a pastor or other church leader for the needs they submit.
Christian Healthcare Ministries
(CHM) is an affordable, faith-based solution for Christians to the problems of rising health care costs and expensive health insurance policies. We are thousands of Christians united in sharing each other's medical bills. In the past 20 years, members of this non-profit ministry have shared more than $500 million in healthcare costs.
Source: Hassan Scott Odierno, Actuarial Partners