Medi-share is a health care sharing ministry based on Christian beliefs, and is “modeled after the early church in the Book of Acts where people were of one heart and mind.” Similar to the concept of a good Samaritan, the idea behind a nonprofit health care sharing ministry is to take burdens off neighbors in times of need.
Under medi-share, members pay into a group pool of money. The monthly share is similar to a monthly premium under a traditional health insurance plan. When a member of medi-share incurs health care costs, money from the shared pool is used to pay for eligible medical bills. However, medi-share members are generally still responsible for paying a portion of their medical bills out-of-pocket.
Each family has an annual household portion (AHP), similar to an annual deductible, for which they are responsible. Members need to reach the amount of their annual household portion before the medi-share plan contributes to the costs of their medical care. Similarly, members of medi-share are individually responsible for their own out-of-pocket individual mandate.
Since medi-share is part of the Christian Care Ministry (CCM), a non-profit organization, members are understood to follow Christian beliefs. Medi-share members are also expected to abide by the regulations of Samaritan ministries and are encouraged to participate in the Christian lifestyle.
With a group health plan, the employer or employee organization selects the insurance company, type of insurance plan, and terms of coverage. As an alternative to medi-share, group health plans typically offer more comprehensive and affordable coverage.
As medi-share is Christian health care organization and not a straightforward insurance company, there is no guarantee that certain medical claims will be upheld. Medi-share plans have exemptions for pre-existing conditions that may require members to pay additional costs.
Meanwhile, depending on the group health insurance plan, employees may be covered for pre-existing conditions, emergency room visits, doctor visits, prescription drugs, primary care, and other medical expenses.