By Liberty HealthShare, Crosswalk.com
One of the main principles of Christianity that we hear the minister preach about all the time in church is the idea of helping your fellow brothers and sisters in their time of need. We know that, even as Christians, we’re going to experience hard times but those hard times can be made so much more manageable with the assistance of our fellow Christians. It’s this special relationship that we share with those in our church and our religion that make the power of Christianity so great.
For so many of us, some of the most challenging times in our lives have to do with health issues, either of our own or those close to us. Often, it is not only the physical condition itself that poses so much concern for us, but also the financial strain that accompanies it. When we, or someone close to us, are facing health concerns, we have enough to worry about without the added burden of expensive medical bills. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone on your side who not only cared about what you were going through but also was able to help you financially?
That is where healthcare sharing ministries fill a unique role in the healthcare payment system. These organizations are based on the Biblical principle of “bearing one another’s burdens” and have been easing the burden of medical expenses for decades. In fact, membership in these organizations have grown most rapidly since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with over one million Americans currently being a healthcare sharing member. That’s over one million Americans who have a group of fellow Christians who are there for each other not only emotionally but also financially when someone in the group has an unexpected medical incident.
One of the largest and most well-known healthcare sharing ministries, with over 200,000 of those million-plus members, is Liberty HealthShareSM. Throughout their rapid growth over the past decade, Liberty HealthShare has continued to keep their organization rooted in the Christian principles upon which it was founded. These Christian principles are evident not only in the organization’s shared belief statement and sharing guidelines but also in how financially accessible they make membership in the organization.
First, it's important to know that participation in healthcare sharing ministries is precipitated by agreeing to a shared belief statement based on Christian principles. The Liberty HealthShare statement of shared beliefs states that members "believe every individual has a fundamental religious right to worship the God of the Bible in his or her own way." This is not the case with many health-care sharing ministries, some of which accept only specific denominations of Christianity and even require members to have a pastor or minister sign off on weekly church attendance. It’s an approach that embodies Liberty’s mission to make the Christian tradition of healthcare sharing available and affordable to all.
Second, when considering participation in a healthcare sharing ministry, it is also important to keep in mind that certain expenses may not be eligible for sharing. These ineligible expenses may not align with the moral and ethical values of the entire healthcare sharing community. By requiring that all shared expenses be for medically necessary procedures, healthcare sharing ministries are able to steward the shared funds to care for members' needs. One of the most detailed lists of eligible versus ineligible expenses can be found in the sharing Guidelines on the Liberty HealthShare website.
It is important to note that Liberty HealthShare is not insurance and monthly share amounts for healthcare sharing ministries can vary from one ministry to the next. For example, Liberty HealthShare has programs for individuals starting at $199 per month. and family programs that start at $429 per month. By making their programs affordable, healthcare sharing ministries are able to fulfill their Christian desire to help improve the lives of the greatest number of people possible when paying for their health care.
This increasingly popular method of paying for healthcare expenses allows people of similar beliefs to come together in order to help one another in their time of need. The burden of physical health issues is enough on its own, why should you be burdened with financial stress also, when your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are ready, willing, and able to help?
Healthcare sharing isn’t right for everyone, however, it may be right for those who steward their health and their healthcare costs. And for people who live by a set of Christian values, healthcare sharing might be the best way to go. So give healthcare sharing a look today!
To learn more about healthcare sharing programs at Liberty HealthShare, request a free decision guide.
Since 1995, Liberty HealthShare has equipped health-conscious individuals and families to make wise healthcare decisions. Our supportive community commits to bearing one another’s burdens in prayer, encouragement, and financial support. By emphasizing good stewardship of our bodies and our healthcare spending, and providing helpful advice, we help our members stay in good health, budget for medical needs, and reduce the overwhelming complexity of navigating our nation’s current medical care system.
Image courtesy: Getty Images / LoveTheWind