Medi-Share is an alternative to health insurance. IT IS NOT HEALTH INSURANCE. Furthermore, Medi-share is not required to pay any bill, nor keep cash reserves on hand.
However, anyone that does not strongly follow and commit to the Christian faith is not eligible for Medi-Share. Labeled as a faith-based ministry, Medi-Share is a program where members of the Christian faith pay money every month to cover medical expenses for themselves and their fellow believers. In what could be seen as a total invasion of privacy, Christians can only participate in the Medi-Share program if they vow not to smoke, do drugs or have sexual relations outside their own marriage. The concept of Medi-Share is entirely based on the Christian Church’s principle of providing mutual aid, which is a principal straight out of the Christian Bible.
Medi-Share is not seen as health insurance in the eyes of some insurance regulators. In Connecticut, as of June 21, 2011, 350 state residents use Medi-Share as their health care program. According to the Connecticut Institute Department, Medi-Share may not necessarily be held to the same standards as traditional health insurance companies are, because Medi-Share is not a licensed health insurance provider. Therefore the department makes no guarantees that they can pay the members’ claims.
A spokeswoman for the Connecticut Institute Department said, “There’s no consumer protections built in, from our standpoint, because we can’t look at their books.”
Unlike traditional health insurance companies, Medi-Share does not pay for routine medical care. It also will not cover such medical procedures as abortions, treatment for drug use and abuse, and anything else that could be considered not to be part of the “biblical lifestyle.” Even sometimes necessary procedures such as mammograms are not covered by Medi-Share. A Medi-Share member cannot receive benefits until they have spent a pre-set amount of their own money for medical treatment. Members are also limited in the amount of benefits Medi-Share will pay them. The limit for those under the age of 65 is $1 million per year.
Medi-Share only covers HIV and AIDS treatments if the person contracted the disease through a blood transfusion.
It has been estimated that only 40,000 people in the United States use Medi-Share as their health program. Members of Medi-Share and similar health programs are exempt from the new health care reform that goes into effect in 2014, stating that every adult in America must have health insurance.