As Christians, the unity of our faith is a strong bind that brings us together in various aspects of our lives. Coming together with fellow Christians not only allows us to strengthen our faith in the Lord but also provides us with a sense of community where we can feel comfortable exercising our faith freely and openly. While many of us Christians are always looking for areas of our lives where we can act on our faith, there are a few areas we may not have considered. Oftentimes, these areas can be some of the most important areas of our lives.
There are few things in life as important as our healthcare, which makes it all the more troublesome that this area of our lives is not one in which many Christians look for a religious option. However, thanks to organizations known as healthcare sharing ministries, the possibility of having a community of faith supporting us in this important area of our life is possible.
Originally formed by individual churches as a way to help their members pay for medical expenses which they would not have been able to afford on their own, healthcare sharing ministries have grown significantly in size since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The statute, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, required all Americans to have membership in a qualifying healthcare program or face a financial penalty when filing their federal income taxes. However, since healthcare sharing ministries were already in operation prior to the enactment of the ACA and had proven to be effectively serving their members, an exemption was given to healthcare sharing ministries established prior to 1999.
The concept of healthcare sharing is a simple one. Each month, members submit an agreed upon amount and that monthly amount is directed towards the medical expenses submitted by their fellow members. Likewise, when a member submits a medical bill to the ministry, their fellow members’ monthly contributions are used to share the medical expense. And the best part of all is that all healthcare sharing ministries remain rooted in Christian principles.
A great example of how firmly rooted in Christian principles these ministries truly are comes from the Member Handbook of Share HealthCare. In this handbook, a section entitled “The Shared Beliefs of Share HealthCare Members” outlines the core beliefs that guide their membership community. Among this section are several Bible verses that Share HealthCare asks each member to affirm when becoming a member. These Bible verses highlight the need for Christians to assist one another especially in times of need, which is exactly what Share HealthCare strives to do with its healthcare sharing ministry.
For many of us, times of health complications for us or our family members can be some of the hardest times we face in our lives. Health issues come not only with physical challenges but also emotional and financial challenges. That’s where healthcare sharing ministries such as Share HealthCare can make a massive difference in the lives of their members.
When a member of a healthcare sharing ministry is facing a health issue, they know they are never alone. Indeed, they have the support, both emotionally and financially, of their fellow members. We’ve already discussed how members contribute to the medical expenses of fellow members, but Share HealthCare members can also support each other emotionally by sending prayers and well wishes through their online member portal to fellow members facing a difficult time. This allows a sense of community to be built with a group of Christians who share the same values and beliefs.
Additionally, Share HealthCare members support more than just their fellow members. Each month, a portion of each member’s monthly contribution goes to the Soweto Academy which provides safe housing, clothing, clean water, and medical care to orphaned and abandoned children in Kibera, Kenya. As followers of Christ, this is an important feature to Share HealthCare members and one that they do not take lightly.
As religious and non-profit organizations, healthcare sharing ministries, such as Share HealthCare, are able to provide their members access to their healthcare programs at a much more affordable price than they may have come to expect. For example, membership in Share HealthCare begins at only $149 per month for a program that shares eligible expenses related to doctor, hospital, urgent care, and emergency room visits, as well as medical imaging and testing, wellness screenings, physical therapy, maternity expenses, and more. Furthermore, Share HealthCare allows members to choose what portion of their medical expenses they want to submit to the Share HealthCare community, by providing a per event option as well as an annual option.
In a world where Christians face an ever-growing challenge in incorporating their religion into many aspects of their life, healthcare sharing offers an effective and simple way to bring Christianity into our healthcare. And with the level of flexibility, the wide range of eligible expenses, and sense of community with fellow Christians offered by Share HealthCare, it’s no wonder so many Christians have taken an interest in their healthcare sharing program. If you would like to join Share HealthCare or simply learn more about their program, please visit their website at ShareHealthCare.com or give them a call at (844) 742-7342 to speak with one of their experts.