It’s now been two years since our family signed up for Medi-Share.
I first reviewed Medi-Share based on its features, values, and benefits. Just over a year later, I reviewed it based on my experiences. Unfortunately, for the most part, the first few doctor visits we had were overwhelmingly negative. I hated to do such a negative review, but I felt like it was part of my obligation to share how we felt about Medi-Share.
As time has passed, I think I’ve been able to find more value in our Medi-Share membership.
Important facts about my negative Medi-Share experiences:
- We were in a transitional stage of our lives. We’d spent a month in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a month in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, and a month in Houston, Texas. In retrospect, any need to see a doctor when you’re not located in a city is always frustrating. We’ve experienced the same thing in Memphis when we just moved and had just joined Blue Cross Blue Shield.
As such, since our lives are a little more normal and we’ve had several additional visits to doctor’s offices, I want to share how all those experiences turned out.
Medi-Share Review and Experiences
Case #1: Our youngest somehow cuts the bridge of her nose while climbing under the table.
We visited a local urgent care facility where we know someone. Like any worried parents, we didn’t check to see if the facility was in our network. However, when we checked in, they only charged us the co-pay and took our card. Unfortunately, we did later receive a bill for over $400 since Medi-Share didn’t cover any part of the trip. How could we expect them to since we went somewhere out of network? In the end, it worked just as it would have if we had any other insurance.
Case #2: Our youngest needs to see the doctor because of a high fever.
This time we checked to be sure we find a facility in network. There was no hassle getting the doctors office to take our Medi-Share card. They processed everything directly with Medi-Share, and once everything was settled, we got a bill for the remaining balance. In the end, it worked just as it would have if we had any other insurance.
Case #3: I have skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma – the best type of skin cancer) that needs a simple surgical procedure.
In the end, I had three visits to a dermatologist to take care of the skin cancer. During the second procedure, I had a small surgical procedure to remove the skin cancer.
Because we elected to have a higher ‘family portion’, we ended up paying for everything out of pocket. However, having Medi-Share was great because we were able to get some significant in-network savings.
So far, we’ve never exceeded our annual household share portion, but for the last several visits to the doctor, Medi-Share has functioned as it was supposed to.
Reflections After Two Years With Medi-Share
- Medi-Share still is the best price available for our family. To double check that, I visited ehealthinsurance.com. The best price I could find for our family of 5 was $460 per month with an outrageous $20,000 deductible. By comparison, we pay $298 with a $5,000 family share portion (comparable to a deductible).
- As a Medi-Share participant, it is best to tell doctors and providers that you are part of the PHCS Network. This is the network Christian Care Ministries participates with, and it is the name that doctors and providers recognize (instead of saying Medi-Share).
Considerations if You’re Considering Medi-Share:
- This is NOT health insurance. This is Christian medical sharing. When you pay your monthly premium, the funds are deposited into an account. When members have a claim, funds to pay for the expenses are taken from the combined account. Of course, a portion of the fees you pay do also go to cover the administrative costs of the organization.
- Approval is not automatic. If you have serious medical issues, then your opportunity to be part of Medi-Share is definitely less likely than others. Also, as a Medi-Share member, you must adhere to certain lifestyle choices specified by Medi-Share. One such example is a member “Cannot use tobacco or illegal drugs in any form, or abuse legal drugs or alcohol”.
- Certain health conditions (i.e. diabetes, excess weight, high cholesterol) may incur an excess charge of $80 per month.
Some Medi-Share Specific Lingo to Help You Get Started if You’re Considering Medi-Share:
Annual Household Portion: A household portion is best understood as a deductible. Unlike most insurance companies, the household portion is by family – not individual. Thus, an insurance company might have a $2,000 deductible, but you might pay that for two family members. With Medi-Share, your household portion is for everyone covered under your plan. Household portions range from $500 – $10,000.
Standard Monthly Share: Most insurance companies would call this premiums. It’s the amount of money you’ll pay each month to participate in Medi-Share.
Health Incentive: A special program for ‘healthy’ participants. If you’re eligible, you can save 20% off your Standard Monthly Share.
If you have any questions about Medi-Share, please feel free to email (mhforc at gmail dot com) or leave a comment.
Any other Medi-Share users out there? What have been your experiences?