Medishare Review and My Personal User Experience

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Over the last few months I’ve had a few emails asking how I was enjoying Medi-Share.  I figured this would be an appropriate time to follow up and do another Medi-Share review.

Why Our Family Switched to Medi-Share

I wish I could share a deep theological reason for the switch.  However, though I like the fact that it is a Christian organization, that was not one of the major deciding factors.

The main reasons included:

1.  It was insurance that would work for us on the mission field and work for us when we moved to the States.  Our current international health insurance would have expired in April 2012, and we would not be eligible to renew it at that point because in order to renew it, we would need to plan on living overseas for six months of the next year.

2.  The price is competitive. When I compared the price of Medi-Share to traditional insurance plans, I could get a $1,250 family portion (think deductible) compared to a $5,000 individual deductible.

Medi-Share even had some more competitive maternity options.  If we were planning on having other children I don’t think we could find anything much better than Medi-Share.

3.  I was planning to be self employed.  I knew I’d be shopping for insurance (Medi-Share is not insurance) when I was living in the US.  Medi-Share seemed like a good option for us.

What I like about Medi-Share

As we were going through the application process, we had some very helpful people who quickly provided us with the information we needed.  We don’t often spend much time on hold, so phone calls are simple.

The price is right since we are a family of five with a self-employed head of household.  There is no way we could get the same coverage for a comprable price.

2 Disappointments with Medi-Share

1.  We Weren’t Eligible for Their Health Incentive

I know we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch, but we had anticipated being eligible for the health incentive that would have resulted in a 20% discount of our monthly payments.

I anticipated it because, other than regular checkups, I haven’t been to a doctor in … I honestly don’t know.  Other than delivering babies, my wife hasn’t been for nearly a decade.

However, there are a few metrics they use, and we don’t qualify.

2. There Have Been Frustrating Experiences

Here’s our first experience with Medi-Share:

One of our kids had a nasty looking abscess on his finger while we were in Houston on furlough.

We decide to take him to the doctor.

We checked the PHCS provider list, and our doctor was on the list.

After dragging the kid to the doctors office we found out that, even though they are part of the PHCS, they won’t do anything with Medi-Share.

My wife gets frustrated and doesn’t want to come home and look for another doctor and try to get another appointment.  I tell her that she should just see the doctor, and we’ll work out the coverage later.

Contact Medi-Share and they tell us the doctor should have worked with us, but just to go ahead and file paperwork.

We file all the information we get from doctor’s office, and Medi-Share gets back in touch saying they need more information.

Contact the doctors office to tell them what Medi-Share is looking for, and they tell us that everything they’ve already provided is all they provide.

Contact Medi-Share and they say they need the information.

Time Out – This is what I find extremely frustrating — being in the middle of two groups without any recourse to make either one or the other do what the other is asking for. 

Eventually, Medi-Share agrees to directly contact the doctor’s office to work things out.

This next move is completely my fault as I didn’t followup.  Next we get a collections notice (my first ever) from the doctor’s office because the bill hasn’t been paid.  I guess Medi-Share didn’t work things out.

The next step in the saga is to pay the bill myself and see if I can work things out with Medi-Share.  That’s where we are right now in the process.

By the way, the day before we were getting ready to fly back to PNG, our two year old developed a rash we thought should be checked out before flying internationally over three days.  To avoid all the hassle of dealing with Medi-Share, we simply paid cash for the appointment and decided not to file.

The hassle was not worth the return.

It’s sad to have an insurance alternative and decide it’s more hassle to use it, and decide to pay cash for doctor’s visits instead.

There seems to be a lot of confusion with medical providers who want to know what I mean when I say Medi-Share is ‘sort of’ insurance and ‘like’ insurance. The doctor’s office didn’t even want to entertain the idea of working with them.

I didn’t write this post because I have anything against Medi-Share, but since I do have a post on my site about it, I felt like it was fair to others that I followed-up based on my actual experiences.

Comments

  1. Jennifer hart says

    I will need to find my paperwork for the exact interpretation. There was a branch block and a few other things that showed.
    I have had claims that medi share paid on which is a good thing.

  2. simon says

    Medi-share is indeed a unique program for providing assistance with medical care, but unlike health insurance programs this route uses blatant discrimination to prevent certain individuals from benefiting from its service. Mychristiancare.org specifically points out that only those engaging in sexual intercourse within a “Christian” marriage are allowed to join. This immediately eliminates gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals from enrolling in Medi-share. The program also places limits on services it covers based upon religious beliefs and states specifically that abortions will not be covered under any circumstance.

    To be clear, Medi-share is not an insurance program. Medi-share operates as a non-profit group and while members pay into a group fund each month, the money is never Medi-share’s money. Furthermore, Medi-share is not required to pay any bill, nor keep cash reserves on hand.

      • simon says

        but is it Judgemental? and are we not to be good stewards of the money that God allows us to use, and if so how much investigating have you done on the leadership of Medi-Share. Just asking

  3. damian says

    I am about to turn 26 and only work part time so I’m not able to get insurance from work. I never go to the doctor and I was wondering if medi share would be a good option for me. I am a Christian and haven’t missed church for some time, I understand that you shouldn’t have sex out side of marriage and I agree, but since I have had sex before, will I be eligible for medi share?

  4. james says

    This post was from March of 2012. Are you still using Medi-Share? Has your experience changed for the better or worse? I heard an ad on the radio and am looking into it. Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Ana,
      You’d need to contact Medi-Share with that question as they ought to answer specific questions such as this. My information is about the general program and my personal experience with it.

  5. Stan says

    Craig,

    How long have you been with Samaritan Ministries now and what has your experience been? How do they compare to Medi-Share?

    Thanks,
    Stan

    • says

      Stan,
      It’s been about 10 months now. I’ve never had to file a claim so everything has been great. Ultimately the test of anything is how the claims process goes and I have no experience on that end.

  6. Lisa says

    Medishare is not as Christ-like as they advertise themselves to be. About two years ago, I went through a miscarriage. For the next year and a half, it seems as though I was not able to get pregnant. Finally, I paid out of pocket to have some fertility testing done, knowing that Medishare would probably not pay a dime to help me find out what was wrong or if there was medicine that might help. We discovered a couple of minor things that led to an inexpensive medicine and some vitamins. We were thrilled to discover that we were pregnant soon after, but our joy was cut short as we went through another miscarriage.

    I went to a local obgyn to ask some questions about what to do for recurring miscarriages. She explained that she did not have the expertise to diagnose or treat me and referred me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist at one of the top clinics in the country. I started to feel hope after this terrible loss, but when I called Medishare, they very firmly told me that they would not cover a doctor who does fertility treatment. I tried and tried to explain that I was able to get pregnant, but my babies died, and this was an effort to save the life of my little baby. I was put on hold. I thought I would have the opportunity to speak to the supervisor, but the supervisor could not be bothered to speak to me. I want the world to know that “Christian” Medi-share does not care about the life of my unborn child.

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