September 20, 2016

What Do Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans Cost?

Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) I've come to learn about Health Care Sharing Ministries.     A health care sharing ministry is a cost sharing organization ran by a religious group.   Its kind of like co-op health insurance.      The sharing ministries may be attractive for a couple major reasons.   First you may prefer to participate in a religious plan that matches your own religious beliefs rather than the various mandates and rules of health insurance and the ACA.    In other words you prefer not to be forced to buy into insurance that pays for things against your religion.   Second, the ministries may be cheaper than general individual health insurance and also help you avoid the financial penalty for not having insurance.     Or maybe a combination of those reasons.  

Whatever your interest in a health care sharing ministry it may or may not be cheaper than standard insurance.   The plans may also not cover everything normal insurance does.     But the first question... what do they actually cost?

Doing minimal research I found 5 plans at Make that FIVE sharing ministries…

Altrua HealthShare
Christian Care Ministry
Christian Healthcare Ministries
Liberty Healthshare
Samaritan Ministries

There or may not be more plans out there, but I'm only covering the five plans above.

First an important note:  If you're interested in any of these plans, you should real.ly look at all the details of coverage and fully understand how they work.   Some will deny you coverage if you smoke or do other things against the plan rules.    They may not over certain things at all.     You should also verify for sure that membership in the plan in question does qualify you as covered under Obamacare in order to avoid the penalty.    I'm not covering every detail here and I'm just giving a rough summary of plan costs and coverage.

Details on the plans pricing are below.

Altrua plans : 

They have 3 levels with pricing varying by age.
Bronze   $120 to 300 singles / $330 to 600 families
Silver $216 to $360 / $450 to 720
Gold $240 to 420 / $480 to 780

The deductibles are $500, $1000 and $1500 for gold, silver and bronze respectively plus you also have to pay 25% of the next $10,000 of cost.

Christian Healthcare Ministries  (CHM)

They have 3 programs

Bronze = $45 /mo for a single and $135 for family with a $5000 deductible per incident and $125,000 per illness cap on benefit
Silver = $85 / mo for a single and $255 for family with $1000 deductible and $125k cap
Gold = $150 / mo for a single and $450 for family with $500 deductible and $125k cap

For about $140 / $340 more you can add their Brothers Keeper plan that adds $100k to the cap for bronze and silver and makes it unlimited for gold.

Christian Care Ministry (CCM)

This one has a lot of variable pricing.     The rates vary by age and there are several deductible levels.

A 25 year old single individual can get coverage for as little as $70 a month with a $10,000 deductible or pay up to $197 for $500 deductible.
Someone who is 60 years old will pay $213 for $10k deductible and $475 for $1250 deductible (no option for $500 deductible)
Family rates are based on the age of the oldest person.
If the head of household is 25 years old the rates are $193 to $709
A 60 year old head is $419 to $900

Liberty HealthShare

They have 3 plans with monthly prices based on age bands.

Liberty Complete pays 100% of bills up to $1 million
Single $149 under 30, $199 for 30-65 and $225 for over 65
Family $399, $449 and $475/499

Liberty Plus pays 100% of bills up to $125,000
Single $131 under 30, $181 for 30-65 and $206 for over 65
Family $374, $424 and $449/474


Liberty Share 
Single $107 under 30, $157 for 30-65, and $182 over 65
Family $345 under 30, 395 for 30-65, and 420/445 over 65


Samaritan Ministries 

Their rates only vary based on family size and don't care about your age.

$220 for a single  / $495  for a family of 3 or more
Save to Share is an extra cost of $133 single or $399 for family

They cover anything over $300 per incident.    The normal max coverage is $250,000 but you can also sign up for the Save to Share program to cover unlimited costs.


Here is a summary table of the plans, benefits and costs for a single person who is 25 years old:

Deductible Monthly Cap
Altrua Bronze $1,500 $120 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
Altrua Silver $1,000 $216 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
Altrua Gold $500 $240 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
CHM Bronze $5,000 $45 $125,000
CHM Silver $1,000 $85 $125,000
CHM Gold $500 $150 $125,000
CCM $500 $500 $197 unsure
CCM $10,000 $10,000 $70 unsure
Liberty Complete $500 $149 $1,000,000
Liberty Plus $500 $131 $125,000
Liberty Share $500 $107 $125,000 pays 70%
Samaritan normal $300 $220 $250,000
Samaritan Saveshare $300 $353 unlimited


The very cheapest plan is the CHM Bronze plan which is just $45 a month.   But it pays very little.   That plan has a $5000 deductible and only $125,000 cap.  

The Liberty Complete plan looks like the best all around deal.   That plan is $149 a month with only a $500 deductible and has a $1,000,000 cap.


For a family of 3 or more with a youngish head of household under 25 years old:

Deductible Monthly Cap
Altrua Bronze $1,500 $330 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
Altrua Silver $1,000 $450 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
Altrua Gold $500 $480 $1,000,000 25% over $10k
CHM Bronze $5,000 $135 $125,000
CHM Silver $1,000 $255 $125,000
CHM Gold $500 $450 $125,000
CCM $500 $500 $709 unsure
CCM $10,000 $10,000 $193 unsure
Liberty Complete $500 $399 $1,000,000
Liberty Plus $500 $374 $125,000
Liberty Share $500 $345 $125,000 pays 70%
Samaritan normal $300 $495 $250,000
Samaritan Saveshare $300 $894 unlimited

The cheapest is again the CHM Bronze plan at only $135 a month.   But again that plan covers very little and its not a good risk for a family.

I think the best deal is the Liberty Complete plan for $399 a month.  
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