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Sharing Ministries â?? an Insurance Alternative?

Written by Kelly Holt- Increasingly, religious Americans are turning to a little-known alternative to conventional â??use-your-health-insuranceâ? to cover medical expenses. Christian sharing ministries are filling the gap for many who are uninsured, under insured, fed up with their health insurance plans, or just uneasy in general, believing health care in America is headed for self-destruction.

Be certain of this. Sharing ministries are NOT insurance. Rather, members, for a regular monthly contribution, participate in a co-op type arrangement to literally share each otherâ??s medical costs. Members are required to testify to a religious and wholesome lifestyle before being accepted. They must have a verifiable testimony and a signed statement from a pastor or other church leader confirming they are regular attendees at religious services and a committed part of a church. In addition, they must abstain from smoking, alcohol, or drug use, and be wrongly celibate unless married, all significantly reducing the number of people at risk for serious illness.

This assures other members that they are helping those who adhere to the lifestyle they believe Christians are called to. Part of the thinking is that conventional group insurance forces a policy-holder to fund health costs of others resulting from behavior considered irresponsible, or not in accordance with Christian living. They donâ??t want to be held responsible for the treatment costs for alcoholism, STDs, drug abuse, etc., or simply the complications of say, obesity,  that could be managed. Membersâ?? needs are presented when they occur, usually via a newsletter, and the costs shared by other participants.

Sharing goes beyond just the assumption of others financial needs. Members take a personal interest in each other and support sick members with prayer, cards, or visits. Sometimes even extra money has been sent by one member directly to another to help offset costs. A source at one ministry reported that, while there is no guarantee of coverage not one need had ever gone unmet, as long as all requirements had been fulfilled.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 2:17 am and is filed under Illinois Health Inssurance News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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