My Experience with HealthShare

We all grieve together on the pains and struggles of traditional insurance, with monthly payments, and insane deductibles, and co-pays, and the premium. Once I aged out of my parents plan, I knew that I wanted to find an alternative, and I found one. Healthshare.

What is HealthShare?

HealthShare offers people an affordable way to manage medical expenses. They are not insurance, but a nonprofit organization where they help facilitate the voluntary sharing between members to pay each other’s medical costs.

It’s easier to share my experience than to try to explain it. It took me quite some time to understand it myself until I asked others who were participating in it.

I am a member of Samaritan Ministries, a Christian HealthShare organization. There are many organizations out there, but I went with Samaritan for various reasons. There are many HealthShares out there that are not Christian, but one key reason I went with Samaritan is because they are.

In order to be a member of Samaritan, I had to agree to a Statement of Faith (belief in God, belief that Jesus died for our sins, belief that all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, etc) and Membership Agreement (agree to attend church regularly, belief that Christians should share each others burdens, agree to not using drugs, abstain from sexual activity outside marriage, agree to practice good health in accordance to the belief that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, etc.).

My monthly payment, or “share”, is $160 a month.

If I have a medical need, I upload the bills (which are usually discounted 40% because I’m flagged as a cash payer), explain the health issue, explain the treatment, if the medical need is fulfilled or still ongoing, and an opportunity to share info for a prayer request. The medical need is reviewed and when/if approved, it’s labeled “shareable”. Your medical need would be split between other members and shared with them. They would then mail or PayPal you their monthly “share”.

Seems weird right? Or too good to be true? I was hesitant too! To be transparent, I always have this deep hidden fear that something will go wrong and I’ll suddenly be faced with a large medical bill that I have to pay for myself…but I know I had dealt with the same type of fears with traditional insurance.

My son ended up being on Healthshare with me for a few months and we had to submit a need after a trip to the ER. The total bill was over $2,000. We received a large discount, and the final bill was $1, 037, which we submitted to Samaritan as a Need. It was approved and then we waited a little over a month while Samaritan did the rest. They sent 10 members our info and prayer request. Those members wrote their monthly payment, and mailed it to our address (along with adorable cards and encouraging notes and prayers). Throughout that month, we received all 10 checks and marked that we received it on the Samaritan website. We deposited the checks into our account and payed off the medical bill. If someone did not send a check, Samaritan would be in charge of reaching out to that individual and fixing the missing funds. We paid zero dollars.

This past summer, I injured my shoulder pretty badly, right after Samaritan had to change their policies due to the rising increase of healthcare. Now, every medical need you are required to pay $400 and the rest is covered. A trip to urgent care, follow-up, xrays, physical therapy…the bill was quite high and we paid $400 even. From the stories I’ve heard from fellow members, even when the bill is 20k, they only pay $400 as their deductible as long as it’s all under one medical need like heart murmur, brain tumor, or pregnancy.

Recently, I had to call and ask questions about our plan because I was re-adding my husband. I didn’t have to wait very long for a customer service agent, the call was a million times better than calling larger providers, and at the end the lovely woman on the phone asked if there was something she could pray for in my life. At the time, a young mother was on my mind who was faced with challenges in life, so I brought it up, and the service agent prayed right there on the phone.

While my husband was using his work insurance, he had all of these co-pays each visit, bills that followed, and having to spend half the day on hold to connect with an agent.

If you are looking for insurance for the new year, I’d consider looking into healthshare – it does’t have to be Samaritan, there are dozens out there that are all similar.

Here are a few things to remember:

*HealthShare is not insurance. You are 100% responsible for your healthcare bills, viewed as a “cash payer” to the healthcare provider. You are in charge of negotiating to lower prices. Then, you are reimbursed by your HealthShare provider.

**HealthShare does not usually cover preventative healthcare like an annual checkups. This policy is in place to keep costs lower and helps encourage searching for a budget-friendly provider. It’s my only complaint about healthshare, but we’ve never had to pay a lot for preventative health. A good example would be a sports physical – a well-known hospital clinic can run upward of $400 for a simple physical, not including any labs. If you do a little research, you can find plenty of places that offer a sports physical for a fraction of the cost. We’d go to a reputable clinic that charges $49, and I’ve heard a walk-in sports physical at CVS is $69.

***Healthshare usually doesn’t cover prescriptions. I have a discount prescription card, and if I need medicine for an illness it’s not horribly expensive. If I had longterm health issues like diabetes, I would consider leaving a healthshare program. Though I feel this is my own personal opinion because I know there are several members who are going through cancer treatments who have stayed on healthshare.

****I have no network limits. As long as the medical provider is a real, licensed provider, you can go to them.

I hope this encourages you to do a little research on healthcare and healthshare

Here’s more information on the healthshare our family uses.

with love, Samantha

Products I Loved in 2022 – Books, Homeschool, Fashion, Home, & Kids

Bookworm

Kindle Paperwhite – I still prefer physical books, but I LOVE my paperwhite to check out books from the library. I don’t have to worry about losing a book or forgetting to return it, and like I told my SIL, it’s perfect to take on vacation (or soccer games) instead of lugging a book.

Nourishing Traditions Cookbook – Another staple in the home, a great resourceful book!

The Story of Liberty – Love history? Get this book. Hate history? Get this book. It’s not like the history you sat through in high school. Real stories, real people, very well put together and researched.

Bible Case – I wanted a simple design with no words, which was difficult to find. When searching bible cases for women, very fancy floral with words were common. I just wanted something basic.

Bible Tabs – Easy to apply and read, fits into the Bible case above.

Health & Beauty

Fish Oil – Don’t worry, it’s lemon flavor so it’s 0% fishy flavor. I just chase it with some juice because I don’t like the texture of swallowing oil. I spent quite a bit of time researching quality fish oil to incorporate into my diet.

Mary Ruth’s Zinc – We use this consistently when sickness runs through our home.

Moisturizer – I use this every single day and it has not given me any acne, perfectly lightweight.

Argan Oil Shampoo – My go-to for the past few years, other shampoos were irritating my scalp and it took some time before finding one that my hair and scalp can tolerate.

Homeschool

Mother Culture – I loved getting this book at the beginning of our homeschool journey, a great resource and encourager.

Math U See – A great curriculum for visual learners!

Wonder Filled Days – I feel like I’ve been repeating this over and over since I came across this resource. I stand by it wholeheartedly.

Home Goods

Rice Cooker/Steamer – I purchased this with the intent on steaming foods, not realizing that it only steams like one serving of veggies or fish. Regardless, it is still a great rice cooker and a staple in my life.

Phone Case – I spent days looking for the perfect phone case for my butterfinger hands, and this was recommended to me. Hands down the best phone case for those that drop their phone often.

Bottle Cleaner Tabs – Do you have a stainless steel coffee mug or water bottle that needs a good cleaning? I’ve been using these for years now, so easy and simple to use. The mug comes out looking brand new and every stain is gone with zero effort.

Stationary – This is my go-to stationary set.

File Folders – A great filing system, with different colors. I use them to save important documents relating to the kids and items I need to sign and mail out.

Grocery Boxes – Bye-bye grocery bags, these are my favorite to bring to Aldi or to carry all our library books. It can carry a heavy weight, we’ve shoved so many books in them.

Krud Kutter – I use this to get the grossest, stickiest, grimiest gunk off the floor and tile. A little goes a long way and it’s a staple in my deep cleaning supply list.

Sewing Machine – When my husband gifted me this 7 years ago, it was only $99! Now it’s double the price, but I still love it and would buy it again.

O-Cedar Mop – The holy grail of mops, I LOVE mopping with this mop.

Fashion

Swimsuit – During our family vacation, I needed to buy a new suit. I despise looking for swimsuits because I have such a long torso and high shoulders, plus add in a bigger bust. This is slimming, modest, and comfortable.

Leggings – My favorite stretchy, non-see-through comfortable leggings, the only ones I wear.

Hiking Backpack – This folds into itself because it’s super lightweight, great to pack in your luggage for traveling.

Shell Case for Macbook – A cute floral cover that I’m not sure actually protects my laptop, but does provide peace of mind.

Headcoverings – Garlands of Grace chiffon style is my favorite. Pricey, but it’d be more expensive if I tried making it myself.

Kids

Kid’s Indoor Tent – I’m 5’8 and I can comfortably get inside this tent. It is so easy to put up and take apart (once you get the hang of it). A great gift idea!

Kid’s Digital Camera – The best Christmas gift we got for our son, purchased during Black Friday so it was significantly cheaper than it is now (I wouldn’t pay the original $50 for it).

Plastic Kitchen Knives – If you have an eager kitchen helper, these knives are so handy. Not only do they actually work, it provides some great training with knives!

Creative Flakes – These I stumbled upon by another mom blogger who used these in her morning baskets. We love them!


I’m not an affiliate, so I don’t make a cent if you click any of the links – just sharing a few things that brought joy or made life a little easier.

with love, Samantha