Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

What Do You Know About Christian Healthcare Ministries as a Solution to the Health Insurance Problem? (January 2015 Update)

December 30th, 2013 by G.

Good Samaritan

Original Post

Many of you know that ACA cancelled my family’s private insurance.  New Obamacare insurance would cost us several hundred  dollars more a month, increasing our premiums by 150%.  It would also dramatically increase our deductible by 150%, but paying the massive premium increase would mean we had no money in the budget left over to pay actual medical bills.  To afford healthcare insurance we would have to not afford healthcare.  We have been a little desperate.

We’ve prayed and researched. We think we’ve found a solution.  We’re joining a Christian healthcare ministry (also known as a healthcare sharing group).  Specifically we’re joining the Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I know many families are looking pretty hard at their healthcare situation right now.  This post is about what I think is a decent option for Mormons and others.  I hope it helps anyone who is looking for an out from a bad insurance situation.   Please share it with anyone who might benefit.

At the same time, this post is a request for anybody who knows anything about Christian healthcare ministries to share what they know.  If you have had a good or a bad experience with a healthcare ministry or sharing organization, please tell us about it in the comments.  I and others who read this would benefit.  The more information the better.

What is a healthcare ministry? 

Here’s what I’ve figured out from my research.

There is an extended family I know.  They run several interlocking small businesses.  They don’t have health insurance.  Routine medical costs they pay themselves.  When one of them has a larger medical bill, they chip in to cover it.

Imagine that you and your extended family or a group of close friends and neighbors were doing something similar.  None of you have insurance but you cover for each other.  When one family has a high medical bill, every family helps out.  Maybe this goes on long enough that all of you actually hash out an agreement that whenever there’s a big bill, each of you will pay an equal percentage of it.  Most months you don’t pay anything.  Some months you pay a lot. You probably can’t sue the others to pay for your own healthcare, because they aren’t legally obligated to do it.  It’s just a private arrangement.  But you trust each other and you have a track record with each other, so you’re OK with not having a formal, legal obligation.

Now, imagine that your circle of friends and family and neighbors gets bigger.  This means that your share of each medical bill gets smaller, so you’re paying less.  But the frequency you’re having to pay goes up.  Eventually, as the circle gets large enough, you’re paying about the same amount each month.

As the circle gets bigger, you also start to worry about who the new members are.  You may not know them all.  Since the circle runs on trust, you get worried.  You and the rest get together to discuss what to do.  You don’t want to downsize, because you like the security that having a larger circle gets you.  At the same time, you don’t want to convert into an actual insurance company.  Instead, you come up with admissions requirements that the group of you feel will keep your circle a circle of trust.

You also, since your circle has got bigger, agree on some formal rules about what medical bills you’ll share payment on and which ones you won’t.

Once you’ve done all that, congratulations, you’ve invented a healthcare ministry or sharing organization.  They are a large group of families and individuals with some basis for mutual trust (usually a common religious commitment) who pay an agreed amount each month.  According to their agreement, they either send the money to a clearing house or directly to another member with medical bills.  The medical bills are shared according the rules that are established by agreement.  The membership will usually be informed if any member has big bills that are outside the rules and will have an opportunity to chip in an extra donation to help out.  Each family is responsible for making its own arrangements for medical care and for acting responsibly in trying to reduce their own medical bills. There is no legal obligation to pay bills, even if the bills are within the group’s rules.  But in practice the bills are always paid.  The members can vote to change their rules and to raise or lower the monthly payment.  They aren’t regulated, for the most part, and it may concern you that from state to state their legal status may be somewhat irregular, though they’ve been around for decades without being shut down, and in practice have considerable political clout.  For those reasons, my own view is that their legal status is a non-issue.

Under Obamacare, membership in a healthcare ministry also exempts you from the insurance mandate and the fines.

Sounds Great! Can We Start Our Own Mormon Healthcare Sharing Group?

No.  Obamacare doesn’t let you start new groups.  Only groups that have been around since around 2000 qualify.

Frickin’ Fetch.  So What Groups Already Exist that We Could Join?

Basically Christian Healthcare Ministries and Liberty Healthshare.

There are many healthcare ministries, but most of them are limited to a town or a region or to a specific religious denomination.  In practice there are three main Christian healthcare ministries that are nationwide and non-denominational.  They are Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Christian Care Ministry.  I have recently discovered a fourth organization that is less overtly Christian, although its not quite secular either, called Liberty Healthshare.

Each of these ministries require a statement of belief to join.  I have been told that Samaritan Ministries isn’t open to Mormons, though I haven’t confirmed that information.

The members of Christian Care Ministry affirm a statement of faith:


We believe…that there is one God eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe…that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man and that it is verbally inspired, authoritative, and without error.

We believe…in the deity of Jesus Christ—His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross to provide for our redemption, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His return to earth in power and glory.

We believe…in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, that He performs the miracle of new birth in an unbeliever and indwells believers, enabling them to live a godly life.

We believe…that man was created in the image of God, but because of sin was alienated from God. Alienation can be removed by accepting God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10) which was made possible by Christ’s death and resurrection.  This faith will be evidenced by the works that we do (James 2:17).

I could probably affirm that statement (I’d have to think a bit about the Bible not having any errors at all), but most Mormons might not.  Based on the statement of faith, though, my unconfirmed suspicion is that the Christian Care Ministry doesn’t allow Mormons.  I wouldn’t join one of these organizations without getting confirmation that they allow Mormons.  It’s unethical and it’s too risky to join under false pretenses.

Christian Healthcare Ministries does allow Mormons (I called and asked).  As a member, you affirm that you are

Christians living by New Testament principles, attend group worship regularly (health permitting), follow scriptural teaching with regard to alcohol, and do not use tobacco or use drugs illegally.


I believe you may also have to have your “pastor” sign off on the occasional form, much like BYU’s ecclesiastical leader endorsement.


Liberty Healthshare an even looser but still robust statement of belief:

  • We believe that our personal rights and liberties originate from God and are bestowed on us by God, and are not concessions granted to us by governments or men.
  • We believe every individual has a fundamental religious right to worship the God of the Bible in his or her own way.
  • We believe it is our biblical and ethical obligation to assist our fellow man when they are in need according to our available resources and opportunity.
  • We believe it is our spiritual duty to God and our ethical duty to others to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid foods, behaviors or habits that produce sickness or disease.
  • We believe it is our fundamental right of conscience to direct our own healthcare, in consultation with physicians, family or other valued advisors, free from government dictates, restraints and oversight.

Each of the organizations offers fairly different rules for what medical costs they share, and how they share it.  There is probably no substitute for reading the rules of each organization you are considering.

You shouldn’t join unless you are comfortable negotiating bills with doctors and managing your own healthcare.  It will take time and cause you frustration.  But these sharing ministries rely on their members to do that work (some tips here).  You should also feel comfortable with the statement of beliefs.  Finally, you should be willing to accept a moral and ethical obligation to the other members.  If you are inclined to treat the ministry rules as an arms-length contract within which you should try to extract the maximum personal benefit, these ministries aren’t for you.

I said earlier that each organization has fairly different rules.  However, the two Mormon-friendly ministries have fairly similar approaches, so I’ll summarized them here (note: this summary is no substitute for actually reading their rules).

For the most part, both Liberty Healthshare and Christian Healthcare Ministries don’t cover routine healthcare, including many prescriptions.  They generally cover the kinds of non-elective procedures that require hospitalization.  They both have deductibles “per incident” instead of “per year.”  Christian Healthcare Ministries offers three levels of deductibles: as you would expect, the higher the deductible, the less you are asked to contribute to the general fund.  At the highest contribution level, your deductible (aka “personal responsibility amount”) is $500.  Liberty Healthshare’s per-incident deductible is $500 for all levels of contribution, but at the lower levels of contribution there is a cost-sharing mechanism past the $500 level.  Both have per-incident caps at around $125,000.  You can increase that cap to around $1 million in Christian Healthcare Ministries by chipping in a little more, and in Liberty Healthshare by picking their highest contribution level.  In either case, if you can afford it you probably should, since $125,000 could be a little low if you develop a major condition like cancer.  Christian Healthcare Ministries covers maternity at its highest contribution level; its a good deal for families.  Liberty Healthshare is a little bit cheaper, Christian Healthcare Ministries’ coverage is a little bit more extensive.  Christian Healthcare Ministries has a larger pool of members.

Their complete  rules aren’t much more complicated than what I’ve laid out here, but you should definitely examine them in detail and in full if you are interested.  Both ministries have help lines where someone who is friendly and informed will answer right away.

Can I Really Join a Christian Group?  I Don’t Listen to Bad Pop Music about Jesus.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the religious aspects of these plans.  No believing Mormon should object to affirming the principles of the New Testament, in the case of Christian Healthcare Ministries, or in affirming the principles of religious liberty and personal health responsibility in the case of Liberty Healthshare.

I do not believe Mormons should have any issue with entering into a brotherhood, a body of Christian believers, with non-Mormons.  Rather than having an issue, we should  be excited at the chance.  All of God’s children are the objects of his care, and therefore of ours.  God’s restoration of the full gospel and priesthood authority to the Mormon church does not mean that Christians in other denominations are not genuine Christians.  In their own way, they are part of the body of Christ and can be treated as such.  Doctrinally, both the notion of vicarious work for the dead, the doctrine of the terrestrial kingdom, and the doctrine of the diversity of works, point to this conclusion.  We also know from personal experience that their faith in Christ is real and their works worthy of that faith.  Finally, no Mormon should feel that they can honestly join one of these programs with the purpose of taking advantage of it.   Both the 12th Article of Faith and our prophets and apostles over the pulpit teach us to respect mortal institutions.


[Update, December 13th, 2013: I discovered a new provider that takes Mormons, Altrua Healthshare. However, it isn’t clear yet whether they let you get out of the Obamacare fine.]

[Update, December 30th, 2013: Commenter JMarie has contacted Samaritan and been told that they WILL accept Mormons who can adhere to their statement of faith, which is basically the Apostles’ Creed. Most Mormons should be able to adhere to it in good conscience:

I believe in the triune God of the Bible. He is one God Who is revealed in three distinct Persons—God, the Father; God, the Son; and God the Holy Spirit. 1 I believe Jesus Christ was God in the flesh—fully God and fully man. 2 He was born of a virgin, 3 lived a sinless life, 4 died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, 5 was bodily resurrected on the third day, 6 and now is seated in the heavens at the right hand of God, the Father. 7 I believe that all people are born with a sinful nature 8 and can be saved from eternal death only by trusting in Christ’s
atoning death and resurrection to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.9

Samaritan is cheaper than the other options I’ve explored (and they have very good maternity coverage!), but they also sometimes don’t take in enough to cover all bills and have to prorate payment or else ask members for voluntary donations to cover. On the balance we might still go with them except that they totally exclude pre-existing conditions.]

[Update, January 15, 2015: The Self-Pay Patient blog reports that Altrua Healthshare has been certified as satisfying the Obamacare mandate.  If you have a  membership with them, in other words, you won’t have to pay the Obamacare fine.   Their contribution rates and coverage look to be pretty reasonable. ]

Comments (59)
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December 30th, 2013 09:27:47

John Mansfield
December 9, 2013

Insurance-like relationships used to be a major function of fraternal organizations before commercial insurance became a mature industry, and now commercial insurance’s worth has been destroyed for you. Your insurance troubles and a recent re-reading of Beowulf among other things have formed the impression that our era of independent men is waning and family relationships are becoming more important than before.

December 10, 2013

Last time I had to get a prescription, the drugstore knocked almost 2/3rds off the price, without me even asking, when I told them it was going to be self-pay.

December 11, 2013

Whenever I see the word “Christian” in an organization’s name, I naturally assume that some enterprsing protestant minister has found a new scam to fatten his purse.

Melissa B.
December 11, 2013

Thank you for this information. My husband and I are struggling with the current cost of our monthly premium. Our deductible is so high, we may as well not have insurance. The whole Obamacare and health insurance problem is driving us crazy. Lately I have been wishing it would revert back to the times of no health insurance, where you paid or bartered. This seems like a good option. I will definitely look into it.

December 11, 2013

That sounds wonderful. I’m not sure if you didn’t say or if I missed it, but would this lower your monthly payments to a level comparable to what you had before? Is it a set amount for everyone or does it depend on how many are in your family, how old you are, etc.?

Adam G.
December 11, 2013

It’s a little bit more expensive but the deductible is probably better. We have much more choice now, but have to do more work as part of the choosing. Ask me again in a year, but for now I’d rate it at least comparable and probably an improvement to our pre-Obamacare insurance.

Christian Healthcare Ministries charges X for an individual, 2X for a couple, and 3X for a family. Liberty Healthshare charges X for an individual, 1.5 X for a couple, and 2.25X for a family (roughly), with $50 off if you’re under 30.

December 22, 2013

Thanks for writing about this–we’re looking into it. I’ve called Christian Care and Samaritan to ask if they accept Mormons. I’d rather know up front.
I don’t have a problem with the statement of faith. All Christian denominations interpret Bible scripture differently. (Just try Googling the question of whether the “rapture” is going to be “pre-, mid-, or post-tribulation” for an example.)

December 26, 2013

I just got a packet from Christian Care, and their statement of faith reads a little differently than what is posted above. About the Bible, my packet reads “…without error in the original manuscripts.”

December 26, 2013

Okay, I just talked to Christian Care on the phone and they said they “do no” accept Mormons, but suggested I call Samaritan. CSR said she’d heard that Samaritan does accept. So maybe I’ll call them too.
Christian Healthcare does accept Mormons…I emailed them and got a reply about it.

December 26, 2013

* Christian Care “DOES NOT” accept Mormons.

Adam G.
December 27, 2013

Thanks, ma’am. I’ve talked to someone who asked Samaritan directly and was told no, but confirmation would be nice.

December 27, 2013

Anymore information on which one to try and join if you are mormon? THANKS!

Adam G.
December 28, 2013

I have personally confirmed that both Christian Healthcare Ministries and Liberty Healthshare are open to Mormons.
JMarie has been personally told by Christian Care that they do NOT take Mormons. I have heard from someone else that they were personally told by Samaritan that it does NOT take Mormons.

Adam G.
December 30, 2013

JMarie found out that Samaritan *will* accept Mormons. See the new update at the top of the post.

February 4, 2014

I was told my Liberty healthshare that they will cover the cost of a yearly checkup (PSA test, mamography, etc) as part of being a member.

February 7, 2014

This is a wonderful program, but I could not in good conscience agree to their statement of faith. As Mormons, we believe in a Godhead, 3 distinctly separate beings. That is very different than the triune they speak of.

Adam G.
February 7, 2014


your conscience is your own and I respect that. NO ONE should lie to join these groups.

Where I’m coming from: Christian Healthcare Ministries doesn’t require you to affirm anything about ‘the trinity’ or a ‘triune’ God. All you have to affirm is that you believe in “one God eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” which is more or less the definition of the Godhead that Mormons accept. There are plenty of scriptures that state that we believe in ‘one God.’ The Christian Healthcare Ministries also has a policy of accepting Mormons, which suggests that they do not interpret their affirmation of faith to be narrowly trinitarian.
If it still bothers you, though, I suggest checking out Liberty.

Joe W.
February 21, 2014

@ Adam;

I completely agree with you. Sadly many of us Christians (Mormon, Pentacostal, Evangelical, etc., etc.) focus too much on what differences we may have, rather than the plethora of similarities we DO have in common. As a former full-time LDS missionary (and now as a regular member who has missionary moments), I’ve found it is much more civil and Christian to focus on our similarities. Thanks for your comments.

Anthony W.
March 17, 2014

If you want to get down to the nitty gritties, the best term for what we believe in is “Social Trinity” which you can look up on infogalactic, etc. I have no problem at all saying I believe in “one God” existing in three Persons, especially given some of the scriptures in the Book of Mormon like Mosiah 15:4.

@ the OP: Thanks for this post. I am in the situation myself of having my own health insurance cancelled, and the premium of the lowest cost “Affordable” Healthcare Act plan in my area is roughly double what I’m paying now, and quadruple what I was paying a year ago. I haven’t found any outside proof yet that these groups give you an exemption from the “individual shared responsibility payment” (tax fee), so I’ll try to verify that on my own, as it would kinda stink to get hit with a surprise multi-hundred dollar fee on my taxes next year.

Adam G.
March 17, 2014

Anthony W.,

you should definitely check out the Self Pay Patient blog and handbook. It’s perfect for someone in your situation. Anyhow, he has independently verified that healthsharing ministries exempt you from the Obamacare Tax.

You can also verify it yourself. Section 1501, p. 148 of the Act. The government has the text online at the first link here.

Terence C
March 26, 2014

I applaud these excellent alternatives to employer based and government provided health insurance plans.

However, as a mormon I believe that we, in good conscience, cannot affirm the statements of Christian Care Ministry, that these statements are not inline with The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints doctrine and therefore would not qualify for membership, as follows:

1. We believe…that there is one God eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Mormons believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; that They are divine from before the foundation of the world and make up one Godhead; but that They are three separate and distinct individuals.

2. We believe…that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man and that it is verbally inspired, authoritative, and without error.

Mormons believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; that it was written by revelation, is inspired, authoritative but has been changed somewhat over time by men acting as agents of their own for their own purpose. Mormons use the Holy Bible as scripture, is part of the LDS canon and is propped up by other writings and revelation.

Mormons are Christians, God fearing, honest people and suggest to Christian Care Ministry that membership in the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints ought not be a reason to deny entry. That being said, I support Christian Care Ministry’s right to set it’s membership policies as it sees fit.

Adam G.
March 26, 2014

I think it’s possible for Mormons to believe that the Bible is without error, but I don’t and I think most Mormons don’t.

But regardless, Samaritan, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Liberty all take Mormons.

April 21, 2014

The other thing to keep in mind about the Bible not being in error – non-Mormon Christians, themselves, use different versions of the Bible so I think even they would have to agree that it’s not an exact science. And the different denominations interpret the Bible the way they see it. More inexact science.

September 2, 2014

Liberty only requires a fairly bland statement of faith and will accept virtually any faith, as well as sexual orientation. Here is a link to an article where their Communications Director discusses it. http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2014/02/28/ministries-allow-some-to-put-their-faith-in-health-care-sharing/5918657/

September 3, 2014

Thanks, Steve.

September 26, 2014

An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little homework on this.
And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him…
lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

September 27, 2014

That’s pretty funny, Ara! Thanks for letting us know.

January 15, 2015

Curious if the author has feedback and if he/she actually ended up signing up. If so, was it a good choice? My family and I in a similar boat where health insurance premiums are becoming quite high and am curious if this would be a better option.

Randall Sluder
January 29, 2015

I am very happy to let you all know that there is an answer to your frustrations regarding a Health Care Sharing Ministry that provides a membership for Mormons to share in one another’s medical needs.

I am the Executive Director for Altrua Ministries, dba Altrua HealthShare. Altrua is one of the very few recognized Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSM). Members of Altrua are eligible for exemption from The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obama Care.

Altrua HealthShare and Altrua Ministries merged in 2014 and gained recognition from the federal government as a HCSM. Both of these non-profits were formed specifically for Mormons back in early 2000. Historically, the majority of Altrua members have been Mormons and that remains true today.

Altrua HealthShare was originally known as Zion Share, with the name change occurring in 2005. At the same time a company named Kirtland HealthShare Alliance became Altrua Ministries.
You can view the program and membership guidelines at http://www.altruahealthshare.org and gain additional information on how this Health Care Sharing Ministry can be the answer you seek. Altrua HealthShare is the only one of the HCSM organizations that was originally created for Mormon families. Altrua HealthShare has advertised for many years in the LDS Living magazine and continues to advertise there today.

Who is Altrua HealthShare?
Altrua HealthShare is a nationwide faith-based membership of individuals and families who share in one other’s medical needs by heeding the scriptures calling on believers to bear the burdens of one-another.

Each month, members of Altrua HealthShare voluntarily send their monthly contributions to be placed in an escrow account from which members’ eligible medical needs are shared according to the member guidelines and escrow instructions. Individual members remain financially responsible for their own medical needs in the event the membership is unable to share in their medical needs. All medical needs are processed according to the official member guidelines. Not one eligible medical need has gone unpaid since the membership started.

We believe you will find Altrua’s Statement of Standards to be amenable to all Mormons. For more information on Altrua HealthShare please go to http://www.altruahealthshare.org or call 888-244-3839 option #3 to request an information packet to be mailed to you.

Randall Sluder
Executive Director

January 29, 2015

Thanks, Mr. Sluder. That’s extremely helpful information.

Ed Barfuss
February 23, 2015

Great article. There is one important correction, however. On page four of the original article it stated that “Liberty Healthshare’s per-incident deductible is $500 for all levels of contribution.” That is not quite right. The unshared amount (deductible) is $500 for an individual, $1000 for a couple and $1500 for a family AND it is figured annually, not per incident. As a footnote, Liberty increased the number of situations for which they will do cost sharing including maternity. The new guidelines came out in February 2015.

John Hawthorn
March 3, 2015

In 1981, my brother Reverend Bruce Hawthorn met with me at my carpet store and discussed the outline of a plan providing Christians the oppertunity of praying for Christians who had medical bills, sharing their bills and sending the money directly to the one in need along with a card or note of encouragment. In spite of the fact that others laughed at him and said that it wouldn’t work, I assured him that it would. I explaned that if for profit insurance companies could insure smokers, drenkers, drug addicts and become some of the richest organizations in the world, we, with Gods’ help, could succede at administering to a group of Christians who neither smoked, drank or used drugs. I closed my business and began working with my brother for the salary of $10,000 a year. When I needed Money, I sold insurance. I studied insurance law and we agreed that if a state ordered us to stop us in their state, and I believed that we were not in violation of any insurance regulation, we would go to jail before we would stop providing service to members in their state. Thirty eight states challenged us in court even up th their supreme court but God prevailed and won every time. Soon we were providing payment of over $60,000,000.00 a year. in 2014 we passed one billion in shared needs. We thought that once it proved that it would be legal and work, every denomination (and affinity group like truck drivers, butchers etc.) would copy us and have their own plans. It took a while but that i happening now. I just saw where the Catholic Church is starting one. Sadly, my brother got bad advice, broke the law, and spent his last years blind and pennyless living in a very small cottage in Florida. I am 77 yrars old, retired, still making house and car payments, neither my brother nor I retired with benefits or severance provision.
I am araplegic, but am willing to answer any questions by phone (330) 854-0708, email loccm@aol.com or cell (330) 933 9087. My wife is not young but works as a nurse to support us
John Hawthorn

June 17, 2015

Just thought I would share a response I received from Medi-Share (Christian Care Ministries):

Dear Medi-Share Applicant,

Our Medi-Share Guidelines require all adult members to profess the Statement of Faith to qualify for Medi-Share membership. This statement, which is included on the attached form, was recently updated to include supporting scriptural references. Historically, members of your stated denomination have not been in complete agreement with all of our beliefs.
We ask that you carefully consider the tenets of membership, specifically the two below. Please consult your church leader if you have any questions or concerns about our Statement of Faith and membership requirements.
• I believe Jesus is God, in equal standing with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9).

• I believe that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

If you are in agreement with the Statement of Faith and lifestyle and commitment questions, please sign and return the form and we will proceed with processing your application.

June 17, 2015

Sounds like they carefully tuned it to exclude Mormons.

I’d avoid crashing a party I’m not really welcome at.

June 17, 2015

You might have “fun” figuring out the optimization points on the ACA program. I did this a couple months ago for my family after some big medical bills.

You want to buy a “silver” plan and target a income at ~140% of the poverty level to avoid getting dumped on the medicare system. For a family of 4, this can be achieved. I found this possible through heavy contributions to 401k, IRA, etc. Charitable contributions also help.

Anyway, what happens is if you’re at 140% of the poverty level *and* on a silver plan, it gets “upgraded” to a Platinum plan (covers everything) for free and you also get to maximize your subsidies. My cost for a family of 3 is 2,480/year at this optimization point.

June 17, 2015

Oops. Mean to say “For a family of 4, this can be achieved at a declared income of ~$34k/year. I found this possible…”

June 17, 2015

…and it’s medicaid, not medicare you get dumped on if taxable income drops too low. Sorry!

June 17, 2015

thanks for that! I think some Mormons could sign that in good conscience, some couldn’t, and I encourage no one to violate their conscience.

Charles Preuss
August 13, 2015

Great program that save me thousands compared to Blue Cross with my company. My wife recently had a claim going to an emergency room, hospital, and ambulance. We told them (and CHM is not) we had no insurance and they all greatly reduced our bill by OVER 50% such that we did not have a deductible. CHM covered the entire bill except for the Ambulance which is not covered by CHM (but is to was greatly reduced). Remember though CHM does not cover Doctor office visits. I am very happy with CHM.

Gavin Scott
August 15, 2015

I am a small business owner. Does anyone know how the Group Memberships work for CHM if I want to cover my 10 employees?

Are they all covered if a I pay a portion of the cost? Do they have to pay a portion also? I had heard if the first 3 members are covered, then the remainder are covered? Has this changed?


August 17, 2015

We also have been a member with CHM for several years. They have been wonderful every time we have used it, and would highly recommend it to others.

August 17, 2015

Charles and Leah, thanks for the additional information. Very helpful to get real insights from people who’ve been with the ministry for awhile.

Gavin, I don’t know the answer to your question. It looks like group contributions are customized. You can submit your basic information here to get a quote:
–or you can talk to the person who manages their group ministry here–

September 24, 2015

Hi! I’m not a Morman, I’m a charismatic Christian and was so helped by this post when I stumbled upon it! I just wanted to tell you all how impressed I am with the way you talk to eachother and have such a high value for the Truth. I just wanted to tell you all that I love you and am so excited to see so much love in these comments! I pray Jesus blesses all of us as we find the best thing to do for our families. Regarding healthcare. And I ask that more of the Holy Spirit and the light of Christ fall on us all! Cheers!

September 24, 2015

Sorry that 3rd to last sentence wasn’t supposed to have a period! I pray Jesus blesses all of us as we find the best thing to do for our families regarding healthcare.

? ?

September 24, 2015

Thanks Melissa, and may the good Lord bless you and yours.

October 14, 2015

The statement of faith (to me) can be interpreted in a number of ways. What I mean by “one God” is my biblical understanding of “one God”. That differs from traditional understanding yet nevertheless, I do believe in “one God” who is one in purpose and work. In that same sense, it is also true that there is only one God. God is also eternally existent in three persons.

I brought this up with CHM and was assured that I am eligible, as a Mormon, to join.

December 5, 2015

If you are interested in the original Health Care Sharing Ministry that was built on LDS families and meets the requirements for members to be exempt from the penalties associated to the Affordable Care Act, please visit Altrua HealthShare.
We look forward to serving you as a memebr

January 12, 2016

One thing about Liberty Healthshare. I considered them as well after I listened to a doctor on the Katherine Albrecht Show, kmashow.com, who herself is insured for 150/mth. For whatever reason you cannot join them if you live in Pennsylvania. I think part of it is that one of our politicians here has been really pushing for the ACA.

March 28, 2016

Thanks Melissa for the share. Our family has been with CHM for over 8 years with great success.

Brice Lythgoe
July 20, 2016

Samaritan ministries DOES NOT accept mormons. I was just told that by one of their pastors. Basically I was told to renounce Mormonism and then I could join.

July 20, 2016

Thanks, BL.

Fabiola Czyz
July 30, 2016


July 30, 2016

Yikes! The irony is overbearing. “Renounce your faith, or else…”

beth parker
August 24, 2016

christian healthcare ministries has not paid one cent on my medical bill that was submitted approximately 8 months ago. please find a different christian service…my medicare paid most of my bill…so the balance was 400.+ and they have not paid one cent….everytime i contact them they blame me..you didn’t fill out this form or that form..but i complied with everything ….excuses….i referred them to other people and now i feel horrible for them….

August 24, 2016

Beth Parker,
I am very sorry to hear that.
I will say that when we were part of Christian Healthcare Ministries, they paid every cent without hassle, but it took them awhile.

Jennifer Hedrick
November 5, 2016

Has anyone looked much into Altrua? I’ve only heard little bits about them. Are they big enough to keep up with payments? I’d love to go with a group originally made for LDS members.
With my premiums going up to $2400+ in 2017, I have spent the last few days looking into these ministries now that they’ve come to my attention.
G., It looks like you’re not with CHM anymore? What insurance do you have now? Would you recommend CHM?

November 6, 2016

Yes, I’d recommend CHM. I quit because I changed jobs and my new employer has cheaper health insurance (i.e., pays a larger subsidy). We liked the flexibility of choosing our own providers and making our own healthcare decisions when we were part of a health ministry, so we have talked a little about going back.

Altrua has an Obamacare exemption, according to the always useful Self-Pay Patient blog, http://selfpaypatient.com/2014/12/31/altru-qualifies-for-obamacare-exemption/
so I would definitely check them out also.

December 1, 2016

I’m a health insurance agent but when I saw the least expensive ACA premium for 2016, I nearly fell over. $18,000 for my family with a huge deductible. I researched CHM extensively and with the bias of one coming from an insurance background. I was comfortable enough that I joined last year and have loved it so far. The downside is that you have to take care of the billing and pay up front for services. The upside is tremendous and my experience with them has been fantastic.

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