Members make sure to ‘bear each other’s burdens,’ says the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries
January 24, 2022
WASHINGTON D.C. — “What if I get really sick?” people often ask.
“One of the main questions people have is whether Health Care Sharing Ministries are viable if they are facing a major illness like cancer or heart disease,” says Katy Talento, executive director of The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries (The Alliance, ahcsm.org). “The short answer is ‘yes.’ The members who make up the health care sharing community are committed to obey Christ’s teaching to bear each other’s burdens, no matter how large those burdens seem.”
Alliance ministries do not typically set a maximum number of needs that can be shared. Many ministries also offer programs without a maximum dollar amount that can be shared on any given need. What’s more, Health Care Sharing Ministries work hard to negotiate inflated hospital and drug prices down below the maximum dollar limit for a given need, even with programs that do have such a limit. Health Care Sharing Ministry members have shared literally billions in medical costs over the years, including many member needs associated with cancer, heart procedures, neonatal intensive care, and more.
“Health Care Sharing Ministries members send millions each month to people they usually don’t know,” Talento says. “Christians who live according to the Bible understand their responsibility to help those in need and trust that they will be treated the same in their time of need.”
Every month, members contribute a set amount that is shared between the other members to pay their medical bills. Each ministry does this differently—some have an online sharing technology system to approve the sharing of funds, while others facilitate the sending of individual checks from members to the member in need. When members go to the doctor, hospital, or incur a medical cost, they submit the bill to their community through their ministry. Expenses that meet the ministry’s guidelines are shared by the community and payment is made to the family in need, or directly to the doctor.
“Health Care Sharing Ministries are unique because they enable Christians to find solutions to high health care costs, aid with expenses, and encourage fellow members through prayers and letters,” Talento says. “With new health challenges and advancements in medical technology, The Alliance keeps people informed about their best options.”
Members of health care sharing ministries often write to share their experiences.
Nia from Illinois, wrote this to one of The Alliance’s member ministries:
“Been a member for about 15 years. LOVE it! Everything people are saying here is true. Been through cancer and a colon resection while a member and never had a bill that wasn’t taken care of!”
Patricia, who lives in Washington State, said:
“In June 2020, I developed a serious health issue that came on suddenly and has still not been resolved. My faith and trust have been tested. What I know is God is infinitely good and faithful. I am human and am grateful for His grace, mercy, and lovingkindness when it all seems like too much. I’m grateful for the Body of Christ: the expression of Jesus’ hands, arms, eyes, and heart on earth, compassionately and lovingly sustaining my husband and me through the difficult times…. How I wish I could thank each one personally! My husband and I are forever grateful.”
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries was established as a 501(c)(6) trade organization to represent the common interests of Health Care Sharing Ministries which are facilitating the sharing of health care needs (financial, emotional, and spiritual) by individuals and families, and their participants. The Alliance engages with federal and state regulators and policy makers, members of the media, and the Christian community to provide accurate and timely information about Health Care Sharing Ministries.