Sunday, April 13, 2014

Christian Based Cost Sharing Health care That’s Affordable
Christian Based Cost Sharing Health care That’s Affordable
Daniel and Katlyn Street don't have health insurance. But they do have a new baby girl, a new approach to health care and something they weren't expecting at all-- a new handmade quilt.

The quilt arrived Thursday, sent by someone they have never met, who-- along with scores of other people around the nation-- also sent money, notes of encouragement and prayers on behalf of the young Seaford couple as they welcomed little Adelyn last fall.

Obamacare doesn't work like that. Employer-sponsored health insurance doesn't work like that. Just paying cash at the doctor's office doesn't work like that, either.

But Samaritan Ministries, which counts the Street family among its members, isn't health insurance. It is part of a little-known national network of "health care sharing ministries" that link their members to kindred souls who pool their resources and promise to cover each other's health care needs.

Four such ministries exist nationally-- Christian Healthcare Ministries, Liberty Healthshare, Medi-Share and Samaritan. All are faith-based nonprofits and, because they were in operation before 1999, all are exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has reshaped the nation's health insurance industry in an effort to expand access to health care. It requires all to have health insurance or face tax penalties, and established a national marketplace where all could purchase plans, some using subsidies.

Details of the plans vary, but in general the health-share idea works this way: You pay a monthly "share" that goes to cover the "need" of other members in your plan. When you have a need, you present it to the ministry and-- if it is accepted-- your need is published to other members, who are invited to pray, send encouragement and help you cover the cost. Some send their "shares" to a central office. Some send them directly to your mailbox. To read more go to

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