Liberty HealthShare: a health sharing ‘ministry’ for all faiths (or no faith at all)!

I’ve discussed healthcare sharing ministries several times since launching The Self-Pay Patient blog. Their benefits of joining are pretty simple to understand – they generally cost far less than conventional health insurance, they provide coverage for medical expenses that is fairly comprehensive (with some exceptions), they avoid having to pay for some items that are deeply objectionable to many Americans (like abortion), and members are exempt from having to pay the tax for being uninsured.

One of the biggest drawbacks to sharing ministries, from the perspective of someone like myself who want to see as many options as possible for people in getting affordable healthcare, is that membership in the ministries is limited to Christians. Or so I thought!

The other day someone posted on the Facebook page of a friend a reference to something called ‘Liberty HealthShare,’ which he described as a new healthcare sharing ministry. I was curious so I went to check it out, and discovered that unlike the three existing ministries, you don’t have to be a Christian to join. 

According to the Liberty HealthShare membership qualifications, you are eligible to join if you meet the following criteria:

Don’t use tobacco in any form,

Don’t abuse alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs,

Are healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle,

And agree with our shared beliefs!

Our shared beliefs are values that express our rights and purpose. As a Sharing Member, we ask you to agree with the following beliefs we hold in common:

Belief in the right of every individual to worship God in their own way.

Belief in the right to assist your fellow man when they’re in need.

Belief in the right to direct your own healthcare free from government dictates, restraints and oversight.

Belief in the right to live a healthy lifestyle, and avoid foods, habits or behaviors that produce sickness or disease.

I called and spoke with someone at Liberty HealthShare and he confirmed that belief in God is not necessary for membership, just a willingness to let others worship whatever deity they prefer, or none at all, in whatever way they decide.

I also asked about the statement on their web site that members of Liberty Healthshare were exempt from Obamacare’s tax for being uninsured. My understanding was that the law required that members belong to sharing ministries that had been in operation since 1999, and to my knowledge there were only three that had been around that long: Samaritan MinistriesChristian Care Ministry, and Christian Healthcare Ministries.

It turns out that there’s at least one more that has been around since 1999, a very small one called CSDA that looks to have primarily operated out of Ohio (although members can join from any of the 50 states). The Liberty HealthShare spokesman said they are an outgrowth of that CSDA, and that they now have about 3,000 members (not sure if that’s total people or families) and have been around since 1994.

One of the interesting things about Liberty HealthShare is that they are organized around ethical beliefs and not religious beliefs. Most people don’t know that the Obamacare exemption for sharing organizations must be composed of members who “share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs…”

By establishing a set of ethical criteria that members must subscribe to, Liberty HealthShare has found a way to expand the number of Americans who can opt for this low-cost alternative to conventional health insurance.

Liberty HealthShare isn’t just unique in its expanded membership eligibility. Unlike the other three ministries, they handle payment of medical bills directly. The other three ministries distribute the shared funds directly to the patient (or their family), who then pay medical bills directly.

Their membership pricing and benefits are also structured a little differently than the other three ministries as well. The have a very low ‘Initial Unshared Amount’ (comparable to a deductible) of $500, and their least expensive membership covers 70 percent of the first $125,000 in medical expenses per incident, with no benefits after that. More generous memberships cover 100 percent of medical expenses up to a maximum of $125,000 or $1 million per incident.

Like the three Christian ministries, Liberty HealthShare’s costs for joining are very affordable compared to conventional health insurance. The lowest-cost program, called Liberty Share, offers individual memberships for $157 a month for those 30 and older, and $107 a month for younger people. Family memberships cost $395 (30 and over) and $345 (under 30).

The more generous program that pays 100 percent of medical bills up to $1 million, Liberty Complete,  offers individual memberships for $199 (30 and over) and $149 (under 30), and family memberships for $449 (30 and over) and $399 (under 30). There’s a membership level between these two as well.

One additional difference between Liberty HealthShare and the other sharing organizations is that they do work with networks to pay pre-negotiated or Medicare rates for their members’ medical bills for the two more generous membership plans (other ministries do have bill-reduction assistance).

In order to receive the benefits of the negotiated rates, there is a separate enrollment required with the company that manages this benefit and an additional fee of $24 (single) or $29 (couple/family) per month.

The arrival of a new sharing organization (at least, the Liberty HealthShare program is new) is an exciting development that gives another choice for self-pay patients. Best of all, by opening their membership beyond only Christians, they provide an option to people who like many of the features of the three major healthcare sharing ministries, but simply don’t meet the religious qualifications. A welcome development to everybody who favors expanded access to healthcare coverage!

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85 Responses to Liberty HealthShare: a health sharing ‘ministry’ for all faiths (or no faith at all)!

  1. Mary Mattison says:

    Do you have any customer feedback on this group? I am a practicing Christian but our 23 year old daughter does not attend church regularly with us and she also needs to be on our plan.

    • says:

      I haven’t heard any specifically on this group, but I’ve generally heard very favorable things about health care sharing ministries from members. Probably the best general discussion I’ve found about ministries was this blog post and all the follow-up comments by other ministry members: How We Save Money on Health Care Costs, over at the site Money Saving Mom. Mostly positive experiences, one negative, although in the case of the negative it looks more to me like ‘user error’ or the hospital they went to not understanding the situation. Hard to tell though.

    • Tim M says:

      Mary, I am a customer with Liberty and only have great things to say about them. I am self employed and was paying over $1200/month for coverage with a $13,500 deductible. I now pay $299 with a $1000 “deductible” and they have handled every bill over the $1000 . Yes, I have had some initially providers say that they would not accept it, but after a little conversation and referring them to the 800 number, I was accepted and they were all paid. I have had to forward some bills to them, as the providers failed to do that, but for the effort I have expended, it MORE than makes up for the savings. I felt bad that I recently had gallbladder surgery and all the expenses that went along with it, but I was able to see Dr’s and a surgeon I had never done business with before and all was handled well by Liberty- just one of those things. I HIGHLY recommend Liberty!

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  4. Sherry Morse says:

    I cannot believe you don’t accept people who are by doctors order on perscription

    I just don’t understand this at all.

    • says:

      Can you flesh this out a little bit more? I assume this is aimed at Liberty, can you describe your experience with them? Or is it regarding another ministry?

    • Dana Solomon says:

      They said they don’t take those who abuse prescription drugs.

      • carl says:

        there is a difference between taking prescribed medicines and abusing prescribed medicines…hence the word “abuse” instead of the word use.

      • Kathy says:

        Why should they pay for drug abusers? That is what Obamacare is for.

  5. Robert Archambault says:

    The name came to me from a lady MD (sorry, didn’t catch her name) who was a guest on the Jim Bohanan night Talk Show. Jim, and the other guest participants expressed surprise at her mentioning this plan, and, urged the doctor to expand on the features, and merits of the plan, which she did, but being the close time of the show I, and I’m sure others were left a-drift on the details. It would be very valuabe to have several drafts of various plans to look over. Thank you in advance. RA

  6. lana vogt says:

    do you offer long term care?

    • says:

      Lana: That’s a good question, I’d direct it to Liberty through their web site or calling them.

  7. Mark Baker says:

    I’m about to send my membership fee and first month’s share amount to Liberty Health Share offices, located in North Canton, Ohio 44720. I found a report by the BBB issued in 2013, for Liberty Health Share at 6100 Oak Tree Blvd Ste. 200 Independence, OH 44131 (which has a link to the correct website) which states that — “this charity did not provide the requested information. As a result the Better Business Bureau cannot determine if it meets standards.”
    Since my decision to join the ministry’s health share program was based on what I read in your helpful book “The Self-Pay Patient”, I was wondering if you had more background information on the organization.
    Mark D. Baker

    • says:

      Hi Mark, I’ve written about Liberty and the other sharing ministries on my site several times, you can find out more by checking out those posts. Aside from that I don’t really have much else to share, you can always try to Google them and see if anything comes up that is helpful. Because Liberty is somewhat new (it’s complicated but my understanding is that for several years they were a very small sharing ministry operating under a different name that now has expanded their programs significantly) it isn’t too surprising to me that BBB doesn’t have anything on them.

    • Matt Wellford says:

      Mark, can you tell me about your experience. Some questions are:
      1) Is the monthly fee in addition to the “cost share amount”?
      2) If so what is the maximum member share?
      3) Have doctors accepted this plan? If so do they charge a higher fee?
      4) Have you received any funds from the sharebox and was it what they say on their website?

  8. Thomas Snider says:

    Great info. Two statements are incorrect when assessing at least one of the sharing ministries, that being Christian Care Ministry (Medi-Share). The first, “Unlike the other three ministries, they [Liberty] handle payment of medical bills directly.” Medi-Share does make payment to the providers directly. The second, “One additional difference between Liberty HealthShare and the other sharing organizations is that they do work with networks to pay pre-negotiated or Medicare rates…(other ministries have bill reduction assistance).” Medi-Share is tied in to Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) which is an extensive PPO network which offers contracted/negotiated rates.

  9. Rev. Donna Joseph and Rev. Diane Joseph says:

    My twin sister and I are Christian pastors of the Lutheran Tradition. We were very excited to be able to be a part of Liberty Health Share. We researched the other health share options and chose Liberty. A friend of ours and her husband are looking into joining too. We especially enjoyed the video with Dr. Elaina George, who is an ENT. She is a brilliant woman and we were very impressed with her endorsement of Liberty Health Share. I wondered if Liberty Health Share could do some commercial spots on, for example, the Mark Levin Radio Show. He is a Conservative Constitutionalist and is also a lawyer. I am sure he would be very impressed with Liberty Health Share as I noted Mr. Dale Bellis holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence at a picnic event on a video presentation. I know advertisement is very expensive so I think members could be invited to send Liberty Health Share a donation of $5.00 or whatever one could contribute. I think once there would be some radio spots, Liberty Heath Share would grow by leaps and bounds! The Lord bless you all and I am truly thankful for Liberty Health Share. Pastor Diane Joseph

  10. Isaiah says:

    I just saw an ad for liberty that says “Christian insurance” and I’m confused, I thought this wasn’t insurance?

    • says:

      Yowza. If you saw an ad that said that, there’s a problem, because you’re correct, it’s not insurance. I’ve seen some ads occasionally saying things like “the Christian alternative to insurance,” but nothing saying it’s “Christian insurance.” Can you grab a screenshot and e-mail me at selfpaypatient [at] gmail [dot] com? Thanks.

  11. Martin Matthews says:

    What about Liberty Direct? Their website says “a Program Administered By Liberty Healthshare” Is what they’re offering the SAME as Liberty Health Share?

    And please explain further about how this is NOT insurance? i.e. how does signing up one’s family in “Liberty Health Share” differ…if someone gets hit by a bus and is facing gazillions of dollars of medical expenses (the kind of thing that bankrupts/destroys families).

    Thanks so much for this thread!


    • Troy Wolf says:

      I’m really late to the table, but I just joined Liberty Direct, a part of the Liberty Healthshare family.

      I did not see it mentioned here, so thought I’d add that the “Direct” in “Liberty Direct” is that this program is designed for people who also use a Direct Primary Care physician. Up to $100 of your monthly Liberty Direct share amount goes toward your DPC monthly fee. This is awesome sauce! My little family of 3 pays my DPC doctor $175/mo, but Liberty Direct pays $100 of that, leaving me with the $75 balance each month.

      Your DPC provider has to be a partner provider–I assume some kind of registration with Liberty Direct.


  12. Mike says:

    The literature says there is no guarantee your bills will be paid. And how could one member be responsible for your bills? They explicitly say that it is NOT insurance. It is a bit confusing. If something horrible happened could we be stuck with the bill?

    • says:

      All the ministries have similar language. These are “faith based” entities on two levels – one, they are grounded in Christian faith, and two, the members have faith in their fellow sharing ministry members to step up and help pay medical bills. So it can be a difficult thing for some to accept, although I’d note most of these have been around for a decade or more and seem to be upholding their mission reasonably well (there are some people who have been unhappy with their experience, which is probably to be expected – there are always unhappy people in anything). I’ll provide the same advice I did to people when I was a stockbroker (long, long time ago): if you’re not going to be able to sleep because you’re worried about it, don’t do it. I’m a fan of them but I’m the first to say if it isn’t a good fit, it isn’t a good fit. Hope this is helpful!

  13. Bill Shorts says:

    I’m a broker, I sold my health book of business in 2012 to not sell my soul with representing Obamacare. I am know trying to represent Liberty for v small groups (no commission), but no one will return my calls. I make my commission off life insurance and other benefits. I’m ready to start, I have lots of groups, call me at 805-286-2366.

    • T Morris says:

      They use an outsourced third party to market and sell their products, and do not have outside ‘sales reps’- I called and asked them the same thing. They said because it is NOT insurance they are very careful about how it is represented and have hence kept it ‘in house’

      • carrie says:

        This is interesting, because the person I learned about liberty share though is an independent rep. Literally, since Novemeber 2106

  14. Herb says:

    I have tried for over 3 months to obtain audited financial statements from Liberty that show a history of bringing in enough “shared” fees to cover all the medical costs for all the members without shortfalls. The worst things is to go into this and then they either do not pay of have log delays in paying. I want audited proof which, under Federal law has to be made available. How can anyone in their right mind go into this unless they have some audited proof of sustainability.

    • says:

      I believe they are a c3 organization, which means you can obtain their IRS 990 form. As for audited statements, it’s up to each entity to decide whether or not to release those. I agree that delays or no-pay is always something to be concerned about with any organization of this type, I guess the best I can advise is to search around for customer reviews or sign up with another ministry if you don’t find anything or at least don’t find what you want.

    • Phil says:

      I emailed Liberty this afternoon with a request for their most recent financial statements. Within 25 minutes copies of their 2015 audit financial statements were in my inbox.

  15. Trula says:

    Does Liberty Health Share help cover costs of medication? Obviously not talking about someone abusing medication. But legitimate-doctor-prescribed medication. I don’t have a preexisting condition and I’m not currently on medication. But what if something happens and I need it in the future? Will I be up a creek without a paddle with Liberty Share?

    • says:

      It’s my understanding they will cover medicines so long as they are prescribed by a doctor, although in many cases it might come in well below the shared-amount – just about every major pharmacy in the country has some variety of $4 prescriptions for hundreds of common generics.

      • pam says:


        Liberty pays for “incidence drug”, (i _think_ 45 days per incidence)
        NOT “maintenance drug”,


  16. susan says:

    I signed up for LibertyHealthShare almost a year ago. It seemed to be the perfect option for me, but after having my yearly physical, blood work, etc. they refused to pay anything, saying it was pre-existing condition. I am very upset about this scam to Christians!

    • says:

      Very sorry to hear that, without knowing the details I can say that a yearly physical typically isn’t going to be covered by any ministry, and if the bloodwork was for a specific pre-existing condition than that might not be covered as well.

      • Ken says:

        I have been speaking with them(Liberty Healthshare) recently about my son’s enrollment and they told me that well care visits, annual physicals and immunizations were covered 100% and not part of the $500 deductible.
        Susan’s comment is concerning.

      • Wendi says:

        My policy with them specifically says that they cover the yearly physical, including all tests and mamogram, colonscopy, etc. with no unshared cost. Not true?

    • Lynn says:

      This is a confusing comment because Liberty does state that it does cover annual check-ups and other “wellness” procedures. It states this on the back of the membership card. Yearly physicals, blood work, etc. are not “medical conditions” that can be “pre-existing “; they are simply medical examinations and tests. I’m assuming that during your physical, your doctor examined you and followed up on a condition you had prior to signing up for Liberty. They do not cover pre-existing conditions for 1 year after you sign up and they state this clearly. Now if during the exam your doctor found a medical problem that had not been previously diagnosed but Liberty found some convoluted method to declare it “pre-existing” that is a problem and something I would find highly questionable.

  17. Michael Loiacono says:

    Sounds nice but it seems to me that the old adage of “you get what you pay for” applies here. Being relatively small, such organizations as these have to have many short comings and drawbacks. Without an adequate base, there’s always the possibility that they may not be able to pay all of the expected commitments and would, therefore, have to curtail benefits. There is also a distinct danger of bankruptcy as the “client” base grows older and multiple illnesses put a strain on the ability to pay. It reminds me of our Social Security “Ponzi” scheme. The entire system depends upon enough young and healthy donors to support an ever aging and ailing population. A number of other factors are involved but there’s not enough room nor time to enumerated them here. Just remember, there is “no free lunch”, “If something appears too good to be true, it probably is (untrue)”, and “You get what you pay for”. Caveat emptor…let the buyer beware.

    • says:

      Well, nobody’s getting a “free lunch,” it’s just a very well-organized group of people agreeing to pay one another’s medical bills. There’s risk – I refer to them as “double faith-based” groups for a reason – but it’s been working for 30+ years. If you’re not comfortable with it, that’s totally cool – just don’t join one.

    • Larry Trainor says:

      From what I learned, part of the reason they are less expensive than traditional insurance, is that they don’t cover certain medical procedures that some people don’t agree with, such as abortions.

      • T Morris says:

        That is true. AND, they have health coaches who actually try to manage and control certain conditions rather than just paying the bills and ignoring the condition.
        Coming from the ‘wellness’ arena, this is the way it SHOULD be handled!

  18. Sue says:

    I’m confused about the clause about “pre existing” not being covered – the Affordable Care Act was designed to eliminate “pre existing” conditions. Why doesn’t Liberty Healthcare exclude that … ? Most people have a minor or major pre existing condition … Seems this is only for those in 100% good health, on no medications and who rarely if ever go to a physician. There are no guarantees for the ‘share’ holder but 100% guarantee Liberty Healthshare will be paid in full. No guarantee would keep me up at night!

    • says:

      The Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing conditions clause applies to insurance, sharing ministries are not insurance. I’ve heard enough to know that it’s simply not the case that they’re only for people who are in “100% good health,” but it is certainly true that people with serious pre-existing conditions that need continual care are probably better off these days sticking with conventional health insurance.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Interesting, Susan, as I am researching health share options, and the annual check up and related costs is one of the key factors in my lean towards Liberty… Since my family is pretty healthy, we typically only go for annual check-ups, aside from maybe pink eye or something like that (I have school agers) . The other ministries won’t cover those expenses, unless certain criteria are met.
    Like Sean said, maybe you have a history with a condition that was evaluated at your checkup??
    Here in Liberty Health Share guidelines (page 14) is what they have about Wellness visits:
    17) Wellness Visits. Charges for one wellness exam or physical, per membership year, for which there are no medical symptoms or diagnosis in advance, including, but not limited to, routine check-ups, labs, x-rays, pap smears and blood tests are eligible for sharing once every year not subject to the Annual Unshared Amount. Screening colonoscopies, PSA tests and mammograms are eligible for sharing once every two years up to and including age forty nine (49). Screening colonoscopies, PSA tests and mammograms are eligible for sharing for members fifty (50) years of age and older every year. Well baby visits, including immunizations, are eligible for sharing within the first year of birth.

  20. Michael Lee says:

    Interesting article and informative from one ministries viewpoint. Have you looked at Altrua HealthShare? They accept all faiths or none also. Just accept a Standard of Living is required not Statement of Faith. Coverages are different, seem to be more comprehensive and more complete coverage. Of course may cost a little?

    • says:

      Yep, actually I spoke with someone from Altrua a week or two ago who explained that they have a Standard of Living requirement but not a statement of faith. Another great option for those of non-Christian or no faith!

  21. Lady Gillette says:

    Here’s a copy of the online chat conversation I had with Liberty Direct:
    January 27,2016

    Hi there, I’m here to help if you have any questions about Liberty Direct.

    I wanted to confirm by my enrolling as a covered patient does this meet my personal ACA requirements? Thank you

    The Liberty Direct is a program is ACA-exempt, so it does indeed meet the government mandate for health coverage under code: US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, section 26 U.S.C. 5000A(d)(2)(B)

    Is this program like a PPO or does each doctor I see need to be enrolled in your program and on your list? Also, what about hospitals? I plan to travel quite a bit this summer. What if I’m not near my primary doctor when something happens?

    I’m glad you asked, because this can be a confusing issue.
    You may use any physician you choose. Our affiliated practices simply add another dimension to the benefit related to subsidizing the membership fees of direct primary care practices and support for health coaching and nutritional supplements.
    Emergency care and hospitalizations are shared medical expenses at 100% after you meet your annual unshared amount.

    The unshared amount, is that the $500?

    Are you signing up as an Individual?


    Then your annual unshared amount would be $500.

    I see my doctor is now listed under Nevada. Yay! I use another doctor outside this practice for my gyno check ups. Can you tell me how this would typically work?

    Preventative services (like annual physicals, labs, x-rays, mammogram, etc) is shared regardless of meeting your unshared amount.

    Does this program also cover lab work (i.e. blood tests) and doctor prescribed bio identical compound pharmacy hormone prescriptions?

    Preventative services (like annual physicals, labs, x-rays, mammogram, etc) is shared regardless of meeting your unshared amount.
    New prescription medications are shareable medical expenses when they are filled within 45 days of your office visit and once you have met your annual unshared amount. You can read more about our costs and annual unshared amounts here:
    If you have medications that you are taking on a regular basis, you will have to be seen by your physician every 45 days in order for it to be eligible for sharing.
    Liberty also has a prescription discount program where members are able to save on the price of prescription drugs at thousands of participating pharmacies nationwide. Members save from 15% to 60% on generic prescriptions and 15% to 25% on brand name prescriptions. With this program, members will have the opportunity to save at over 60,000 participating pharmacies nationwide including Costco, Safeway, CVS, Duane Reade, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid and many more.
    If you have a specific prescription that you are taking and want to find out more about what it would cost you can use the online calculator found here:

    Is a couple with kids required to be married to apply for Family insurance?

    Yes, you need to be married. Here is where it talks about it in our sharing guidelines.
    A couple is two Sharing Members of the same household related by birth, marriage or adoption, and a family is comprised of three or more Sharing Members of the same household related by birth, marriage or adoption.

    Is there anything unique that I should be aware of before I sign up for this program? Anything that most people expect but are surprised by?

    I can give you the link to our sharing guidelines and you can look over that and see if anything catches your eye.

    This may also help answer some of your questions. Here are our official Sharing Guidelines. Eligible and ineligible medical expenses are defined beginning on page 9:

    I thought of one more question. My doctor is on your list. In order to have his monthly prescriptions for me covered you said I would be required to see him every 45 days to renew the prescription. Are those every 45 day visits covered?

    When you are paying your premier practice a membership fee (which will be covered by Liberty Direct), you can go to your doctor as often as you need to.

    Thank you! And finally, are there any pre-exisiting condition exclusions for coverage?

    Not all conditions are necessarily considered pre-existing, the best way to find out is to apply.
    If you do have a pre-existing condition, it is eligible based on the following schedule:
    1st year – 0% shareable
    2nd year – up to $25k in eligible shareable medical bills
    3rd year – up to $50k in eligible shareable medical bills
    4th year – no longer considered a pre-existing condition

  22. Lady Gillette says:

    BTW, as part of the Liberty Direct enrollment process you are asked about pre-exisiting conditions and the form contains the following information:

    Medical History Explanations
    *Conditions that exist at the time of enrollment that have evidenced symptoms and/or received treatment and/or medication within the past 24 months are not eligible for sharing through the first full year of continuous monthly membership.

  23. Scott D. Smith says:

    It seems interesting but not really what I want.

    Basically, insurance is a contract in which all premiums (*shares) are pooled and there is a contract with that pool of members which has substance under the laws of the state.

    This walks, talks and acts like insurance UNTIL you get to the contract where they may or may not decide to pay your bills. That smells of Madoff and at a minimum puts people at a higher risk of fraud (*religious organization and charities are high fraud and material error risks) or simple inability to meet medical payments.

    If the contract existed and ALL of the exclusions were open and noted I would have less of a problem with it. Based on that, I could plan/budget expenditures. I’d also like to couple this with an HSA but I see not information on that.

    Great concept but not quite there yet.

    • says:

      A lot of people are comfortable with the way sharing ministries are structured, others aren’t. To each their own!

    • pam says:

      Hi, Scott

      but the same thing can be said about any insurance plans tho.

      i once had some procedures that the insurance would not pay. & it was not until the office billed only to find out it was not covered.

      (none of the expenses were big enough to bankcruptcy; but still i had to pay the _full retail_ price; & the worst thing it did not even count toward deductible)

      if i had known, i probably would’ve just bargained down cost.
      another time, i knew ahead that it was not covered & managed to get a cash discount (which cost about $360 then)

      a lot of times, the clinic does not know how much it costs & how much it gets paid until it bills. pretty convoluted & stupid system.


  24. Sue says:

    I had hoped this was a better choice than what if offered through the HSA. I am healthy and take good care of myself by following holistic/functional medicine practices.
    My concern is getting reimbursed for Naturopathic Doctors, Acupuncture, Masaage, Chiropractic care, nutraceuticals and other modalities. Does anyone know the black and white answer to this? It seems there are a lot of grey areas, which raises more concerns.
    Thank you.

  25. Rebecca says:

    I am a member of Liberty Healthshare and have been for six months. So far, so good. They are much friendlier than insurance companies on the phone. I see an MD who does both western and integrative medicine who doesn’t accept insurance thus doesn’t like paperwork. Right now I am hoping to get some additional paperwork from her so that Liberty will count my alternative treatments on my “unshared amount” like a deductible. They were initially rejected due to additional documentation requirements for alternative medicine. In principle, Liberty says they approve of alternative treatments and most of their members use them. In my case, that includes supplements and a low does compounded hormone as well as diagnostic saliva test. Saliva test is not normally approved by insurance though is common in Europe. If all that is accepted, I will be very happy with my decision. So, far I have had no problems with communicating with Liberty but the seem to have grown rapidly and maybe are experiencing growing pains as the phone lines are busy. We pay $449 monthly for a family of 4.

    • Rebecca Lawrence says:

      I wanted to send a follow up. As of October, Liberty paid for most of my “alternative treatment” i.e. blood and saliva tests and office visits. In the space of a year from Nov. through Oct., we used flexible spending to cover the $1.5K annual unshared amount. We had spent $1.1K more over that which was reimbursed and only a few small things were unpaid. We also paid premiums of $449 and $75 annual renewal fee. I believe this is better than regular insurance, if you are healthy. It’s not for everyone, but I am happy.

  26. Michael says:

    I am a member of Altrua HealthShare and love it! Altrua’s plan most closely resembles traditional health coverage before ObamaCare. Our monthly contribution level is fixed and does not fluctuate. Our ‘needs’ are handled like traditional insurance and never publically published for anyone to see. Office visits including ‘wellness’ are covered with just a $35 payment. I have minor preexisting conditions and they are covered.
    Our plan is offered as employee benefit through my wife’s firm.

  27. claudia says:

    I’m wondering if anyone has had the experience of Liberty having to pay for a very high hospital / medical bill and how it was handled? Our health plan has a high deductible and its more to cover those catastrophic incidents ( those that would take you to financial hardship) but it has increased in a ridiculous amount and we are considering to switch to Liberty. We dont mind paying for visits and medication if needed ,but we really worry about high medical bills that could come in case of a heart problem, accident, cancer and such . It would be a real problem if they don’t pay those bills that would take us to bankruptcy .So any experiences in such cases? and how to find out if they have the financial ability to do it?

    • Michelle says:


      I joined Liberty this past June. I was very skeptical of healthsharing, but was backed into a corner without many alternatives at the time. So I joined.

      That very SAME month, I suffered my third hip dislocation. My third hip replacement happened Sept. 27th to the tune of $181K (and counting). Fortunately, it was eligible for sharing.

      So far, around $30K has negotiated down and paid. (The checks just went out, in fact.) The biggest bill is from the hospital, totaling a whopping $151K. That’s still being negotiated down and processed. (And I’m only slightly more than 60 days post-op right now.)

      So the jury’s still out. I’ve been nervous, but am cautiously optimistic. They’ve been pleasant to work with and have handled all the negotiations and billing.

      I have the Liberty Complete plan, which covers me up to $1 million per incident. I pay $200/month and have a $500 annual unshared amount (deductible).

      Though something catastrophic like cancer or a traumatic brain injury could quickly exceed that, it’s something I’m comfortable with when I look at my personal situation, and weigh the coverage vs. the cost. For now anyway.

      I have a very limited income and really can’t afford anything else. The low monthly premiums and low deductible are a huge blessing right now, ESPECIALLY when my hip replacement of 21 years failed so unexpectedly and I needed such an expensive surgery.

      Medical coverage through my employer would cost about the same monthly amount or slightly higher, but the deductibles are significantly more: $3.5K and $6K respectively for the plans I was looking at. So I chose Liberty.

      We shall see…

      I know this doesn’t really answer your question, but I wanted to offer another perspective from a new Liberty member who just put the system to the test. :)


  28. Robyn Parrott says:

    I am doing my research on HealthShare programs due to the fact my insurance premium is about to go up 50%. The past year I was able to tell any medical office or facility that I was self pay and did not want insurance filed. Instead of a $1500 copay for MRI I was able to get it for $350 just by asking. Does anyone know if you can still negotiate those fees, but still get reimbursed by a healthshare such as Liberty? I would think they would be thrilled to pay a lesser amount . Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    • T Morris says:

      Yes, Liberty DOES reimburse these costs and actually encourages their members to be sure and tell the physician they are self pay to get the best price possible before sending it on to getting it paid. I could not be happier with their program. In fact, I got a ‘balance due’ bill from one of my providers and Liberty gave me the contact information to forward this on, and it was resolved and settled within the week! I NEVER got that type of response from the ‘big name’ insurance companies I used to pay all those big premiums to!

      • Michael says:

        I am on Altrua Plan and do not have to do any of that. Just go to provider, present my card and pay any required amount ($35 for office visit includes lab etc). Services outside doctors office Altrua does all the cost negotiation and work.

        • Tim Morris says:

          Michael, what is your annual share amount? Understand that I don’t have to negotiate anything, in fact, if the provider tries to bill me for a balance, Liberty deals with them, I do not.

    • Michelle says:

      My understanding is that that 1) You are still a self-pay patient if you have Liberty. 2) Yes, Liberty encourages you to negotiate down the bill and 3) submit the receipt for the negotiated price you paid for reimbursement. That way, you and Liberty pay less.

      I also think that whatever you negotiate it down to counts towards your annual, unshared amount. So in your MRI example, the $1200 difference would be counted towards your annual unshared amount. However, I’m not sure about that. Contact Liberty to clarify.

      Hope that helps!

  29. Cindy says:

    Everything sounds really good. My main concern is an unforeseen accident or illness that exceeds the maximum for an incident. If I get cancer and fight it for five years when the maximum of 1 million runs out the first year, I assume I’m responsible for all remaining bills?

  30. Jonathan says:

    Wife & I are looking to have a baby in the next year. How would this work out if we had Liberty? Thanks for any thoughts!

  31. AnnS says:

    I’m puzzled as to what one would say to the staff in a doctor’s office when you make an appointment if you have Liberty Healthshare and if they ask about your insurance over the phone which many do. I know Liberty says they can send a letter to a doctor of your choice to introduce itself. But if you are seeing this doctor for the first time on an urgent matter and there is no time for this do you say you are self pay? Or self pay and a member of Liberty Healthshare? Is this confusing to the staff? Has anyone had problems with getting doctors to accept Liberty or finding no doctor in their area who will accept or work with Liberty? Thanks

    • SAC says:

      Great question and that is why I’ve hesitated to enroll. There are very few medical providers on the Liberty’s Health Share (LHS) network in my area too. So this is why I’m “on the fence” about LHS. And who has the time to discuss and negotiate each and every health care provider prior to seeing them. The other quagmire is regarding ‘pre existing condition’ – if you are over 40, most have at least one and it’s too bad no health sharing is provided.

      • Tim Morris says:

        Many misconceptions here. First, just because they are not listed on the Liberty network does NOT mean they will not take it. In fact, several of the providers did not, but did accept it at the time of visit. Secondly, while saving money is the objective, there is no requirement to pre-negotiate every visit- use common sense and shop for procedures or ask for reduced pricing. Third, I have high blood pressure, and was put on their coaching program to insure I was doing everything I could to eliminate that- again, common sense approach to reducing cost that ALL carriers should be doing, but don’t!
        If you want to pay the higher cost to have an insurance carrier, have at it. I would personally rather “help the cause” where I can and save my cash than pay some overpaid Board member and a mega corporation!

        • SAC says:

          No misconceptions here at all. Let me be clear, I spoke at great length to Liberty Health Sharing representatives and there is No guarantee medical procedures will be paid in full; especially catastrophic long term illness, which no one plans on BUT if that were to occur, one could face severe financial hardship.
          Secondly, your negative quip about insurance companies is not well served. Undoubtedly, conventional ‘sick-care’ insurance is promoting an industry for pharmaceuticals and does not adequately address chronic conditions , which plague many patients; but there are benefits to consider. If conventional sick-care insurance was Affordable and Promoted health (Holistic/Functional Medicine, nutraceuticals, Energy Medicine, etc.), it be serve us all!

          • T Morris says:

            I understand the concern about catastrophic care, but please also understand that they CANNOT make ANY claim to guarantee paying claims because they are not an insurance company- and do not claim to be. Knowing they have been around as long as they have, I am willing to take the risk. All I can tell you is that I reviewed what I would have paid last year based on my claims (gall bladder removed), and I saved over $20,000 dollars! It is a commitment of faith…I’m personally glad I did, and thank God for them.

      • pam says:

        Liberty has a tiered coverage of pre-existing conditions for 4 years — year 1 : no coverage, year 2: partial coverage ($25k), year 4: full coverage. their site has more details.


        • AnnS says:

          Even tho Liberty does explain their coverage of pre-existing conditions in their guidelines, I’ve found in reading others’ reviews that Liberty defines “pre-existing condition” very broadly. Anything that you have been treated for or have had symptoms of in the last 24 months will be looked on a pre-existing. So for example you have a young child who is treated for an ear infection in January 2016 and you joined Liberty in June 2016 and then your child has another ear infection in January 2017. Liberty will consider this a pre-exisitng condition and will declare the cost of treatment ineligible for sharing. Problem is, by strictest definition this is correct but most people would not think of an occasional ear infection in a child, or any similar acute illness, as a “pre-existing condition”; they would think more along the lines of a chronic serious illness like diabetes or RA. A lot of the negative reviews I see about Liberty are about this issue–Liberty’ broad definition of pre-existing and members not thinking the same way. You can appeal a decision on this if you bills are declared ineligible if you choose.

    • Tim Morris says:

      When I have had a practice comment that they don’t have Liberty on their list, I tell them to mark it as ‘generic commercial’, and when I come in they can get all the information from the card. At that time, I explain that it is a self pay program, and that all of my other physicians have been paid in 30 days of filing. As a last resort, I ask them if they take Medicare patients (which 90%+ do), and when they say yes, I tell them that Liberty pays at Medicare rates PLUS 50%, which typically puts the issue to rest. It has not been a big problem for us, and this type of effort is WAY LESS than the money I am now saving with Liberty.

  32. Robyn says:

    Since my first post, I have since signed up with Liberty Healthshare. Since it is an individual membership and I am 57 years old my cost is $279/mo. I do take several Rx’s (BP, chol, thyroid) and was told that any treatment relating to those are considered pre-existing and I would have a one year waiting period. To me, it still beats my $750 a month premium w/$6800 deductible. I am due for a colonoscopy. When I called to inquire what a self pay colonoscopy would be, I was told $2000. I’m just wondering if anyone else has paid that amount soon after joining and did you have a problem being reimbursed. Luckily I can afford to pay that amount at visit, but just wondering if that fee could even be negotiated to a lesser amount ? I just remember seeing an EOB for my last Colonoscopy 5 yrs ago and I’m pretty sure the insurance contract fee was much less.
    Has anyone had this scenario yet?
    Thanks in advance

    • AnnS says:

      I would verify this with Liberty but Liberty covers preventive care 100% without you meeting the AUA similar to the way ACA insurance plans cover preventive care 100% without you meeting their deductible. Given your age and AMA recommendations, a colonoscopy should be considered preventive and covered by Liberty at 100%. Unfortunately no doctor or hospital or imagining center is required to give a discount to self-pay patients but I would call Liberty and ask how to handle this. Liberty should have the ability to negotiate a discount with the health care provider.

      • Sean Parnell says:

        Lots of imaging centers do cater to self-pay patients, so you should be able to look around and find inexpensive options.

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