Of all the solutions available for Medicare beneficiaries, these two –  Medicare Savings Accounts (MSAs) and the Medi-Share 65+ healthsharing plan stand out when it comes to empowering consumers and giving you more control over your own healthcare.


The two products are very different – Medi-Share isn’t even a health insurance company! – but both are terrific options for people who believe in the power of consumer-directed healthcare, and want to take more personal direction over their healthcare spending.

This article will explain the basic structure and advantages and disadvantages of both of these approaches,  and give you the information you need to choose which option is  best for you. 

How Medicare Advantage MSA Plans Work

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) are special bank accounts that allow you to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, with untaxed money.

Medical savings accounts are only available to individuals who are enrolled in a Medicare MSA plan, a type of Medicare Advantage plan.

The foundation of your MSA-compatible Medicare Advantage plan is a high-deductible health plan, or HDHP.

This is a special tax-advantaged savings account earmarked specifically for qualified medical expenses – similar in concept to a Health Savings Account (HSA):

  • Money goes into the MSA pre-tax. That is, you pay no taxes on the money.
  • The account accumulates money tax free. You pay no taxes on interest or capital appreciation, as long as you leave the money in the account. 
  • Withdrawals for qualified health expenses are tax free.
  • Withdrawals for any other purpose are subject to a severe 50% penalty.

Unlike with HSAs, you don’t contribute your own money to an MSA. Instead, your Medicare Advantage plan will deposit money into your MSA.

Also, the penalty for non-qualified expenses is much more significant for an MSA than for a HSA.

Your plan will send you a debit card linked to your Medicare Savings Account. When you see a care provider, just hand them your MSA debit card, and they will charge your MSA, up to your account balance.

If you use all the money in your MSA, you will be responsible for the remaining medical bills up to the plan deductible. After that, your Medicare Advantage plan will pay authorized costs.

Your MSA is designed to help you pay your deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and other healthcare related costs. 

Medicare MSA Advantages

  • Cost Savings. MSAs can provide cost savings if you don’t have significant healthcare needs. This is because MSA plans typically have lower monthly premiums (most of the time it is $0) compared to traditional Medicare Advantage plans, and any unused funds in the MSA can be rolled over to the next year.
  • Tax Benefits.  MSA funds are tax-free, meaning that you do not have to pay taxes on the money the insurance company contributes to the MSA account or on the interest earned on the account.
  • See any Doctor. MSA plans allow you to see any doctor that accepts Medicare – you are not restricted to a specific network. 
  • Few spending restrictions. You can spend the money on alternative care, physical therapy, chiropractor visits, herbal medications, over-the-counter meds, or any other type of medical expense. 

Medicare MSA Disadvantages

  • High Deductibles. MSAs are paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), meaning that you must first meet a certain deductible amount before your Medicare coverage kicks in. This can be a disadvantage if you have significant healthcare needs. 
  • Limited Annual Funding. The amount of money that is contributed to the MSA each year is less than the deductible. If you have significant healthcare needs every year you may find that the funds in the MSA are not enough to cover your expenses.

Who Should Consider a Medicare MSA?

Medicare Advantage MSAs can be a good option for individuals who don’t have significant healthcare needs and want to take advantage of cost savings and tax benefits, while maintaining the freedom to see the doctor of their choice.

However, for individuals with significant healthcare needs, the high deductible may make MSAs a less attractive option. 

Get a Free Medicare Advantage Quote

The Medi-Share 65+ Plan

Medi-Share 65+ is an innovative and exciting alternative to traditional bloated, overpriced plans offered by big insurance conglomerations.

First of all, where Medicare Advantage plans are managed care insurance plans with a network of approved care providers, Medi-Share 65+ isn’t an insurance plan at all.

Instead, Medi-Share is a faith-based, non-profit Christian health sharing ministry organization with more than 400,000 members nationwide, all of whom have agreed to help share one anothers’ medical burdens.

And it’s much more affordable than comparable Medigap plans, such as Plan G and Plan N – especially in higher cost-of-living areas. 

How Medi-Share 65+ Works

With Medi-Share 65+, you remain enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) directly. Medicare remains your primary payer.

Of course, Original Medicare by itself doesn’t cover everything. You still have some significant out-of-pocket cost exposure in the form of your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance costs.

Both Part A and Part B have separate deductibles and coinsurance costs: 

Part A 

As of  2023, the Medicare Part A deductible will be $1,600 per benefit period. Note that a benefit period doesn’t mean “annual.” If you have multiple health issues within a given year, you’ll face multiple deductibles, not just one.

The Medicare Part A coinsurance amounts for inpatient hospital stays are as follows: 

  • Days 1-60: $0 after you pay your Part A deductible.
  • Days 61-90: $400 copayment each day.
  • Days 91-150: $800 copayment each day while using your 60 lifetime reserve days.
  • After day 150: You pay all costs.

Part B

The deductible for Medicare Part B deductible is $226. After the deductible is met, beneficiaries typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor services, outpatient therapy, and durable medical equipment.

Without some additional planning in place, this coinsurance amount, which is uncapped, can also leave you exposed to tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.

When you enroll in Medi-Share 65 plus, though, you are only responsible for the first $500 of these costs every year for you and other Medicare beneficiaries in your household.

After that, the Medi-Share health sharing community will pick up all your remaining deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays under Medicare Part A and B for the rest of the year.

That is, if you are an enrolled member of Medi-Share 65+ your hospital, physician, therapy, durable medical equipment, and other costs authorized under Parts A and B but not paid by the government are limited to $500 every year.

In terms of benefits, Medi-Share 65+ is comparable to the popular Medigap Plan G – a standardized Medigap insurance plan that covers all your out-of-pocket costs under Medicare Parts A and B with the exception of your Part B deductible.

However, Medi-Share 65+ costs much less than a Medigap Plan G policy in almost all cases.

What to Be Aware Of

As with all things, the Medi-Share 65+ plan involves a few tradeoffs you should be aware of: 

  • Unlike Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans, Medi-Share 65+ excludes sharing for conditions arising from a violation of your plan guidelines. Every Medi-Share member agrees to live a responsible lifestyle in accordance with Biblical principles.
  • Consequently, Medi-Share will not share costs related to drug overdoses, suicide attempts, self-harm, drunk driving (even as a passenger), drug or alcohol addictions treatment, or injuries incurred while engaging in reckless activities or in commission of a crime. 
  • Sharing for costs related to motorcycle injuries are limited, except for those incurred while engaging in mission activities outside the borders of the U.S. 

Medi-Share 65+ Pre-Existing Condition Considerations

Normally, healthsharing plans such as Medi-Share 65+ impose a waiting period before costs related to pre-existing conditions become fully shareable.
However, there is no pre-existing condition restriction if you enroll during your initial Medicare open enrollment period, which is the seven-month period that begins the third month before the month in which you turn 65.

There are also no restrictions for anyone who enrolls between October 15th and December 7th, each year.

For enrollments outside of these windows, Medi-Share 65+ will begin to cover treatments for pre-existing conditions after you have been sharing for six consecutive months.



Medicare MSA plans

MSA plans normally have $0 monthly costs.

However, MSA plans may not be available in all areas. The best thing to do if you’re considering an MSA plan is to call a Medigap Advisors Personal Benefits Manager, and let us work up a custom quote for your specific situation.

Medi-Share 65+

Medi-Share 65+ pricing is straightforward, and unlike Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans, pricing is uniform throughout the country:

Age 65 through 74: $99 per month.
Age 75 and up: $150 per month. 

Pricing is current as of 2023.

Those under the age of 75 receive a price stabilization guarantee until they reach their 75th birthday.

Pricing compares very favorably to the similarly comprehensive Medigap plans currently open to new enrollees, Plans G and N. 

How to Enroll in Medi-Share 65+

Enrolling in the Medi-Share 65+ plan is very easy, and you can do it in about 10 minutes.

Here’s how to sign up for Medi-Share 65+:

First, you’ll need your Medicare Card Number or benefits verification letter from Medicare. Once you have those in hand, sit down at your computer, and follow these steps: 

  • Click the enrollment link here, and answer some basic contact information.
  • Click “I’m not a robot,” and submit.
  • On the next page, click the date on which you want your Medi-Share 65+ membershi
  • The next page will ask you if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, or if you plan to be when your Medi-Share plan becomes effective. 
  • p to become effective. You have a choice of three dates across the top.
  • Enter your state of residence, zip code, marital status, and date of birth of the oldest person enrolling on your application. 
  • Enter the number of people applying in your household. 
  • Click “See Pricing.” If the birthday you entered puts you or the oldest applicant at age 65 or older, the next page will give you pricing for the Medi-Share 65+ plan.
  • Click “Select.”
  • Enter the primary applicant’s identifying information.
  • Click “Onward.”
  • Enter your address information.
  • Click “Save and Continue.”
  • The next page will ask you if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, or if you plan to be when your Medi-Share plan becomes effective. 
  • To join Medi-Share 65+, you must click “no.” You only need one of these plans. You cannot join Medi-Share 65+ at the same time you’re enrolled in either Medicare Advantage or Medigap. If you’re transitioning from either plan to Medi-Share 65+, you must cancel your old plan when your Medi-Share 65+ plan becomes effective. 
  • Enter your 11-digit Medicare number from your Medicare Card or benefits verification letter.
  • Enter your Medicare Part B start date, using the drop-down menu. 
  • Enter your Medicare
  • Click “Continue.” 
  • Answer the remaining questions as prompted. 
  • Select a payment method.
  • Cancel other Medicare Advantage or Medigap insurance as of your Medi-Share 65 Plus effective date. 

If you have any questions or hit a glitch on your application, call us at MediGap Advisors, or make an appointment with a Personal Benefits Advisor.

How to Enroll in an MSA Plan

If you believe an MSA plan under Medicare Advantage is right for you, click here, and make an appointment with a Personal Benefits Manager. Keep in mind that MSA plans are not available in all areas.


Medicare Advantage MSA plans and the Medi-Share 65+ Healthsharing plan are very different, and represent a real choice in Medicare planning.

An MSA plan may be right for you if you want a zero premium plan, you are in very good health and generally don’t expect to spend very much on health care from year to year.

The Medi-Share 65 Plus plan is better if you can afford the monthly cost sharing starting at $99, you want to limit your household exposure to $500 per year, and you want the freedom to choose any doctor or provider you want, and not be limited to any network.

Because sharing is limited for motorcycle accidents, Medi-Share 65 Plus may not be the best choice if you’re a motorcyclist.

Medi-Share also won’t share costs related to most mental health care, drug and alcohol rehab, or drunk driving incidents if you’re a driver or passenger.

Yes, Medicare is needlessly and absurdly complicated. But buying additional protection to help you limit the risk of high healthcare costs in retirement doesn’t have to be.

Our experienced Personal Benefits Manager makes it easy. We’ll walk you through your options, and ensure you are enrolled in the best plan for your specific circumstances.

Just click here, and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Or call us today at 800-913-3416

Here are some additional blogs on Medicare:  MediShare 65+ Health Sharing Plan vs. Medigap Plan G| Medicare and Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia: What You Need to Know | What Kind of Medicare Plan Is Best for Me? (Quiz)


Here are some additional pages related to this blog: Medicare Advantage Plans | The Medicare Playbook

Tom Lockwood is a Personal Benefits Manager at MediGap Advisors. Tom has a passion for bringing clarity to those confused about Medicare. He is an authority on Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug plans. Read more about Tom on his Bio page.