A Health Sharing Alternative for Medicare Beneficiaries
For Seniors age 65 and up, Medi-Share 65+ represents a new, innovative alternative to traditional Medicare supplement insurance.
The plan sponsor, Medi-Share, is a Christian health-sharing ministry that has created a unique way for Medicare beneficiaries to share out-of-pocket medical costs with other members who share their values.
Like other health sharing plans, Medi-Share 65+ is not insurance. Instead, health sharing represents an affordable alternative to traditional insurance approaches, such as Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage.
Medi-Share 65+ may be a compelling option for Medicare-eligible seniors who want to reduce their exposure to the risk of the high cost of medical care – while not breaking the bank with high monthly premiums.
Why Use Medi-Share 65+?
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Even with Medicare, senior citizens can still face significant out-of-pocket costs for medical care in the form of deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance.
Medi-Share 65+ allows members to share out-of-pocket costs for hospitalizations, durable medical equipment, office visits, and skilled nursing facility care.
How Medi-Share 65+ Works
Medi-Share 65+ benefits kick in once you incur more than $500 in qualified out-of-pocket household expenses (your annual household portion, or AHP) for medical services ordinarily covered under Medicare.
Once your household meets that $500 annual contribution, 100% of your eligible medical bills that Medicare does not pay are shared by your fellow Medi-Share members. If Medicare approves treatment under Parts A or B, but does not cover the entirety of the cost of treatment, your bills are eligible for sharing under Medi-Share.
Typically, these costs include anything you pay out of pocket for Medicare-approved treatment, including copays, deductibles, and in some states, Medicare “excess charges,” which are fees charged by doctors in excess of standard Medicare reimbursement rates.
The Medi-Share funding system works differently than most are used to. Members must open a bank account at an institution approved by Medi-Share, and authorize Medi-Share to make deposits and withdrawals from this account.
Then, every month, you would deposit your monthly contribution to the account. Medi-Share will withdraw money from your account to share with other members who have eligible medical expenses. If you have medical expenses that aren’t picked up by Medicare, Medi-Share will withdraw from other members’ accounts and deposit money in your account to pay expenses over your annual household contribution requirement that are not covered under Medicare.
If you make your deposit after the due date for a given month, you are expected to contribute an additional 5% for the “extra blessing” fund.
Medi-Share 65+ and Medicare Deductibles and Co-pays
Medi-Share 65+ is specifically designed to help protect you from the high costs of Medicare deductibles and copays. Once you meet your $500 annual contribution threshold, 100% of your out-of-pocket costs from Medicare-approved services will be eligible for sharing, with certain exceptions described below.
The Medi-Share Statement of Faith
As a condition of membership, all members must affirm Medi-share’s statement of faith. This includes affirming the nature of the Trinity and that Christ is God, co-eternal with the Father and equal in status with the Father and Holy Spirit.
Members must also agree to live by Biblical standards, attend and actively support a fellowship of believers, and agree that believers must help bear each other’s burdens.
Additionally, members are prohibited from engaging in tobacco use, they should abstain from sex outside of the context of Christian marriage, and they attest that they have not abused legal or illegal drugs – including prescription medications or alcohol – for at least twelve months prior to membership.
Medi-Share 65+ members enjoy round-the-clock access to physicians, 365 days a week, via telehealth. This benefit allows you to speak quickly with actual doctors who can diagnose common health problems such as colds, flus, sinus infections, earaches, and even prescribe medications.
So you know you can speak with a doctor when you need to – without having to worry about cost, or arranging transportation to and from your doctor’s office.
Medi-Share 65+ Discount Programs
With more than 400,000 members nationwide, Medi-Share has put its tremendous buying power to work for members, negotiating discounts with top vendors on a wide variety of medical services, including dental and vision care. Membership also comes with a Select Savings Card that allows members incredible savings on critical items like diabetes care supplies, hearing aids, and even on Lasik surgery.
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.
Other Exclusions for Medi-Share 65+
Because Medi-Share is a Christian health sharing ministry, certain medical expenses that may be approved by Medicare are not eligible for cost sharing. These include expenses arising from:
- Suicide or attempted suicide
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Abortion of a live fetus
- DUI-related injuries (even if the member was only the passenger of a drunk or impaired driver)
- Drug or alcoholism addictions treatment
- Injuries arising from participation in activities with a flagrant disregard for one’s own safety
- The commission of a felony
Additionally, cost sharing for injuries related to motorcycle accidents is limited to $100,000 per plan year.
- Members ages 65 to 74: $99/month
- Members age 75 and up: $150/month
ENROLL: MEDI-SHARE 65+
10-Year Price Lock-In on Medi-Share 65+
Members who join Medi-Share 65+ at age 65 are eligible for a 10-year price lock-in period. Your monthly contribution will not increase for 10 years after you sign up. This is a valuable benefit not available with Medicare supplement insurance carriers.
Medi-Share 65+ Pros
- 10-year price lock-in guarantee if you enroll at age 65
- No co-insurance: Once you cover your minimum household contribution, all expenses not covered under Medicare Parts A or B are 100% sharable.
- Unlimited 24/7/365 telehealth access to board-certified physicians
- No annual or lifetime limit on sharing benefits (except for injuries arising from motorcycle accidents.)
- Discounts on other medical services not covered by Medicare
- No in-network restrictions. Use any doctor or facility that takes Medicare
- Pre-existing conditions covered after a member has been sharing costs for six consecutive months, or if the member joins during their six-month Medigap Enrollment Period, which begins the month in which the member enrolls in Medicare Part B.
Medi-Share 65+ Cons
- Not regulated by state insurance commissioners
- Sharing is voluntary: You have no contractual claim against Medi-Share or other members if they do not share your expenses, and no other Member can have a contractual claim against you. Since health sharing ministries aren’t insurance companies, you have no recourse to go to your state’s insurance commissioner.
- Sharing for injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are limited to $100,000 per 12-month period (except those using motorcycles while performing mission work outside of the U.S.)
- Doesn’t cover alcohol and drug-related illnesses or injuries.
- Does not cover injuries arising from DUI incidents – even if the member was only a passenger in the vehicle and not the driver.
- Monthly contribution required.
What to do now
You can get an instant quote, and sign up in about 10 minutes, by running an Instant Quote at the top of this page.
If you have questions or would like some one-on-one guidance, just click here to schedule a call with one of our advisors.
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 consultants make 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.
Don’t worry: If you’re not eligible for Medi-Share 65+, or if for some reason it’s not the best possible match for you, we have many other insurance options and non-insurance alternatives for you to consider.
Medi-Share 65+ Frequently Asked Questions
I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still join Medi-Share 65+?
You can join Medi-Share if you are a full-time legal resident of the United States. Medical bills incurred while you are not a legal resident are not eligible for cost sharing.
I’m not eligible for Medicare. Can I still join Medi-Share 65+?
You can join Medi-Share’s other health share programs, but not Medi-Share 65+. Medi-Share 65+ is only open to those age 65 and older and enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
Can I suspend membership fees if my income lapses?
Monthly contributions may be waived for up to 3 months per 12 month period if
a Member’s illness or injury causes loss of income. This is subject to the approval of and monthly review by CCM. You’ll need to submit supporting evidence.
Is the annual household portion applicable every calendar year? Or every plan year?
The AHP is reset to $500 every year on the anniversary of the Effective Date.
Does Medi-Share 65+ cover treatment outside the U.S.?
Medi-Share 65+ limits sharing of expenses outside of the U.S. to medically-necessary urgent medical care. They also will only share up to 80% of these expenses. You would be responsible for the other 20%.
Medi-Share 65+ Reviews
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I was surprised to find Medishare has plans for seniors
I was a happy Medishare client for years before I turned 65. I was very glad to hear they had an option for people on Medicare. I just started the new 65+ plan and I’m hoping for similar results as from my old Medishare plan.