7 Facts from our Liberty HealthShare Review
- Location: Canton, OH, United States
- Products: Health cost-sharing programs: Liberty Unite, Liberty Connect, Liberty Essential, Liberty Rise, and Liberty Assist
- Cost: $85 to $1239 monthly share
- Privacy: Discloses personal health information to provide services. Includes HIPAA trained employees
- How it works: Users can register as singles, couples, or families and meet all financial obligations as indicated in their subscribed program. They enjoy financial health relief from the community during a health crisis
- Counseling available: No
- Other Products: Nebula Genomics offers 30X Whole Genome Sequencing that decodes 100% of your DNA and offers reports on diet and much more!
This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
February 14, 2023
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our Liberty HealthShare Review
- Pros and Cons
- Review of Liberty HealthShare
- Review of Liberty Healthshare Programs and Cost
- Review of Liberty Healthshare Privacy
- Other Liberty HealthShare Reviews
- Other Healthcare Sharing Ministries
- Nebula Genomics
Pros and Cons
- An alternative to traditional health insurance
- Health resources and prayer facilitation
- As of 2022, there is a backlog of bills
- Limitations on pre-existing medical conditions
- History of fraud among leadership, not paying bills, and legal issues
Liberty HealthShare is a major US-based Christian health sharing community with a vast reach across all 50 states. The healthshare ministry, which is focused on the Christian community, helps its members handle their health bills. Liberty HealthShare is not insurance. Instead, it is a member-based, non-profit organization that facilitates voluntary sharing of health costs among like minded individuals in a religious community.
The organization has five available programs. Each program has different costs, and users can subscribe to the one that serves their needs best. Members register as single units, couples, or families. Each unit has its respective obligations and gets different benefits in the event of a medical situation.
Its goal is to facilitate a community that exemplifies Jesus Christ through helping members of Liberty HealthShare bear each other’s health care burdens in prayer, encouragement and financial support. In addition to the financial sharing, the company also highlights that it offers advice for staying in good health and budgeting for health care.
Members are exempt from the Affordable Care Act.
Founded in 1995, Liberty HealthShare is based in Canton, OH. It is run by Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc., DBA.
Review of Liberty HealthShare
The website states that the organization is built on believers helping each other to get quality healthcare through cost sharing. Many aspects of the community make it a standout among health-sharing firms, and these factors will be reviewed in the next few sections.
Eligible sharing includes services that align with healthy Christian values:
- Annual wellness and screening appointments
- Ancillary therapies
- Physician and clinic visits
- Home health care
- TeleHealth visits
- Medical testing (e.g., blood work)
- Ambulance transport
- Urgent care
- Emergency care
- Surgery and hospital care (inpatient or outpatient)
- Prenatal and maternity care (Program dependent)
Expenses associated with unhealthy choices or voluntary/cosmetic procedures cannot be shared.
Some other services that cannot be shared include:
- Pre-existing conditions during the first year of membership*
- Tier 1–3 prescriptions
- Dental/vision expenses
- Expenses other than accidents, acute illness, or injury within the first two months of membership
- Medical expenses of $200 or less in billed charges, unless otherwise noted in the Sharing Guidelines
Review of Liberty HealthShare Process: Application
To qualify, members must commit to living a Christian lifestyle and make responsible health decisions. Some qualifications include attending worship regularly and accepting shared beliefs in God. Members must also maintain a Christian lifestyle in regards to health such as refraining from tobacco use and illegal drugs.
Applicants are either single (one member), a couple (two members of the same household related by birth, marriage, or adoption), or a family (three or more members of the same household related by birth, marriage, or adoption).
First, applicants create an account. Then, they fill out background information for themselves and any family members they want to include. The organization processes and reviews the application within three business days.
Review of Liberty HealthShare Process: Sharing
As a health sharing ministry, Liberty Healthshare aims to help facilitate sharing its members’ eligible medical expenses. The process starts when members submit their monthly shares, which are comparable to monthly premiums on health insurance. Every member contributes a fixed amount as indicated in their subscribed program.
This amount varies depending on family size, health needs, and program level. Once a member share is sent, it is paired with another member who has submitted an eligible medical expense.
Members do this through their online ShareBox. They can use this program to see their monthly shares and what they were used for. Here, members submit medical expenses, view its status, view their sharing history, receive important notifications, and find information about Liberty HealthShare.
Review of Liberty HealthShare Process: Using
To help identify doctors, Liberty HealthShare has a provider directory that helps identify health care professionals that are familiar with health sharing. However, members are self-pay patients and can use any doctor they want. When they go in for care, they will present their Liberty HealthShare ID and identify as a self pay patient.
Members or their providers then submit their expenses to the ministry. Bills must be submitted no later than 180 days past the service date.
Review of Liberty Healthshare Programs and Cost
A unique feature of Liberty Healthshare is its vast programs which are very encompassing and even have a budget friendly plan for young adults aged 18-29. The institution is designed to bring clarity and simplicity to members in handling their medical costs. The programs offer high flexibility, and you can subscribe for any of the three major options as a single individual, couple, or family.
All programs also include newsletters and informational articles to help educate members on ways to stay healthy.
The Annual Unshared Amount (AUA) is the amount members pay out of pocket before their medical bills become eligible to be shared among members. Additionally, there is a $75 annual renewal dues for all three major programs. Sharing begins after two full months of membership.
Below are the list of Programs, the cost for each age group, and the cost for the different family units (Single, Couple, and Family).
Liberty Unite is the most encompassing major health-sharing program of the three under Liberty Healthshare. The program offers members Up to $1,000,000 (per incident) of fair & reasonable eligible medical expenses. The AUAs are:
- Single: $1,000,
- Couple: $1,750,
- Family: $2,250
The monthly share amount for Liberty Unite based on household size and age is highlighted in the table.
|<35||35 – 49||50+|
Liberty Connect is the second major health-sharing program based on care relevance and can offer up to $1,000,000 (per incident) of fair & reasonable eligible bills paid that are shareable after AUA has been met. The AUAs are:
- Single: $1,000
- Couple: $2,000
- Family: $3,000
Members in this program pay a 15% co-share. The monthly cost for Liberty Connect based on household size and age is highlighted in the table.
|<35||35 – 49||50+|
Liberty Essential is the third of the three major health programs and offers up to $600,000 (per incident) of fair & reasonable eligible medical expenses that are shareable after AUA has been met. The AUAs are:
- Single: $4,000
- Couple: $8,000
- Family $12,000
|<35||35 – 49||50+|
Liberty Essential Members pay a 25% co-share.
Special programs are available for people who fall within certain age groups.
This program is for those between 18-29 years old. It’s a budget-friendly sharing program ideal for young adults and married couples who don’t have children.
Liberty Healthshare’s Liberty Rise is only $119 per month. Medical expenses eligible for sharing are limited to $50,000 per year for all services.
With this program, there are maximum amounts for certain services such as primary care, urgent care, and hospital stays.
Liberty Assist is designed for seniors that are at least 65, have Medicare, and want to join a medical cost-sharing program. Once registered with Liberty Assist, seniors can see any doctor and not have to worry about any pre-existing condition limitations. Married seniors will have to participate as separate sharing members. Another important point to note is that the service is secondary to Medicare A and B.
Liberty Assist contribution varies by age and requires a $1,500 Annual Unshared Amount (AUA) before a member can benefit from sharing. Monthly contributions ($85-$273) depend on the age of the member, with older members having a higher monthly contribution.
Previously, the organization had four programs: Liberty Share, Liberty Plus, Liberty Complete and Liberty Select Plans. These are no longer active.
Review of Liberty Healthshare Privacy
There are other instances in which personal health information may be disclosed. These purposes include for Health Care Operations, to family and friends involved in a member’s care (with the members permission), and when needed to comply with legal proceedings.
Following Federal law, Liberty Healthshare is mandated to protect your personal information from unauthorized access through physical and technological measures that safely store data and cannot expose it to anybody.
Also, you can request to have your information removed from the website data system if you no longer want to be part of the community.
All employees who handle personal health information are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) trained.
Other Liberty HealthShare Reviews
Liberty HealthShare is reviewed on HealthSharing Reviews. Currently, the organization has a 1.4 star review with over 400 ratings.
The largest issue appears to be that many members had a good experience after joining Liberty HealthShare for many years. However, as of 2022, the company has been behind on paying submitted bills in a timely manner, resulting in frustration and financial issues from loss of a lot of money. Some reviewers claim that they have been left waiting for over 18 months.
Some reviewers recommend that users pay their bills in full and wait for reimbursement to avoid being reported to collection agencies.
Some users claim that the organization did not pay for services it said it would, even after contacting customer service.
On Better Business Bureau (BBB, US only), the company has received 821 complaints in the past three years. Notably, the business response rate from a customer service representative is 100%.
A December 2022 complaint noted that while the organization made payment to the hospital in 2019 for delivery of their first baby, it claimed that it no longer covered that for their second delivery in 2021 and refused to pay. Many reviewers complain that they have paid thousands of dollars in monthly shares and now have trouble getting their own expenses paid, even if they rarely go to the doctor.
There is now a note on the website stating that “”there are no promises or guarantees that medical expenses will be paid.”
Liberty Healthshare in the News
In 2021, Liberty Healthshare was sued in Federal Court by some of its members. They claim that the company misrepresented itself, sold illegal health insurance and gave money intended to be used for medical bills to the company’s family and friends. Liberty Healthshare reached a settlement the following year, agreeing to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees, remove its top leaders, and re-organize the company.
In 2023, a piece was published in ProPublica that highlights personal stories of patients claiming to be victims of a company whose leadership was well known for fraud.
Other Healthcare Sharing Ministries
Other Christian ministries that provide similar sharing programs include Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medishare, Samaritan Ministries, and Zion Healthshare.
|Christian Healthcare Ministries||Liberty Healthshare||Medishare||Samaritan Ministries||Zion Healthshare|
*Church participation not required
|Number of programs||Three||Five||Based on household size and age, special program for seniors||Two||Based on age, household size, and IUA amount|
|Add on for catastrophic bills||Brother Keeper – an extra $22 per member per month||No||No||Save to Share™ – an extra $133, $266, or $399 each year + $15 administration fee||No|
|Reach||Nationwide – must have U.S. mailing address||Nationwide||Nationwide||Nationwide – bills outside the U.S. qualify||Nationwide|
|Are pre-existing conditions covered?||Yes – with the Gold plan and the Prayer Page||Up to $50,000 in the second and third year of membership||Up to $100,000 per member per year after 36 consecutive months or up to $500,000 after 60 consecutive months||Only of the conditions has been symptom, treatment, and medication-free for 12 consecutive months. Some require five years waiting period||Only if they are considered cured and do not require medical intervention within 24 months of joining the organization|
|Routine care||No||Yes, excluding dental/vision and bills less than $200||No (some discounts for vision, dental, and auditory)||No||Yes, with some restrictions unless using a Preventive Care add-on, excludes dental/vision|
|In-network provider needed?||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Cost||$90 – $705||$85 to $1239||$100 to $995 (plus $176 in fees)||$99 – $682 per month||$103-$515 per month|
Liberty Health Share ensures its users enjoy the best medical cost sharing as much as their program allows. On its website, the organization notes that its commitment is to facilitate a healthy life for its members by offering advice and cost sharing in a community of shared values. If you’re interested in having a deeper understanding of your health, you may be interested in looking at your genetic predispositions.
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