Our Experiences with Healthcare Sharing – EP 358

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Health insurance aims to lessen our healthcare expenses, yet ironically, it remains surprisingly costly for many of us. In this episode, Jen and Jill delve into the advantages and drawbacks of health share ministries, drawing from their own experiences with these plans. Join us as the Frugal Friends help you determine whether a health sharing ministry might be the right healthcare solution for you.

Look at the pros and cons of both to know all of these things and see what’s going to fit you, as any of these plans come with stipulations.


  • The nice kid at recess. They always noticed that you weren’t picked for any of the games, they waited for you to tie your shoe, and walked with you to the nurses office with every SINGLE ball  on the playground somehow hit you in the face. One right after the other. And they knew that sharing was caring. Today WE are being the nice kid at recess by not just sharing, but GIVING away $1,000. You heard that right – we’re giving one lucky frugal friends listener $1,000 to to spend on whatever you want (ideally it will be treating ‘yoself) so head to frugalfriendspodcast.com/pamper enter the giveaway.

4 Key Differences Between Health Share Ministries and Health Insurance

This article by UHSM helps differentiate health share ministries and health insurance.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Health insurance plans are very expensive, which is the primary reason people choose healthcare sharing for its affordability. Jen suggests health share ministries as an alternative to health insurance, where people pay monthly and share medical expenses with the group. With healthcare sharing, one may save up to 50% compared to regular health insurance coverage. They are usually a non-profit organization and do not often place restrictions on the type of doctor or specialist the members can visit. 

However, Jill notes that healthcare sharing is not bound or mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and sets their own standards for eligibility, unlike your regular healthcare insurance plans. One of its barriers is the eligibility requirements or one’s willingness to commit to a lifestyle, which can be quite prohibitive to some.

What questions should I ask before joining a medical cost-sharing plan?

This article from GoodRx discusses medical-cost sharing programs and questions you should consider asking before joining.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

More than 1.5 million Americans are members of these religion-based cost-sharing groups. Jen used her healthcare sharing for her second pregnancy, as she had no health insurance and had been visiting her doctor a lot. It was a painless experience for her because she had read the book her healthcare sharing ministry has provided. These books tell you what they cover and won’t cover—answering questions you may have about their system. Ask yourself about its risks, pros and cons, and coverage. 

The Frugal Friends cannot answer which one is the best plan for you, as it depends on the effort and necessity of the person. Jen notes that medical cost-sharing plans are not required to cover every health condition; they can be exempt from covering the top 10 essential health benefits, but again, that doesn’t mean they ultimately do not cover those. So, ultimately, read the outline provided by your healthcare insurance or sharing ministries, ask questions, and consider what’s going to be the best fit for your needs.

Would you recommend healthcare sharing? Why or why not?

Jen suggests that for people who don’t visit their doctor often and will use it to temper traditional expenses, they should definitely consider healthcare sharing. Jill encourages people to look into the process and risks of healthcare sharing.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Anna for sharing your bill about the cost of your haircut and saving by shaving!! Budget cutting made you brave!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:

Great tips from great chicks!

This is a wonderful podcast with helpful finance tips! Jen and Jill are so genuine and helpful and I love hearing their open and honest personal perspective. They have a wide variety of topics and their concept of the radical middle is so valuable and should be applied in all areas of life! So happy I found this podcast and I enjoy the fun banter between the hosts. I loved the recent story of Jill's pans and how she fixed them and returned the new set. Excited for your upcoming book!

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