Christian Health Insurance Companies

The goal of a Christian health insurance company is to strive to reduce both excess demand for health care services and the costs to members by the doctors and other medical providers. These Christian health insurance companies seek to improve members' knowledge of healthful living and rethink health-related decisions. They accept and share medical care provisions only with members who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and live biblical lifestyles described in their mission and guidelines.

These medical groups claim that their membership is much healthier than the national population when compared. Christian health insurance companies limit membership to only those who are not extremely overweight, do not use tobacco products, do not use and abuse alcohol and other drugs, or do not engage in high-risk sexual activities. Therefore the Christian health insurance company files claims for fewer medical bills.

Organizations of this nature also claim that tens of thousands of Christians are saving millions of dollars through their healthcare alternative. A Christian health insurance company claims that the members experience not only a blessing of lower cost and more inclusive coverage, but they note that there is a blessing of helping others and a peace of mind that comes from knowing brothers and sisters in Christ will be there for each other. There are at least 5 or more plans of this kind, especially popular in the South. However, all three of the largest companies are headquartered in Barberton, Ohio. Carriers impose strict limits on treatment, restrictions that would be illegal under conventional insurance regulations.

Many organizations offering these so-called "church plans," are both economic and religious in goal and function with the monthly cost being roughly half that of conventional premiums. Christian health insurance companies plan appeals to those who have difficulty getting coverage. Although these plans differ, their basic premise is that members send a monthly check or premium from $200 to $400, either to the plan or directly to the plan members with medical bills. The Christian health insurance company also asks members to agree to send cards and letters or to pray for those in need. Sometimes these needy cases are published in a monthly newsletter.

Health groups based around Christianity have many of the characteristics of most other insurance companies -- deductibles, an advisory board, negotiating discounts from hospitals and a requirement that non-emergency treatment be approved. The concept of these Christian health insurance companies is to mediate a voluntary arrangement between like-minded people to share medical expenses according to rules fulfilling the New Testament exhortation that Christians "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)

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