Here’s How You Can Get Your Medical Bills Covered — Without Insurance

A person's blood pressure is taken during a doctor's appointment.
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Medical care is expensive, period.

Between doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, labs and tests, hospital visits, and more, the average American will spend more than $11,000 each year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

And yes, that includes people with health insurance.

The reality is, a lot of people can’t afford that on their own. Some of us are lucky to get good plans from our employers with manageable deductibles or qualify for a subsidized plan from the marketplace.

But what if you don’t fall into either of those categories? Are you destined to pay out of pocket for emergencies or forgo yearly wellness exams?

Turns out, there’s another option for paying your medical bills, and it’s been helping communities take care of each other for decades.

It’s called health sharing, and a company called Unite Health Share Ministries (UHSM) has made it simple to have your health taken care of, differently.

Share Your Healthcare Costs With Like-Minded People

Health sharing can be an affordable alternative to traditional health insurance for people who qualify to join. UHSM is a faith-based community, with members in all 50 states who help share each other’s medical costs.

Here’s how it works: There’s an application fee of $99, which the non-profit organization uses to gather your medical records and make sure you qualify to be a part of their health share.

You pay a fixed monthly rate (starting at $147 for a single person) that gives you flat-cost fees for doctors’ appointments and prescriptions. UHSM gives you access to the First Health PPO Network (part of Aetna), so you can choose from more than 1 million doctors and hospitals around the country.

It also has pre-negotiated prices with the CVS Caremark Network, so you can pick up your medications at any of the store’s 60,000 locations. Generic prescriptions will only cost you $10 for a 30-day supply.

Wellness and preventative care, such as yearly checkups and mammograms, are 100% covered, no matter what. And doctors’ visits can be as low as $20.

When you need help with a medical bill — let’s say your kid breaks a bone playing soccer — you submit it to UHSM, and its members will cover it 100% after you’ve reached your Annual Member Care Share (think of it like a deductible).

UHSM is a faith-based organization, so certain expenses won’t qualify, based on its ethical standards. Be sure to check its website to understand what will and won’t be covered.

If you’re healthy, active and looking for an affordable alternative to health insurance, a health share might be the right choice for you. Connect with one of UHSM’s experts and see how much money you can save on your medical bills.

Kari Faber ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.