If you know a little about HealthShare history, you know that they have deep roots in Christianity. HealthShares are often called ministries and are well-known for their religious ties. In fact, many HealthShare members view their participation in these ministries as an extension of their faith in action. But does this mean that every HealthShare member must be religious or adhere to a certain set of beliefs?
Are all HealthShares religious?
The short answer is that some HealthShares have religious requirements and some do not. While shopping for a faith-based HealthShare, you will easily find membership guidelines that include scriptures, doctrinal rationale for the terms of membership, and connections between membership, prayer, and religious devotion.
Alternatively, if you are shopping for a secular HealthShare, you’ll find memberships that are more focused on healthcare than on religious principles. Some of these HealthShares, though founded on Christian principles, aim to welcome new members from a variety of denominations. Still other HealthShares have no specific religious ties.
Statement of belief vs. principles of membership
Generally, a faith-centered HealthShare will have a statement of belief, while a secular HealthShare will have a set of principles of membership. Keep in mind that any HealthShare you join has standards of conduct. Members must agree to these standards in order to join.
Although your HealthShare’s standards may not be linked to religious doctrine, they still require people to agree to ethical principles. These principles often include living a healthy lifestyle, caring for those in your household, and believing in the structure and effectiveness of medical cost sharing.
Members of such HealthShares are bound by a set of foundational standards. Community members remain connected through codes of conduct and moral principles rather than shared faith.
Religious and strictly religious HealthShares
Certain HealthShares are more strict than others. Some faith-based HealthShares like Samaritan Ministries, Medi-Share, and Christian Healthcare Ministries require members to adhere to strict religious principles. They may also require members to provide proof of their religious devotion and church attendance.
However, HealthShares like Liberty HealthShare and OneShare Health may simply ask you to agree to a statement of belief and will encourage you to worship freely in your own way.
If you are uncomfortable with that, there are a couple of options for those who do not want to mix any statement of religious belief with their healthcare.
Some non-religious HealthShare options
Most of the well-established and widely-known HealthShares are faith-based. The secular HealthShares currently available are younger, but they are making a big mark on the HealthShare industry.
Sedera has a set of ethical principles that members must agree to, but there is no hint of religious belief in their principles of membership. Sedera’s website focuses entirely on being a supportive and innovative healthcare community.
Zion Health has a set of ethical and moral principles, but they do not ask members to state their specific religious beliefs or agree to any statement of faith. The Zion Health website emphasizes their fresh approach and makes it clear that they welcome any and all applicants.
There is a HealthShare for you
HealthShares are voluntary membership communities. As such, you can expect them to outline how members must conduct themselves to remain a part of that community. Due to the nature of the HealthShare industry, many options come with an obligation to a certain faith.
A very few options offer a HealthShare community completely separate from religious devotion. In the future, there may be more HealthShares that provide a secular approach to the medical cost sharing experience. For now, there are still quality options available to potential HealthShare members from all walks of life.