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Altrua HealthShare

Altrua HealthShare is a Christian-focused, nonprofit medical cost sharing community administered by Altrua Ministries based out of Austin, Texas. Altrua HealthShare has over 24,000 members, and has reportedly shared more than $100,000,000 of its members’ medical expenses since being founded. In addition to attesting to Altrua’s statement of standards, applicants must also have not used tobacco or abused any substance for at least the 12-month period before their membership start date.

How does an Altrua HealthShare membership work?

Upon joining, members pay a $25 startup fee, and an additional $100 membership renewal fee after each year of subsequent membership. Members pay monthly contributions, which are deposited into an escrow account, from which the community’s eligible medical needs are shared. Members present as self-pay patients when seeking treatment, and present their Altrua HealthShare Member ID to their provider to help explain the sharing process. Providers then submit eligible medical needs to Altrua HealthShare, either online or through mail, to facilitate sharing. While Altrua HealthShare negotiates discounts for their members, they do not have a provider network.

Altrua offers four membership types, with varying features, restrictions, and sharing limits (while all membership options have lifetime sharing limits, only the two least expensive options, Ruby and Sapphire, have annual sharing limits). Despite their differences, some features, like pooled office visits and telemedicine, come standard with any membership.

Members must pay two member responsibility amounts (MRAs) before their medical expenses may be eligible for sharing. The first MRA amount depends on the type of membership and how many members are part of the same household membership (each household member increases the member’s responsibility by a set amount based on their type of membership). The second MRA is a percentage of medical expenses incurred, with the percentage and maximum amount of additional member responsibility depending on their choice of membership.

Altrua HealthShare offers a free 30-day trial membership to all prospective members, and refunds members’ first monthly contribution if they choose not to continue their membership once the trial expires.

Cancer and pre-existing conditions

Altrua HealthShare has strict rules and restrictions on sharing pre-existing conditions. According to their guidelines (section 4.12), any condition for which a member has received medical advice or treatment during the ten years prior to their membership start date are considered pre-existing conditions and are subject to wide-ranging limitation, which can span from two- to five-years, or last the lifetime of the membership, depending on the condition(s) in question. Cancer, for example, is subject to a 5-year limitation, meaning members who have had cancer within the ten years leading up to their membership start date must wait 5 years before medical expenses associated with that condition are eligible for sharing.

Even if a member’s cancer is not considered a pre-existing condition, it is still subject to additional limitations. Medical needs related to cancer treatment are subject to a waiting period (depending on membership type) of 90 days-12 months. Additionally, they have a separate MRA ($4,000 in the first year; $3,000 in the second year; and $2,000 in the third year and afterwards) and limit ($10,000 sharing limit for the first year) depending on how long a member has been with Altrua HealthShare.

Noteworthy

Here is some of the top information we believe potential members might want to know about this HealthShare.

Key considerations

  • No provider network
  • 1st and 2nd MRAs

Membership requirements

  • Agree to statement of standards
  • No tobacco use or substance abuse

Pros

  • 30-day trial period
  • Pooled office visits
  • Telemedicine
  • Dental, vision, and prescription discounts
  • Adoption shareable (2 adoption events, $5,000 each)
  • Children may have a membership with or without their parents

Cons

  • $100 annual renewal fee
  • Lifetime sharing limits
  • Limited cancer sharing
  • Dependents only qualify until age 23 (typical is 26)
  • Limited sharing for pre-existing conditions; 10-year lookback period
  • Separate cancer, maternity MRAs
  • No tobacco use/substance abuse

Ideal Candidates

  • Want a plan for their children
  • Want the flexibility of pooled office visits

Learn more about Altrua HealthShare by watching this video

Website Altrua HealthShare
Religious Requirements Yes, Flexible
Need Processing Time 30-45 Days
Caps Lifetime sharing limit of $1-2 Million; Annual sharing for some memberships ($150,000-$250,000)
Personal Responsibility Per person, per calendar year; 1st MRA $500-$1,500 per person; 2nd MRA either a maximum of $2,500 or no limit depending on membership
Pre-existing Limitations 10-year lookback period; 2 year, 5 year, or lifetime limitations depending on condition
Pre-existing exception(s) N/A
Wellness Visit Yes; 6 office visits per member; members may give unused office visits to others who are part of the same membership
Preventive Immunizations Pediatric only
Screening for Mammogram 12-month waiting period; up to $500 shareable for members within one year of their 40th birthday
Screening for Colonoscopy 12-month waiting period; members age 50 and over only; limited to one colonoscopy per member, per year; MRAs apply
Mental Health No
Provider Network N/A
Need Processing Method Escrow account
Telemedicine Yes
Startup Fee 25.00
Renewal Fee 100.00
Prescriptions Discounts available
Maternity Yes; 90-day waiting period; $5,000 MRA per pregnancy; $12,000 limit in first year, $25,000 limit thereafter
Membership Size 24,000
Community Start Date 1996

Reviews

HealthShare Guide 3 reviews
2 / 5
HealthSharing Reviews 100 reviews
2.7 / 5
Google 530 reviews
4.2 / 5
Better Business Bureau 45 reviews
1.2 / 5
0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0

Altrua HealthShare Options

Diamond Emerald Sapphire Ruby
Annual Out of Pocket Max 1st MRA: $500; 2nd MRA: 25% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 1st MRA: $1,000; 2nd MRA: 25% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 1st MRA: $1,500 per person on membership; 2nd MRA: 25% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 1st MRA: $7,500 per person, per year; no 2nd MRA (25% of eligible expenses will be the member's responsibility)
Shareable Cost Per Need 100% after MRAs 100% after MRAs 100% after MRAs 75% after MRA
Max Sharing Per Need Annual Limit $250,000 Annual Limit $150,000
Extended Sharing
Doctor's Office Visits Six visits per person on membership Six visits per person on membership Six visits per person on membership Six visits per person on membership
Hospitalization Yes Yes Yes Yes
Emergency Care Yes Yes Yes Yes
Prescriptions Discounts available Discounts available Discounts Available Discounts available
Maternity $5,000 MRA; 1st year: $12,000 sharing limit; 2nd year: $25,000 sharing limit $5,000 MRA; 1st year: $12,000 sharing limit; 2nd year: $25,000 sharing limit
Note $2,000,000 Lifetime Limit $1,000,000 Lifetime Limit $1,000,000 Lifetime Limit $1,000,000 Lifetime Limit
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Doctor’s Office Visits: For Diamond and Emerald, office visits are pooled per household with 6 per member available. One additional visit (shareable up to $500) is available for female members over 40 and male members over 50. The visit fee is $35. For Sapphire and Ruby members, a maximum of $300/visit can be counted towards 1st MRA, then 2nd MRA. Up to 6 visits may be counted. One additional visit may be counted (up to $500) for female members over 40 and male members over 50.

Maternity: Only available for Diamond and Emerald members. A $5000 MRA applies, and then a maximum of $12,000 is shareable in year 1, $25,000 in year 2 and thereafter. 90-day wait.

Adoption: Available for Diamond and Emerald members. $5,000 MRA applies, then a maximum of $5,000 is shareable (2 adoption events shareable). 12-month wait.

Funeral: $5,000 sharing limit per household, per year for Diamond and Emerald members.

Have an opinion? We want to hear it!

Are you or have you been a member of Altrua HealthShare? Please leave a review below so others can get a better sense of what it’s like to be a part of a healthsharing ministry! If you have any questions about Altrua HealthShare, contact us!
Review Form

Reviews

  • ByCreated STEER CLEAR!!! (2022-12-27 08:32:23)

    I don’t understand why people are rating this company based on the ease of sign up- OF COURSE that will be a great experience; they want your money!!! Might want to wait until you ACTUALLY need to use it before giving them a high rating...

    If I could give them ZERO stars, I would. Be prepared to not have A CLUE in how much they will ‘share’, if anything, towards medical claims. They also do not have EDUCATED staff to review medical records before making determinations as to what qualifies or breaks their ‘rules’. I was involved in a NO-FAULT accident, shattered my pelvis on both sides, had to be transported to the hospital via ambulance and spent 4 days there. The medical bills were HUGE. They first tried to get me to work with the hospital and get financial relief (I was out of work for the 1st and only time in my life due to Covid and business basically shutting down) so they could get out of sharing anything- The hospital didn’t buy that and said Altrua had to FIRST contribute and whatever was remaining they would work with me on. Fast-forward and they then DENIED ALL CLAIMS, stating ‘excessive alcohol’ use. When you sign up for this membership, and in order to remain eligible for sharing you have to live a healthy lifestyle- No smoking, no excessive alcohol… The medical records team read my blood test wrong!!! 24ml equates to a .02 BAC. It even said on the test result ‘null / none found’. But they conveniently ignored that, either played stupid or truly werhen’t smart enough to convert it and *decided* that my BAC was .24. After hours and hours of phone calls, 4 appeal letters explaining this…. They FINALLY started sharing. But they screwed me ROYALLY- Because bills went unpaid and to collections, my credit score went from over 800 down to under 700. Over TWO YEAS later and I’m STILL working to get the last item paid and removed from the credit reporting agencies. This last one they submitted as a ‘Workman’s Comp’ claim so they could get a lower negotiated rate (they are responsible for 100% of this bill) and it was rejected because it was obviously filed under false pretenses. Even when this last item is paid and removed from my credit score, it will take YEARS before it goes back up to where it was.

    Literally, a nightmare. I’d just assume not have insurance / healthshare coverage at all. Over TWO YEARS dealing with just this, the financial impact, stress… NO THANK YOU. I dumped them and am with Sidecar Health now- Never been happier.

  • ByCreated Dr.Erica Elannan (2022-11-09 04:58:09)

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  • ByCreated Ilona Niemtschke (2021-11-05 01:26:56)

    I joined this ridiculous sharing plan yesterday without realizing how it really works until I looked into it after getting off the phone. I thought I was getting an ordinary comprehensive major medical insurance plan, but that is not true. The agent failed to tell me some important things and was wrong on some things (not all). Today my credit card was charged the first monthly premium plus the $100 application fee. Today, I tried to cancel the plan using the 30 day trial period, which does not even end until the end of January since the plan starts in on January 1. The first customer service person said he cannot help me cancel. The second person I called kelp trying to prevent me from canceling even though I was very clear and nice stating I do not want their sharing plan. She even put me on mute for about 1 minute without warning or hanging up. A manager overheard the discussion, picked up the phone and gave me a very hard time about my intention to cancel. Then I yelled at him telling him I definitely want to take my right to cancel now without any more questions or lectures. He then said he is hanging up because I yelled. I tried to call back and they immediately hung up on me without answering.
    Therefore, I had to immediately file a complaint and request a refund with my credit card company. They deserve no stars. Horrible company! Run away fast.

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