Founded in 2013, Liberty HealthShare serves over 220,000 members from its Ohio base. Liberty HealthShare is the program name for the Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc. (founded in 1995) and they have shared more than $1.2 billion in the last 4 years.
Liberty HealthShare statement of belief
Liberty HealthShare is rooted in Christian faith. However, their requirements are a bit more lenient than some other Christian HealthShares. Members must agree to the following beliefs:
- personal rights and liberties are bestowed by God, not granted by government or men
- that they have a biblical and ethical obligation to assist others
- that it is a duty to have a healthy lifestyle and avoid anything that can cause bad health
- that it is a right to direct their own healthcare free from government dictates, restraints, and oversight
- every individual has the right to worship the God of the Bible in his or her own way
While this list includes items connected to Christianity, they are not laid out in a way that would prevent a non-Christian from joining. Additionally, Liberty asks that members attend worship services regularly but does not specify what regularly means or have attendance at a specific church verified by a third-party. So, as far as Christian HealthShare ministries go, Liberty has very open membership requirements. This might be of importance to potential members looking for more freedom to manifest their convictions outside of regular church attendance.
With all this in mind, prospective members should keep in mind that sharing decisions will be guided by Christian principles.
Sharing with Liberty HealthShare
Because Liberty HealthShare does not have a recommended provider network, members can find care nationwide. Liberty members use Healthcare Bluebook to find reasonably-priced medical care. Like most HealthShares, Liberty restricts pre-existing conditions. No costs for these conditions are shareable until the member reaches their second year of membership. However, in the fourth year of membership, there are no limits on pre-existing conditions.
Liberty uses a payment method called “ShareBox,” which facilitates transfers directly from member to member instead of first being deposited into a company bank account. Each month, members are assigned a specific need that they must contribute toward by the end of the month. Members can see exactly where their membership dues go. Additionally, members can send messages of encouragement, prayer, and healing directly to others in the community. Interestingly, Liberty HealthShare values member privacy, and thus permits members to choose how their names appear on their accounts. Member diagnoses are hidden so only the medical expense can be seen.
Liberty has been innovating new ways to share lately. In September 2022, they launched two new programs, Liberty Rise and Liberty Assist. These two programs aim to help specific groups, young adults and seniors. Since these programs are new, not much information is available, but they show promise for helping two groups that often have inconsistent access to help with healthcare expenses.
Here is some of the top information we believe potential members might want to know about this HealthShare.
- Long turnaround times
- Tobacco users not accepted
- Program for members over age 65
- Generous guidelines for preventive screening
- Live by biblical principles
- Agree to Liberty’s Statement of Shared Beliefs
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Annual preventive visit not subject to AUA
- May share in medical tourism
- DialCare Mental Wellness program
- End of life assistance $3,000-$10,000
- Screening Pap smear eligible each year not subject to AUA
- Pre-existing conditions shareable in the second year of membership
- Screening Mammogram eligible once a year after age 50; every other year up to age 49 not subject to AUA
- Mammogram, Pap smear, Cologuard screenings not subject to AUA
- Low Annual Unshared Amounts (AUA) for most plans
- Membership includes access to the Healthcare BlueBook
- Three-year look back for pre-existing conditions
- Enrollment requires medical questionnaire
- Colonoscopy screenings subject to the AUA
- Slow turnaround times: some members claim over 180 days
- Annual unshared amounts and co-shares add up
- Liberty may determine what is “medically necessary”
- Prenotification required seven days in advance for major services, including maternity
- Two-month wait for any sharing; bills in the first two months of membership do not count toward AUA
- Value privacy
- Do not use tobacco
- Want to help others directly
- Can afford to pay their own bills in full and wait for reimbursement