In 2011, Solidarity co-founder Chris Faddis learned that his wife had cancer. Faced with mounting medical bills and denied coverage of an experimental treatment, the family reached out to their community. Generous donations allowed Faddis’ wife to get treatment that extended her life, and this experience inspired Faddis to create the Arizona-based Solidarity some years later.
Solidarity HealthShare was designed for Catholics, “in partnership with a small Mennonite church in Ohio.” This Mennonite church already had its own sharing program (Liberty HealthShare) and agreed to help create another one catered toward Catholics. While the programs have differences, neither ministry requires its members to belong to a specific faith, both offer a health coaching program for members whose health could improve with lifestyle changes, and both use the Sharebox system. Sharebox allows monthly dues to be transferred directly from member to member without going through any account or bank owned by the company.
While Solidarity does have some unique rules about sharing due to its Catholic values, in some ways it is more generous than other HealthShare ministries. New and experimental treatments are sometimes shareable if there is evidence that they are safe and can be effective. Preventive services, physical therapy, and counseling are also potentially shareable.
Solidarity’s website states that new members who cancel within the first month of membership will be refunded their annual fee. Those who cancel after, or do not pay monthly dues, will not get this refund and will become inactive members until their next renewal. Inactive members pay as much as they can monthly, when they can, and if they have a medical need, the cost can be shared with other inactive members (keep in mind that the amount of inactive members is likely small, and these members are not required to pay monthly, so there probably are not many funds available for bill sharing). The amount of money available for sharing affects even active members, so keep in mind that sharing between inactive members may not be that helpful. Even so, a HealthShare offering any help for non-paying members is noteworthy.
Finally, member reviews indicate that Solidarity had a major website and database change in 2020. These reviews state that after this update, members began receiving confusing information about bill sharing and the company became slower to pay providers (like most HealthShares, payments were already slow). As of December 2020, this problem does not seem to be fixed.
- Christian who lives by biblical principles and respects the moral teachings of the Catholic Church (does not have to be Catholic)
- Believe in being “my brother’s keeper;” share medical burdens
- Live a healthy, moderate lifestyle (no substance abuse, no recklessly dangerous hobbies)
- Believe that rights are bestowed by God and not granted by men
- Respect each person’s freedom of religious worship and practice
- Believe it is a right to direct their own health care
- Medical expenses related to anything that goes against Catholic ethics are not shareable. The sharing guidelines list injuries from war or self-harm, contraceptives, some forms of fertility treatments, abortion, euthanasia, and sex change surgery as some expenses that are not shareable for this reason. Vaccines may or may not be shareable (depending on whether fetal tissue was used)
- Solidarity uses a self-pay system, so members can go wherever they want.
- No age limits for members and dependent children/disabled adults can be included on their parents’ program
- Medical costs are shared on a per person, per incident basis (all bills related to the same diagnosis are considered part of one incident). No lifetime limits, but there are limits Per Incident. Total bills must exceed an Annual Unshared Amount (AUA) to be eligible for sharing
- There are three program options: Solidarity HealthShare Premier, (can share up to $1 million per incident per year), Solidarity HealthShare Plus (can share up to $125,000 per incident per year), and Solidarity HealthShare Primary (can share 70% of Eligible Medical Expenses up to $125,000 per incident per year)
- Catholic values
- More possibly shareable expenses than some other ministries allow
- Wellness coaching program for some members (extra cost)
- Can choose any provider or facility
- Willing to share costs of some new/experimental treatments
- Allows sharing for wellness visits, telehealth, counseling, and physical therapy
- No age limits
- Membership fees are transferred directly member-to-member
- Shareable maternity costs
- Have a credit assistance department to help members worried about medical debt
- Not helpful for military members, those with severe mental illnesses, people who are interested in gender reassignment surgery, people who want to plan their family size, and people who have dangerous hobbies (i.e. skydiving)
- Reviews indicate that payments are incredibly slow
- Reviews state that the company made a major website/database change in 2020. This seems to be part of the reason that bills are not being shared or are taking months to be paid. This may improve in the future, but right now it still seems to be a problem
- Unclear pricing options (must request a quote)
- Want to support a ministry that holds to Catholic values
- Are in good health
- Want to help others and like to see exactly where their money goes
- Are patient and able to wait for bills to be shared or reimbursed