United Refuah HealthShare, headquartered in Ohio, was founded in 2018; however, they took over the health sharing program of Maysville Fellowship Medical Aid Plan (founded before 1999). “Refuah” means healing in Hebrew, and unlike many HealthShares, which have Christian roots, United Refuah is a Jewish organization. Refuah values the religious community it serves and promotes caring for one another. United Refuah was founded by Baruch Chaim Manies, an entrepreneur who wanted to provide a medical cost sharing option to his Jewish community after many Christian HealthShares were unwilling to accept Jewish members.
The HealthShare provides an option for Jewish people who want to participate in a medical cost sharing organization that shares their values. Comments from Moishe Katz, the National Director of United Refuah HealthShare, indicate that while members must belong to the Jewish community and share Jewish values, they do not necessarily have to be practicing Jews.
United Refuah’s member responsibility
Unlike many HealthShares, which apply member responsibility costs on a per-need basis, United Refuah members pay an “Annual Pre-Share Amount,” which resets on the anniversary of their membership each year. The Pre-Share amount is $500 for a single member, $1,000 for a couple, and $1,500 for a family. After the Annual Pre-Share Amount, United Refuah will share in 80 percent of eligible medical bills. Members have responsibility for 20 percent of their medical bills until they meet an “Annual Co-Share Responsibility.” After the Co-Share amount is met, United Refuah will begin to share 100 percent of a member’s eligible medical costs. The maximum co-share responsibility is $1,000 for single members, $2,000 for couples, and $4,000 for a family.
Family memberships could pay up to $5,500 in medical bills before their needs are fully shareable. Refuah also charges pregnancy fees in addition to the Annual Pre-Share and Co-Share amounts. However, once these amounts are met, United Refuah HealthShare shares 100 percent of eligible medical bills.
Preauthorization with United Refuah HealthShare
One key consideration with United Refuah HealthShare is its strict preauthorization policy—many medical needs are only shareable after preapproval. United Refuah also has sharing limits for specific services (generally based on the caps placed by Medicare). For example, United Refuah reimburses doctor visits up to 50 percent above the Medicare rate. In these cases, United Refuah helps negotiate rates for patients too.
For emergency care and maternity admission, United Refuah asks for notification within 48 hours of admission. Any emergency admission that is reported will be scrutinized by United Refuah to make sure they are medically necessary.
Wellness with United Refuah HealthShare
United Refuah shares costs for some types of therapy and mental wellness visits, such as psychological counseling ( with certain restrictions). They also share in some preventive care, like annual wellness visits, Pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopy screenings. Preventive services are not subject to the AHP or annual co-share.
Some prospective members may be required to enroll in United Refuah’s Well Check program for an additional fee of $55 per month. This program is for members with certain health conditions that may be improved with lifestyle changes.
Here is some of the top information we believe potential members might want to know about this HealthShare.
- $1,000,000 incident limit
- No smoking or tobacco use allowed
- May deny membership/require permanent waivers due to pre-existing conditions
- Pre-existing conditions fully shareable after four years of membership
- Sixty-day waiting period before sharing fully begins
- Share Jewish beliefs and maintain Jewish lifestyle
- Provide detailed health information to United Refuah
- Be under 65 years of age
- Prescription discounts
- No lifetime sharing limit
- Affordable monthly contributions and member responsibility
- $600 annual allowance for preventive care visit per person
- Some therapy and mental health services shareable with pre-approval
- No pregnancy fees for family membership
- No maternity sharing for unwed mothers
- No discounts for dental or vision
- Pregnancy fees for mothers in a single or couple membership
- Enrollment fee of $125; annual renewal of $75; $10 credit card fee
- Many types of sharing only eligible after pre-notification to Refuah HealthShare
- Belong to the Jewish community
- Don’t participate in hazardous hobbies or professional sports
- Appreciate a simple program structure
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
Learn more about United Refuah HealthShare by watching their video
Page Updated: 03.01.23