Health shares are an attractive option for larger families looking for a quality, affordable healthcare option. But does that affordability extend to maternity sharing? Well, the answer to that depends on the details of your membership, but there are some common characteristics many health shares’ maternity guidelines have in common that are important to know.
Since health share memberships are a monthly membership rather than a yearly commitment, health shares put waiting periods and limits on certain conditions to avoid raising prices and straining the community’s resources. These waiting periods are typically 30-60 days after joining, and stipulate that members must have become pregnant after their membership start date in order for their maternity need to be eligible for sharing.
Not always included
Depending on your membership, maternity sharing may not be eligible for sharing. If you are a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM), for example, maternity will only be eligible for sharing if you are on the Gold program. Likewise, OneShare Health’s Classic Crown membership is their only program that offers maternity sharing. In both cases, those health shares only offer maternity sharing with their most expensive memberships.
This is something you should definitely look out for if maternity sharing is important to you.
When you sign up for a health share membership, you often get to choose your associated personal responsibility amount (how much money you have to pay toward a need before it becomes eligible for sharing with the community).
However, there is often a separate personal responsibility amount specific to maternity sharing that needs to be met before any maternity need may be eligible for sharing. This separate personal responsibility isn’t cheap, either, often ranging from $1,500 (CHM)–$5,000 (Altrua).
But not all health shares have a separate personal responsibility amount for maternity. Zion HealthShare treats maternity needs the same as any other medical needs. United Refuah has a pregnancy fee for individuals and couples, but waives that fee for family memberships.
Much like how some health shares place limits on sharing per incident, per year, or over the lifetime of a membership, there are often separate sharing limits specific to maternity sharing. If you are an Altrua member, the maternity sharing limit is $12k in the first year, and $25k from the second year onward. For Samaritan, your maternity sharing limit depends on your membership: Samaritan Basic memberships have a $5k maternity sharing limit, whereas Samaritan Classic memberships have a $250,000 limit.
It’s also worth nothing that maternity may only be shareable in a multi-person membership (including a married couple) especially if your health share has a religious focus (e.g., Samaritan Ministries).
To get the most out of maternity sharing it is important to plan ahead. While it may not be possible to plan for everything, if you think you may want maternity sharing at some point in the future you should pick a health share with suitable maternity sharing guidelines. Every maternity sharing policy is different, so research your member guidelines or contact your health share to learn more.