Welcome to the Healthsharing Reviews Vocabulary 101 series, our guide meant to help you understand the unique terminology used by various health share organizations. Each entry in this series is designed to decode the jargon of each health share, highlighting any specific words and phrases they use, and defining them. Our mission is to help you navigate shopping for or learning about these different organizations with ease, and one of the best places to start is knowing the lingo.

This installment will dig into the specific vocabulary of Liberty HealthShare, a popular health sharing company. Understanding the terminology used by Liberty should help you get a better sense of their functions, their values, and in the end make informed decisions that are right for your needs.

Liberty HealthShare’s Annual Unshared Amount (AUA)

One term you’ll see frequently at Liberty HealthShare is the Annual Unshared Amount (AUA). This term refers to the amount of medical costs that a member is responsible for before sharing can take place and other members can share in their medical expenses. In other health share organizations, this may be called an “Initial Unshareable Amount” (IUA) or “Member Responsibility Amount” (MRA). Your AUA will vary based on the number of family members you have enrolled in a specific program, so having a clear understanding of this term is a must for knowing your financial responsibility within the Liberty HealthShare Community.

Liberty HealthShare’s approach to managing medical expenses differs from some other organizations in its handling of unshared amounts. While certain health shares assign per-incident unshared amounts, Liberty operates on an annual basis. This means that their annual unshared amount refers to all eligible medical expenses incurred over the course of a year. Once your eligible medical expenses exceed your AUA, the remaining costs are then subject to the program limits per incident, as defined by the specific program you have selected.

Liberty HealthShare monthly contributions

Liberty HealthShare uses the term contributions to describe the financial commitment required of its members. Contributions are split into two distinct parts: membership dues and monthly shared amount. The membership dues are collected initially upon enrollment and again every twelve months, acting essentially as a $75 renewal fee. The monthly shared amount refers to the voluntarily contribution made by members to assist with other member’s medical expenses.

As a member, you’re assigned a specific medical need within the community each month, so you know how your monthly shared amount is being used. You then pay that amount through Sharebox, Liberty’s member portal that allows you to share directly with other members. While voluntary, both elements of Liberty HealthShare “contributions” are required for membership to remain in good standing and maintain eligibility for sharing.

Liberty HealthShare sharing guidelines and sharing members

Sharing Guidelines is the term used by Liberty HealthShare for the documentation that describes the types of medical expenses that may be shared by members and how the organization functions to facilitate that sharing. These sharing guidelines are the central document that a member would use to find out what types of expenses are eligible for sharing within the community.

A sharing member is a member of the HealthShare community who is current on contributions and considered in good standing. As a sharing member, you are eligible to participate in the sharing of medical expenses according to the Sharing Guidelines set forth by Liberty HealthShare.

Liberty HealthShare’s Gifts

Liberty HealthShare distinctively uses the term gift throughout its online content and literature in reference to members’ monetary contributions. This choice of language highlights the voluntary nature of the health share model, reminding members that their participation is not a mandatory fee, but a voluntary act of assistance to fellow members.

Medical expense need

Medical expense need is a term used by Liberty HealthShare, defined by them as “the charge(s) or expense(s) for medical services from a licensed medical practitioner or facility, or an approved practitioners of alternative treatments, arising from an illness or accident for a Sharing Member…” In other words, it refers to the costs associated with medical care or alternative treatments received by a member due to sickness or injury.

Liberty HealthShare’s terminology

Understanding the unique vocabulary used by Liberty HealthShare is important if you are considering Liberty and want to make an informed decision. By becoming familiar with their terms, you can better understand the benefits of, and responsibilities that come with, being a member of the Liberty HealthShare community.

For a deeper dive into their lingo, Liberty HealthShare lists definitions of common terms in their Sharing Guidelines, which can be found here.

Glossary of terms covered

  • Annual Unshared Amount (AUA): The amount of medical costs a Liberty HealthShare member is responsible for paying before the sharing process with other members begins.
  • Contributions: The financial responsibility required of Liberty HealthShare members, split into membership dues and monthly shared amount.
    • Membership dues: Collected at the start of enrollment and annually as a renewal fee.
    • Monthly shared amount: a voluntary donation made by members to assist with the medical expenses of others.
  • Sharing Guidelines: Documentation outlining the types of medical expenses that can be shared among Liberty HealthShare members and process of supporting this sharing.
  • Sharing Members: Members who are up to date with their contributions and are in good standing, qualifying them to participate in the sharing of medical costs.
  • Gifts: Liberty HealthShare’s term for members monetary donations, emphasizing the voluntary aspect of membership.
  • Medical Expense Need: Charges or costs of medical services or approved alternative treatments provided by licensed practitioners, resulting from a member’s illness or injury.