Today I wanted to talk a bit more generally about Christian healthcare. People often treat healthcare sharing like a new alternative to insurance, when in fact the concept has a wonderful history going back at least two centuries.
Healthcare sharing has its roots in a concept called “brotherly love” that was used by early Christian churches. It was a system of mutual aid between members of the church, with each member contributing a portion of their income to help pay for the medical expenses of another member in need. This type of healthcare sharing was seen as a way to show compassion and solidarity among believers.
Healthcare sharing continued in the 1800s when a group of German immigrants formed the Hutterites. This communal religious group was founded on the belief that members should support one another in times of need, including medical expenses. To ensure that everyone in the group had access to healthcare, members pooled their resources to pay for medical bills and expenses.
The practice of healthcare sharing was also popular among the Amish -- the Protestant religious group that immigrated to the United States in the early 1700s. Like the Hutterites, the Amish believed that members should take care of each other, and that no one should be left to fend for themselves. To meet this goal, they formed a communal sharing system, where members could pay each other’s medical bills.
The healthcare sharing model was also popular among various religious groups in the United Kingdom. In the late 19th century, the British Quakers were among the first to establish a healthcare sharing system. Similar to the Hutterites and the Amish, members of the Quakers pooled their resources to pay for medical bills. This idea of mutual aid was also embraced by other religious groups, such as the Plymouth Brethren, who established their own healthcare sharing system in the late 19th century.
Modern healthcare sharing systems were developed in the late 20th century, when a group of Christian medical professionals founded the first healthcare sharing ministry -- Medi-Share. The ministry was founded on the belief that healthcare should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.
Healthcare sharing is a unique and innovative alternative to insurance that has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It allows individuals and families to join together and pay each other’s medical bills and expenses, while maintaining their autonomy and independence. It's vastly more efficient, moral and cost-effective compared to the major insurance company labyrinths.
I'm happy to say that healthcare sharing and Christian healthcare organizations like Medi-Share are here to stay.