Retirement Answer Man

Over the past few weeks on the Healthcare Before Medicare series, we have been exploring the different ways to solve the question of how to pay for medical insurance before you reach Medicare age. On this week’s episode, we are getting creative. We are thinking outside the box of regular insurance and we are exploring medishare arrangements. Medishare is not typical insurance, so we will learn what the difference is between these programs and traditional medical insurance. I continue my discussion with Keith and Linda to hear more about their research into healthcare and I also have Michael Gardner from Christian Healthcare Ministries on to get the details on this medishare program. If you are thinking of retiring before retirement age or simply interested in insurance alternatives you will want to see if this is a good option for you. Listen to this episode as we explore all the options on how to get healthcare before Medicare.

What is medishare?

Medishare is an alternative to traditional health insurance. Medishare is a medical cost-sharing program, an arrangement between a group of people to share medical expenses. Although it is not traditional health insurance, there are some similarities between the two. There is a monthly fee similar to a health insurance premium and there is a yearly out of pocket portion that your family is expected to reach before asking the medishare community for help. Listen to this episode to hear about the medishare option when researching healthcare before Medicare.

Medishare is not insurance, it’s a community

The biggest difference between health insurance and a medishare ministry is that the money you pay each month goes to help another member of your community. When you pay your monthly share amount this money goes directly to another member who needs care. Healthcare sharing companies are nonprofit Christian based cost-sharing programs. Being part of this community is just one benefit of the medishare model. Listen to this episode to hear Michael Gardner discuss all of the benefits of joining the Christian Healthcare Ministries community.

What about the ACA?

If this isn’t insurance, how do people stay in compliance with the ACA? Medishare communities are insurance alternatives that have been around for about 30 years. Being as such, there is a provision in the ACA for these health sharing communities. Since these organizations are faith-based they can get around the religious loophole in the law that was put in place. These faith-based organizations require a statement of faith that must be signed as well as certain agreements to live a healthy lifestyle. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to hear all the details about medishare programs and how they can help in your search for healthcare before Medicare.

Why would you not want to participate in a medishare community?

During the Practical Planning segment, I continue my discussion with Keith and Linda. They were on the show last week to discuss their research into the ACA. This week Keith shares all that he has learned about medishare communities in his research into the subject of healthcare before Medicare. Keith discovered many great reasons to use a medishare community, but he also encountered some downfalls. I know you’ll want to hear why they decided not to go with this option, so listen to the show to discover the lowdown on medishare communities.




  • [2:32] Alternative to health insurance
  • [6:06] Michael Gardner shares the basics of what medishare is
  • [9:09] What are some distinctions between the Christian Care ministry and insurance
  • [15:52] How efficient is the system?
  • [22:28] Extra perks from medishare


  • [26:15] What does Keith think about medishare?
  • [31:42] What was the application process like?
  • [35:43] Why did they not choose it?
  • [41:55] What are the benefits of each company?


  • [52:50] My book Rock Retirement is officially out!


  • [54:30] If your mom is around, call her!

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Healthcare Ministries


Liberty Health Share

Samaritan Ministries

BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

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Direct download: RAM213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST