Clearing the Air: Addressing Misinformation and Miscommunication About Health Care Cost Sharing

Some people let misinformation and misguided online comments stop them from even considering health sharing programs. We’d like to address some of those misconceptions and clear up the facts about our sharing programs.

Because health sharing is still somewhat novel to many people, we get a lot of questions about how sharing works, how it differs from traditional insurance, and even if it is a good idea to join one of our several sharing programs. Some people let misinformation and misguided online comments stop them from even considering our sharing programs.


Much of this hesitation is based on misconceptions about Universal HealthShare (UHS) programs or about health sharing generally. We’d like to address some of those misconceptions and clear up the facts about our sharing programs.



MISCONCEPTION 1: UHS will not help pay for your medical expenses.

There is concern that since health sharing differs from traditional health insurance, our members cannot be guaranteed that they will receive help with their medical expenses.


THE FACTS: UHS supports thousands of members, and through the power of community and the spirit of sharing, the members of UHF have already helped share the burden of countless members’ eligible medical expenses. Since it’s inception, the ministry has been able to share in every eligible medical expense submitted by its members.



MISCONCEPTION 2: UHS programs are religious in nature, and therefore exclusive to a specific religious denomination.


THE FACTS: Universal Health Fellowship is based on the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Church, an organization that fosters community and is open to human beings of all walks of life. Members affirm their acceptance of the ministry’s  statement of shared faith and principles that value compassion and support for others, personal growth, inclusivity, trust, and good health in your fellow members. You can see for yourself as you read the seven beliefs and principles here:



MISCONCEPTION 3: There are hidden costs.

Today, many memberships, agreements, and contracts come with hidden fees and loopholes designed to benefit corporations at the expense of the individual, so weariness over this kind of trickery is reasonable and understandable.


THE FACTS: UHS doesn’t hide any information about costs. In fact, Universal Health Fellowship has detailed guidelines that explain what medical expenses are eligible for sharing, and which are not. These guidelines are publicly available and easily accessible to members. The Universal Health Fellowship customer service team is also eager to help our members with any program questions they may have.

You can find the guidelines here:

You can reach our customer service team by email:

Or by phone: 888-366-6243 (Option 1 for members and 2 for providers), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm ET.



MISCONCEPTION 4: Universal Health Fellowship can make arbitrary decisions about sharing medical expenses.

Some people believe that because sharing programs differ from traditional insurance, Universal Health Fellowship retains the ability to deny assistance to members in need for any reason that they choose.


THE FACTS: While this is faith based, and there is not contractual obligation like insurance.  All decisions are made in the best interest of the members and sharing decisions are always made fairly and consistently.

Just as members agree to be beholden to the sharing guidelines, so too does Universal Health Fellowship. The guidelines are clear on what expenses are and are not sharable, and Universal Health Fellowship will not withhold payment for a legitimate, sharable medical expense. In fact, following the waiting period that accompanies your program, most medical incidents are indeed sharable. You can see and reference the Guidelines at any stage of your membership, so you have full knowledge of all the eligible medical expenses. You can actually review them right now and right here:



MISCONCEPTION 5: People with pre-existing conditions cannot join a UHS program, and pre-existing conditions are never shareable.


THE FACTS: UHF accepts members with pre-existing conditions following their completion of – and signing-off on – a health questionnaire. Most expenses related to those pre-existing conditions are eventually considered sharable, but only following a designated waiting period (depending on your program) of 1-3 years of continuous membership. Health sharing programs, and specifically UHS programs, are designed to be the most useful for those committed to a healthy lifestyle, per Principle 6 in our Statement of Shared Faith and Principles. We do this to keep costs low for all our members, and to foster a community geared towards health and wellness. Typically, younger, healthier people benefit the most from our programs. You should familiarize yourself with the UHS sharing guidelines and decide if sharing is right for you before signing up.

You can review the waiting periods and full guidelines here:



Hopefully, the above information has given you a better general understanding of sharing ministries and has specifically illuminated your understanding of Univesal Health Fellowship and its policies. We hope that health sharing can be useful to you, although we’re the first to admit that it may not be for everybody. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our helpful, friendly customer service team via email at or by phone at 888-366-6243 (Option 1 for members and 2 for providers) Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm ET.


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Or call 888-636-7119


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If you have a question about a specific member and/or needs request, please call the number on the back of the member’s UHF membership card.

For more general inquiries, call 877-987-1233.


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Or call 800-921-4505, select option 3