Christian medical-bill sharing a growing trend


John Kuiper, a financial planner from Kalamazoo Michigan, got some great advice in church several years ago. It wasn't how to save his soul, but rather how to save thousands of dollars each year on health insurance.

Kuiper is among the more than 100,000 Christians who belong to a biblically-based bill-sharing collective called Medi-Share. He and his wife pay $436.50 a month to belong to Medi-Share, one of the largest Christian programs in the country. Before Medi-Share came onto his radar, Kuiper's insurance had been paid by his employer, a large financial planning company. Kuiper wanted to strike out on his own, but the cost of buying his own insurance was prohibitive. Then four years ago he and his wife (both pictured) joined Medi-Share, making it possible for him to leave his job and start his own business.

Instead of buying traditional health insurance, a growing number of Christians are turning to these medical-bill sharing groups. Members not only agree to pay one another's medical bills, but they also promise to live within the Christian teachings. Among them: "Do not forget to do good and to share with others."