Healthcare Answers: Insurance companies and Christian Science care

Janiva Toler
Executive Director
Answers Your Questions on Healthcare

Question: What insurance companies cover Christian Science care?

Answer: I read a recent blog at christianscience.com that I recommend. It offers some good answers to the question, “Where is Christian Science care currently covered in public and private insurance?” The broad categories listed include:

  • Medicare at 17 Christian Science facilities (And Medicaid is offered at a few of these facilities as well)
  • If you work for the federal government as a civilian employee you have the option of choosing from four Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plans
  • If you are a member of the armed forces or a dependent of a member of the armed forces, you may qualify for the TRICARE insurance program
  • If you are a state employee in 9 states then Christian Science nursing/practitioner care may be available to you under your state employee insurance plan
  • Individuals who have health savings accounts (HSA’s) and contribute money to them, may use those pre-tax dollars to pay for Christian Science nursing/practitioner care.
  • Several private insurance plans and self-insured companies.

For specific contact information on many of these categories, see our Medicare and Insurance Information on the Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association website. We also provide more detail on private insurance plans that are currently available such as:

  • Group health – a number of employers cover Christian Science care in company plans. Talk to your human resources department about coverage for Christian Science nursing/practitioner care if it is not currently covered. Also check member organizations such as Chamber of Commerce for Christian Science care coverage.
  • Indemnity plans such as AARP Health and SCS pay a fixed rate for in-patient services and in the case of SCS – other services
  • Medigap/Medicare Supplement – Medigap policies work in conjunction with Medicare benefits. They generally pay for Christian Science nursing charges that Medicare doesn’t cover (such as deductibles) and when Medicare benefits are exhausted but the patient continues to qualify for Medicare. Most Medigap policies may be used at the BA and at other Christian Science nursing facilities that are Medicare providers.
  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) – HMOs do not usually provide Christian Science benefits. Tufts Health Plan in Massachusetts and Rhode Island now offers a Christian Science rider for employer policies covering 50+ employees.

We’re always happy to answer your specific questions about Medicare and insurance with Christian Science care coverage. Email or call us at any time.

13 Responses to Healthcare Answers: Insurance companies and Christian Science care

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was a member of a CS church for years, raised my children there and was a member of The Mother Church. In recent years I have attended UU and Unity churches. Would I still be able to avail myself of your services should I need them?

    • Janiva says:

      Thank you for your question. Actually church membership is not a requirement for admission to the Benevolent Association. For admisson or to use the Benevolent Association’s Christian Science nursing services there are two requirements: that the individual be relying solely on Christian Science for treatment and be working with a Christian Science practitioner listed in the current Christian Science Journal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have SCS health insurance and have used it only a couple times for payment of Practitioner fees. Will this care still be usable and available now that Federal health care is mandatory for everyone? Will Federal health care cover any Christian Science care?

    Thank you for your help. Gratefully, Nancy Burtis

    • Janiva says:

      Thank you for your question. The SCS health insurance should still be usable and available. If there are changes to the SCS policy you would receive that information directly from SCS. However, the SCS insurance may not satisfy requirements for insurance under the health care reform legislation. Those details will be worked out between now and 2014 when the requirements for purchasing insurance or paying a penalty kick in. There will most likely be a number of changes to the regulations. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

  3. Mrs. M. Janet Hope (Miss Dakin when I trained at the BA) says:

    Do you know of any insurance available to Christian Scientists in countries other than the USA either to cover care in their own country or when visiting the US? I live in England and know of nothing here. Thank you for your attention.

    • Janiva says:

      I have checked with colleagues in the UK and I can find no insurance policy in the UK that pays for Christian Science care in the UK or traveling in the US. If one was visiting in the US and needed care there is private funding from national foundations or from benevolence from a facility. I am not sure if the UK Aid Fund will pay for a UK resident traveling in the US if the care if from an accredited facility. All the travel health insurance that I am aware of is limited to medical care only.

  4. Nancy Burtis says:

    Thank you Ms. Toler about SCS Health Insurance. I will continue to keep it unless some change comes in the future to warrant getting something else. Appreciate your helpful comments. Gratefully, Nancy

  5. Noble Muse says:

    Where can I find the Christian Science Care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid?
    Thank you for this information.

  6. Wes says:

    Ms. Toler,

    I am curious about how many of our Church’s members obtain traditional health insurance in addition to or in lieu of spiritual care coverage. In your experience, do many members obtain both in the event that they or their children get sick and perhaps want to rely on traditional medical treatment?

    Thanks,
    Wes

  7. […] Janiva Toler gathers information relating to healthcare insurance and Christian Science in, “Healthcare Answers: Insurance Companies and Christian Science Care.” I hope you also find this information […]

  8. MOLLY BYERS says:

    I am a Christian Science practitioner and have not had health insurance, other than Medicare A & B. I prefer to have no additional insurance. What are
    my options for continuing as I have in the past?

    • janiva says:

      Molly Byers,
      Thank you for your question. I think you are referring to the fact that under the 2010 health care law—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA)—most Americans will be required to purchase health insurance by 2014. Those who are enrolled in Medicare Part A (as you are) will qualify as having met this requirement. So you willl have no additional requirements as of January 1, 2014.
      I hope this is helpful and answers your question.

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