Solidarity Blog

Our Founding: How Solidarity HealthShare Came to Be

Solidarity’s Founding

Solidarity HealthShare co-Founder and President Chris Faddis felt called to establish a health sharing ministry after his first wife, Angela, was unexpectedly diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011. Navigating the complexities of traditional insurance during her treatments inspired him to find a solution for others in similar situations. He didn’t realize the long road it would be until Solidarity’s founding. Out of great suffering, Solidarity HealthShare was born.

When Angela found out that her cancer was incurable, she and Chris sought alternative treatments. They found a treatment that would prolong Angela’s life, but their insurance plan refused to cover it. Their reason was that it was not going to cure her cancer. But Chris and Angela were determined to either save Angela’s life or maximize the time she had with her family. So, they chose to raise the money for her treatments themselves. But it wasn’t easy to come up with more than $100,000 on their own. Neighbors, friends, family members, and even complete strangers all pitched in to help provide Angela the care she needed.

Their generosity and prayers allowed her to live a full 17 months longer than expected. Thankfully, Chris and Angela were able to access a community of faithful people who wanted to support them in directing their own care, and were willing to give from their own need to do so. However, not everyone is able to raise funds for their medical care like that, if they even know how.

Healthcare was Under Attack

At the same time, the Affordable Care Act was forcing religious believers to violate their consciences. It forced their insurance plans to fund abortions and other morally objectionable procedures. This reality, combined with Angela’s battle with cancer, pushed Chris and his close friend Dr. John Oertle, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Solidarity, to realize that community healthcare sharing could be a realistic alternative to traditional insurance and its limitations.

Healthcare sharing would allow anyone to access the same generosity and prayer that had been so abundant in Angela’s experience. In 2012, their idea for Solidarity HealthShare began and, after four years of hard work with the help of co-founder & CEO Brad Hahn, it opened to the public in June of 2016. Since then, Solidarity has helped its Members afford the care they need without violating their consciences. 11 years later, Solidarity has served over 55,000 members. In 2020 and 2021 alone, Solidarity renegotiated $166,677,746 in medical bills, sharing over $65,000,000 and saving Members over $100,000,000.

Click here to watch more about Solidarity’s founding and our mission.

What Makes Healthcare Sharing Different?

The beauty of our Healthsharing program is that the Catholic principles of solidarity and subsidiarity inspired Solidarity’s founding. When one Member of our community is in need, the principle of solidarity teaches us to pitch in to help. To take care of our neighbor. This is, of course, where we got the name for our ministry, Solidarity HealthShare. It is easy to see the connection to the principle of solidarity, but the principle of subsidiarity is just as important to our mission.

Subsidiarity is the idea that problems should be handled at the lowest, smallest, and least centralized level capable of doing so. This is why we believe that healthcare can and should be solved by the community. We are the people who are affected by it, who have the most invested in it. So we should be able to direct our healthcare according to our morals and our needs. No hardship is impossible to tackle when our Members each contribute monthly to share the medical needs of their fellow Solidarity Members.

“I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t have it. I don’t know that he would have gotten the ablation surgery, and don’t know what this would have looked like.”

  • Member Lorraine Ranalli

Our Program Addresses These Issues

Solidarity qualifies Members for the health coverage exemption of the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, they can choose health sharing over health insurance without a penalty. Solidarity does not require co-pays or provider fees for doctor visits, outpatient care, mental health, telehealth and emergency room care, to name just a few things setting us apart from traditional insurance providers. Generic prescriptions are fully shareable, plus Members can share one annual well visit per Membership year at no cost to them.

Last but not least, Solidarity does not share into medical procedures that violate the moral and social doctrines of the Catholic Church, and that was intentional. Your contributed funds never fund things like abortion, IVF, or gender reassignment surgeries. Whether Catholic or not, Members all agree on these foundational Christian teachings, an agreement that ensures that Members do not fund procedures that violate their beliefs.

Join the Movement

We strive to provide an ethical, community-driven alternative to traditional health insurance. Through direct Member-to-Member sharing, Members are able to access quality healthcare services while preserving their family’s financial, physical, and spiritual health, all at once. We promote a holistic approach to healthcare. This approach emphasizes the importance of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, and that is what inspired Solidarity’s founding.

At the heart of our ministry’s mission to restore and rebuild an authentically Catholic healthcare culture in America is the recognition that every single person has inherent human dignity. Join our ministry and stand up for real life-affirming healthcare.

To learn more about our community and how to join, click the banner below!