20-Year Samaritan Ministries Board Member Recalls the Impact of Health Care Sharing on His Family
With Less Than a Month Left in Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment, Many Have Questions About the Future of Health Care and If Health Care Sharing May Be Right for Them
PEORIA, Ill.—William Kurth has been involved in health care sharing for 30 years and for 20 of those years has served as a board member for Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America—almost as long as the ministry has been in existence.
Kurth says that over the years he has talked with many people who, at first, may not understand health care sharing, and even have some fear and uncertainty about it. But once they learn more about this simple, non-insurance approach to health care that is a viable, affordable, God-honoring option for tens of thousands of families, many are pleasantly surprised.
The 20-year board member offered answers to common questions many may have on the journey to learning more about health care sharing:
QUESTION: Do other families really help with my medical bills?
WILLIAM KURTH: Yes! I have had only one need in all of my years of sharing, but my wife, Karen, has had four. One was with another health care sharing ministry and three were with Samaritan. All of our needs have been met. It is a pleasure to receive the cards and notes of encouragement and to know so many are praying for you.
Q: Why do I send my monthly financial share directly to another family rather than to Samaritan Ministries?
WK: The answer is in Galatians 6:2. The Bible instructs us to share in one another’s burdens, and this direct, family-to-family sharing model allows believers to do just that in a Biblical community.
Q: Will our family really save money through health care sharing?
WK: Absolutely! Samaritan’s monthly shares are lower than most monthly health insurance premiums, especially as they are sky-rocketing out of control, and high deductibles can also be a cost to families. Additionally, members of Samaritan are direct-pay patients, which means that some doctors will offer discounts because they are not dealing with large insurance company conglomerates. And those discounts can be substantial. The Samaritan staff also works with the members to help them find ways to lower their medical costs.
Q: What are the other benefits of health care sharing?
WK: The major benefit is that members pray for one another and send notes and cards of encouragement to other Christians each month. Members certainly appreciate being able to pay their medical bills, but this encouragement is very powerful.
Q: What is the best thing about health care sharing, and specifically, Samaritan Ministries?
WK: I love the fact that anyone within the Body of Christ can become a member and participate in the Christian principle of sharing one another’s burdens, regardless of denomination or doctrine, as long as they are able to sign Samaritan Ministries’ statement of faith and agree to the guidelines. It is a great feeling each month to be able to send a check directly to another member to help them with their medical burden.
Samaritan Ministries has introduced a new membership level called Samaritan Basic, which offers a lower monthly share amount coupled with a higher initial unshared amount, giving both current and potential members another way to make the best health care sharing choice for their families—and their budgets.
Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic are determined by age and household size and start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.
All members, however, regardless of their membership level, will be a part of the same Biblical community that will “bear one another’s burdens” as the Bible instructs in Galatians 6:2. All members will still receive shares directly from other members, along with prayers and notes of encouragement.