After 25 Years, Longtime Members Still Love Samaritan Ministries—And the Other Members of This Health Care Sharing Ministry Love Them, Too
‘Over the Many Years as a Member … Samaritan Has Been More Than I Could Have Ever Expected’
PEORIA, Ill.—This year, Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, is celebrating 25 years of helping more than a quarter of a million members (80,000-plus member households) helping one another honor God through their health care.
While some of the members are brand new, enrolling on Jan. 1 of this year, others have been members of the ministry for decades and have loved the way Samaritan has transformed their approach to health care—and their budgets—over the years.
“Our hundreds of thousands of members continue to appreciate this Biblical, affordable model of health care where they are not limited to networks and have more freedom in their health care choices,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s vice president of external relations. “Many Samaritan members say they are ‘happily uninsured’ and plan to stay that way for years to come. They are thankful that Samaritan Ministries has provided a way for them to pray for and send monthly financial shares directly to their fellow members all year long and to bless them with encouraging personal notes and cards. Biblical health care sharing truly transforms the way Christians look at how they respond to their brothers and sisters in need.”
A few of the longest-running members of Samaritan Ministries are James from California and Paul and Elizabeth from Georgia. These households began sharing their medical needs with other Christians through Samaritan at the very beginning—Oct. 1, 1994.
Back then, James, a self-employed freelance cinematographer, felt pressure to find some kind of health care provision for his young family. However, $600 to $700 per month for health insurance—a very steep bill in the ’90s—was too much.
“That was a house payment,” he said. “It was out of the question.”
After praying, he discovered a startup called Samaritan Ministries through a classified ad in World magazine. James signed up as the ninth member in Samaritan’s history and is still part of the ministry.
“Their overall plan of attack was much more Biblical than ‘Send your money to an organization and they’ll manage it,’” he said.
Paul and Elizabeth enlisted as member household No. 10. As sole proprietor of his dental practice, Paul struggled to find affordable health insurance. Even when he secured a policy, outside of group rates their premiums would “go through the roof” whenever they had a baby, Elizabeth said.
William Kurth of Iowa has been a member since 1996 and was the first elected member of the Board of Directors.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Tol and Dana of Tennessee said their fellow Samaritan members have helped them pay for tens of thousands of dollars in needs since becoming members in 2000.
“We’ve had nothing but good results since we joined (Samaritan),” Tol said. “We’ve had to share too many needs: from cataracts, hernia surgeries, pancreas surgery to physical therapy, and all has been taken care of quickly and expeditiously. We heartily recommend Samaritan Ministries.”
Marsha of Idaho has been a member of Samaritan Ministries since 2004.
“Samaritan has been more than I could have ever expected,” she said. “Over the many years as a member, I have been comforted in illness and recovery just knowing so many fellow Christians are praying and praising God for His goodness and mercy. The financial help has been wonderful, but the cards and notes made every problem so much easier.”
Each month, Samaritan’s growing Biblical community shares approximately $28 million in medical needs person to person, yet the monthly share has never exceeded $495 for a family of any size and is even less for two-person and single-person households. This direct-sharing approach also allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs, but also connect monthly through prayer, personal notes and cards of encouragement.
Samaritan Ministries offers two membership levels, Samaritan Classic and Samaritan Basic. Samaritan Basic has a lower monthly share coupled with a higher initial unshared amount than Samaritan Classic. Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size, depending on age. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.