Answers to Important Questions About Health Care Sharing
From Direct Sharing to Networks to Obeying God, What Do Those Considering Samaritan Ministries Want to Know?
PEORIA, Ill.—With rising premiums, shrinking networks and shifting rules, most Americans are facing ongoing, frequent and unwanted changes to their health care coverage.
As the national health care landscape constantly changes, many are looking for answers that are a better fit for their families. Among these options is health care sharing, with more than 1 million individuals already enrolled as members of health care sharing ministries (HCSMs).
Samaritan Ministries International, one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, accounts for a quarter of those million-plus members. For 23 years, Samaritan Ministries has been connecting members of the Body of Christ, providing a way for them to “bear one another’s burdens,” as the Bible instructs in Galatians 6:2. Samaritan members pray for one another and send personal notes of encouragement while sharing $27 million in medical needs each month.
Samaritan Ministries is committed to giving its members the tools necessary to take control of their health care. Samaritan also helps nonmembers who want to know more about HCSMs, answering questions like the following:
Q: Do I send money directly to another family or to the ministry’s headquarters?
A: Unlike some others, Samaritan does not collect their members’ money and then distribute it. Samaritan members share directly with their fellow members by mailing a check or sending an electronic payment right to another family. Many Samaritan members say this aspect of the ministry is one of the most attractive concepts because they know that all of their monthly share money is going straight to another person.
Lori from California said she chose Samaritan for this very reason.
“After researching all of the Christian health care options, I chose Samaritan because I liked the idea of giving directly to each member in need,” Lori said. “Not only is Samaritan a well-run ministry, but I feel joy every month as I share the burden of fellow believers. This is God’s intention for us here on earth!”
Q: With health care sharing, am I limited to a network of providers?
A: Samaritan members deal directly with the providers of their choice, as “cash-pay” patients. There are no “preferred providers” or required networks, and therefore, no “out-of-network” penalties. Members are free to work with their providers to determine the best treatment options for their families.
Laura from Missouri said that when she and her husband discovered the unthinkable—that their little baby, Annie, had a stroke—they were grateful they were not limited for her care.
“We were again thankful to be members of this wonderful organization,” Laura said. “There were no complicated networks. No arguing on the phone with someone a thousand miles away about what treatments were ‘approved.’ We took our little Annie to see the best, and were able to decide what treatments were needed by working with our doctors, and ONLY our doctors. And along the way members at Samaritan have been praying with us and helping us pay for her therapy and other treatments.”
Q: Will I pay for practices to which I am biblically or morally opposed?
A: Members of Samaritan Ministries can rest assured that their monthly financial shares do not go toward medical practices that would displease God, such as abortion or gender reassignment surgery.
Brandon from Texas said he truly believes Samaritan Ministries models a Biblical example of how Christians are to care for one another.
“What a God-inspired solution to such a terrible situation—our modern-day insurance system,” Brandon said. “I am thankful that this organization has chosen to follow a Biblical example of how to address a national problem.”
Read more of Samaritan Ministries’ “Frequently Asked Questions” here.
The affordable monthly household financial share for Samaritan’s 77,388 member households (251,741 individuals) has never exceeded $495 for a family of any size and is even less for couples and singles.
Samaritan Ministries offers two membership levels, Samaritan Classic and Samaritan Basic. Samaritan Basic offers a lower monthly share coupled with a higher initial unshared amount than Samaritan Classic. This gives both current and future members two options for choosing what they believe is best for their families—and their budgets. 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.