For Immediate Release
January 16, 2017
Jen Retallick, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716 or 610.584.1096, ext. 102
As Jan. 31 ACA Deadline Approaches, Samaritan Ministries Enables Prayer and Health Care Stewardship in a Community of Believers
More than 68,000 Households Share Health Care Needs Directly in This Simple, Biblical, Non-Insurance Approach
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Second in a multipart series on the most frequently asked questions about health care sharing, as the deadline for enrollment under the Affordable Care Act approaches.)
PEORIA, Ill.—As many consider their health care options with the Jan. 31 Affordable Care Act deadline looming, Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the largest and most established health care sharing ministries in the country, answers some of the frequently asked questions about health care sharing.
As health care costs escalate, a top health care concern is increasing insurance premiums across the U.S. At Samaritan Ministries, with its non-insurance approach, a family of any size pays a monthly share of just $495, while individuals pay $220 and couples pay $440. And even though Samaritan accepts applications all year long, these next two weeks will be crucial for those who are uninsured or looking for a change in how to pay for expensive health care.
One of the most important factors of health care sharing is the commitment to follow Christ’s teachings and bear one another’s burdens by sharing costs and needs from household to household.
“Yes, costs are a factor,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s vice president for external relations, “but it is so much more than that. The story of health care sharing is not only about how much we pay each month, but how we are helping our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can’t count the members who tell us that even if their workplace did offer insurance, even if they were not self-employed, they would remain Samaritan members. This ministry has allowed them not only to have their needs met and be encouraged through prayer and notes from other members, but they are able to do the same for someone else—month after month.”
Samaritan members currently share more than $23 million each month, yet the monthly share has never exceeded $495 for a family of any size. Members also pray for one another and include notes and cards of encouragement and comfort when they send their monthly financial shares directly to other households. Health care sharing has existed for decades, but many are only recently learning about this simple, non-insurance, direct-sharing approach, especially in a changing health care landscape.
For 22 years, Samaritan Ministries has provided its members with the refreshing opportunity to apply the principles of New Testament living to 21st-century health care, bringing health care back to Biblical basics and applying the definition of Biblical community to health care. Today, more than 68,000 member households (221,000 individuals) in all 50 states and worldwide send a monthly financial share directly to other member households who have medical needs.
“We realize that cost is a major factor for many when considering their health care options, especially as prices for plans and coverage have escalated over the past year,” Hopp added. “At the heart of everything, we know that Jesus can take care of all of our needs. In this way, we are obeying his command to love one another and bear each other’s burdens—and we believe that includes medical burdens as well.”
Even more than any cost savings that may be realized, Samaritan Ministries’ focus remains on Christians helping other Christians with their needs, as the Bible instructs in Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (ESV). Additionally, members of Samaritan are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate, and they do not share in needs for unbiblical practices, such as abortion.
The feedback is positive from many who have discovered health care sharing and found that they can approach health care in both a Biblical and affordable way.
“Sending out our monthly checks to other brothers and sisters in need—instead of an insurance agency—has been such a rewarding experience in and of itself!” wrote Bryan and Amy from California. “Then, we had our first need arise with the maternity cost of our third child. I wondered how the need process would compare with our past expenses for childbirth. However, there has been no comparison! We have been extremely blessed by the ease of working with the Samaritan staff, as well as by each note and check received from our fellow members!”
Added Michael and Brenda from Indiana, “We almost never need medical attention. We are both active and healthy. So, when we were notified that our high-deductible insurance premiums were to all but double, we knew we had to look elsewhere. After investigating, comparing and praying, we made the decision to go with Samaritan Ministries. I loved the personal touch of sending shares and notes of encouragement directly to the member in need. After many years of not really needing to use our health insurance, little did we know we would be faced with an emergency medical need so soon after joining Samaritan. Now that we have received every supportive (share) assigned to us, we can testify that this service of need-sharing is an absolute God-filled way to a blessing, as well as comfort of mind in knowing that our Christian family, through Samaritan Ministries, is indeed there in our time of need. Not just financially, praise God, but also spiritually.”
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Jen Retallick, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or 215.815.7716.
Samaritan Ministries International is a health care sharing ministry that seeks to help members of the body of Christ carry out His Great Commission by helping Christians to obey Jesus’ command to care for one another. Samaritan Ministries offers a Biblical, non-insurance approach to health care needs.