For Immediate Release
February 20, 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
Businesses, Groups and Churches Join with Samaritan Ministries to Meet Employees’ Health Care Needs in a Biblical Community
Organizations Find Blessings for Their Staffs’ Families Through This Direct-Sharing, Household-to-Household Non-Insurance Approach
PEORIA, Ill.—More than 13 years ago, one pastor in Illinois saw his own health care premiums climb to $1,200 per month, even though he had no pre-existing conditions. His church also was paying close to $400 per month for coverage for 24-year-old staff members who were in perfect health.
Pastor Keith Thibo knew something had to change.
Thibo leads Bayview Baptist Church and is the founder of Illinois Central Christian School, and his story is not unique. All around the country, individuals, families and businesses are struggling with out-of-control health care costs.
Many find a better way through Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the largest health care sharing ministries in America, where 68,000 households (224,000 individuals) have the refreshing opportunity to apply the principles of New Testament living to 21st-century health care. Families, some who find Samaritan through their workplaces, share one another’s medical needs in this direct-sharing, household-to-household, non-insurance approach to health care.
Samaritan members pay a monthly share of just $495 for a family of any size, while individuals pay $220 and couples pay $440. Samaritan members also pray for one another and include notes and cards of encouragement and comfort with their monthly shares, which they send directly to other families.
“Many Samaritan members are engaged in health care sharing through their place of employment,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s vice president for external relations. “A partnership with Samaritan Ministries can work well for organizations of various kinds, such as churches, ministries, non-profit organizations or Christian-owned businesses. We find that those who are searching for a better way to do health care discover that the Biblical community and the direct sharing of one another’s needs not only saves them money and stress, but also fulfills the Bible’s teachings to bear one another’s burdens. We—and our members—believe this also applies to health care.”
Pastor Thibo tells his story on Samaritan’s website, where he shares that his church had a typical 80/20 policy, where the employer pays 80 percent and the employee pays 20 percent of most health care expenses.
“Over five years, our premiums went up a minimum of 17 percent a year,” the pastor reported. “I’m in my 50s, with no pre-existing conditions, and my premiums were $1,200 a month. I had an attack of appendicitis. I was taken to the emergency room and had my appendix out. My out-of-pocket expense for the year was $7,000. And that was after paying $1,200 a month in premiums. A pastor I knew in a church nearby was with Samaritan Ministries. He had a $48,000 surgery, and his out-of-pocket expense was only a few hundred dollars. Because of the low share amount, we also set aside funds for our staff members. So after we pay for the monthly share with Samaritan, we are able to save anywhere from $200 to $425 each month for each staff member. And then they can use that for their office visits and prescriptions, and we allow them to use it for dental and eyeglasses.
“When we got to know Samaritan Ministries, our whole thinking changed,” Thibo continued. “It evolved from only cost considerations into an opportunity for ministry, and we began to look at this as a Biblical idea, that we should be taking care of each other. And, the imagined security we had with insurance has been replaced with the security, peace of mind and Christian joy we have found as members of Samaritan Ministries. There’s no other way to say it: It’s better!”
Today, Samaritan members share $23 million per month in medical needs, following the Bible’s teachings to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 | ESV).
Samartian members in all 50 states share each other’s needs, are exempt from the ACA’s individual health insurance mandate and do not share in needs for unbiblical practices, such as abortion.
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.