Cost Can Be a Driving Factor for Those Choosing Health Care Sharing Ministries
Samaritan Ministries’ Quarter of a Million Members (78,000-Plus Households) Are Saving Thousands of Dollars Each Year
PEORIA, Ill.—The cost of health care continues to be a major concern for many Americans—and even a shock at times.
According to a new survey conducted by Bankrate.com and published by CNBC, close to half of adults who bought their own health insurance, along with 43 percent of those with insurance through their employer, said they were surprised by the high cost of a health care bill in the past year. About a fifth of those with insurance through their employer said they or an immediate family member skipped a doctor’s visit due to worries about cost.
In this challenging health care environment, more than a million Americans have given up on health insurance and have become members of health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). Even though health care costs remain high, HCSM members pay much less for their monthly financial share than they might for an insurance premium.
Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, accounts for a quarter of a million of those members (78,000-plus member households). And many Samaritan members communicate that cost was a driving factor in their decision to switch to health care sharing. Often, what these Christians discover after joining, however, is that the direct sharing with other members, personal notes and cards of encouragement, and taking control of their health care make the experience even better.
The cost factor is important, evidenced by the fact that each month Samaritan’s growing Biblical community shares about $27 million in medical needs person-to-person. In fact, from 2007 through 2017, Samaritan Ministries members shared $1.2 billion in health care needs.
Debi from Florida is one of those Samaritan members who appreciates health care sharing for the cost aspect—and so much more.
“One of my favorite parts of my life right now is Samaritan Ministries,” Debi said. “In this ever-changing world of surveillance, welfare/nanny statism and ever-encroaching socialism, there is little to get excited about. But this completely free-market approach to health care makes me feel great. Not only are the prices a fraction of what the large insurers charge, but the personal service, the lack of corporate attitude, the friendly and genuinely concerned administrative personnel, and the sense of community make me feel great every time I have to deal with the unfortunate situation of muddling through the dysfunctional health care system that exists in the U.S. today.
“I actually enjoy paying my monthly shares! It makes me feel good,” she added. “Furthermore, I actually take better care of myself than if I was paying four times what I should be to a giant, inhumane insurance corporation that sees me only as a number and whose business model is to pay as few claims as possible. I care about keeping my costs down whenever possible with Samaritan. When I was paying too much for insurance, I always had the feeling that I needed to get my money’s worth. So my attitude was completely different than with Samaritan. I also really enjoy sending and receiving kind notes from other members. So I am a proud member of Samaritan Ministries.”
Vern and Larieta from California have also become aware of the cost problem in today’s health care system.
“Because of Samaritan Ministries, we didn’t have the extra worry of paying a HUGE deductible and paying a large percentage of all of the hospital costs like we did with insurance,” they said. “We see very clearly that hospitals and other providers are overbilling the insurance companies, and we are so glad to be able to pay our bills with cash!”
While sending monthly financial shares directly to other member families, these members also pray and send notes and cards of encouragement through this effective, affordable and God-honoring ministry. For the 23 years of Samaritan Ministries’ existence, the monthly financial share 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 has a lower monthly share coupled with a higher initial unshared amount than Samaritan Classic. This gives both present 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.