PEORIA, Ill.—With Independence Day observed throughout the nation tomorrow, members of health care sharing ministries are thankful for the freedom they have from the aggravations many experience in a confusing and sometimes-frustrating health care world.
According to the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, nearly 1 million individuals are members of organizations where medical needs are shared by fellow members.
The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries serves members of many health care sharing ministries throughout the United States by supporting and advocating for those ministries in the public policy arena on issues of importance to health care sharing ministries. Christian health care sharing ministry members support each other as the early Christians in the book of Acts joined together to meet each other’s needs and the faith-based ministries provide financial, emotional and spiritual support to members.
Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), a part of the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, and one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, connects nearly 228,000 individual members to engage in health care sharing, bear one another’s burdens, and to encourage each other through notes and prayers.
“A profound freedom exists when we rely on Jesus, and on our brothers and sisters in Christ, for our health care needs, as the Bible instructs us in Galatians 6:2, to bear one another’s burdens,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries’ vice president of external relations. “So much in today’s health care world is frustrating, limiting and laden with questions and uncertainties. But the Bible is simple in Jesus’ teachings about how we should care for one another. When we are confident that our fellow Christians will lift us up both financially and spiritually—and that we will be there for them in their time of need—we experience a freedom that is unmatched by anything insurance or government health care can provide.”
Today, more than 69,000 Samaritan households (nearly 228,000 individuals) share $25 million each 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). Currently, Samaritan members give a monthly share of only $495 for a family of any size, while individuals give $220 and couples give $440. Just as significantly, Samaritan members also pray for one another and include notes and cards of encouragement with their monthly shares, which they send directly to other families.
Samaritan members often share their testimonials about how health care sharing has been life-changing.
“If you are like us, finding insurance you can afford can be such a difficult task,” said Lauren from Indiana. “Samaritan Ministries, a medical sharing plan for Christians, has been so helpful to us. No system is perfect, but this came along at a time when we really needed it. We also receive a prayer guide for members and their families each month and have an opportunity to help members whose medical needs fall beyond [what members normally share].”
Rachel from Missouri has been a member of Samaritan for four years and has had the expenses of four pregnancies and an emergency room visit shared in full among her fellow Samaritan members.
“The letters of encouragement and prayers have meant so much to me and my family, especially one I received this year from a new mom who just miscarried, sharing Bible verses to encourage me as we grieved for our first miscarried baby,” Rachel wrote. “Financially speaking, not getting the surprise bill after insurance has been so wonderful … we are more knowledgeable and informed of prices, cash discounts, and able to pursue a doctor’s recommendations without having to kneel at the mercy of insurance companies and whether they think treatment is necessary.”