As people live longer, some keep working just to keep health insurance benefits — but there is another option
August 25, 2022
PEORIA, Ill. — The average life expectancy for Americans has increased to 75.1 years for men and 80.5 years for women. Because people are living longer, many Americans are being forced to retire later than ever before. According to a recent Gallup poll, “In 1991, U.S. retirees, on average, reported that they retired at age 57. Now, the average reported retirement age is up to 61. Non-retirees’ target retirement age has also increased, from 60 in 1995 to 66 today.”
For those looking to retire, leaving the workforce can be a scary step for a variety of reasons, including a lack of income, the fear of running out of money, the loss of identity, boredom, or no longer having a sense of purpose. One of the biggest concerns for many can be losing employer-provided health insurance.
“Health tends to worsen with age, meaning more medical treatment is required,” one expert said. “In the past, more people had access to employer-provided or union-sponsored retiree health benefits. But that’s rarely the case now.”
Samaritan Ministries International understands concerns about heath care during retirement and offers a unique, Biblical option for people wanting a non-insurance means to address major health expenses.
“Samaritan Ministries is not health insurance,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s chief purpose officer. “We offer an affordable way for people who are looking to retire to leave the workforce and still be able to receive help with medical care. Knowing that health care sharing can facilitate the sharing of their needs with fellow Christians while allowing them to also help others can bring peace of mind and the freedom to retire on their own terms.”
These health care concerns for those close to retirement are understandable. In the 1980s, changes were made to the Social Security system that incentivize working longer to maximize monthly benefits. Longer life spans may mean a longer retirement, lasting 10 to 30 years—which may mean more health care needs. Inflation is a concern as well, especially the recent spike to nearly 10 percent.
The Samaritan Ministries health care sharing model can be a good way to avoid worrying about health insurance during retirement and just enjoy the “golden years.” A Biblical approach to health care, Samaritan Ministries seeks to offer authentic, compassionate, and personal care in the name of Christ to enable and inspire members to provide for one another’s medical needs through prayer, encouragement, and financial support.
Hopp continued, “Our members are not dependent on expensive health insurance; they save money every month instead of paying high premiums. They have their health care needs met by fellow believers and get to aid other Christians by sharing their needs along with personal encouragement through prayers, cards and letters. All of this can take some of the fear out of retirement.”
Samaritan Ministries currently has a membership of 282,541 individuals from 83,700 households.
Samaritan has no limited enrollment period. Government exchange-based health insurance requires signups to occur only during open enrollment periods unless one qualifies for a special enrollment period due to a “life event” such as losing coverage, getting married, moving, or having a baby.
Samaritan Ministries health care sharingoffers additional advantages:
- No network restrictions. When medical care is needed, Samaritan members choose the health care provider, hospital, and pharmacy that work best for them.
- The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
- Monthly shares are hundreds of dollars less per month than insurance.
Samaritan gives people of Biblical faith an effective, Bible-driven health care community in which approximately $30 million in medical needs is shared person to person every month. Over the past 27 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.