Samaritan Ministries Health Care Sharing Member: ‘100 Percent’ of $50,000 Bill Was Shared by Fellow Members Following Stroke
California Samaritan Member Bob Stedman Says, ‘There’s an Extra Blessing to be a Part of the Ministry Because You Can Fulfill What Galatians 6:2 Says, Which Is Bear One Another’s Burdens’
November 12, 2019
PEORIA, Ill.—Bob Stedman was on a flight descending into San Francisco when he experienced something even more frightening than turbulence—a minor stroke.
That medical emergency was stressful, but Stedman says he never worried about how he would pay the subsequent $50,000 medical bill.
Stedman is one of 270,000-plus individuals (82,000-plus member households) who are part of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America. Stedman and his fellow members engage in health care sharing through this affordable, God-honoring, direct-sharing model that has enabled over a quarter of a million members to share $1.8 billion in medical needs over Samaritan’s 25 years in existence.
The Lake Forest, Orange County, California, resident is self-employed in the computer business, has been married for 32 years and has five children. Over time, he watched his insurance premiums escalate to $1,500 per month—with a $5,000 per person deductible. He switched to health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries and has never looked back.
“I’ve been a Samaritan member for about seven years,” Stedman said on a recent interview with Dan Celia of “Financial Issues.” “Samaritan really has come through when we’ve needed them.”
After his in-flight minor stroke, Stedman went to a local emergency room after touching down in San Francisco and told medical personnel that he was a cash-pay patient.
“They just took me right on in,” Stedman said. “I got first-class treatment and I had a huge medical bill. (I told them) I am part of a ministry though that helps me pay my medical bills. I had a whole slew of diagnostic studies done and various treatments. I ended up getting discharged from the hospital and the bill was $50,000.”
While recovering, Stedman gathered his bills, contacted the providers and inquired about discounts for paying cash.
“All of them said, ‘Oh, absolutely,’” Stedman recounted. “Some of it was 20 percent (less), some was 40 percent.”
Once the final amounts due were agreed on, Stedman submitted the discounted bills to Samaritan Ministries, which, in turn, assigned them to Stedman’s fellow members.
“(The members) ended up paying 100% of all of the bills,” Stedman said.
But the financial aspect was not the best part.
“I learned some other things about Samaritan Ministries in going through all of this—that there’s an extra blessing to be a part of the ministry because you can fulfill what Galatians 6:2 says, which is bear one another’s burdens. And I find that writing a check every month to a person and sending it to them and offering a prayer when you send it is really an extra blessing for us in the way that we think about what we’re doing regarding our health care.”
Each month, Stedman and the other Samaritan members like Stedman share $30 million in medical needs—person to person and family to family—as they also pray and send notes and cards of encouragement.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.