Member Who ‘Assumed Charges Were Always Fair and Reasonable’ Saved $20,000 by Obtaining Treatment from Provider Down the Road
September 14, 2020
PEORIA, Ill. — Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), a leading health care sharing ministry, is helping its members save thousands of dollars in their health care costs by using an online tool to discover the fair market value of the services they receive.
Samaritan takes members to Healthcare Bluebook — an online guide for comparing provider prices and quality — which then guides them through the process of selecting quality care at fair prices.
As a result, stories like that of Samaritan member Charles Johnston, who saved almost $20,000 by comparing his projected hospital bill against Healthcare Bluebook, could become widespread.
A hernia procedure prompted Johnston — one of 273,000 Samaritan members from more than 83,000 households — to compare his providers’ prices with those of other providers.
“I’m a bit old-fashioned, and probably naïve, when it comes to doctors and health care costs,” Johnston said. “I assumed that what medical facilities charged for various procedures was always fair and reasonable.”
Johnston learned that his bills for the procedure, including those from the surgeon and anesthesiologist, would top $25,000. Following Samaritan’s advice, Johnston checked Healthcare Bluebook and discovered the market price for the same services to be 80% less.
“What I found out was astounding, that the total ‘fair’ cost for my procedure should be in the $5,000 to $6,000 range, not $25,000!” Johnston said.
By checking Healthcare Bluebook, Johnston applied the consumer habits he uses in other areas of life to his health care decisions.
“I’ve used Kelley Blue Book for cars but didn’t know that similar information is available for health care,” Johnston continued.
Eyes newly opened, Johnston called Healthcare Bluebook to help him choose a fair-price provider for his procedure. A worker named Jami answered the phone.
“Jami was wonderful,” Johnston said. “She went right to work and found a local surgery center that would do the surgery for $3,400 — an astounding $20,000 less than what the local hospital quoted. What made this so wonderful was that the same surgeon would do the surgery and the same anesthesiologist would be attending.
“Jami made all the arrangements with the surgery center, including payment. She kept me well-informed of who she had been in contact with and where she was at in the process.”
The total cost for the surgery ended up being $5,522.67 — right in the range of what Healthcare Bluebook suggested it should be.
“I thank God for Samaritan Ministries and for leading me to Healthcare Bluebook,” Johnston said. “This was such a blessing!”
Through Samaritan’s effective, God-honoring ministry, thisgrowing Biblical community shares approximately $30 million in medical needs person-to-person each month. In fact, over the past 25 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $2.3 billion in needs, praying and encouraging one another with notes along the way.
For the remainder of 2020, Samaritan is rewarding members with $250 per health care need for demonstrating that they obtained health care from a facility Healthcare Bluebook rates as a “fair-price provider.”
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.