‘We Are Not Bound by State Health Insurance Mandates and Our Members Will Never Be Asked to Share for Abortions, Says Samaritan Ministries’ Anthony Hopp
November 8, 2021
PEORIA, Ill. — Many health insurance plans are legally required to cover elective abortions, forcing those covered by these plans who have moral objections to abortion to unwillingly participate in plans that violate their deeply held beliefs. However, Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan, samaritanministries.org), a Bible-based, health care sharing ministry, does not share expenses for abortions and has no plans to do so.
“We are not bound by state health insurance mandates and our members will never be asked to share for abortions,” said Anthony Hopp, chief purpose officer of Samaritan Ministries International.
Six states—Oregon, New York, California, Washington, Illinois, and Maine—“require all state-regulated plans (which includes all plans sold in the individual market) to cover abortion services,” according to healthinsurance.org. “Oregon, Illinois, and Maine use HealthCare.gov, while New York, California, and Washington have fully state-run exchanges.”
“Samaritan Ministries’ members make up a body of believers in Christ who form a Bible-centered community,” Hopp said. “We operate by Biblical teaching, not the inconsistent values of peoples’ opinions.”
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the health insurance market became a hodgepodge of differing state requirements with their own exchanges and others that rely on HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange.
Although 26 states have laws that ban or restrict abortion coverage for plans sold in their health insurance exchanges, abortion coverage is much more widely available in states that run their own exchanges, healthinsurance.org says.
In Washington state, for example, any health insurance plan offering maternity coverage must also pay for abortions.
“Businesses and even churches and pro-life organizations in Washington state that want to provide employees with health insurance that includes maternity coverage are forced to pay for abortions or face penalties,” Hopp said. “Our member households in Washington state, by contrast, don’t have to see their health shares used for abortions and other practices that violate their deeply held beliefs. The same goes for our members in the other states with abortion mandates.”
Samaritan often hears from grateful members via letters and emails.
Joan from Arkansas said:
“I love helping others with their needs, and I appreciate not having to help pay for a service I don’t agree with, such as abortion, sexual orientation change, etc.”
Joseph and Jennifer of Washington state shared:
“Jesus is the best reason to be a Christian. The second-best reason is Christian cost-sharing ministries like Samaritan that allow us to avoid the nightmare of post-Obamacare health insurance.”
Luana, who lives in California, wrote:
“I love that I can go wherever I want to for treatment without worrying about whether they are ‘in-network,’ or whether I got a referral or some pre-authorization. I’m also so glad that I’m not paying into an insurance organization that supports abortion or any unhealthy lifestyles. So, whether it’s an issue of conscience or superfluous red tape, I can be happily relieved! Thank you, Lord, for another reason to praise you.”
Todd and Monica, also from California, said:
“For many years we paid so much for our medical insurance, including high monthly premiums, high annual deductibles and high office visits. We are a one-income family with a photography business. We were apprehensive about joining Samaritan because it was a faith walk. We ‘took the plunge’ a few years ago and it has been a blessing. To know that our money does not/will not go toward abortions, sex changes, etc., makes me very grateful.”
Samaritan Ministries currently includes 281,670 members from 85,407 households.
Unlike health insurance, Samaritan Ministries health care sharing does not have a limited enrollment period. 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 several 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 also to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
- The monthly share has never exceeded $530 for a family of up to seven people or $555 for a family of eight or more. This contrasts with the average cost of health insurance in 2020, which was $623 per month for an individual and $1,779 for a family.
Samaritan Ministries 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 medical needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.