Broad-Brush Reporting Can Be Misleading and Inaccurate
July 12, 2021
PEORIA, Ill. — Media distortions about health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) seriously misrepresent all of them, and Samaritan Ministries International (www.samaritanministries.org) in particular.
“Highlighting some questionable practices of a few organizations and then saying they apply to all HCSMs is misleading and inaccurate,” said Samaritan Ministries International founder and President Ted Pittenger.
One show’s host said that Samaritan limits amounts to just $250,000 per incident, but the ministry’s Save to Share option removes that limit.
“The segment contained plenty of negative accusations that don’t apply to Samaritan,” Pittenger said. “One example would be a statement that one ministry had only slightly more than 16% of its income going towards medical costs compared to administrative costs.
“Our annual report showed that 89.7% of contributions from our members went to other members for their medical bills. This is not only a night-and-day difference to the figure that the show reported about another organization but is also higher than what the Affordable Care Act requires of health insurance companies.”
Some mock the fact that Christian-based HCSMs like Samaritan will not share in medical expenses associated with unbiblical practices.
“Well, they got something right,” Pittenger said, “even though they portrayed it in the worst light possible. Unlike health insurance policyholders, our members will never have to share for abortion, abortifacients, sex-change surgeries and other procedures that violate their beliefs.”
For 26 years, Samaritan has helped families share one another’s health needs without entangling them in the insurance system.
Dr. Kevin Hearon of Boise, Idaho has been a Samaritan Ministries member since 2004 and is vocal about the positives of health care sharing.
“I am a doctor, and I know the ins and outs of insurance and the health care industry,” Dr. Hearon said. “It is a mess and very unfriendly to patients as well as doctors. Samaritan Ministries has been a breath of fresh air, and I recommend it to my patients and church.”
Hearon turned 65 in 2019 and has continued with Samaritan Ministries as his choice for health care, even though he is now eligible for Medicare.
“I choose to depend on fellow Christians into whatever age the Lord takes me,” he said. “You have been there when I needed you, no matter which medical doctor I choose.”
Samaritan has many testimonies from grateful members who experienced Christian love as they were being aided by fellow believers during difficult times.
“We will continue to help many families share in one another’s health care needs while also giving them the opportunity to reach out with prayers and encouraging words,” Pittenger said.
Unlike marketplace insurance, Samaritan Ministries has no 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 other coverage, getting married, moving, or having a baby.
Samaritan Ministries health care sharingoffers several advantages in the following ways:
- No network restrictions. No restrictions on what doctors/hospitals members can use.
- The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but also to connect them on a regular basis.
- The monthly share has never exceeded $530 for a family under seven and $555 for a family of eight or more. This contrasts with the average cost of marketplace insurance for an individual in 2020, which was $623 per month 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. During the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while 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.