Open Enrollment 2018: November 1 — December 15
Samaritan Ministries Offers a Better Way of Doing Health Care as Open Enrollment Period for Affordable Care Act Approaches
7 Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in Government Health Care or Any Other Plan
PEORIA, Ill.—A lot can happen in a year. Health plan coverage may change, people may switch jobs, and almost certainly health insurance will have become even more costly, possibly unaffordable.
With the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period rapidly approaching, Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in the country, is hoping Americans will consider Samaritan’s health care sharing as an affordable, effective, God-honoring, direct-sharing approach to health care.
Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 15 for government health coverage that can begin as early as Jan. 1, 2019. During this research and enrollment period, many may find the process to be very difficult and frustrating, and some may not realize that becoming part of a biblical health care sharing ministry can bring fulfillment and blessings to both the sender and receiver, as Samaritan has shown for nearly 25 years.
“With the open enrollment period just a few weeks away, many may be asking questions about their health care options, and Samaritan Ministries hopes those questions will lead them to something better than what they are doing now,” said Samaritan Ministries Vice President of External Relations Anthony Hopp. “Today, more than 1 million Americans are using health care sharing options that offer reasonable monthly shares, a choice of providers, and prayer support, while sharing only in needs that don’t violate biblical principles.”
Nearly 80,000 member families (260,000-plus individuals) have discovered health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries. This growing Biblical community shares approximately $27 million each month in medical needs—person to person. Yet the monthly share has never exceeded $495 for a family of any size and is even less for two-person and single-person households. This direct-sharing approach also enables members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs, but to connect monthly with prayer, personal notes and cards of encouragement.
Samaritan is offering help to those who are researching health care options by suggesting seven questions to consider as they make their decision:
- How many options do I have through the ACA? Many states do not have ACA exchanges set up, or exchanges that were set up have collapsed because insurance companies have pulled out of them. Residents of those states who want to obtain insurance through the ACA must use healthcare.gov, which has a history of problems.
- How much will my health insurance plan cost, especially if I have to use it? To figure that out, you not only need to look at the amount of the monthly premium, but also what your out-of-pocket costs will be when you need to use your insurance. What will your deductible be? Then, how much of the cost would be covered once the deductible is satisfied? Ninety percent? Eighty? Less?
- Do I want to be limited to a network? Most, if not all, health insurance plans have their own network of physicians and facilities. If you want to be treated by someone somewhere who is not in that network—where you feel more comfortable or will receive better treatment—you’ll invariably pay more.
- Do I want to be limited by a government system? When private insurance companies offer plans through ACA exchanges, there’s still plenty of government involvement. For one thing, the ACA mandates that policies offer specific types of coverage, which can drive up costs. This means you’re at the mercy of the government and insurance companies.
- What are my premiums helping pay for? Many health insurance companies—and, frequently, federal and state government plans—fund abortion, “gender reassignment” procedures and other practices that violate biblical teachings. Voluntarily paying into those plans presents an ethical and moral challenge for those who follow Jesus Christ.
- Is there more to health care than money? Health insurance, whether private or government, depersonalizes health care by coming between the doctor and the patient. Ask yourself how comfortable you are with an impersonal third party deciding which treatment is acceptable or will be paid for. Spiritual support is also lacking in most health care situations that involve one of these sectors.
- What other options do you have? Consider other ways to tackle your health care, perhaps by combining membership in a direct-care practice and lab- and prescription-discount services—in essence, creating your own health care plan. And consider a health care sharing ministry, in which Christians support each other’s health care burdens by sending monthly shares to fellow members.
Samaritan Ministries offers two membership levels, Samaritan Classic and Samaritan Basic. Samaritan Basic has a lower monthly share coupled with a higher initial unshared amount than Samaritan Classic. This gives both present and future members two options for choosing what they believe is best for their families—and their budgets. Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size, depending on age. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.