Samaritan Ministries Offers Freedom from Washington State’s Mandate of Health Insurance Coverage for Abortions

Noninsurance Health Care Sharing Ministry Helps Its Members Faithfully Follow their Sincerely Held Beliefs

July 27, 2021

PEORIA, Ill. —In Washington state, any health insurance plan that offers maternity care coverage must also pay for elective abortions.

“This means businesses and organizations, even churches and pro-life organizations, who want to give their employees health insurance that includes maternity coverage, are faced with being forced to pay for abortions or paying penalties that could include fines and even jail time,” said Samaritan Ministries International ( founder and President Ted Pittenger.

“Samaritan Ministries does not provide health insurance, so the member households in Washington state are not forced to share in paying for abortions and other practices that violate their Biblical faith.”

The original requirement to pay for abortions came from a law enacted in 2018. Then, on April 16, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill amending the law to include student health plans.

Effective July 25, any student health plan in Washington state must provide coverage for performing abortions. The law exempts religious colleges and universities but not individual students who oppose abortions and must contribute to plans that pay for abortions. Churches and pro-life organizations are still subject to the original law, as are Christian-owned businesses that provide health insurance coverage to employees. Alliance Defending Freedom is challenging the law in court on behalf of a Seattle church.

“This law is a major violation of freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Pittenger said. “We strongly support Christian legal groups’ efforts to thwart this onerous, unconstitutional action, even though it doesn’t apply to our members.

“For all of its 26 years of ministry, Samaritan Ministries International has enabled its hundreds of thousands of members to honor God through their health care, which also means Samaritan members do not dishonor God by paying for abortion or other unbiblical practices.”

Samaritan members know they have not been—nor will they ever be—assigned to send financial shares to help pay for abortions. Many have written to express their appreciation of Samaritan’s approach to health care.

Michael and Heather from North Carolina write:

Samaritan has been amazing and a true blessing to our family! We had a maternity need this past year, and all bills have been shared. Samaritan made the process very easy.”

Benjamin and Ruthann of Pennsylvania say:

“The health care system can be a place of conflict when dealing with such vulnerable issues of life, conviction, well-being, and family, so it is so refreshing to go through a Christian program for help, understanding, and encouragement when relating to health/medical experiences.”

Unlike health 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:

  • 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 to connect them on a regular basis.
  • The monthly share has not exceeded $530 for a family under seven and $555 for a family of eight or more. This contrasts with the average cost of health 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. Over the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.

Learn more about Samaritan Ministries International here; visit the Samaritan website at, or follow the ministry on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.