Samaritan Ministries Remains Committed to Operating with Transparency and Honesty
Biblical Health Care Sharing Ministries Enable Families to Share in Each Other’s Medical Needs, Without Using Health Insurance
March 16, 2020
PEORIA, Ill.—Several groups have recently come under scrutiny for presenting themselves as health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) but using deceptive practices. However, authentic HCSMs, such as Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in the country, continue to operate with Biblical transparency and affordability.
After 25 years of sharing, Samaritan Ministries continues to emphasize that health care sharing through Samaritan is not health insurance.
“The fact that health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries is not insurance is clearly communicated to our members, starting even before they join and as they continue,” says Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s vice president of external relations. “Samaritan members are directly sharing with other families to help them pay for their medical needs. It’s an intentional effort of depending on God that Samaritan members have used for more than a quarter of a century. Samaritan also does not use insurance agents. Additionally, transparency is a continued commitment, with accountability through a nine-member board of directors, six of whom are elected by Samaritan members. These members have consistently had their sharable needs met by other members in a timely manner. It’s the way we’ve been conducting this ministry for the past 25 years, and how we intend to continue to forge ahead as a Biblical community of believers for as long as God allows.”
Recently in California, the Department of Insurance issued a cease-and-desist order to protect consumers from misleading health plans that do not operate as true health care sharing ministries.
“Samaritan Ministries meets the qualifications set forth in the Affordable Care Act for health care sharing ministries, and we also meet the requirements for exemption from the California individual mandate, therefore our members will not be subject to any penalties for not having insurance,” Hopp added. “A new California mandate went into effect at the beginning of the year, and our California members will file for their exemptions when they complete their California state taxes in 2021 for tax year 2020.”
This message is also being communicated to Samaritan members in California.
Each month, Samaritan Ministries’ 82,000-plus member households (more than 271,000 individuals) pray and send their financial shares directly to other members, along with notes and cards of encouragement, through this effective, God-honoring ministry. Samaritan’s growing 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 over $1.8 billion in needs.
As part of its commitment to health care sharing best practices, Samaritan Ministries also offers members its yearly independent audit upon request, files a federal Form 990 annually and creates an annual report. The ministry has also received a letter of certification as a recognized health care sharing ministry by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (via Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
Meredith, a Samaritan member from Tennessee, said she often tells friends who are hesitant to consider joining a Christian health care sharing ministry that Samaritan Ministries “has been the ONLY organization to operate exactly as they advertise/promise on the front end.”
“We have felt loved by the Body of Christ and cared for both financially and spiritually as we’ve navigated unexpected family health bills,” Meredith said. “We are so very thankful for the opportunity to participate in Samaritan Ministries. For us personally, we are convinced that sharing each other’s health care needs is better stewardship than participating in insurance. We pay less but more importantly have experienced better access to necessary care. We assume this is also true for other members as well. Thank you. I pray that Samaritan Ministries may grow and thrive and be continually possible regardless of changing laws.”
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.