Samaritan Ministries Rewards Members for Finding Fair Health Care Prices
Wisconsin Members Used Price Transparency Tool Healthcare Bluebook to Save $500 on Hospital Bill
July 6, 2020
PEORIA, Ill.—Members of a leading health care sharing ministry can receive a $250 fair-price reward for obtaining health care services from fairly priced facilities under an experimental program launched in July by Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org).
To qualify, Samaritan members must demonstrate they obtained service from a “fair-price facility,” indicated by a green circle at HealthcareBluebook.com, a tool for ranking health care price transparency and fairness. Members can earn the fair-price reward once per health care need for shareable procedures, tests, or services listed on Healthcare Bluebook.
Encouraging members to compare the price tags of health care services and providers before they buy increases their chances of getting a fair price.
“Pricing information is often hidden in health care, and cash-paying patients can end up being charged up to 12 times more than other payers,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries Vice President for External Relations. “That’s why negotiating large ‘discounts’ after service usually doesn’t result in fair pricing. But Healthcare Bluebook gives you the pricing information you need to compare cost and quality of providers near you. Knowledge is power.”
Choosing a fair-price provider up front with the help of Healthcare Bluebook is often easier than negotiating bills after service. In emergency situations, however—in which members might lack opportunities to shop around—Healthcare Bluebook can also equip members to ask providers for cash-pay discounts.
Samaritan members Kevin and Lesli of Wisconsin used Healthcare Bluebook to negotiate an $850 bill down to a fair price of $350.
“Our son Caleb was eating popcorn and decided to stick a kernel up his nose,” Kevin said. “We couldn’t get it out and had to take him to an acute care center. We thought the bill was too high, so we checked Healthcare Bluebook. We sent a letter with estimates of what the treatment should cost and a check for $350. The hospital accepted the payment and took $500 off the bill.”
Obtaining treatment from fair-price providers reduces the financial burden shared among Samaritan’s 82,771 member households and more than 270,000 individuals.
The $250 fair-price reward program is scheduled to run through December 31.
Through this effective, God-honoring ministry, over a quarter of a million Samaritan Ministries members like Kevin and Lesli are sharing approximately $30 million in medical needs person to person each month. In fact, over the past 25 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $1.8 billion in health care needs.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.