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Samaritan Ministries International Urges Maryland Residents to Support MD SB 543 to Protect Health Care Sharing Ministries in Their State

February 9, 2021

BALTIMORE, Md. — There are 1.5 Million Americans who have chosen to join a Health Care Sharing Ministry to provide for their families’ health care needs, including more than seven thousand Marylanders.

This month, the Maryland Senate is beginning consideration on a positive piece of legislation that would protect the right for Marylanders to choose a Health Care Sharing Ministry. The bill (MD SB543) is important, timely legislation that harmonizes Maryland law with the Affordable Care Act’s federal protection for Health Care Sharing Ministries and clarifies that this health care option is different than insurance.

The bill would prevent the Maryland Insurance Administration from continuing to accuse Health Care Sharing Ministries of being unauthorized health insurance and trying to shut them down in the state.

State Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt is the bill sponsor and should be thanked for her leadership and commitment to protecting members of Health Care Sharing Ministries in Maryland.  Her colleagues in the Maryland Legislature should join her in supporting religious freedom in health care.

“Samaritan Ministries International applauds State Senator Adelaide Ekhardt for her leadership on this issue and hopes her colleagues in the Maryland Legislature join her in supporting faith-based, community-guided health care,” Joel Noble, director of public policy at Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan, www.samaritanministries.org) said.

“Thousands of Marylanders choose to be a part of Health Care Sharing Ministries for a variety of reasons, including having a health care solution that is consistent with their religious beliefs as well as their budgets. An important, timely bill (MD SB543) has been introduced that upholds the federal Affordable Care Act’s protection for this health care choice and clarifies that they are not insurance.”

The bill (MD SB543) will receive a hearing in the Maryland Senate Finance Committee on February 17th. From there, it could be placed on the Committee’s calendar to receive a vote and then move to a full floor vote by the Maryland Senate sometime during the next few months. 

“Members and supporters of Health Care Sharing Ministries who live in one of the Maryland Senate Finance Committee members’ districts should call their Senator and urge him/her to support SB 543 to protect Health Care Sharing Ministries,” Noble urged.

Since its founding in October 1994, members of Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan, www.samaritanministries.org) have shared more than $2.3 billion in health care needs without using health insurance because Samaritan members helping each other is a health care sharing ministry.  

The difference between health care sharing and health insurance is foundational to the mission of Samaritan Ministries, since it allows the freedom to determine what medical needs members will share. Some states require health insurance companies to cover medical procedures or services that violate Biblical teaching—such as abortion and abortifacients, services that Samaritan Ministries members cannot share.

Samaritan Ministries helps more than 270,000 individuals from over 85,000 households receive prayers and encouragement from one another while also receiving more fair pricing for their medical treatments.

Through Samaritan’s effective, God-honoring ministry, thisgrowing biblical community shares approximately $30 million in medical needs person to person each month. Over the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $2.3 billion in needs while praying for and encouraging one another with personal notes, cards and letters.

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


To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.