The ‘Happily Uninsured’ Remain Committed to Samaritan Ministries
Even with Affordable Care Act Penalty Zeroed Out for 2019, Samaritan Ministries Members Say They Are Staying with Health Care Sharing
PEORIA, Ill.—Membership in America’s health care sharing ministries grew at a rapid rate after the signing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. For some, health care under the new government plan was anything but affordable, and the penalty for being uninsured was an added financial burden.
More and more families began researching—and choosing—health care sharing ministries (HCSMs), such as Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the nation’s leading health care sharing ministries.
But now that the Affordable Care Act penalty has been zeroed out for 2019, will health care sharing ministry members turn back to insurance? Not likely.
The more than 80,000 member households (260,000-plus individuals) of Samaritan Ministries say, overwhelmingly, that they are “happily uninsured” and plan to stay that way. They appreciate that Samaritan Ministries has provided a way for them to pray for and send monthly financial shares directly to their fellow members all year long and to bless them with encouraging personal notes and cards.
“Health care sharing has changed the way thousands of families view their health care and has transformed their budgets as well,” says Anthony Hopp, Samaritan Ministries’ vice president of external relations. “Our members frequently tell us that even if an insurance option was presented to them again, they would not leave Samaritan Ministries—and they continue telling their friends, family members, neighbors and church friends about health care sharing. Being part of a Biblical community that prays for one another and sends personal cards and notes along with their monthly financial shares is an extra blessing that they don’t want to give up.”
Robert from California has been extremely happy with his experience with Samaritan Ministries.
“Switching from insurance after my wife transitioned out of her job over a year ago to Samaritan Ministries has been a blessing,” he said. “Since neither of us tend to use medical care much at all (except, of course, her pregnancy), this program really fits our lives and it feels good to be able to write a check to a family or person in need that is going through a medical experience.”
Jordan and Danielle of Indiana also say they’ve enjoyed being Samaritan members as their family grows.
“Having a baby with Samaritan was way better than our first with insurance,” they said. “Our insurance company kept finding ways to make us pay and Samaritan was straightforward and not complicated. Thank you.”
Samuel and Anna of Tennessee appreciate that health care sharing allows them to connect with other believers.
“Thank you for all that you do to help Christians bypass the insurance system and create a fresh yet Biblical process for meeting the needs of one another and linking the financial side of things to the specific needs of the Body of Christ,” they said. “We are a part of something truly great!”
Dario and Monica of Texas say the difference between Samaritan staff members and an impersonal insurance company is like day and night.
“It makes a radical difference—the kindness of the staff of Samaritan Ministries compared to health insurance companies,” they said.
Scott of Illinois says health care sharing through Samaritan is the only way for him.
“I don’t think I would go back to insurance, even if it was offered to me,” he said. “I’ve LOVED working with y’all.”
And Angela of Tennessee couldn’t agree more.
“I can’t imagine going back to health insurance after experiencing God’s provision through Samaritan,” she said.
Kim of Georgia perhaps sums it up best.
“Can I just say again how much I love Samaritan Ministries and knowing that I never have to deal with insurance again as long as I choose!” she exclaimed. “Best Decision Ever!”
Earlier this year, Congress zeroed out the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty for 2019; therefore, say health care experts, it is for all practical purposes gone, even though technically still in place. While this provides welcome relief to many, neither the law nor the penalty language was actually repealed, so another Congress could reinstate the penalty for being uninsured. Members of health care sharing ministries have been exempt from the penalty since the law was enacted in March 2010.
The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act began Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 15. Many find the ACA enrollment process to be complicated, difficult and frustrating. They may not realize that becoming part of a Biblical health care sharing ministry is a simpler way to bring fulfillment and blessings to both the sender and receiver. Another advantage to health care sharing ministries is that they are open to new members all year long.