The ‘Sharing’ in Health Care Sharing
In the very complicated world of health care, there’s perhaps nothing as unique as the way Christians directly share each other’s medical burdens through one of the nation’s leading the health care sharing ministries, Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org).
Few would describe the processes of traditional insurance as “sharing,” and indeed, health care sharing ministries are not insurance, but “sharing” is key. In fact, through Samaritan, more than 69,000 member households (228,000-plus individuals) directly share financial gifts every month with other members rather than sending money to a large pool of funds from which medical bills are paid.
In this way, members are abundantly blessed by other members who are not only helping to bear the burdens of medical needs—as the Bible instructs—but also encourage their fellow members with notes and prayers. Samaritan members have the liberating opportunity to apply principles of New Testament living to 21st-century health care through this direct, household-to-household, non-insurance approach.
One member, Emily, said she chose Samaritan because of this direct-sharing approach.
“I’m really glad I went with Samaritan because of the fact that Samaritan shares go directly from the member to the member, rather than going to headquarters and being sent out,” said Emily in a new member testimonial video on the Samaritan website. “And I just really like that. I get to make my own choices, my doctor and I decide exactly what’s going to happen and no third party makes an attempt let alone has any right to tell me what to decide.”
Currently, Samaritan members share approximately $25 million per month in medical needs, while giving a monthly share of only $495 for a family of any size. Individuals give $220 and couples give $440.