Understanding Health Care Sharing

How Samaritan Ministries Members Share One Another’s Burdens

February 4, 2021

PEORIA, IL —For those who feel trapped by health insurance, Samaritan Ministries International’s health care sharing process can be very liberating.

“Joining a health care sharing family requires shifting from society’s accepted paradigm for meeting health care expenses,” said Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan, www.samaritanministries.org) Founder and President Ted Pittenger. “Once someone experiences it, though, the concept seems pretty simple.”

When a household joins, SMI begins notifying them of the need of another member each month. The share amount depends on several factors:

  • Size of household. SMI sends share notifications according to the number of people who are members in a household.
  • Age. Families with a head of household age 29 years or younger have lower share amounts.
  • Membership level. Samaritan Classic shares larger portions of a need and so has a higher share amount. Samaritan Basic shares a smaller portion of a need so has lower monthly share amounts.
  • Membership in Save to Share. Up to $250,000 per need is shared for all levels, but there is no limit for members participating in Save to Share. That program involves agreeing to set aside a small additional amount per year, again depending on the size of household. How much of that amount a Save to Share member will send (from the set-aside amount) varies month to month, depending on the Save to Share needs for a particular month.

Each month, Samaritan sends each member household that month’s Christian Health Care Newsletter, a monthly prayer guide, a share slip telling the member their share amount is for the month (it can vary for members of Save to Share), who to send their share to, and how to pray for that person.

When a member has a need, their involvement in the sharing process changes once they contact Member Services (MS) to let an advocate know about the need. This advocate serves as the member’s representative, helping him or her resolve a need or any other situation involving membership. The advocate’s job does not stop with updating a database or staying on top of paperwork.

At Samaritan, MS Advocates give initial direction to need processing by checking the guidelines and telling need processors to send paperwork to a member. They also compose the prayer request related to a need to include in an upcoming prayer guide.

Of course, there’s prayer with the members when they call in, also something that would likely never take place with a health insurance company.

“Prayer is a key part of it for the MS guys,” said Samaritan Member Services Manager, Cameron Easley.

Members enjoy this personal connection, and their letters to Samaritan routinely mention how much they appreciate being able to pray with a Member Services advocate.

Once forms and bills are submitted, the information is verified. Once approved, the need is set up to publish, and a letter lets the member know if there are any problems with the need, what bills have been received, and roughly when the need is scheduled to be published.

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.

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