I am not a paid advertiser for Samaritan Ministries and the opinions/experience I put forth here are my own. If you choose to become a SM member and you offer my name as a referral, my family will receive a credit that reduces one month’s share on our account.
About three years ago I was working hard to save my unborn baby. Part of that work required me to have a couple of ultrasounds performed during the first trimester. Since we had standard medical insurance at that time, I simply agreed to use the doctors’ referred sonographers.
The first exam was a great experience. The technician spent thirty minutes or more exploring my womb and the surrounding organs. She explained, as well as showed us, everything. The cost for that ultrasound rang in at just about $350.
My second time around came approximately five weeks later. I’d been forced to switch practices and the new physician sent me to a sonographer who worked in a large office that was associated with my local hospital. Aside from confirming that the baby was still alive, the technician did little else. She gave me less than fifteen minutes of her time and would not show me the screen. The bill for that totaled $1,000.
Thankfully, our insurance covered the charges, but still I was unsatisfied with the huge disparity in the charges. However, when I addressed my concerns with the insurance company their response was, “Well, Provider X has a better contract with us so we pay them more.”
Being frugally-minded, that response left me less than satisfied. Certainly, companies have every right to turn a profit and dictate their fee levels, but in the end everyone foots the bill when our money is pooled together as insured. Couple this experience with the fact that our policy was about to expire and all premiums were beginning to skyrocket and you can see why we decided to research alternatives.
Scrolling through Google’s suggested pages, we found Samaritan Ministries. Not insurance, Samaritan is a health costs sharing ministry which applies biblical principles. Christian members agree to help one another meet their medical needs by sending their monthly share directly to one another. Members never pay for treatments that violate their faith (e.g. abortions) and they have the power to direct their own care by choosing providers and comparing prices.
Additionally, and perhaps best of all, Samaritan Ministries asks its enrollees to pray for each other.
“It’s really true. Members pray for other members who have medical needs, and God answers those prayers. Fervent prayer is powerful and effective.”
What it Costs
While the ministry does not cover wellness care like routine check-ups, the affordable monthly shares allow members to more easily provide for those services on their own. As of April 2015, a family of any size was paying at no more than $405 monthly (that is the TOTAL, not per person). Single-parent households, couples without children, and singles paid even less.
“Every month the more than 46,000 (as of April 2015) households (more than 150,000 people) of Samaritan Ministries share more than $12 million in medical needs directly- one household to another.”Every month Samaritan Ministries members share more than $12 million in medical needs. Click To Tweet
We were impressed with everything we read and signed up. I will admit though it was a bit of a leap of faith. Since we are typically healthy, it took awhile before we actually had a need allowing us to put this ministry to the test.
Our First Claim
Our son injured his foot and after a day of resting it became apparent that he needed an x-ray. I started by making phone calls so I could find the best and most fairly priced provider. I explained that we were cash-payors and requested an estimate of the total we could expect to be paying. Since we were saving the podiatrist’s billing office time and money (i.e. they didn’t have to file paperwork, make follow-up calls, or accept the insurance company’s settlement), the doctor gave us a substantial discount.
To my surprise, when I shared the need with Samaritan they applied the discount we’d received toward our $200 deductible; leaving us with only a $15 out-of-pocket expense. So we were actually rewarded for negotiating a discount.
Within a short amount of time, we found a check in our mailbox for the remaining balance of our need. Also included was a hand-written note with a promise to pray for our son’s full recovery.
We just renewed our membership with Samaritan Ministries again and I can testify that it is one of the best investments we are making. Not only are we assured that our needs will be met should we suffer an illness or injury, we take confidence in knowing that we are part of God’s bigger plan to love our neighbors.
“Samaritan Ministries is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 religious, charitable organization. We exist for ministry, not for profit. There are no stockholder dividends. This approach satisfies the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (see 26 United States Code, Section 5000A, (d), (2), (B)).”
Want a Better Option?
If you are looking for a better option, if you are tired of paying astronomical premiums, if you want to avoid funding immoral procedures, if you want to place your trust in God’s promise, than consider joining in the ministry today.
Please, consider offering our family (Greg and Tara Brelinsky) as your referring member and our family will receive a discount on one of our monthly shares.