Christian Health Care Sharing – After Several Years and Claims
A few years ago, we got a very upsetting letter from our insurer – our rates were going up to $2500 a month, which was literally impossible for us. Several friends have received similar letters this month, so we thought it was time for an update on our experience with a totally different system.
For several years now, we’ve been members of Samaritan Ministries. It’s not insurance, but it fulfills the same function. Here’s how it works:
Every month, we receive from the office the name and address of a member family that has had a healthcare need. We send our check straight to that family, along with a note of encouragement. It’s great knowing our money is going directly to a Christian family with a need! Once a year, we send our share to the office to pay for overhead. That’s right, only a little over 8% of our money goes to office stuff!
When we have a need, we go online to the Samaritan site and sign in. From there we can tell the ministry about the healthcare need we’re having and upload our documents and bills. If we have any questions, we can call the office. Every time I have talked to Samaritan employees, it’s been a blessing and every time they have asked if they could pray with us. The attitude is entirely different than when we’ve dealt with insurance companies.
You’re probably wondering what happens if the person assigned to send you money when you have a need doesn’t do what they are supposed to do. We wondered that ourselves. We’re told (it’s never happened to us) that the missing amount would be reassigned to someone else the next month. People have to be current in their payments to file claims, so they are.
We’ve had several claims, including some pretty big ones. You guys know the challenges we’ve had to deal with! How humbling and encouraging to get checks from other believers and to hear they are praying for us. Guys, this is awesome.
Sounds great, what’s the catch?
Well, there are a few. If you have pre-existing conditions, for the most part, you can’t file claims for them, although you can submit them as a special need that people are invited to donate for. There’s no guarantee those will be paid, though.
Also, prescriptions are covered for only 120 days. That’s been very hard for us, since several of us have needed long term prescriptions. We’ve submitted them as special needs, but, honestly, donations have not come close to covering them.
That said, Samaritan is soooo much cheaper than ordinary insurance that you can afford a lot of prescriptions AND pre-existing conditions. We pay about $500 a month for our entire big family. That’s a whole lot better than the alternative! Plus, membership in Samaritan exempts you from the Obamacare tax.
Also, if you are able to get any discounts for being self-pay, those discounts count toward your deductible! Deal! Speaking of deductibles, they now have two levels of coverage, so you can accept a higher deductible and pay less each month, if you wish.
So, we’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly recommend Samaritan Ministries. It’s a great alternative to the whole bureaucratic mess that is insurance right now. It’s a way that the church can be the church and take care of each other. It’s encouraging. It’s affordable.
If you decide to join up, would you tell them Hal & Melanie Young referred you? If you do, they’ll give us a discount on our share next month and that’s always a help! Even if they didn’t, though, we’d still tell you: This is a good idea!
Hal & Melanie