Samaritan Ministries endorsement.

I wanted to share with the readers of DefCon how thoroughly thrilled my wife and I are about Samaritan Ministries. As an alternative to the high cost of secular insurance companies (many of which fund practices opposed to Christianity), Samaritan Ministries helps Christian families cover medical expenses by use of a network of contributors (members).

Instead of paying a monthly insurance fee, your monthly contribution goes directly to an actual family in need. You receive the name, address, and need of the family assigned to you, then you send your designated share amount directly to that family (along with a card or note of encouragement if you wish). Other needs that are not publishable (meaning they are not covered by Samaritan Ministries) are advertised in the monthly newsletter and members can give to those needs if they choose.

In the event that you incur a medical expense, you simply submit your need to Samaritan Ministries and you receive checks (along with cards or notes of encouragement) from other members to cover your medical expenses. 

I wholeheartedly endorse this ministry and can speak first hand about the value and effectiveness of it. We’ve been members for over a year and have benefited twice: once when one of our children was having breathing problems requiring two separate trips to the E.R. and most recently when our youngest was born, Samaritan Ministries covered the entire cost of the midwifery services and all associated tests and bloodwork. It is virtually impossible to find an insurance company willing to cover maternity unless it is through an employer. Samaritan Ministries recognizes that children are a blessing and by covering maternity needs they don’t perpetuate the idea (directly or indirectly) that children are a burden (financially or otherwise).

Notable members of Samaritan Ministries include Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham. Baucham offered this endorsement:

Coming into the whole Samaritan Ministries thing and not knowing how it worked, not understanding anything about it, and just really wondering…was terrifying. Then I turned around and watched how Samaritan took care of that whole need [for a fellow pastor's son]. Samaritan members came along, helped them…the doctors were happy to work with them…it was after that I signed up.

I understand better now than I did before how corrupted medicine has become because of the insurance industry. We walk in and say we’re self-pay, and immediately they take 30, 40, 50 percent off the top. That’s just because all the markup that exists because of insurance and also because of Medicare. These doctors are so happy to not have to deal with all that stuff, that they pass those savings on to you.

When you’re going to the doctor’s office and all you have to do is pay the $10 co-pay, you’ll go for any little thing. Your sense of independence, your sense of trusting in the Lord, your sense of trying to take care of things and do preventative medicine-that goes out the window if the only thing you have to think about is that $10 co-pay, not realizing at all that by participating in that system, you’re actually contributing to these escalating prices.

We love it. I enjoy sitting down, writing my check to a family, feeling that I’m just directly partnering with them, partnering with that need, praying for them. It’s wonderful, and that has been helpful to us.

I encourage readers to check out this wonderful ministry of Christians helping Christians. You can learn more by going to their website:

http://www.samaritanministries.org/

Also check out their blog:

http://www.samaritanministries.org/blog/

And you can even find them on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/samaritanministries

You can also learn more about this incredible ministry for Believers by Believers by viewing this video:

5 thoughts on “Samaritan Ministries endorsement.

  1. This sounds wonderful and everything, but seriously, who can afford this? It’s not ‘a fraction of most people’s insurance costs’, or however they phrase it. This is much, much more expensive than most insurance. That they are catering to the rich ought to be pretty evident by the fact that everyone featured in the clip was living in luxury–far above the middle class, and leagues beyond the millions living in poverty. I really don’t understand this. There’s no mercy for the poor? I have a wife and a son, and I work two jobs to support my family, and there is no way on earth I could come up with over $300 a month for this ‘ministry’. I’m honestly bewildered. I wanted so much to support this, but it is staggering how out of touch they are with the average family in America.

  2. Having been a past member of Samaritan Ministries, I would like to share a few thoughts. First, we never had any needs that needed to be published. Second, the amount which is now $320 per month, plus the administrative fee each year paid to the office of $170, is more than we are now able to afford as missionaries just starting out on deputation.

    However, I do know people like the Pilgrim and his family, my parents, and others who have used them and it has been a blessing and a benefit to have the bills paid for in their entirety.

    WoeToTheRich, I understand your frustration as most of my married life I have not had the wherewithal to pay for insurance and/or have not had it provided in a subsidized fashion through an employer. I do not think that our frustration should undermine what the status of the average family actually is though.

    Yes, $320 is a lot when you just do not have it. Not all lower class families have cable or satellite tv, smartphones, 2-4 cars, and multiple electronic or mechanical toys sitting around the house and garage. Some just exist especially in today’s economical situation.

    Personally, I think that far too often we do end up leaning on others or insurance or whatever instead of leaning on the Lord for strength. While our family is doing fine healthwise, I am thankful that we have not had any broken bones, or major surgeries, etc. even though we have 5 children (4 still at home).

    I agree that this is more expensive than company subsidized insurance in many cases, but it is also true that if you try to cost out Blue Cross/Blue Shield or any other major provider as a self-employed individual or small business person, you will find that insurance costs can easily run $800-1200 per month just for major medical! In cases like this, a group like Samaritan Ministries is a great alternative for those in this type of situation.

    I am not sure what else to share at this time. I respect what this group is and has done, but I also wish that there were better or less expensive alternatives (even if it only covered major medical or catastrophic type emergencies) than paying out $320 per month plus the $170 per year for the office costs.

  3. Please understand, WoetotheRich, that the monthly share of $320 for a family is not an arbitrary number. It is the actual amount that it takes for all the medical needs shared by the Samaritan members to be paid. The monthly share goes directly to another Samaritan member. If the needs that month are less, you pay less. Sometimes that happens. If the needs are more, they are prorated. If that happens several months in a row, the members vote on whether to raise the monthly share.

    If you are getting employer subsidized or state subsidized insurance at a lower cost per month, I can see where you might have no motivation to switch. I’m not aware of any non subsidized health insurance available at a lower cost, even with large deductibles. Most are at least double, many 3 to 4 times the monthly cost. Sometimes people are really motivated to be a part of the body of Christ working together to help each other, even if it doesn’t save them money. My husband turned down subsidized insurance many years ago when he was supporting our little family (2 babies at the time) working at McDonald’s. Just so we could be a part of Samaritan. We have NEVER regretted it.

    I think saying that the families in the video are living far above middle class is a big stretch, btw. Plenty of middle class families can afford matching furniture and have an eye for decorating.

    There is some kind of scholarship type program available for those who cannot afford the monthly share. I’m sure you can get details from Samaritan. God bless you!

  4. Woe,

    A report brought out last week found that average out-of-pocket health insurance costs for a family of four is $19,393 this year. According to the Associated Press story on the actuarial consulting firm’s report, “The employee portion of costs paid for a family of four covered by the most common form of employer-sponsored health insurance will climb to a projected $8,008 this year from $3,634 in 2002.”

    That’s twice the cost of Samaritan membership for a family of four in the basic ministry, which is $320/month for a family of any size.

    As a commenter above noted, Samaritan also has a sponsorship program for those members who are finding it difficult to meet their monthly share commitment.

    At the point I came to work at Samaritan, my monthly portion of health insurance premiums was costing as much as Samaritan’s monthly shares were at the time, $270. I am much more satisfied with Samaritan for several reasons, including my freedom of health care choices and my better stewardship of God’s provision.

    Will everyone be able to afford a health care sharing ministry plan? No. But that’s where the Church and families should come in also. Samaritan and other health care sharing ministries are doing what they can to help Christians meet their health care expenses. For those they are unable to help, the Body of Christ is ultimately responsible for offering charitable services through its churches.

    We at Samaritan are actually in the beginning stages of a new initiative along those lines with the creation of “The Morning Center, a Christian, charitable, full-service maternity hospital.

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