Today, I'll be delving into #4, health care options and why sharing works. We've used ours for over 10 years! If you've read my 13 most influential decisions of the last 13 years post, you'll see several topics are worth your time! But for now lets tackle this simple solution to the crazed health care costs for the average American family.
What Health Care Do We Use? We Use SM!
Samaritan Ministries (SM) is a faith-based medical coop.
Medical needs are shared through a monthly membership newsletter. We are assigned another member's need and we pray, send checks and write notes to one another to pay our doctor/hospital bills.
Accountability measures exist so everyone does their part for the group. Members pay a set fee (or share) each month and can then receive for needs in their own families.
Sounds simple right?
Why We Chose Them As Our Alternative To Insurance?
There are a few health care sharing organizations out there like SM. The three distinctives that catch our attention are:
1. Connectivity - Writing a personal note and praying for another member in their time of need draws our hearts together as Christians. Receiving a note from each member in the mail adds the personal touch that insurance companies lack.
2. Financial Transparency - Money can be used in many ways and with insurance, who knows where it goes? With SM, we write the check directly to the person with the medical bills. All the dollars of my husband's hard earned money are blessing someone and we have the privilege of knowing who they are and where they live. Once someone from our home town was listed and we took the funds directly to their doorstep and prayed in person.
3. Debt Hatred - Health care sharing has enabled us to stay out of medical debt. And we hate debt like we hate slavery and killing pre-born babies (well, not quite that much). But I digress.
Our Story of Freedom
When Matt tested with three different doctors and found out he had an ulcer, that could have cost us $10,000 but we paid around $300. When I had my second child I could have paid $6000, but I paid $0.
Baby #3, #4, & #5 were also free. Samartitan Ministries members paid for our children to come into the world.
We're a much bigger family now, but SM doesn't penalize us for giving life to new souls. We pay a family-with-children rate. They also have rates for singles, married without kids and single parents. All in all, our rates come to around $500ish and any rate increases are voted on by members.
Being a part of an alternative to insurance requires filling out my own paperwork, but when I see the savings I am passing onto my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it's worth any inconvenience on my part. Samaritan Ministries is a blessing and I am excited to meet those I've been helped by when we pass from this Earth.
How Can You Join an Health Care Sharing Program?
Search "Health Care Sharing" or "Health Care Ministries" online. You'll see the big ones right away. If you go to Samaritan Ministries site, you'll see a place to look at a document called The Guidelines. It's all the way at the bottom of the homepage, in the middle. That document tells you the nuts and bolts of what needs are able to be shared by community members. The parameters are readable by my 10 year old son. None of this laweryese or confusing medical terminology.
What does your health care situation look like and why did you choose it or why are you tolerating it? Have you ever considering dumping your insurance and finding an alternative?