Healthcare! The mere mention of it can make the hair on the back of you neck stand up. Recently, in my move to become self-employed, I dug into the topic. Thankfully, I had a leg up by knowing that “Christian Medical Bill Sharing” programs exist. The concept is pretty simple: Christians, who share convictions and beliefs, band together to help each other cover the cost of their medical bills. As one brochure puts it, it is very similar to the Amish building a barn. They band together to help each other in a time of need. These programs are not motivated by profits, but by a desire to help their fellow brother and sisters.
There are several programs out there. In the PDF below I compare the programs on several points that were important to me and my family. The document makes no claims to being totally accurate, but I hope that it speeds you along if you are investigating these types of the share programs:
Recently Samaritans’ changed some of their details. Here are the updates to the comparison PDF
$320/month - monthly share for a family of 3 or more (as opposed to $285)
$170/year - annual administrative fee per household
$250,000 - maximum amount publishable per person/per incident (this is not per year)
$399 - this is the annual set aside amount for Save To Share
$30/month - new monthly amount for SamaritanMV
Maternity- now published as a regular need if the conception is after the start date
$170 - amount for referral credit
Eventually we had to choose a program. We chose Samaritan Ministries.
Why We Chose Samaritan Ministries
I loved the fact that we were going to send our money directly to the person in need. While this creates more “bookkeeping”, it is also a much better way to stay connected to the reality of people and their needs. Because we sent our monthly “share” to an actual person, there is a very transparent yearly fee that covers the administrative costs of managing the lists, helping members and sending out the newsletters.
Of all the programs out there, this one seemed the least like insurance. Although other plans might be more “convenient” by paying you from the storehouse. We thought the setup of Samaritans was simple and straight forward. Costs and coverage seemed very clear.
We liked their prospective on family. My wife was pregnant while we did this investigation. One program would not even allow a pregnant woman to join!! Samaritan Ministries seems very straight forward about how they share maternity costs. Even if you had a baby in the first couple months of joining, you would be able to share a portion of your maternity need.
Knew Someone Who Had Been in the Program
I knew someone who had used this program (only for a season of their life). This certainly help lend credibility when trying to make a decision about “what program do I choose”.
I hope this post and document help you along in your decision making process. Please feel free to comment or email with any questions you might have for us.
Apparently there are a bunch of you out there who find this information helpful. That’s great! If you decide to go with Samaritans like we did, please consider putting us down as the referral on your application. You can request information about the program here.