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April 12, 2011

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Comments

Nathan Fleming

How can this plan keep same sex couples from applying? Won't they get sued for that? I know that I see everything we hold dear being attacked on a daily basis from certain groups, How can this group program avoid such implications?

Jeff

I have been a part of two of these ministries for the better part of 25 years. They paid for our two daughters births as well as numerous surgeries, etc. We have had very good success with them.

Cynthia

I have been a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries for over 20 years, including the rough patch they went through with the old management. I was impressed with the new management and decided to stick with them, and I'm glad I did. I have been through two major surgeries and ended up paying much less out of pocket than I would have with conventional insurance. Also, they DO accept pre-existing conditions, with some limitations and gradually increasing levels of service over the first few years of membership. My only slightly negative comment would be that it can take a few months for turnaround time, so you need to have a little bit of money in savings to make payments to your providers while you want for processing and sharing of your bills, but otherwise we have been extremely pleased.

Inez Walls

I am a member of Christian Health Care Ministries. I dropped my portion of my husbands retired health ins as my part keep going up. When I dropped it was $975 a month and $1000 deductible. It was a very prayerful and leap of faith as I have a per-existing conditions. They do accept this. It is on a scale down for 4 years then it is no longer considered per-existing, You can't have active treatment at the time of sigh up other than maintenance activity. Like treatments for active cancer, but I think that could go to prayer page to help with that. That being said I was hospitalized for a per-excising condition and have had testing and I have not even had to pay my deductible because of how they consider the billing. I am so satisfied I highly recommend it to any one that meets the guidelines. I was also in auto accident not my fault. So the other party was responsible. I talked to one of there representatives who remember my name was mentioned during chapel on Thursdays for prayer for me. My injuries are healing quite rapidly. I have know sigh up my husband for as a secondary ins for him as he has and 80 20. Just make sure the plan is the best for you situation. I also am a brother keeper member. It has been the best decision I could have made, but it sure stretched my faith to the max. I am extremely satisfied.

Rob

Thanks for the article. I've been looking into this myself since my 2 person insurance cost is about $1400/month. I did find a side by side comparison as one person requested. The link below shows a pretty good comparison. I still have questions, but am very interested.

www.cchfreedom.org/files/file/MSM(1).pdf

larry

I am considering christian healthcare ministries to replace my insurance. It has become very expensive for me and I find myself as elderly now, but not old enough for SS. However, I don't know if this is for real or what and how reliable is this? Anyone give me some accurate information on this? Thanks.

Hans Yunge

What a great alternative!! The only problem I foresee is that most nonemergency procedures require "insurance" authorization, or prepayment. If someone needs a joint replacement, coming up with the cost upfront may be difficult.

Deborah

I cannot say enough good things about Samaritian Ministries International! They helped me work with my doctors and hospitals to reduce my medical bills from six figures down to $98,000! Then the members started to send their monthly payments to me, cards with prayers, notes of encouragement and checks! Over 100 on one day! This continued until every bill was paid! My only cost was my $300 deductible. Those cards mean more to me than any check from any insurance company ever could! They came from my many brothers and sisters in Christ and since receiving them I look forward every month to my opportunity to send a card with prayers, encouragement and a check to someone in need of all three.

Tony Dale

The Karis Group, a nationally known and respected Patient Advocacy group, has done extensive work with all three of these Christian Health Care sharing organizations. We view all three as ethical, solid and dependable. We are glad to communicate with any of your readers about the nuances and differences and pros and cons of these groups. Any can be a good choice.

Ann

I would like to see a side by side comparison of the 3 known HCSMs to assis us in making the choice. Also curious as to how the physicians and hopitals, clinics view them.

Michelle

Nice to see all three companies in one place. We are strongly considering one... but not sure which one.

Online health Insurance

Something else to consider on this. Participants in these programs appear to be exempt from the requirement to buy insurance coverage under the new Obama insurance coverage law.

Michael Miller at Samaritan

First, thanks for inviting us to respond to your blog post. We appreciate the opportunity.

Below are some clarifications about Samaritan Ministries, and some additional information.


Clarification on ‘pooling’ money

The statement that "The money is pooled and used to pay the eligible medical expenses of members" is inaccurate. Samaritan Ministries does not "pool" money. Our members pay an annual fee that goes towards the expenses of running the ministry, but the monthly shares are sent directly from one household to another. A family's medical need is shared if it fits the ministry guidelines, which can be found on our web site at www.samaritanministries.org.


BBB

Regarding the Better Business Bureau, there is no justification for a “C” rating. The only “legal action” that has ever occurred against SMI in 17 years of operation is a recent action by the state of Washington. The Washington Legislature immediately passed legislation that will put an end to that legal action when the governor signs the bill. In the meantime, the Washington insurance commissioner has stated that SMI can resume operations in Washington and has also stated that SMI is an “upfront organization” as far as clearly disclosing to members how we operate and that we are not insurance.

We are working with the BBB to get it to correct its web site.

Also, Samaritan guidelines provide for complaints to be handled internally. If members believe that the staff is misapplying the guidelines, they can appeal to a panel of 13 randomly chosen members. The decision of that panel is binding on the ministry.


Who we are

As for our approach, Samaritan Ministries is an arrangement in which Christians agree to assist one another with medical expenses through voluntary giving. A member sends proof of his/her medical expenses to the Samaritan office, where they are evaluated according to the Guidelines to make sure they qualify for publication. Then the qualified needs are published in a monthly newsletter mailing where each active member is asked to share in another member¹s medical need. This giving is voluntary and does not involve any legal obligation on the ministry or the other members. The giving amount a member agrees to depends on the size of his/her household and their membership in the various ministries.

Samaritan Ministries is not insurance. We do not assess applicants’ health risks, because neither the ministry nor the members are assuming financial liability for any other member¹s risk. Unlike insurance, the focus of Samaritan Ministries’ need sharing is not on what you can receive financially if you have a need, but on how you can help others with the needs they have right now (Acts 20:35). Samaritan members try to build authentic Christian community through prayer, encouragement and support.


We’re not insurance

It is made clear to prospective and current members that there is no legal guarantee that needs shared with the members will be fully met. This is one of the things that makes us NOT insurance. There is no assumed risk. Our security is not in some legal contract or reserve fund, but rather in the integrity and good will of our fellow members of the Body of Christ, and the provision of the Lord.

Twelve states have passed safe harbor laws which have defined HCSMs, like Samaritan, as legitimate, not-for-profit ministries that are not subject to the state¹s insurance codes. HCSMs were similarly recognized in the new federal health care law. Samaritan Ministries is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Samaritan also makes its annual financial audits available.


We invite anybody interested in the ministry to visit our web site or call us at 888-268-4377. Our public policy department can be reached at 888-726-4276.

oak

Am in search of affordable health insurance for my family and I. Do keep us updated on this very interesting issue. Do they have offices in Tx?
Thanks for doing a great job for Christians,
Oak

Julie @ Kingdom Klipper

Jim,
I'm awaiting feedback on this...a very timely article for me as we are considering changing insurances. My husband is a senior pastor, so we pay for our family's coverage. It's very expensive. I've considered this and here it is again.
Waiting to hear...
Julie

Jim Paris

Something else to consider on this. Participants in these programs appear to be exempt from the requirement to buy health insurance under the new Obama insurance law. Another reason to consider this option?

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