Surprise Again! Shares are reduced for November, too!

2

Posted by admin | Posted in Samaritan Newsletters, Samaritan Perks | Posted on 29-10-2014

It’s truly incredible in this time of rising medical costs, but the Samaritan shares for November were reduced for the 2nd month in a row, this time by 5%. For members who send their share to the office this month for admin costs (that would be us!), the reduction will appear the next time we are assigned a share payment to a family. I haven’t received my newsletter and share slip in the mail for November yet, but I know about the reduction because of my online Samaritan account. If you are already a member I encourage you to activate your online account to see the information available. You can get access to past newsletters, manage your needs and shares, and see the details about your account.

I’m starting to read more comments online about people getting huge premium increases from their insurance companies for 2015. I recommend Samaritan to everyone I can, the benefits of membership are so vast. It’s less expensive than most insurance plans, logical, caring, spiritual, and has a foundation in Christ. The support and caring from Samaritan staff are so helpful when you have a medical need, and knowing you are back in control of your health care and able to see any doctor you want is just priceless. And what insurance company is going to reduce your premium when the claims are lower? None.

Thanks again Samaritan, for continuing to look out for members and showing us a better way to manage health care expenses!

Premium increases could price many out of the market

0

Posted by admin | Posted in ACA-Obamacare | Posted on 21-10-2014

In addition to insurance plan cancellations coming in the next few weeks, around November 15 people will start getting notices about what the new pricing will be for their insurance plans in 2015, both on and off the exchanges. The delay has aggravated many people who feel it’s a political ploy to delay the release until after the elections and it seems to me the plan is backfiring. By not releasing the rates and being rather obvious about it, that sends a pretty clear signal that prices are going higher, much higher than anticipated otherwise they would have just released the information. So how much higher can people expect?

I learned that it is possible to get a pretty good idea of those new prices by checking out each states insurance commissioner website. For instance, in Nebraska there’s a link on the Department of Insurance website that gives rate scenarios for 2015. These scenarios are based on the rate requests that had to be submitted by the insurance carriers and approved by the state. After going through the file I can tell the information is a good representation of what people are paying now and will likely have to pay next year. Scenario #3 best fits our family, 2 adults, 2 kids, in the Lincoln area. The Blue Cross 2014 rate on the page is within $100 of what we were asked to pay for a Gold plan before we joined Samaritan. That plan is getting a 20% increase for next year. That would put it close to $1500/month to insure our family of 4.

Reviewing the file shows that CoOportunity Health is going up about 10%, Blue Cross about 20%, Time (Assurant) is up about 16% and Coventry actually went DOWN 3% on average. Down, there’s a concept. Good for them. But even their decreasing rate is way more than I’m willing to pay and it’s still more per month than the one increasing by 10%. This analysis does not compare deductibles and benefits so it’s not an exact apples to apples, but you would hope that a gold plan on one would be fairly similar to a gold plan on another.

The cheapest monthly option with gold level insurance for our family looks like it would be about $1000 on CoOportunity Health vs Samaritan’s family share of $405. So I have to ask myself if I see a $600/month benefit to health insurance over Samaritan. Nope. The “free” checkups would not add up to the extra $7200/yr I’d be spending to have health insurance and I’m still doing quite well buying medications using discount coupons instead of insurance co-pays. A $7200 savings. You might say, “ok, but that’s a gold plan, what about bronze?” Our bronze quote last year was $845, so even a 10% increase would be $930/month vs $405 (which is an annual savings of $6300). And the bronze plans have HUGE deductibles and terrible co-insurance. Samaritan gives me a $300 responsibility and no co-insurance surprises. You just can’t compare the two. Gold (or platinum) get me the closest to the awesomeness of what Samaritan gives us (except I don’t consider $300 vs $1500 deductibles close), and Samaritan is still less than 1/2 of what insurance wants me to pay and with NO restrictions on networks or doctors.

If you want to see what your state is offering for early information use this site (health insurance.org) and choose your state exchange on the right.

If we assume (and until we know hard numbers that’s all we can do) that the average increase is 10-20% across the nation (seems reasonable based on research so far), on already very high premiums, we are looking at a LOT of people who are about to get priced out of the market. Some will change carriers, some will drop a level to bronze or silver, but others will have no way out and will just have to cancel. With or without subsidies (many don’t qualify by either making too much or too little) these people are looking at losing their coverage. I hope they will consider a health care sharing ministry. Samaritan Ministries offers us a much more logical solution for our health care needs. And since it’s pretty clear that any “free” checkups offered by insurance plans actually cost me $6300-$7200 year in extra premiums, it’s pretty clear they are NOT free. Samaritan’s solution makes so much more sense and brings spiritual and financial healing during a medical need. Sorry insurance companies, you won’t get us next year either. We are sticking with Samaritan!

 

More health insurance policy cancellations coming

0

Posted by admin | Posted in ACA-Obamacare | Posted on 12-10-2014

In the coming weeks there will be hundreds of thousands of insurance policies cancelled by various states for not being in compliance with Obamacare. Some would say this is a relatively small number in comparison to last year’s losses and what will come late next year when the Small Business exemption expires. But if you’re the one losing your plan it still puts you in a confusing and frustrating situation. ref: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/09/more-than-dozen-states-plan-to-cancel-health-care-policies-not-in-compliance/ Last year some non-compliant policies were granted a 1 year extension by the President. That time is about up, so all those who kept those policies are now being forced to look for new ones just like we did last year.

Don’t despair! There are solutions available. Notices about cancelled plans should be received by Nov 1. If you fall into that category, consider a health care sharing ministry! This is the ideal time to get away from the high premiums, security concerns and restricted networks. Being a member of Samaritan Ministries means we don’t have to worry about high monthly costs (family share is $405), high deductibles (Samaritan has a $300 personal responsibility for needs, and even that can be wiped to zero with discounts), or confining networks (we can see any licensed doctor we want).

Word is getting out about health care sharing ministries. This is evident by the rising membership numbers. Occasionally I jump over to the healthcare.gov facebook page and I’m seeing more references to the ministries in the comments. I’m also starting to see the comments from people who are recognizing that they are paying more for medical care under insurance than they did when they were uninsured. There was a very detailed story a woman gave about her husband’s doctor visits all costing more under his new plan and he is planning to cancel it. She even said she had mentioned a health care sharing ministry to him and they may join one after they get rid of their insurance plan. They currently pay $911/month in order to pay MORE for their meds, xrays, and doctor visits. Without insurance they got discounts for all those services and it cost them less than they pay now. Imagine how great being a part of Samaritan would be for them? They could keep their self pay discounts and get help from Samaritan members for the bigger needs with a monthly expense of less than 1/2 what they pay now. Win-win!

It will be interesting to watch all the changes coming in the next couple of months, and I hope those who are affected will not have to panic long. I remember that feeling and it was awful. As members we need to get the word out so others will know there is another great option available, one that is affordable and friendly without the the headaches of insurance. Spread the word!