It’s Always Open Enrollment at Samaritan

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Posted by admin | Posted in ACA-Obamacare, Samaritan Perks | Posted on 17-12-2015

We are fully into the health insurance open enrollment timeline, running from Nov 1 to Jan 31. But Samaritan doesn’t have to follow those dates, they have open enrollment all year long! This is their busiest time because so many people are making insurance changes right now and many are switching to health care sharing ministries. But if you are worried about missing a timeline for joining Samaritan, rest assured you can join anytime. You only need to allow for mail delivery time and can mark your application to begin as soon as Samaritan receives it in the mail (or you can select a specific future date). Mail is a little slower this time of year because of holiday packages, so allow 4-5 days for mail transit time if you can.

As always, feel free to ask any questions you have about the ministry. I love being a member and enjoy helping others figure out if joining is a good fit for them. When we first joined a couple of years ago I had never heard about health care sharing ministries. With all the changes resulting from the ACA I now hear about them a LOT, even when I’m not actively seeking new information. I often see them being discussed in various message boards, most of which have nothing to do with healthcare. They are becoming very popular and are growing rapidly.  I’m so glad that Samaritan prepared for that growth potential and is ready and willing to accept all the new families coming on board. Samaritan is setting new records for inquiries and new memberships. I’m sure the other ministries are as well. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know these ministries are waiting and willing to help those of us who are looking for something more affordable, moral, comforting and supportive than what the ACA offers.

Once again I am so thankful I heard about Samaritan and that joining was such a great fit for our family.

Member Letters

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Posted by admin | Posted in Member Letters | Posted on 02-12-2015

“I am overwhelmed by the response to my need, checks and letters from people all over the country. It is so beautiful and encouraging. I have never had this kind of fellowship with Christians all across the country. It feels like I’m getting a little glimpse of heaven. Being on the receiving end has motivated me to be a more cheerful giver. Now I always make sure I include a card with Scripture. The personal and sincere letters warm my heart!” – Mary in Nebraska

letter“God is so good to use so many generous people to meet our Special Prayer Need. I completely underestimated the power of $20. Twenty dollars from generous members multiplied many times relieved the pressure of my medical bills for a pre-existing condition. Now I will no longer think that a gift of $20 is insignificant. In the hands of Jesus it goes really far.” – Randall and Marli in Michigan

“Getting lots of checks in the mail is way more fun than a person should have. As the month passed, we loved seeing God provide through the combined efforts of so many people. The notes of encouragement and prayer were comforting. Every interaction with Samaritan Ministries was stress free, and it was easy to work with the partner organization in charge of negotiating our hospital bills. Thanks to everyone at Samaritan Ministries for being God’s hands and feet – representing the love of Christ for all the world to see. I enjoy telling people that my family is provided for by other Christians. Thanks for everything!” – Luke in Nebraska

“This was our first experience with having a need shared, so we were a little apprehensive about making sure everything was submitted correctly – if we’d get reimbursed the correct amount, if we could pay the bills on time, and so forth. We are pleased to say, however, that our first experience went so smoothly! Any questions we had along the way were answered graciously and thoroughly. We absolutely love the idea of the Body of Christ working together and supporting each other’s needs. We also looked forward to getting the mail every day as we received notes of encouragement from other believers. One of the families that sent us their monthly share was an old high school friend who I hadn’t seen in a lot of years! Small world, indeed. God is so neat in that way.” — Renee in Illinois

Our 2016 insurance options

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Posted by admin | Posted in ACA-Obamacare | Posted on 03-11-2015

Well, Nov 1 arrived so I was finally able to do a little research on what an insurance plan for my family would cost. I do this so I can keep tabs on how much Samaritan saves us each year. Blue Cross is the company I follow, because it’s who we had before Samaritan, they have better customer service than the other options in my state and I want to maintain consistency. The other companies are running about $50-$100 cheaper than the plans I will mention here so it’s not a giant savings and I’ve heard they are an even bigger headache.

The bronze plan which is the cheapest non HSA available is now $1102.27/mo. That’s for a BRONZE plan. $4500 deductible, $9000 per family and max OOP of $6850 per person (so a total of $13700/family/year) with a 50/50 copay. $13700 max OOP on top of $13227.24/yr in premiums equals…

[drumroll please…]

$26,927.24/year OOP + premium
for BRONZE plan

 

That cost is our total medical outlay assuming we had two medium size events in a year (kidney stones?) on top of our premiums. I’m sorry folks, but that number would bankrupt most families even if you had a decent income.

What if we chose the GOLD plan that we used to have? The gold plan is the one most similar to what we had before Obamacare started.

The one and only Gold plan they offer is now $1683.95/mo. Digest that. Wow. That’s for a GOLD plan. $1500 deductible, $3000 per family and max OOP of $4350 per person (so a total of $8700/family/year) with an 80/20 copay. $8700 max OOP on top of $20207.40/yr in premiums equals…

[drumroll please…]

$28,907.40/year OOP + premium
for GOLD plan

 

I find it interesting that they are only about $2000 apart if you actually need to use your insurance. If you don’t use it, the numbers are $7000 apart. I find it stunning/shocking/mind blowing that the numbers are so incredibly high to begin with. How does anyone on this planet think this is reasonable and acceptable? Are businesses paying this or even a healthy portion of it for their employees? Some of those premiums are equivalent to another salary!

I enjoy this little exercise every year, but I have to admit it’s starting to make me really nauseated. This cannot continue and I fear what will happen in the years to come. Thank goodness for Samaritan and the other health care sharing ministries to give people a way out of this mess. I cannot thank God enough for showing us the clear path to Samaritan and giving such peace in my heart about it.

Updated Math for late 2016:

Insurance Premium: $1102.27/month for bronze plan
Samaritan share: $495/month
SAMARITAN SAVES US: $607.27/MONTH or $7297.24/YEAR
Insurance OOP max: $6850 per person (2 person max)
Our Responsibility with Samaritan: $300 per incident
SAMARITAN SAVINGS: FROM $12,800 to $13,700 (assumes we had 3 incidents per year and would have met our full deductible/OOP, and got full discounts)
Insurance Co-pay: 50/50 (so they leave me with 50% up to $13,700 per year for the family)
Samaritan co-pay: NONE

 

As you can see, the spread between Samaritan’s cost and our Bronze insurance plan choice is getting wider. So the “premium” savings each year is getting bigger by staying with Samaritan. That will probably continue to happen for a while. It’s because insurance premiums are climbing faster and higher than Samaritan’s share’s increase. There’s a big difference between increasing yearly (insurance) and increasing every 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 yrs (Samaritan) and insurance rate hikes are bigger each time. The OOP max is still the same if we have 2 kidney stones, but the annual savings if we don’t have many or any needs is getting wider.

Also note: The gold plan for 2016 that most closely matches the plan we used to have before Obamacare began is now $1683.95/mo for our family. Wow.