Submitting our Second Need

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Posted by admin | Posted in Our Need Experience | Posted on 02-02-2018

Well, I guess it was my turn to have a medical need beyond a standard sore throat. I developed some gastric problems that needed some testing and the bills got big enough to be submitted to Samaritan for sharing. The process was again very simple, actually a bit easier than our first need from the Samaritan side of things because I could scan my bills and upload them online as a PDF file instead of just taking a picture (PDFs are easier for me).

Here’s how it went.

I saw my chosen provider and got the testing done that I needed. Cash pay was no big deal, only had to pay for the lab work at the time of service (got a small discount), the other tests they would bill me later.

I received the first bills quickly, so I started this new need online, answered the questions and uploaded my bills. The first two bills from the provider came within a couple of days. That was wonderful. I had already requested they be fully itemized so that was no problem. I called about one of the bills to get a bigger discount than they first offered because the charges were so much higher than fair price for the area. I was able to get a bigger discount to match what the healthcarebluebook.com fair price said it should be. I certainly didn’t want to overpay, but I also wanted to be sure they were fairly compensated and paid quickly. I paid them the adjust amount right away in appreciation.  I did have a surprise bill come a few weeks after the first two, but that was also a simple process of adding it to the need online. Samaritan made the walk through for bill submission and add-ons pretty easy.

I spoke with the Samaritan staff a couple of times because I chose to have contact for the need over the phone and I had a question later on which they answered for me. I want to tell you how comforting its been to speak with them in the middle of this process. As the patient in pain, the prayers from the staff were so heartfelt and fabulous I simply closed my eyes and got teary-eyed because of how supportive and sincere their prayers were on my behalf. It was exactly what I needed during that moment of pain and emotional weakness. Do you know how great it is to talk to people in their position and feel like they are friends? Contrast that with talking to insurance companies where they come across as emotionless drones or even a hostile force. The positivity and support I felt from Samaritan staff is so helpful to someone carrying pain or fear. I believe it helps to foster additional healing instead of a negative insurance phone call adding more stress into the system. When the organization who is helping support the financial side of your need is actually on your side talking to you as a supportive friend, and praying for your pain to go away and for you to get answers about your situation; well there’s no better scenario I could imagine.

A few days later I saw that the need had been approved in my online Samaritan account. The bills I submitted online will be shared in full, probably during March since I submitted them in January. I did opt to pay a couple of the small medicine charges and one lab fee myself without submitting them to the ministry. I felt it was important to bear some of the burden myself to help keep costs down for the other members.

So far I am very pleased with how my medical need has been handled as a cash patient and a member of Samaritan. I guess that’s why I am sharing this with everyone.

Without restrictions, the medical world moves faster for Samaritan Ministries members

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Posted by admin | Posted in Our Need Experience, Samaritan Perks | Posted on 07-09-2017

Most things in the medical world are the opposite of fast. Everything seems soooo sllooooooow. Long waiting room times, long waits to see a specialist, healing often takes weeks, and insurance claims can feel like they take forever. I think Samaritan Ministries is the answer to those of us who want to inject a little quickness into that process..

I’d like to give you our experience a Samaritan members who have submitted a medical need for our family and detail just how fast our entire process was.

I will admit, I’m not known for being a patient person. I’m trying to do better (and frequently pray for patience), but when it comes to health care I want quick attention to the illness/injury, quick testing, quick healing and quick payment so we can get on with regular life and not have it hanging over our heads. We are very fortunate to have a Samaritan membership because it sped up the medical process for my husband’s surgery in more ways that one.

We didn’t have to wait long for our initial appointment, and there was no insurance approval wait time. We could see who we wanted. Once in the doctor’s office (with same day testing and results), he offered us an almost immediate surgery date (only 3 days later for a non-emergency) because he wasn’t bound by insurance time restriction rules and happened to have an opening (ok, so that was even faster than I was mentally prepared for, but it ended up being a great thing). Also, he offered to do both surgeries at once (both hands affected), again because insurance rules didn’t apply as Samaritan members so we didn’t have to drag everything out for several weeks like his insurance customers. Start to finish, NOT having insurance shaved months off the timeline for dealing with this medical event. Months.

The surgery was in early December, we submitted the bills to Samaritan online in mid-late December (a super fast process), and checks started arriving in February. In the world of medical payments, that is amazingly quick. Most insurance companies don’t even process and pay that fast. Government medicare and medicaid certainly don’t pay that quickly.  No one wants to wait 5 months to a year for payment or fight with insurance companies who deny and delay as long as they can. Not with Samaritan! They knocked it out of the park! Everything about Samaritan Ministries was friendly, supportive, prayerful, comforting, efficient and as a result….fast. I didn’t even have long wait times on the phone like I did with insurance. I believe the power of prayer even sped up healing as his recovery time from the surgery was far shorter than I expected.

Especially since it was our very first need I was curious if the reviews I’d read for years would also be true for us. I had faith, but I also wondered. Would the process go well? Would it be smooth? Would we get shares from members fast enough to cover the cost? It was so wonderful to have all of those answers be YES.

Whether we pay up front or make payment arrangements for our medical bills, the ultimate goal is to get the bills paid as quickly as possible. The last thing we want it a bill hanging over our head with providers calling us to find out when we’re going to pay. And nobody wants a ding on their credit history, so on-time payments are important.

I really appreciated Samaritan’s attention to our need, both financially and spiritually. Talking to their staff is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. It just soothes your heart during a time of great stress. And having cards arrive in the mail from members is like having the greater church knock on your door to say, “We’re here to help. God’s got this, He sent us.” Everything about the experience is what medical care should be for the entire country, yet somehow the support, comfort and speed has been lost in the mire and muck of insurance and government control. If you’re longing for something different and better, look into Samaritan Ministries. We Love It!

Get an information packet here

 

Our Samaritan Sharing Experience

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Posted by admin | Posted in Our Need Experience | Posted on 27-02-2017

Our Samaritan need submission experience has been amazing. Not only did we receive all of the shares that were assigned to our surgical need, we received a little extra because one of the members very generously sent about $10 more than they were assigned along with a very nice note. (We are choosing to pass that gift on to someone with a special prayer need next month.) Without a doubt, sharing a need with Samaritan members is an uplifting and joyful process. From start to finish the entire experience has been amazing and it was all done without any insurance company involvement. This experience shows us just how incredibly simple it is to get compassionate, high quality health care without any insurance at all. And it’s all possible by being a member of Samaritan Ministries.

We are still in awe about how EASY this whole process has been. Here’s the list:

  • Paid cash with 50% discount, small enough charge to fit on our credit card
  • We were treated well by friendly people
  • There was basically no wait time to get the consult, testing and surgery done (surgery was scheduled for 3 days after the testing)
  • We paid less (with cash) for the medications than most insurance copays would have charged
  • The itemized bill came quickly and was submitted online to Samaritan (new online submission feature is available now!)
  • We got to make all our own choices with advice from the doctor and no input from a rule bound insurance board
  • Talking to Samaritan was a pleasure and offered none of the frustrations that insurance company’s have given us
  • Had our full need 100% paid for through member shares within 2 1/2 months after the surgery was performed

Here’s what we avoided:

  • Avoided waiting 7-10 days for insurance to approve the surgery
  • Avoided the insurance requirement of working on only one hand at a time, which would have stretched out the entire process by an extra 1-2 months
  • Avoided any scheduling headaches by being forced to do it on someone else’s timeframe
  • Avoided be stuck with a giant deductible (in fact, 100% of the surgery was paid for!)
  • Avoided being charged twice as much for the entire procedure
  • Avoided seeing a bill, an EOB, and a final bill
  • Avoided any potential insurance coding and payment mixups
  • Avoided any extra “out of network” surprise charges

We received 100% of our assigned shares. 98% of funds came right on schedule between the 10th and 20th of the month along with nice cards and notes offering prayers for his healing. 2% of funds (one tiny share) arrived toward the end of the month. Most of them had cards and notes to go with it. We have saved them all as a reminder of God’s blessings.

I have always felt such peace about our Samaritan membership. Having now experienced a medical event and the Samaritan need submission/sharing process first hand only strengthens my confidence about how great this health care sharing ministry is. Yes, we pay for our own checkups, but even those are at a reduced rate with cash discounts. Insurance has its place, but it’s an option that is becoming increasingly unaffordable to many. I am so thankful that our family is walking our health care journey on a different path, a firmer foundation supported by fellow Christians following the ways of Christ. It has been a path of prayer, peace and comfort, freedom and joy, and incredible financial support. It amazes me how I (we) had come to accept the frustrations and large expenses associated with insurance as just being “normal” and “nothing we can do about it”. Doing healthcare the Samaritan way truly feels like chains being broken and coming out from under a crushing financial rock. I know that sounds over the top, but it’s entirely true. I wish everyone could experience how freeing it is to get health care with full support. To get bills paid quickly and without stress. To pay so little each month for the privilege of helping others achieve that same health care freedom. I wish we had found it sooner. 🙂 God bless Samaritan Ministries and its members. Thank You.