Samaritan rolls out a new Membership Level!

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Posted by admin | Posted in Samaritan Newsletters, Samaritan Perks | Posted on 20-09-2017

WOW THIS IS BIG NEWS!!

 

Effective Oct 2, 2017 Samaritan will now be offering TWO membership levels to choose from. The original level doesn’t change much, and is called Samaritan Classic. The new level is called Samaritan Basic. You can read more about the new cost structure here: Monthly cost breakdown

Basic was created to give members the ability to join and experience all the joys of being part of the Samaritan community while having an even lower monthly share in exchange for higher amounts the member is personally responsible for on their needs. By taking on the responsibility of more of their own medical bills, members are rewarded with a lower monthly share amount. Makes sense. 🙂 The level at which sharing starts per need goes up to $1500 on Basic (instead of $300 on Classic) and a 90-10 sharing percentage kicks in so the Basic level member will be responsible for 10% of their medical bills after that $1500 threshold up to a max of $13,500 per need. In exchange the monthly share costs are less, which can ease the budgets for those who aren’t able to share at the Classic rate levels.

You can also view the updated guidelines here (searchable text and a PDF format)

I still love the Classic level the most for our family, but I’m glad to see this option now exists for those members who really needed a lower cost option. I love the power of choice! Being part of Samaritan is such a blessing, and the ministry’s support and efficiency with which medical needs are prayed for a paid timely is very important to me. All of that is part of Basic, too! Offering a way for people to be a member and have a lower monthly share is wonderful, especially for those who feel their risk level is low for a medical need, or have the ability to cover that rare bigger need up to the established out of pocket 10% limit of $13,500 from their own or other sources. Basic’s $1500 personal responsibility per need can still be reduced down to $0 just like the Classic level does. So while that $1500 amount is the level before sharing starts on a need, if you do have a bigger one you can still get that $1500 portion wiped out by getting discounts on your medical bills, which just makes the portion the member pays that much less.  And the fact that Basic level members can still participate in Save to Share and have no caps on the super huge needs means the cost risk of a qualifying big need is limited to their 10% portion max of $13,500 (plus the $1500 initial unshared amount). As a result, if you are interested in the Basic Level membership, I would even more strongly suggest you enroll in Save to Share so that you keep your potential out of pocket costs at that more manageable amount in case that giant need does happen (heart issues, cancer, major accident, etc). I’m rather frugal and cost conscious and for our family I don’t want to think the skies the limit on potential unpaid medical costs. Samaritan and Save to Share provides comfort and protection against that in spades. Save to Share keeps that amount manageable for Basic and Classic members alike.

If you have any questions about whether Basic would be a good option for you, feel free to call Samaritan directly or write to me here on this blog. I love answering questions and would enjoy helping you consider what is right for you.

Want to know more about signing up for Classic or Basic? Click here for a free downloadable information packet.

 

What is our responsibility as Samaritan members?

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Posted by admin | Posted in Samaritan Perks | Posted on 15-09-2017

As I’ve noted all over this site, membership in Samaritan Ministries is awesome, but completely different from the insurance plan you used to know. It’s far less complicated and puts us back in charge. Membership removes insurance blindness and we are now active participants in our care and billing. This is unfamiliar for people and something to get used to, but once you get comfortable with the idea of being back in control you realize how imprisoned you once were to a very complicated and unfair system.

Our responsibilities:

  • Check our mail and Pay our low monthly share to a member in need
  • Pray for that member
  • Attend church regularly
  • Make our own decisions about our health care without influence/pressure from an insurance company
  • Live as healthy as we can
  • Pay for our own preventative care and routine medications and make healthy/responsible choices accordingly
  • Receive bills whenever we have medical needs
  • Get itemized billing if not initially offered and submit those itemized bills to Samaritan
  • Inform our providers about the payment timeline and ask for a discount (Samaritan helps with the discounts if we need it)
  • Pay our providers when the shares come in
  • Move on with life!

It’s really pretty simple and can be boiled down to:

  • Pay our share
  • Pray for members
  • Submit our qualifying bills to Samaritan
  • Pay our bills with shares from members
  • Communicate with our providers
  • Live healthy
  • Go to church

I’m sure every family manages their membership a little differently in terms of saving for planned expenses (how often, how much), how much time they dedicate to prayer for other members, and finding discounts on their own. Some members have better access to different types of care than others, while some are very limited. Each family is unique and each one has the choice and control to make decisions which best fit their family. And within Samaritan’s guidelines they are each supported and cared for without the limitations, restrictions or headaches that insurance provides.

We had different responsibilities as insurance customers. On their system we saw the doctor, never really asked what something costs, asked very few questions, made our copay, then hoped and prayed we wouldn’t get caught with a huge bill a few weeks down the road. Each month we paid our premium with annoyance at how much it costs for how little we get. We stressed in a world of unknowns, occasionally confused by the strange math of an insurance EOB (“what do I owe?” and “why didn’t they pay that?”), spending endless time on the phone with providers and insurance reps hoping to get some clarification and bills fixed. Toward the end of the year our excitement over the holidays was marred by the knowledge that our premiums and deductibles were going up again and feeling powerless to stop it. We stressed over how to pay for it all. Our calendars were tied to our deductibles. We got used to it, it was familiar. “That’s just how it is, no way to change it, I gotta have insurance, right?, but I don’t know how to pay for it.”

Samaritan removes 90% of that. We still deal with our providers of course, but there is no longer a struggle over deductibles, high premiums, coverage battles, waiting on the phone, strange math, or end of year stresses caused by insurance expenses, limitations or deductibles starting over. Our budgets can breathe easier, our needs are paid and also supported by prayer, we are part of a community instead of a tick mark in a database. We are brothers and sisters in Christ helping each other, instead of piggy banks for CEOs and stockholders.

We now choose assurance instead of insurance. We choose Samaritan. And we breathe easier knowing we are doing our part while also having the full support of Samaritan staff and members to get our bills paid and our spiritual needs lifted in prayer. God’s provision is glorious.

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