Another Share Reduction and $37 sinus infection

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Posted by admin | Posted in Samaritan Perks, Self Pay Resources | Posted on

I was surprised this month to see that our share for July will be reduced by 6%. That’s wonderful news! There were fewer needs than money available so we all get to pay less. It’s a wonderful advantage of this sharing ministry, Samaritan is the only one which will reduce the amount we need to pay if the money isn’t needed.  I know my insurance company never did that.

Washington is creating a very uncertain landscape for healthcare in this country. I am once again very thankful for our Samaritan membership as we are largely removed from those concerns and the chaos it creates. Samaritan members pay very little for excellent protection from life’s big medical expenses. We carry our load by paying for our small costs and try to live a healthy lifestyle for the betterment of ourselves and the members. If a big medical need happens we are supported.

We didn’t have a big need this month, but a couple of simple sinus infections appeared in our house, so we needed some antibiotic prescriptions. Finding a way to handle that cheaply was my goal. I turned to my go-to drug cost app, goodrx, and the cost was $12 and $11 each (one for each sick person). I saved a little by using the app that I love, and the net result was LOWER than the generic drug copay offered by my former insurance plan.  The pharmacy took my “coupon” with no issues and I save money. For simple health issues like a sinus infection you can get a prescription issued by a doctor over the phone using Samaritan’s $25 tele-health option through the dashboard. So all in a Samaritan member could pay $25 plus $12 ($37 total) to get a sinus infection cleared up (depending on the drug cost in your area). That is VERY cheap and efficient if you don’t want to spend time or expense in the doctor’s office. And it’s cheaper (all-in!) than my old office visit copay! Many insurance plans today would have applied that doctor visit to a huge deductible leaving us with a big bill if I hadn’t met the deductible yet, and charged us more for the medications, too. Members are saving money all the way around through the resources that Samaritan makes available through its online dashboard. LOVE this ministry! Tele-health is becoming more and more popular, I highly recommend it if you are in a non-emergency situation.

If you’re looking for a peaceful, simple and affordable solution to the health care chaos, take a look at Samaritan Ministries.

 

HSA’s are closer to reality for 1 million ministry members

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Posted by admin | Posted in ACA-Obamacare, Self Pay Resources | Posted on

A bipartisan bill has been introduced to allow health care sharing members to use HSA’s for medical expenses. There has been a bill in congress for a couple of years now, but it had stalled out. This one has a real chance of becoming law. I believe that for two reasons:

  1. Big changes are happening in the health care environment at the federal level. Good or bad, change is coming and this is the time to get an HSA bill passed.
  2. This bill has bipartisan support from the beginning. The earlier bills had many cosponsors but no oomph. I think this one can actually go the distance. Ministries aren’t small anymore and members have a lot of voting power.

This article, https://lifesciencedaily.com/stories/21268-bipartisan-bill-touts-benefits-health-savings-accounts/, talks about the bill and points out that there are now over 1 million people who are members of the various health care sharing ministries. Think about that! What was once a well kept secret is now actively used by a million people! I would say that’s for good reason. It’s affordable, logical, and an absolute joy to help fellow Christians directly with our resources (and not break the bank). Our need was shared 100%, and we loved getting the cards and prayers.

I am excited for the possibilities of this bill and pray that our leaders will have the wisdom to grant us this extra money saving measure.

Alternatives to EpiPen Soaring Prices

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Our family is fortunate not to need EpiPens, but we have relatives who do and the soaring cost of this life saving medicine is outrageous. It appears to be a greed grab by the drug company, although I’m sure they have expenses, I am appalled at how they seem to be taking advantage of people who desperately need this medication. If you are a cash pay customer then finding an affordable solution is critical.

My favorite discount drug site has an article about how to get epipens for less, including a couple of other brand and generic options that are significantly cheaper. Goodrx has  coupons to make these options cost about $142 instead of $600 for EpiPen. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist if Adrenaclick, and its generic epinephrin are acceptable and safe for your family. If they are, this may be a great way to keep costs lower. Localized shortages may occur as people find out about the cheaper cost option.

The article also points out an income based discount program offered by the drug manufacturer, which could work for many. You can read more about the options they present and get access to the coupon through this blog link: http://www.goodrx.com/blog/as-epipen-prices-soar-what-are-your-options/ and also good information is at this link: http://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/how-to-get-cheaper-epipen-alternative/ and http://abc22now.com/news/local/epinephrine-injection-kit-for-under-10?utm_content=buffera0634&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=WNMbuffer

 

Update: Public outcry has caused Mylan Pharmaceuticals to cut the price of epipens in 1/2 with a $300 discount card for those paying full price. Of course, the full rate will likely still be charged to the insurance companies, and the resulting $300 pricetag for cash customers is still too high. Bloomberg reports that the medicine inside costs $1, yet customers are being charged $300-$600. Public and congressional pressure to lower the cost created the reduction, I’m hopeful that more reductions will come soon or that the other options will boost production to ensure the availability of Adrenaclick and epinephrin for those who are able to use it. I’ve also heard that using a syringe and injecting the medication is an even cheaper option, but it’s not quite as simple as the auto injectors so talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if that’s an option for you and your family. Also verify whether it is as effective as in those situations time is of the essence and you need to be sure it’s going to work quickly.

 

Update 2: Americans are turning to Canadian pharmacies to order their epipens with huge savings as a result. Other Samaritan members reported these as options. www.canadadrugs.com, www.planetdrugsdirect.com, and www.jandrugs.com. Please do your homework to determine if these are good options for your family. Here’s a link to an article from a Canadian news source regarding the issue. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/08/25/americans-turn-to-canada-for-cheaper-epipens.html