As a member of Samaritan you are considered self pay. Sometimes (usually) that means you get charged more than someone with regular insurance, which I find beyond frustrating, totally illogical and completely unfair. Fortunately members are able to ask for and receive discounts without too much trouble. But what if you meet with some resistance? What if you just don’t WANT to ask for a discount, either because you are afraid of a confrontation, or feel odd about it? Samaritan understands. It can be a new experience, especially if you haven’t ever negotiated for other purchases (like a car) or maybe just weren’t very good at it. (those car dealerships are tricky, but I think I’m getting better each time) 🙂
Fortunately, we are not on our own!! Samaritan contracts with the Karis Group to handle those negotiations for us and they are averaging about 45% off. If we are able to score a big reduction on our own, then great! Some people are getting 40-60% and more! But if not, don’t feel bad, Karis can help. If we submit a medical need to Samaritan (especially anything over $1000) we will be assigned an advisor who will work with the providers to get the bills lowered to something more reasonable. Being self pay as a Samaritan member doesn’t mean you’re on your own. It means we have an entire organization of people ready to pray with us, guide us, help us, advise us, and get bills lowered for us. Samaritan answers questions, gives reassurances, and walks with us through that entire medical need so we can get the bills paid, even if bills keep coming that we weren’t expecting.
Even when I had health insurance I was surprised at how many different bills we would get. Hospital, doctor, lab, radiologist, surgeon, visiting surgeon, the list went on. The bills didn’t always arrive at the same time. The volume of bills doesn’t change by being a Samaritan member, but the level of support for them goes way up. I no longer have to get so frustrated at how much something costs, fearing that I’d be stuck with a huge bill either from a giant deductible or an out-of-network surprise. Now I can peacefully ask for a discount, get the best I can, and turn it over to Samaritan. If they feel more deductions are attainable then Karis will try to get them. Either way, the remaining amounts will be submitted to Samaritan members and shares will start arriving, about 30-60 days later.
Over and over again I read reviews from Samaritan members about how SIMPLE the need process is. How SUPPORTIVE Samaritan and Karis staff are. How QUICKLY shares came in and bills were able to be paid. Reading those reviews is so reassuring.
If we have a medical need, the bills are unavoidable; insurance or not. Comparing the two, I’d MUCH rather have the support of Samaritan Ministries and its members than our old insurance company. Instead of cold rules and high out of pocket costs, I have traded it for warmth, support, caring, and prayer from an organization who just wants to be sure the bills are paid and that none of us are overcharged. Samaritan strives to follow the laws of Christ. Anytime you have that as your foundation you know you’re on solid ground.