What about the really big costs?
Samaritan Ministries will share medical need costs up to $250,000 with a standard membership. This will cover 99% of medical needs people have, especially since discounts can be applied on large bills to get them lowered. But what about the really big costs that go over $250,000? We hope it won’t happen to us, but it can, and we don’t want to be caught unprepared. Fortunately there is a plan for this. It’s called Save to Share.
Save to Share is specifically designed for sharing of those much higher medical bills.
The largest need shared to date was $1.5 million, which was discounted down to $700,000, and it was fully paid for through member shares. That is WELL OVER $250,000, so by being part of the Save to Share program, that person’s needs were covered all the way to $700,000 (after the discounts). That person could focus entirely on healing and not a single penny was owed out of pocket for those hospital bills. Save to Share covered the extra $450,000 beyond the standard membership coverage of $250k for that need. If they had not been on Save to Share, there would be a large amount of money for them to deal with. Ouch.
Save to Share participants are asked to put a certain amount in savings (that amount shown below) based on the type of membership they have with Samaritan. The money is not sent to Samaritan. It’s ours to keep in savings until it’s needed. We have a two parent family membership so we put $399 a year into savings (yes, yearly). Samaritan may ask me to pull out some of that $399 and send it to a member with a large need. Samaritan never asks me to send more than 1/2 of my available amount to any one need.
Any proposed increase in these amounts is presented to the members for a vote. The annual administrative fee is $15 for any size membership. Massachusetts’ residents are required to be in Save to Share to meet state legal requirements.
This program provides tremendous peace of mind that no matter what kind of huge medical need we may have (long running cancer treatment, major heart issues, big accident, etc) they will be covered. There are millions and millions of dollars sitting in member savings accounts around the country, ready and waiting in case someone has that large need. A few years ago there would be maybe one Save to Share need per year. Now with rising medical costs the group has about 1 need per month. The importance of being part of Save to Share increases all the time.
Since the money stays in our own savings account, if it’s not called on to be used it’s still ours, waiting in savings. Unlike an insurance company which would take the money and keep it, Samaritan wants everything to be transparent so the money stays with us until needed. I LOVE THAT.
Save to Share needs are shared as part of the regular newsletter, so as an example, this month we were asked to send $370.47 to our member with a need. The extra 47 cents was to come from our Save to Share pot. It all went to the same guy. 47 cents isn’t much, but multiplied times all the members who are part of the StoS program it was all that was needed to cover the little bit that went above $250,000 for his or her need. Next month I may send $10 out of the Save to Share pot, the following month I may not need to send anything. Samaritan knows exactly what they’ve had me send and what is left. I will never need to spend more than I’ve put back. I love how this ministry watches out for everyone.
You can read more about Save to Share rules in the Guidelines. Here’s a link to the guidelines for Classic & Basic memberships, once there just click on any of the Save to Share sections.
UPDATE 4/28/14: To give you an idea of our save-to-share commitment so far, we have been members 6 months and still have over $350 in our Save to Share pot. So in 6 months time we’ve been asked to send a little under $50 total (it was split among 4 different needs) and the highest one was $24 if I remember correctly. 2 months were zero dollar, one was about $9, and I forget the rest. I’ve already looked ahead to our May share (possible through our online Samaritan account) and there is no save to share obligation for May from us.
UPDATE 10/10/15: We’ve been members almost 2 years and still have about $635 in our save to share pot. We’ve put in $798 (399 each year), and spent a total of $163 in 2 years. That’s an average of $81.50 per year actual spending. VERY LOW. It makes Save to Share membership a no brainer for us. I love knowing we’re protected even for those huge events, and I don’t have to worry about costs should they occur. I don’t want that nagging feeling in the back of my mind and by being in Save to Share I don’t have to deal with it. We’ll add another $399 next month (beginning of our 3rd year as members), which will bring our pot up to $1034. The max they want us to keep in there is 3 yrs worth ($1197) so beginning year 4 we won’t have to add the full amount (assuming the usage stays about the same). Ooh, and the uber generous online bank *sarcasm* is paying us 1% interest on that account so I earn about 25 cents a month on it. haha.