I came across this testimony/review of another Samaritan member’s experience on the program. This one is especially helpful because it answers the questions about what happens when big events like cancer appear on the radar. The author’s husband had cancer and went through the entire process without health insurance. He was treated at John’s Hopkins and felt blessed to be treated at one of the top cancer hospitals. They met people during treatment who had to delay or skip some tests and treatments because of insurance denials. She described that as “unthinkable” to them as they went through treatment’s of their own. They were thankful that with Samaritan if you need an MRI you get it. If you need a PET scan, you get it. There’s no middle man, no waiting, no fussing. She mentions that the bills are over $200,000 now and they’ve never thought twice about the ability to pay them. She did have a rather funny recanting of the hospital calling them weekly for insurance information and when told they don’t have insurance, but if they could just send the bills to the house they would be paid. “They would reply, “What? Send the bill to your house?” The billing department was not prepared to do that, but I think they should get used to it…” I imagine the surprise felt on the other end and it makes me smile to think of all those big bills getting paid with no insurance processes.
Some of my favorite parts of her story: “Samaritan is the way to go. We have not had to worry about thousands of dollars in deductibles or thousands in a percentage we would have to pay. The members of Samaritan pay it all. All we have to do, after we publish the need with Samaritan, is deposit the checks, then write a check to the hospital. It sounds too good to be true, but we are living it and it’s all true.” and “We have a huge stack of envelopes with the notes and each and every one has encouraged us along the way. Some have brought us to tears. Some have sent extra gifts to lighten the load of cancer and the toll it takes.”
She points out that some of the checks are larger than the standard family rates because churches and other organizations are using Samaritan for their staff, so that does help cut down on the number of checks you process, although it would still be a lot with bills that high. She has a picture of several envelopes they’ve gotten, and in addition to the checks members have sent gifts to brighten their spirits, including a gift card to go out to dinner. I was frankly so heartened to read her story because it reminds me again how Samaritan members are there for the small needs and big ones, AND they offer spiritual support with their cards, letters and even gifts. It’s remarkable to me and so unlike the headaches and frustrations that insurance offers.
Thankfully the author’s husband is in remission (Praise God!) and they are obviously so pleased with their experience doing it all as Samaritan members.