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.
10 thoughts on “Samaritan rolls out a new Membership Level!”
Hi, I’m 58 and single. I’m wondering how to best gauge if the Classic or the Basic is best for me to choose? Any tips or helps a I make a decision? Thanks, Sherry
Hi Sherry. We’ve been on Classic a long time, but when Basic came out we did a similar evaluation. Mostly we looked at what our typical medical spending was, evaluated how much we were willing to spend out of pocket per need and how likely we were to have needs in any given year. We also looked at our budge and our medical savings account. I’m a spreadsheet person so making a list of pros and cons, and doing a little math based on how many needs I thought we could have and the resulting costs on either Basic or Classic helped with our decision (I tend to use kidney stones as an example but a small surgery would also work). Some people are willing to shoulder more financial risk than others. Some are able and willing to put back more in savings to cover a higher up front personal responsibility than others. In the end we stuck with Classic, but once our kids are off the family account then perhaps we’ll change to Basic. I’m not sure there is a wrong answer, it mostly comes down to how much you can reasonably stomach for medical expenses should the unexpected happen. Either way you get a ton of flexibility and support from Samaritan and its members. Hard to lose. 🙂 God bless.
Thank you for your very informative website.
If my wife and I have not been able to be at church very much for the past few months because we’ve been out of town for work or for a family need, will that exclude us from the church attendance requirement to be a member of Samaritan? We are long-time church members and servants, just haven’t been able to be there much lately.
What is the likelihood that doctor visits, tests, etc that are possibly linked to pre-existing conditions be shared under Special Prayer Needs? If they are, are the majority of the expenses usually covered by the amounts people send you?
Do you know how Samaritan compares to ALTRUA?
Hi Mike. If you restart your active church attendance now then it should be fine. You need to be able to honestly and intentionally meet that requirement, and have a pastor vouch for you. A friend of mine didn’t start attending seriously until a few weeks before she joined and she maintained that attendance all through her membership with the occasional miss. It happens. We are allowed to miss sometimes, but it shouldn’t be often. If you are planning to join and are able to make attendance more regular then it should be ok. It’s more a matter of how long you need to attend regularly for the pastor to be comfortable vouching for you. That timeframe will vary by person I’m sure.
Most things can be shared as a special prayer need, as long as it doesn’t go against guidelines. How much someone might get on that need will vary considerably and there’s just no way to know. If you don’t happen to get the minimum you need though, it can be resubmitted. I doubt the majority of costs are covered by SPN donations, but it would depend on the situation. I know people give to SPNs, for sure, amounts just vary so much. I’ve heard baby related SPNs do well, otherwise you might check with Samaritan staff on your possible needs to see what they think.
I haven’t done much investigating into Altrua, mostly because it wasn’t ACA exempt when we were looking, but they are now according to their website. The last time I looked they were similar in cost to Samaritan, but “covered” less for need sharing. I still don’t hear their name out and about much, although I’m sure they’re growing as ministry membership overall is skyrocketing. It’s a matter of finding which best fits your family needs. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re investing health care sharing. Give Samaritan a call, they’re very friendly and can help give some insight into your special prayer need concerns. God bless!
Thank you very much Heather. I appreciate your advice and help. God bless you and your family and Merry Christmas!
I have a question regarding preexisting conditions. I was diagnosed with stage 2 diastolic heart failure, and take three prescriptions now (which will increase as my heart failure progresses). Do I qualify for Samaritan Ministries “insurance”? I was uncertain, but would very much like to be a part of this program with my family.
Hi Samantha. Samaritan doesn’t reject anyone due to health issues. Heart issues (and cancers) would need to go 5 years without any symptoms, treatments or meds before falling out of pre-existing status. Until that time, expenses related to that condition could be shared as a special prayer need, but not as part of regular sharing. Long term medications are not shareable past 120 days anyway (when taken outside of hospital) so those would be out of pocket regardless (you could look at something like goodrx.com for cash pricing on those). Medical needs unrelated to a pre-existing condition can be fully shared. Some people in that situation go ahead and join as a family, but also have a policy for the family member with bigger pre-existing issues (Samaritan becomes secondary to the other policy for that person, but is still a full member). Some don’t bother with the other policy because their pre-existing issue is well managed and not a concern to them. Since it sounds like yours is an active condition you’d probably want an individual insurance policy for you on top of a Samaritan family membership. Having both would allow you to be part of the ministry and get full sharing for everything you need outside of the heart condition. Cost is a factor, you’d want to see what that combined total is as that is not an affordable option for some. My prayers to you as you walk this journey.
Thank you for your thoughtful and prompt reply. I will take this information into consideration.
I plan to join Samaritan Ministries as soon as I get my pastor to fill out his section. 🙂
I LOVE how simply you put all of this information together! Thank you so much!!!
How long does it take to be processed and accepted?
I’ve paid my insurance, and need to cancel them, but don’t want to do that until I’m fully accepted by Samaritan Ministries.
I haven’t had medical expenses for several years, Praise the Lord! (but I don’t want to risk “jinxing myself”…. hahaha!
I haven’t been able to find this information anywhere online.
Thank you for your assistance.
God bless you and yours in an extra special way!!!
ps Using you as a reference!!! I want to someday do like you do with references income!! I love that idea!
Hi Debbie. It doesn’t take long at all. In fact you can have the membership start the same day they receive it. Samaritan doesn’t reject for health reasons anyway, so as long as your application is complete and in good order then you will be fine. Even if it takes them a few days to process the app membership can still start as of receipt date. I did like you’re thinking and overlapped them by a couple of days, but it won’t take long at all. A few days at the most. So glad to hear that you’re joining Samaritan, we have found it to be an amazing experience. They’re very warm and kind, and so helpful. And it saves us so much compared to insurance! God bless, and welcome to the Samaritan family! 🙂