When you’re desperately looking for an affording, good alternative to expensive health insurance, initially I found that I was looking at the major things first. Things like cost, what it “covers”, what it doesn’t, are there good reviews, how long has it been around, are they stable, etc. Those are the obvious ones and they needed to check all the boxes for our family before I go any further.
However, there are some “little things” that I’ve noticed now that we’ve been a member of Samaritan for a while, things that really put that extra special touch on being a member. These are things that are nice to have, things that insurance really didn’t do for me and I just got used to it being that, and things that honestly now can make all the difference when you’re in the middle of having a need.
1. Samaritan staff are easy to get ahold of. When we had insurance I used to monitor my wait times on hold hoping a person would answer. My record was 50 minutes. Jeepers. Samaritan is nothing like that, after a quick menu a person answers almost immediately. My longest hold time so far was about 4 minutes and that was highly unusual. Normally they just answer right away. I don’t like to waste time, so it’s great that Samaritan is there for ME.
2. Samaritan staff pray with you. If you are calling about a need, at some point during that call they will actually pray on the phone with you. It’s amazing.
3. Along the lines of #2, Samaritan staff seem to genuinely care about you as a person. I did talk to some nice people at the insurance company, but I also got the run around with scripts and words to make it clear that just because I thought it was important, didn’t really mean it was. Samaritan gives me the exact opposite impression. They genuinely care about my concern, my need, my question.
4. I love the process of direct sharing. Of course I was used to sending my money direct to insurance, and then having insurance take my money straight from my account (which was admittedly foolish because canceling with them meant they took an extra month premium they should never have had access to, and then I waited 6 weeks to get it back). But I LOVE sending my monthly share direct to a family every month. There’s something so purposeful about it. I know my money is going to help a specific need. The unknown factor has always bothered me. What is my money really being used for? With Samaritan I know exactly. I know where it went, what it was for and I get to pray for that person and their healing. In the hustle and bustle of today I absolutely adore the simplicity of that.
5. There is no sharing for abortion. Ok, maybe it’s not fair to include that as a little thing because it’s really a big thing, but the issue gets lost in the fine print of a lot of insurance policies and as a result many people don’t even think to ask. Not every insurance policy covers that, but a lot do, and I don’t want to be a part of it. Samaritan makes it quite clear how they feel about that.
6. I love reading the monthly newsletter. There are interesting articles, letters from other members, a financial summary of the previous month, and member spotlights. I soak it in, can’t get enough.
7. It’s simple and easy. I have enough complicated things in my life. I don’t need another one to stress me out. Samaritan is the opposite of stress and complication. There’s a monthly newsletter, an address to send our share to, and a list of people to pray for. It grounds me and reminds me that my daily life is caught up in trivial matters, but my membership means I’m part of a community of Christians who have banded together to help each other. How amazing.
8. I love reading the list of Special Prayer Needs and sending extra for those. We have been sending our referral share reductions to these every month, and I love knowing we are helping heal a burden.
9. I love it when I read reviews and the member says that the cards they got were just as important as getting the money to pay their bills. That is really striking to me. The reason we joined was to make sure we’d be financially supported in the event of a need. The spiritual benefit was an extra. I’m just struck by how much that prayer support and personal touch means to those with a need and how it becomes equal to and even greater than the financial support. It’s no longer an extra benefit to them, it became a primary benefit. Many of them said it helps them heal and they can feel the prayers. God’s presence in this membership is humbling and powerful.
I’m sure there are more, but that’s just what I came up with off the top of my head as I sit here writing and thinking about Samaritan and what the membership means to me.