The Big Fix to Expensive Healthcare

Now the IRS is trying to pave a path to sustainable health care (according to the WSJ today). Why bother? We’ve had the answer for 12 years strong: Samaritan Ministries.

Here’s what the WSJ said July 2, 2018, “The IRS Can Save American Health Care”:

Health care is fast becoming an unsustainable expense for American families. This year the total cost of insurance for the typical family of four eclipsed $28,000, according to the Milliman Medical Index. Rising insurance premiums are also eroding worker compensation, as companies shift increased costs to employees.

Holy Toledo. $28k? Wendy and I decided to go with Samaritan after six months of barely affording $12k per year. This was 14 years ago, and we haven’t regretted it at all.

And we’ve gone through some pretty big medical emergencies. I’ll never forget the time when Micah nearly cut off his finger, I was rushed to the hospital for an apparent heart attack, and Wendy had a tumor removed from the back of her throat. All within six months, and over $130,000 of bills stacked up.

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? It may lead you to think insurance is the best route. But it isn’t. ALL of our bills were covered.

You may wonder how this is done. Here’s the pathway to any claim we make:

  1. Pay the bill with cash, or ask for deferred payment. This gets the process rolling, and most doctors and hospitals immediately drop their bills 40-60% when you do. This makes sense. The entire office they employ to manage insurance claims has been bypassed, thanks to you and your Samaritan membership.
  2. Start a claim with Samaritan. They counsel you to gather all the bills and send in. For large claims, Samaritan counsels with you to talk large bills down. You’d be surprised how much medical professionals will waive significant chunks from your bill.
  3. Samaritan puts you on their list. You will receive checks from other Samaritan members, and they often come with get-well cards. We have received hundreds of checks over the years, and none of them have bounced and only a few were late (but eventually came).
  4. Keep track of payments received. I keep track with a Google spreadsheet, then Wendy sends it in with the official form the Samaritan provides. My bank account is always replenished or my credit card always paid off.

Technically, Samaritan is not insurance. It is “Christian sharing” of medical bills. We abide by their statement of faith, attend church faithfully, and vow to live healthy lives. They have restrictions on who can get on (preexisting conditions may not necessarily apply, see their website for details), but they fit our family’s needs perfectly.

Our commitment: $500 per month and $100 per year subscription to their prayer letter. That’s $6k (for a family of 14) versus $28k (for a family of 4). Do the math. I’m sure you can do a lot of good with the remaining $22k per year.

Besides, you’ll get to be a part of this wonderful community and help one another. Consider joining. Visit SamaritanMinistries.org and request a free information packet. Let them know that I sent you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.