Health Share not Health Care

Last fall, most people who had been buying their own health insurance received notification that the insurance plan that helped to cover their medical expenses would no longer be available effective January 1, 2014.    I am one of those persons.

For the past ten years I have been purchasing my own health insurance because I was not covered by any employee health insurance benefits.  With all of the speculation about the impact that Obamacare would have on the health insurance industry, it was no surprise to me to learn that my insurance plan was to be discontinued.

No health insurance?  Oh no!  What would I do?  

I did what most people would have done in this situation.  I researched the cost of different health insurance plans.  I even visited the government’s insurance marketplace but stopped short of entering my personal information.  And I prayed for wisdom.

We’ve been trained to believe that a loss of health insurance is cause for great panic.  I often hear people say, “You can’t afford to be without health insurance these days.”  And I totally agreed with that sentiment.  What I found out in my search for affordable health insurance was that there are alternatives to health insurance.  It is possible to have a plan to help with medical bills without putting myself and my health care into the hands of our federal government–which was the very thing that I did NOT want to do. 

Through a couple who attends our church and our Life Group, I heard of Samaritan Ministries, “a biblical, non-insurance approach to health care needs”.  This particular couple have been members of Samaritan Ministries for a number of years.  Both the husband and the wife have been through some serious medical problems, and all of their medical bills have been met through other members of Samaritan Ministries.

With that information, I did some research of my own, and I was impressed with all that I read about this ministry.

The ministry operates on the philosophy that Christians sharing each other’s healthcare expenses is as effective, and perhaps even more effective than Christians depending on insurance companies to meet our healthcare expenses.  Each month, I receive a newsletter from Samaritan Ministries with the name of a fellow member whose medical need has been approved for sharing.  Rather than sending my check to an insurance company or an organization, I send my check directly to another person or family.  I like that.

Samaritan Ministries is not the answer to every Christian’s healthcare needs.  Policies exist concerning pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, and health maintenance expenses.  If, however, you’re a Christian, and you think that you can’t survive without health insurance, you might want to check out some other alternatives like Samaritan Ministries.  

So far I have not had to submit any medical expenses to Samaritan Ministries, but I feel at peace with trusting God and His people to help me with medical bills if I should have a need in the future.  I love sending my money to a person each month rather than to an insurance company or the federal government.  My only regret is that I didn’t join with this group of fellow Christians sooner.  My monthly share is considerably lower than the cost of the health insurance that I’d been buying for the past ten years.

I’m looking forward to a long, happy relationship with Samaritan Ministries, and I’m grateful to our friends who pointed me in this direction.

Photo image source:  www.freedigitalphotos.net

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