Healthsharing Reviews is not affiliated in any way with Samaritan Ministries and Healthsharing Reviews does not endorse any products or services offered by Samaritan Ministries nor is Healthsharing Reviews sponsored in any way by Samaritan Ministries.
Ted Pittenger founded Samaritan Ministries International in 1994, making this HealthShare one of the oldest still in operation. Although this HealthShare is not for everyone (it has very strict religious requirements and only shares for unexpected medical bills), Samaritan Ministries has been reliably helping members pay their medical costs since their first major shared bill in 1995.
According to the 2021 version of their website, Samaritan has over 80,000 member households, totaling more than 250,000 actual members. These members shared about $26 million each month towards each other’s medical costs.
Samaritan Ministries is a bit different from some other HealthShares; members send their money directly to other members. With other ministries, members’ monthly share is sent to the HealthShare, then dispersed to whoever needs it. With Samaritan, funds transfer member-to-member.
However, for one month each year, members must send a monthly share to the ministry to cover administrative costs. Other than that, you keep your money in an account dedicated to sending funds to other Samaritan members.
Other key differences include: no preventive sharing, no smoking, many restrictions on pre-existing conditions, and strict religious requirements (members must attend an approved Christian denomination and provide evidence that they worship weekly).
Before getting into the monthly contribution prices, Samaritan Ministries charges a $200 start-up administrative fee. You must pay this even if you are re-joining the ministry.
It’s also important to note that Samaritan has an initial unshareable amount (IUA) of $400 or $1500, depending on your membership level. The Samaritan Classic plan offers 100% sharing (after all requirements are met) and a $400 IUA; the Samaritan Basic plan has lower monthly costs but a $1500 IUA and 90% bill sharing.
Membership households are divided in 5 categories: one person, two-person family, three-to-seven person family, and eight or more persons family. The household category varies depending on the program level you choose.
The monthly contribution depends on household type, the chosen plan, and (possibly) the member’s age. Monthly contributions on Basic range from $100 for a spry, single youngster, to about $400 for a family with more than eight members and parents over 60. On Samaritan Classic, members pay up to $682 for a large family of eight. You can use Samaritan’s pricing calculator here.
After the standard monthly contribution, Samaritan also has a Save to Share™ program you can join. Save to Share™ is an annual amount that participating members agree to set aside each year for a catastrophic event. That amount never exceeds $399 annually for any household size. So, if you are a Samaritan Classic or Basic member but not in the “Save to Share™” program, you might be out of luck if your bills go over the sharing limit. However, Samaritan has been around for a long time and has a large membership, so they must be keeping members happy!
You can join Samaritan Ministries by filling out their form here.
Fortunately, if Samaritan doesn’t seem like the best fit for you, there are several other Christian HealthShares that might work. Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) and Altrua Healthshare currently (2022) have the best reviews, but other options include OneShare Health, Liberty Healthshare, Solidarity (for Catholics), and Medi-Share. Several of these companies have recently made changes to their leadership and operations, so if you aren’t certain about Samaritan, research other options carefully before making a decision. The downside to having a lot of options in this category is, of course, having to sort through a lot of information to find the one that works best for your situation! Hopefully, the member reviews on our site will help narrow down your choices to make finding the right fit a little easier.
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