Ask Elizabeth: Okay, this may be super personal so you don’t have to answer it but I remember you saying both you and your husband work from home and I’m wondering what are you doing for health insurance? We’ve been getting it through my work, but I am moving into freelance work soon so we can start a family and I’ve been so overwhelmed with insurance! Especially with babies on our mind. You also mentioned in your IG stories once about how much you liked you insurance and I would love to hear all about it if you are willing! Help me! haha.
Insurance. Typically I would say this is a very “bla” post topic, but I am actually so excited to answer today’s Ask Elizabeth and share all about our experience with non-traditional health insurance! Insurance is typically a pain in the booty and when I went full-time as a blogger, I spent hours going over health care plans – it was the worst. Neither Bruce nor I have insurance coverage through our jobs and so even basic, high premium healthcare was going to cost enormous sums each month. I was super discouraged about it all and that is when Bruce’s brother recommended Samaritan Ministries.
At a price we could afford and crazy good coverage, it felt too good to be true but we needed health care so I signed us up to check it out. It wasn’t until we had our first medical need – my pregnancy & Hilde’s birth – that I really was blown away by Samaritan Ministries and I would never want to switch back to health insurance.
A Quick Overview
Samaritan Ministries is a health care sharing type of health insurance. That means every month our insurance bill goes directly to someone with a submitted need (new baby, surgery, broken bone, etc). Along with our check, we send a personal note letting them know we are praying for them! It is intentional and personal. And honestly it is SO fun knowing that our money is going straight to a real need someone has and not just a big corporation.
There are two membership levels – Classic & Basic. I am sharing these graphics from their website because I think they help highlight the differences.
What that looks like for us
We are signed up for the Classic 3+ Person Membership which costs us $495 a month. Each month all the approved needs are tallied up and divided out between members. If the month has less needs than our membership costs, our shares are reduced. We are also a part of Save to Share. It is an optional program designed to help members with qualified needs that exceed $250,000. We set aside $15 a month that can be used at anytime if there is a larger need. And as members of Save to Share, if we ever have a need over $250K it will be shared.
Our First Need
My Maternity & Hilde’s Birth was the first need we submitted and it was this experience that blew me away. When I first got pregnant, we opened a need and I could start submitting bills to the account. Once they were submitted and approved, we would get put on the need list for shares and checks would arrive in the mail the next month! I didn’t realize that we would get reimbursed so soon and before Hilde was even born. The need stayed open all the way until we were sure all the bills from her birth were done arriving in the mail!
Our birth didn’t go as planned as many of you already know and we ended up scheduling a C-Section. This added a lot more expenses than we were planning on! The total cost of my maternity and pregnancy need was $44,189.36 (GAH!) We received $21,776.47 in discounts for being self pay – which is nearly half of the cost! That left $22,412.89 and every single penny of that was shared. It is so moving to read card after card of people praying for Hilde and helping provide for this tangible need in our life.
Our first need quickly turned into our second need as Hilde was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia. Five more checks came in as we dealt with this need and it was so comforting knowing we could continue with the doctor we wanted getting the best help without worrying about if our insurance would cover it (since our health care provider Samaritan Ministries lets you pick your doctors unlike insurance companies that don’t always.) This need was also 100% shared as self pay discounts brought it below the initial unshareable amount.
While we were a little unsure at first, we quickly loved the idea of our monthly checks going directly to other members with real needs. After submitting our first (& second) need, we are blown away by what it feels like to be on the receiving end! It is such a great way to do health care these days. We love that we can go to the doctors that we want to (*for the most part) and seek the best healthcar. I wanted to add a quick caveat because we ran into an issue with a pediatrician that was not accepting self-pay clients at the time that we were looking so we had to go elsewhere to another highly recommended doctor. It was the only issue we ran into but felt like I had to mention it! We get unbelievable discounts being self pay and having bills shared by people who are also praying for the situation is a blessing hard to explain.
If you are interested in joining Samaritan Ministries, let me know! I would love to help answer more questions or explain anything more clearly! I am not being paid to say any of this, we just really have loved being a part of Samaritan Ministries! There is a referral program, so if you sign up, feel free to put “Bruce & Elizabeth Mayberry” down on your application form when it asks if anyone recommended you but no pressure at all!