Christian medical costs-sharing programs

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Pergamum, Oct 18, 2013.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    We are leaving our present mission org (which gets a group rate for health insurance) and we are now researching medical insurance options. Our expected future living pattern will be as follows: we will live overseas for 3 years at a time and come home about 6-10 months out of every 3-4 years.

    Christian "Medical Sharing Plans" were one idea that others told me about.

    SHARING PLANS: These plans are not "insurance" but are Christian plans for "Bearing one another's burdens." A good number of pastors and missionaries use them:

    ---Samaritan Ministries

    ---The Good Samaritan Program

    ---Christian Care Ministries

    ---Global Insurance

    Has anybody here had any experience with these plans? We are in our 30's and healthy except for the occasional bout of malaria and parasites :) We will remain as "expats" mostly and get most medical care done in Asia.
  2. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    I know that, for Samaritan Ministries at least, you can contact them and they will try to get you in touch with someone(s) in your area who has used them. And in your case I mean anywhere vaguely within a very large area around you :B That might be good to do because there are going to be things which are specific to being an overseas missionary, and most of us here are not overseas missionaries!
    A key thing for you is your malaria tablets and so on, whether you can find an affordable way to get those. Again, it's possible they could tell you how other members have dealt with that.
    You don't smoke a cigar every day out in the jungle, right? Other than Samaritan allowing a cigar to celebrate, say, the birth of a child, tobacco use is pretty much a no-no. So just checking...

    For Samaritan you would need someone state-side to handle sending cheques out each month. I believe Christian Care works with transferring money through a credit union.

    If you want to just read a few experiences I can come back and link to some older threads?
  3. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    If I recall correctly, Greenbaggins uses one of these programs. You may want to PM him.
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The only thing we smoke are pigs over hot coals in the jungle. For alcohol use, I have had about 12 bottles of wine over the last 12-15 months (amounts to about 1 small glass every 3rd or 4th day.....we hoard it because I imagine it helps my stomach/digestion a bit here). Otherwise we are healthy except for malaria about once every 6 months and parasites/scabies. I am heavy for my height (200 lbs at 5'9) but I've bench-pressed 325 lbs and can hike through jungle days on end, so I ought to be considered "fit."

    I can have direct-deposit set up to send checks each month. Most insurance companies have clauses about pregnancy, but we are trying to have as many kids as possible (we only have 3 right now, but are in the process of adopting). Also, we need both overseas coverage as well as stateside coverage. Emergency catastrophic medical evacuation coverage might be needed because we were medivac'd one time in pretty dire circumstances due to a tropical disease.
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    We use Medi-Share and have nothing but good things to say about our experience. I know several folks that use Samaritan Ministries and say likewise.
  6. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    Alcohol is fine so long as not abused. Samaritan has this thing where you either say you don't use it or you say you use it in careful moderation/not drunkenness. I don't know why that is but if I had to guess I'd say maybe some teetotallers didn't want to agree to using alcohol moderately :B
    Health and fitness and all that doesn't matter, other than that there are various restrictions on pre-existing conditions, though they can still be covered as special prayer needs, and generally people give enough to cover all those things :) I think Medi-Share/Christian Care Ministries had some thing where you could save money if you proved you were healthy, or something, only remember it vaguely :)
    For Samaritan overseas medical services are handled exactly the same as US, just have to translate the bill into English and dollars.
    They are very supportive of families having children. The only restriction Samaritan has on pregnancy coverage is that if you join whilst pregnant then you can only receive as much money as you have given by the time of the birth. The only thing to consider with adopted children is any pre-existing condition from before you were responsible for them or they became a member but again that should qualify to be a special prayer need.
    "Ambulance transportation and life flights are publishable only when used for perceived life threatening situations or when prescribed by your health care provider for transport between medical facilities."
  7. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    We use Samaritan Ministries. We like it. No problems so far. Any particulars PM me. Also, contact SMI and they can explain all that is going on.
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    Christian Healthcare Ministries: The affordable, biblical solution to healthcare costs, This descended from the legacy organization, the Christian Brotherhood, which worked well for the circumstances it was intended for in its day, but later went bankrupt and reorganized in this revised form.

    Remember, contrary to pop culture teaching, insurance is based on the premise that some will pay more than is needed to cover the extraordinary needs of a fewer number. Less must be paid out than taken in, that is more must be healthy than sick, etc. Otherwise, we are not talking about insurance.

    Insurance was never (and is not now) based on paying the affordable costs of routine healthcare, it is based on insuring against the contingency of extraordinarily large medical expense.

    That used to be beyond needing to say, but our culture has become some dumbed down and materialistic it has to be explained, or nothing will meet expectation. Nothing.:)
  9. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Medi-share does offer discounts when you meet certain height/weight and other health benchmarks.
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