Jump to content
IGNORED

NYT on Christian Health Care Cost-Sharing Ministries


AnnaSofia
 Share

Recommended Posts

{I did a search and didn't find anything on this, my apologies if it's a repost.}

It Looks Like Health Insurance, but It’s Not. ‘Just Trust God,’ Buyers Are Told.

Quote

Eight-year-old Blake Collie was at the swimming pool when he got a frightening headache. His parents rushed him to the emergency room only to learn he had a brain aneurysm. Blake spent nearly two months in the hospital.

His family did not have traditional health insurance. “We could not afford it,” said his father, Mark Collie, a freelance photographer in Washington, N.C.

Instead, they pay about $530 a month through a Christian health care sharing organization to pay members’ medical bills. But the group capped payments for members at $250,000, almost certainly far less than the final tally of Blake’s mounting medical bills.

“Just trust God,” the nonprofit group, Samaritan Ministries, in Peoria, Ill. , said in a statement about its coverage

Several other ministries (Trinity, Medi-Share, Liberty) also mentioned in the article.

  • Upvote 6
  • Thank You 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Looks like Mark Collie and Scameritan aren’t too happy about the article. 

https://samaritanministries.org/blog/samaritan-member-responds-to-negative-new-york-times-article

(This comment is from the link to Scamaritan that was in the article) “Yet, we chose hope.” Hate to break to you buddy, but hope isn’t what saved your kid. ?

Edited by Giraffe
Clarifying
  • Upvote 12
  • I Agree 7
  • Thank You 1
  • Love 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the LDS family vloggers I follow uses Christian healthcare ministries.  I thought it sounded  lot like descriptions of scammairtan I’ve seen here.  
 

they claim they’re saving money because they’re insurance costs so much ( which is what happens when you ditch the job to be a vlogger/influencer no employer to pay for part of the health insurance). 

  • Upvote 10
  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO health care in the US has MASSIVE problems, and I can sympathize with people (though not necessarily the professional blogger class) struggling to afford adequate insurance.  Scamaritan, however, is NOT the answer, and it enrages me that it's allowed under the ACA.

I've talked to a handful of non-fundies who heard about the through Facebook groups and the like. One was an acquaintance I ran into at a grocery store. She described them enthusiastically, and asked if I'd ever heard of it. I'm pretty sure I blurted out "OMG DON'T DO THAT" so loudly it's amazing no one called the manager over.  I'm not sure she would have qualified for most of them anyway, but I really don't think she had any idea what she was getting into.

  • Upvote 20
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Looks like Mark Collie and Scameritan aren’t too happy about the article. 

https://samaritanministries.org/blog/samaritan-member-responds-to-negative-new-york-times-article

Don't get me wrong, I am truly delighted that his child is recovering and well - but I am frustrated and angry that people are able to skirt the legitimate system, and it sounds like he will continue to use Samaritan - and why not?  Medicaid will pay, as well as those who do pay into the legitimate system and have increased costs to cover the write-offs for cases like this.   These "cost-sharing" programs should be abolished!  

  • Upvote 20
  • Love 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t understand what that guy is so angry about. His story wasn’t misrepresented. Scam artist refused to cover the costs, he didn’t know what to do, Medicare stepped in. Yet somehow scamaritan is still the good guy? I’m confused. What am I missing?

  • Upvote 11
  • I Agree 11
  • Thank You 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, anachronistic said:

His story wasn’t misrepresented. Scam artist refused to cover the costs, he didn’t know what to do, Medicare stepped in.

This is pretty typical for these people.

(1) Loudly boast about how godly you are for not taking gubbmint aid or for getting medical coverage* from "Christian" insurers.

(2) Experience a major, catastrophic illness or accident that requires expensive care, often including ER or ICU.

(3) Costs of treating the illness or accident are huge and predictably only a fraction of them, if anything at all, will be covered by Scamaritan.

(4) At the urging of Scamaritan, "negotiate" the doctors' & hospital charges downward, ultimately paying cents on the dollar for the medical care you received in your time of need.

(5) Hold a fundraiser to cover the balance of negotiated costs.

(6) Take the money from the fundraiser & pay off the reduced bills you negotiated, and continue to boast about how godly & fiscally prudent you are because you use Scamaritan.

I keep bringing it up, but see the FJ discussion of the case of "Little Tait" Zimmerman from some years ago, which follows this typical path. In Mr. Collie's case, I'm very glad for his son that Medicaid eventually went into effect. Too bad the child still has a self-righteous fundie asshat for a father.

*Scamaritan & its fellow evildoers notwithstanding, the way medical care & insurance are handled in the US is fucking criminal. 

Edited by hoipolloi
  • Upvote 16
  • I Agree 5
  • Love 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This past week our AFLAC agent came to our work to help with renewing our disability and accident insurance policies.  Even though I have health insurance through my employer I also take out extra policies for cancer and critical care due to annual high out of pocket, we are a small company.  The agent said a major reason hospital costs are so high is due to the uninsured and underinsured negotiating lower prices since they are self pay and that cost gets passed on to the rest of us.  Cuz of that insurance companies cut back on the services they pay and raise their premiums.  In the Maxwell forum we have been discussing Anna Marie's cancer and Scamaritan.

  • Upvote 9
  • Thank You 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, SPHASH said:

The agent said a major reason hospital costs are so high is due to the uninsured and underinsured negotiating lower prices since they are self pay and that cost gets passed on to the rest of us.  Cuz of that insurance companies cut back on the services they pay and raise their premiums. 

Figures. The insurance companies are going to get their money, one way or the other.

 

  • Upvote 5
  • I Agree 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a woman popular on YouTube (maybe she has a thread here?) called Farmhouse on Boone that said in a q&a they have a Christian insurance and that she didn't know how it worked because they hadn't made any claims on it yet. She since that video has given birth, but did not report on how it worked out. Anyways, she is not too outspoken but follows the typical path: was raised Catholic, married right out of college, has 6 kids, homeschools, obsessed with fermented foods, husband quit his job and now works on the farm, now attend Baptist church and follow John Piper, etc. 

 

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a lot of thoughts about Scamaritan and similar programs. No, the US system is not perfect, but these programs are not the solution.

1. Families sign up because the monthly premiums are lower than with traditional insurance (TI).  I'm guessing many or most of these families could not afford TI if they have a passel of little blessings. But they're also sending checks to other Scamaritan families.  Do they send checks to one family at a time, or multiple families? Because if it's the latter, the premium plus the checks might equal what they'd pay for TI, and they'd have the security of having reliable payment for any medical emergency.

2.  I'm guessing many of Scamaritan's families would qualify for Medicaid, if they could stop seeing it as a government handout. Again, a reliable payment.

3. For a significant hospital bill, Scamaritan pays the up to their self-imposed limit, then the family negotiates the remainder with the hospital and hopes to pay for it via other member families' checks and possibly fundraisers and/or GoFundMe.  Am I getting this right? So a hospital could be waiting months or years for payment? No wonder hospitals are closing.

4.  "It's such a blessing to have others pray for us." Praying for someone else doesn't have to involve money. Have your name added to the sick list at your church.  Your name will be published in the weekly bulletin. People in your congregation will pray for you.

5. There's a link on Scamaritan's Facebook page from February 7 from The Citizens' Council For Health Freedom (can't link it). "Members... are not forced into Medicare when they turn 65..." Nobody is forced into Medicare.  My uncle worked until his early 80s and didn't sign up for Medicare until he retired. Nobody forced him to do anything.

Edited by JMarie
clarification
  • Upvote 10
  • I Agree 4
  • Thank You 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, SPHASH said:

This past week our AFLAC agent came to our work to help with renewing our disability and accident insurance policies.  Even though I have health insurance through my employer I also take out extra policies for cancer and critical care due to annual high out of pocket, we are a small company.  The agent said a major reason hospital costs are so high is due to the uninsured and underinsured negotiating lower prices since they are self pay and that cost gets passed on to the rest of us.  Cuz of that insurance companies cut back on the services they pay and raise their premiums.  In the Maxwell forum we have been discussing Anna Marie's cancer and Scamaritan.

It's also because hospitals, medical equipment companies, and pharmaceutical companies charge patients and healthcare providers in the United States far more than they charge in other countries with more inclusive healthcare systems.

The governments in countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, and NZ are not covering $100,000+ for a fairly simple surgery. They are covering the real cost of the medical professional's time/expertise, equipment, and drugs. Part of the appeal of a more universal healthcare system is that the government can bargain companies down to a cost that doesn't put their profit margins at 1000%.

When healthcare can be such a widespread "for profit" business, you get the insanity that happens in the US health system.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/17/21024614/us-health-care-costs-medical-prices

But all of my frustration at the healthcare system in the US through private insurance and who does and does not qualify for Medicaid pales in comparison to my fury at supposed "Christian" organizations capitalizing on people's faith and trust in religion and mistrust of companies/government. That's particularly on the nose.

  • Upvote 23
  • I Agree 1
  • Love 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JMarie said:

There's a link on Scamaritan's Facebook page from February 7 from The Citizens' Council For Health Freedom (can't link it). "Members... are not forced into Medicare when they turn 65..." Nobody is forced into Medicare.  My uncle worked until his early 80s and didn't sign up for Medicare until

Forced, my hind foot. A couple of friends who retired from federal government jobs don’t have Medicare. There’s a different program for retired feds. The scare tactics (used by so many nowadays) just keep on coming.

  • Upvote 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have medicaid. When David died, I was given the choice between Medicaid and CHAMPVA. Medicaid was a better deal. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm glad I have it. But then again I'm a shameless lazy bitch who will take whatever gubment handout I can get, like that survivor's pension I get from Uncle Sam because my husband was a disabled veteran. 

  • Upvote 15
  • Love 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FFS - MediCARE is for people who have a disability (and have to prove it) and senior citizens.  It's not a handout.  If you (or your spouse) have a work history - you paid into it (won't go into the Federal Government borrowing from Medicare funds).  

MedicAID is for the poor.  And yup - I ran my mom's money out and applied for medicaid when I needed to put her in memory care due to dementia (also won't go into how crappy medicare/insurance is about caring for folks with dementia).  

Re what the vlogger I follow said about Christian Healthcare Ministries - in the video she was babbling about this (and older one) she had two kids that needed to go to the doctor.  Both wound up on meds.  Between the doctor visit & the medications she paid over $300.  Their 'insurance' won't cover until it is over $500 (per incident).  And it sounds like they have to pay the bills and then accumulate them (per incident) and submit them for reimbursement.  So they end up doing the bookkeeping that the rest of us rely on our insurance to do.  And who the heck has the cash laying out to cover even a basic take two kids to the doctor and get meds for say strep all out of pocket?  

  • Upvote 11
  • Thank You 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, clueliss said:

FFS - MediCARE is for people who have a disability (and have to prove it) and senior citizens.  It's not a handout.  If you (or your spouse) have a work history - you paid into it (won't go into the Federal Government borrowing from Medicare funds).  

MedicAID is for the poor.  And yup - I ran my mom's money out and applied for medicaid when I needed to put her in memory care due to dementia (also won't go into how crappy medicare/insurance is about caring for folks with dementia).  

Re what the vlogger I follow said about Christian Healthcare Ministries - in the video she was babbling about this (and older one) she had two kids that needed to go to the doctor.  Both wound up on meds.  Between the doctor visit & the medications she paid over $300.  Their 'insurance' won't cover until it is over $500 (per incident).  And it sounds like they have to pay the bills and then accumulate them (per incident) and submit them for reimbursement.  So they end up doing the bookkeeping that the rest of us rely on our insurance to do.  And who the heck has the cash laying out to cover even a basic take two kids to the doctor and get meds for say strep all out of pocket?  

https://medicare.com/original-medicare/can-i-get-medicare-if-i-am-under-age-65/

Quote

Medicare eligibility before age 65

If you’re under 65 years old, you might be eligible for Medicare:

If you receive disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for at least 24 months in a row

If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease)

If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is permanent damage to the kidneys that requires regular dialysis or a kidney transplant

The special needs kids I work with are all on Medicaid.  As if my patients weren't vulnerable enough, today Trump said he'd be cutting Medicaid so he could increase military spending.  I worry every day. But I guess it doesn't matter, since my patients will never be able to vote for a Trump, right? (thinking of that Time magazine meme with signs for Trump 2020, Trump 2024, Trump 2028, and so on and so on)

  • Upvote 4
  • WTF 2
  • Thank You 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Samantha Bee did a clip on christian health care sharing ministries and mentioned Scamaritan. 

Spoiler

 

 

  • Upvote 7
  • Thank You 3
  • Love 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember looking into Scamaritan when I was still married and fundie-lite. I was taken aback to discover that we didn't qualify, because of my mental health issues. One of the first cracks in the Wall for me.

  • Upvote 4
  • Sad 3
  • Love 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/9/2020 at 3:43 PM, hoipolloi said:

*Scamaritan & its fellow evildoers notwithstanding, the way medical care & insurance are handled in the US is fucking criminal. 

This. I've never been so deeply entrenched in the clusterfuck that is the US medical system as I am right now. It is absolutely insane how little any of it has to do with caring for an individual person and their needs. It's about contorting that person into a very specific box that exists to contort a human being into a set of conforming guidelines that protect the doctors & insurers from liability first and foremost. 

I swear to Zeus next time I need surgical care I will find a way to go to Mexico or some damn thing. 

The US is a complete and utter failure at medical care. 

  • Upvote 10
  • Sad 1
  • I Agree 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A "friend" (conservative friend from my upbringing) and I were discussing current healthcare and he was trying to convince me to join one. I didn't even respond, I don't have time to debate this time of stuff, nor the patience anymore to withstand his headache. But it came after I told him my sister needs very high cost monthly medication and supplies that most insurance refuses to cover. "JUST JOIN A CHRISTIAN HEALTH CO-OP!" he shouts. Do they take on people with pre-existing conditions? High monthly medical costs? (Because you can't just decide to randomly cut someone off when they need these things to sustain their life every month....) It is limited to just medication or also supplies? What about required yearly tests and visits to specialists that are quite costly? Honestly, I don't know the answers to these questions but he is an "I'm always right" type of person and I wasn't in the mood to discuss this. 

EDIT: I now I went back to see the conversation in facebook and he is, in fact, a member of Samaritan ministries. I almost want to contact them with my questions, telling them I was referred by this friend who is a member, to see what they tell me. But maybe they watch this thread and it's too late now. lol

 

EDIT EDIT: Sorry for all the edits. But I just checked it out and most pre-existing conditions are considered a Special Prayer Need. So you don't get automatic coverage. It's an option where members can send extra money to your Special Prayer Need if they want to. That seems really risky if that's your only insurance? But I can see it being attractive anyways if you don't already qualify for any other insurance because I guess it's better than nothing. I wonder realistically how many of these Special Prayer Need members actually get extra money and how much they receive. 

Edited by meep
  • Upvote 9
  • Thank You 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share




  • Recent Status Updates

    • Jinder Roles

      Jinder Roles

      If you’re looking for a new female rapper may I suggest Doechii. The girl is a genius
      · 3 replies
    • louisa05

      louisa05

      Business teacher discussing ethics in the room next door just told students taking a sick day for mental health reasons or “mild illness” is wrong. 🙄
      · 3 replies
    • SillyDillys

      SillyDillys

      I need Jill Rod to post something stupid right now. I don't want to give birth to Ms. Dilly after reading the description of the material that Josh downloaded
      · 3 replies
    • Cartmann99

      Cartmann99

      It's December and we still haven't had our first freeze of the season.

      In light of the issues with the electrical grid in Texas, perhaps I should make an appeal to Rufus to continue to keep us above freezing? 🤔
      · 2 replies
    • HerNameIsBuffy

      HerNameIsBuffy

      Advice needed from anyone with experience planning a Catholic wedding
      She's been engaged less than a week and I've got questions.
      Booking a church or venue is done way in advance so we're on that now.   
      Why do churches ask what the date is when they say specifically on the website that you can't set a date until discussing it with the coordinator?  Why can't they ask for a range? Since when have Catholic churches been such pains in the ass about being a member of that parish to get married there?  She's coming in from out of state for the wedding, she doesn't have a parish here.  I'm not religious and my local parish church is ugly.  My childhood parish waived this and said they could marry there, but it's not an ideal location and aesthetically it's fine but she'd prefer older and more cathedralesque if they do the church wedding.   My grandpa's old church is beautiful and she's in love with it....but they're the only one who hasn't gotten back to us.  (St. Hedwig's for anyone familiar with Chicago's Bucktown) Bribes still work, right?  In the old days you could slip the church a "donation" and they'd be a lot more lenient about weddings, annulments, and funerals for non-practicing Catholics.  How are we supposed to figure out the going rate for graft 2021?   I have no problem lying to the administrative staff and claiming to be a practicing Catholic if it helps, does that make me a sociopath?  Although I don't want to lie to a priest directly.  Can you be a sociopath with religious guilt? I've been married twice, both times to Catholics.  First wedding in a Baptist church and second in congregational or community something.  I did that because I suck at planning this kind of thing and fundy-lites will marry anyone with a 20 minute meet and greet, apparently.  I wanted to elope both times and was over ruled both times so I resentfully half-assed it so this is the first time I'm trying to help plan a wedding properly.  
      The church she wants will waive the bride and groom being members if one of their parents are.  I love my daughter so much, but if I have to start actually attending church to make this work I will expect her to pay for the increase in my wine and edible budget.  Member for at least four months.  Driving from the burbs into the city once a week timing it so I get there just in time to toss them an envelope with money I'd rather keep and skedaddle is something I'd rather avoid.
      I know lots of people think what I'm trying to do is awful.  That non-practicing Catholics shouldn't get married in the church, that it's a sin to try and game the system, etc.  That church shopping for the aesthetic is  a sacrilege or such.  I understand how people can feel that way, it's valid.  But people like that would disapprove of me for a million other reasons anyway, so I'm okay with that.
      This is how I'm rationalizing it. 
      I raised her Catholic and while not practicing as an adult she does believe in God, Jesus, giving a shout out to Mary and all that.  They are going to raise their kids Catholic in the sense of sending them to CCD so they have the religious ed and then they can make their own choices as adults.   I spent thousands of dollars on CCD over the years and two out of three of my kids don't know what an apostle is.  They owe me.   Being Catholic is as much a cultural thing as a religious choice and that's the only one we have.   You can't opt out of being Catholic, as my sister once learned when she went fundy-lite, due to the indelible mark of baptism so they keep you on the roster.  If you can't leave the church without a formal declaration then I there should be something in it for us.  One wedding and burial per Catholic no matter how lapsed seems fair to me. When my uncle died in the late 1950s the church wouldn't allow him to be buried in a Catholic cemetery so they put him in a secular one.  Several years later my dad made a sizable "donation" and voila, look who got exhumed and is now buried next to Grandma and Grandpa.  Wish he was here now to handle this.  
       
      · 16 replies
    • indianabones

      indianabones

      I have mice in my attic and need to figure out how to clean my dryer vent. Ah, the joys of home ownership!
      · 3 replies
    • Scrabblemaster

      Scrabblemaster

      When everything will go on as planned, I will marry Mr. S. at the end of the year. But honestly my optimism is fading away (Covid19 and one other fucking annoying issue, that is more likely to get the wedding rescheduled than Covid19) . I wanted to tell it here, just...well...because. You understand? 
      · 3 replies
    • PinkGreyBrown

      PinkGreyBrown

      The world according to James Robert Duggar, patriarch: Keep sweet? Keep secrets.

      · 3 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Decided to go to one of my old MST3K standbys for tonight's entertainment.  Namely Angel's Revenge.
      · 0 replies
    • HerNameIsBuffy

      HerNameIsBuffy

      Found this when googling Mother of the Bride dresses for Rod thread when Nurie was engaged...
      Now that my baby just got engaged I'm going need a mother of the bride dress myself, what do you think?  I'm going for tasteful and flattering and I think this fits the bill.
       

      · 9 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.