Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

This Christian Ministry Just Went Galt

Beating the healthcare zeitgeist by resurrecting the mutual aid society.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

May 18, 2014 - 8:00 am
YouTube Preview Image

Recently, my wife approached me with the unwelcome news that our health insurance plan — which we like — will likely be cancelled next year. Her employer, a healthcare provider, generously provides benefits even for those working part-time. Due to the devastation wrecked upon the industry by Obamacare, they anticipate the need to drop coverage for all employees working less than 60 hours per pay period. My wife works 56. Since my employer’s offering proves virtually worthless, far too expensive for far too little coverage, we will be left effectively uninsured.

We may consider Samaritan Ministries as an alternative to insurance. Resembling the mutual aid societies which were common throughout America before the rise of the welfare state, Samaritan Ministries operates as a “health care sharing” service. Here’s how it works:

Each member commits to sending a set “Share” amount each month. These “Shares” are sent directly through the mail from one household to another, to the members with “Needs”. Samaritan Ministries uses a database that randomly matches Shares to Needs, so that the Sharing is coordinated and Shares go to the appropriate members with Needs.

Born to a world dominated by employee-provided health insurance, we may find the notion of health care sharing bizarre or even suspect. But is it really any more odd than our rapidly corrupting government?

It’s with some irony that a Christian ministry has essentially gone Galt. While Ayn Rand may have balked at the religious context in which Samaritan Ministries operates, she also may have tipped her hat at their defiance of convention.

The service “even satisfies the Federal health care law’s (Affordable Care Act) requirement that you have insurance or pay a penalty-tax (see 26 United States Code Section 5000A, (d), (2), (B)).”

Would you consider a health care sharing service like Samaritan Ministries? How might the business model be applied to other needs?

Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
My family has been a part of this ministry for about three years. It has worked well for us, currently costing $370/month for our family, and our needs have been met. As I recall, Samaritan Ministries has been in existence for about 15 or 20 years. They currently have, I think, more than 25,000 families sharing expenses. There are stipulations, however, that must be met such as being in agreement with their core Christian beliefs and attending a church regularly. No branch of Christianity is excluded, however and they are pretty much non-denominational. Illness related to drug or alcohol abuse is not covered, nor is abortion as a life style choice covered though I think to save a mother's life it would be covered. It's worth considering for those who agree. I do worry that the far left will try to crush ministries like this, especially if they become too large.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have belongs to a ministry much like this one since last year, for the very reason you state: loss of insurance because of Obamacare. We did MONTHS of homework, research, vetting and praying before buying in. The final thing that convinced us is that our doctor's group has several other patients on these plans, and finds them more fair, and quicker paying than many conventional insurance companies. For two 50somethings and our 20yo student we pay about $400.00 a month, for what we consider catastrophic insurance.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Expect "improvements" to the ACA to make this sort of arrangement illegal within two years. Can't have the pawns moving on the board independently!
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞­۩ஜ
Start making cash right now... Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I've started this job and I've never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here...


W­W­W.J­O­B­S­C­S.ℭ­O­M
۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞­۩ஜ
LET’S HAVE A PRODUCTIVE 2014
CLICK THE LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
My daughter does this and it works. Gee, some of you are comparing it to some utopian non-existent fantasy where every possible contigency is covered. This is the real world where NO insurance covers every problem or is ready for every future change the way you would like it to.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought the AMA and insurers had lobbied to make such mutual aid societies illegal many decades ago.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rand would be inspired. She praise a Harlem minister when he said he wanted to be rich and wanted his congregation members to be rich. (And she expressed her intellectual debt to St. Thomas Aquinas.) Go Galt, go God, and prosper.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
But each of these sharing members still has to pay Obamacare taxes to subsidize Obamacare.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, obamacare tax penalties do not apply. There are exactly three such organizations grandfathered into the ACA--Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medi-Share, and Samaritan. When our insurance wanted $26,000 for a $15,000 deductible policy this year, we made the switch to CHM with Brother's Keeper. Someone has a chart online comparing the three to help you find the right fit.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have nothing at all about such an arrangement, of course, but I wonder if it is really practical. The way it is described - "shares" going to people's "needs" every month - it seems people are paying collectively to each other's doctor's bills for things like baby delivery or broken arms, etc. but what if there's a need for organ transplants or long care nursing homes? Could the "shares" cover that? And how do you determine if someone isn't overblowing their "needs"? Going Galt is very cool in theory, but so is the perfect equality of egalitarian communism. In reality...
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
"what if there's a need for organ transplants or long care nursing homes? Could the "shares" cover that? And how do you determine if someone isn't overblowing their "needs"? Going Galt is very cool in theory"

This doesn't work in theory.

It works in fact.

It's been working for long enough to have proven itself. It covers catastrophic illnesses quite well, probably better than most insurance policies.

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. It's not communism. There's no force. It's a voluntary group and is an insurance policy -- that's how they all work -- you pay into the fund for the unexpected. I do wonder if the funds will be sufficient, but I imagine that has to be figured out by the people involved.

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
My family has been a part of this ministry for about three years. It has worked well for us, currently costing $370/month for our family, and our needs have been met. As I recall, Samaritan Ministries has been in existence for about 15 or 20 years. They currently have, I think, more than 25,000 families sharing expenses. There are stipulations, however, that must be met such as being in agreement with their core Christian beliefs and attending a church regularly. No branch of Christianity is excluded, however and they are pretty much non-denominational. Illness related to drug or alcohol abuse is not covered, nor is abortion as a life style choice covered though I think to save a mother's life it would be covered. It's worth considering for those who agree. I do worry that the far left will try to crush ministries like this, especially if they become too large.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think this is wonderful. I'm not Christian, but you have every right to include in your group whoever you wish. Others may do the same. I do hope in the future, that the leftists won't attack you for "discrimination" -- maybe the country will go in another direction after a while. We can only hope. All the best to you.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have belongs to a ministry much like this one since last year, for the very reason you state: loss of insurance because of Obamacare. We did MONTHS of homework, research, vetting and praying before buying in. The final thing that convinced us is that our doctor's group has several other patients on these plans, and finds them more fair, and quicker paying than many conventional insurance companies. For two 50somethings and our 20yo student we pay about $400.00 a month, for what we consider catastrophic insurance.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
What you described is, after all, what an insurance company does.

You need an actuary, and some guidelines for treatments, and a fairly large base - or it won't work.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure many of us see shortcomings with this arrangement, but it is an alternative to buying in to the expensive Obamacare system. I figure if I lose my current insurance, I'll hide as much money as I can in tax-shelters and just pay the penalty every year.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see how it can work at all. A couple of heart transplants, a few dozen people taking biologicals, and they're toast. Unless they start implementing death panels.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
You don't have to see it. It's working, and has been for many years.

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Buy Obamacare when the need arises since insurance companies cannot deny coverage for existing illness.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
It could work but how do you insure enough younger people join, and how do you decide what can and cannot be covered in an age when healthcare options are endless, not strictly limited as of old?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's no "could work" about it.

It DOES work.

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All