The Need Process
What is Health care sharing?
Simply put, health care sharing is a Biblical approach to paying for health care, based on passages such as Galatians 6. Verse two says, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” That law is the royal law of loving one another.
Although it’s actually pretty straight forward, health care sharing can be difficult for us to understand because we are so used to thinking in terms of insurance.
Here’s how the need sharing process works in a nutshell:
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.
Here’s how the Need Process works in a little more detail:
Samaritan Ministries publishes a monthly newsletter mailing that reports the total Shares and Needs and includes an individualized Share Notice for each member household. The Share Notice tells each household how to pray for a specific member with a Need and what his address is, so the Share can be sent to him. Typically less than 10 percent of the members have a Need in a given month and are receiving Shares.
When a member has a health care “Need” he receives health care treatment from a provider of his choice, collects the bills, and sends them to Samaritan Ministries. Samaritan Ministries verifies that the Need meets the Guidelines. Then, in the monthly newsletter mailing, Samaritan Ministries directs some members to send their Shares to the member with the Need. The member with the need receives the shares to pay his health care bills.
With more than 50,000 member households (more than 165,000 people) participating in the ministry, there is about $15 million available each month to meet health care needs.