Joining together to strengthen our programs

By by Steve Bassett  ·  Aug 22, 2023

Whether you are a participant in Samaritan™ Basic or Samaritan™ Classic, you are experiencing an increase in your Shares beginning this month. While these higher amounts will allow members to share each other’s Needs without prorating, they also add to the financial pinch many members are facing. The increased pressure from rising monthly expenses is a big challenge for many families. We all must also continue to work together to strengthen our programs to achieve affordable Share amounts.

Moving to annual Share adjustments

One of the ways we plan to strengthen our programs is through planned smaller and regular Board-approved adjustments to our Share amounts. As you may recall from the video with Samaritan CEO Mark Zander and Chairman of the Board Jim Taggart (viewable on your Samaritan Dashboard), most all Share changes will be proposed to the Board to be submitted to the members on a regular, annual basis. The amount will require Board approval and can be vetoed by members through a vote. This new approach will lower the chances of proration and create more predictable changes in Share amounts to support families’ budget planning.

Our plan, if a Share increase is needed, is to present Board-approved Share increase amounts to members in spring months. Unless the membership vetoes the Board’s proposal, those smaller Share adjustments will be implemented in July.

Fighting medical cost inflation together

We must fight medical cost inflation together to keep Shares low.

Following last year’s Share increase, we ran a series of newsletter articles detailing what we can do to help reduce, or even prevent, the need for Share increases. The first article highlighted the shocking inflation in health care costs compared to inflation in other areas. The second and third articles highlighted what our Provider Relations staff are doing to help negotiate lower prices and how we can continue to effectively achieve fair prices using resources like Healthcare Bluebook™. The fourth and final article emphasized shopping around for fair prices and the benefits of a new law that requires health care providers to give uninsured patients like us a good faith estimate prior to care.

Recently, we established our Health Care Stewardship newsletter series, which focuses on becoming a savvy health care consumer in areas such as prescription drugs, lower-cost surgeries, and labs and radiology.

A different approach

Samaritan’s approach to fighting health care inflation is much different than what you would experience with insurance. Insurance networks restrict the doctors, hospitals, and treatments that may be used.

By contrast, Samaritan members value medical freedom, meaning you can choose the health care that you and your doctors believe is most effective, including alternative treatments. Samaritan Ministries members can most effectively drive lower Need amounts by working together to find the best possible value in care.

We need your help! Using fair-priced providers to avoid overpaying for care helps keep Share amounts lower for everyone.

Steve Bassett is Vice President of Program for Samaritan Ministries.