Why SMI? Health insurance didn't make sense

By Amy Sauder

May 31

Health insurance bothered Robin Pennington.

For instance, a pharmacy once told her that a prescription with a $35 co-pay would only cost $12 if she didn’t use their insurance.

That didn’t make sense. Nor did other charges.

“Our daughter had to have lab work,” Robin says. “They’re charging $1,600 if we have insurance, yet if we don’t, they’re charging $150. We don’t see that this is a game that we’re playing.”

Then there was the cost factor for Robin and her husband, Paul. When faced with planning their own health care expenses after Hope for Orphans became an independent 501(c)(3) ministry, the escalated insurance payments became “overwhelming.”

A Hope for Orphans Board member recommended Samaritan Ministries, so Paul and Robin researched the ministry and joined.

Giving to a person in need instead of an insurance company was a refreshing change for Robin.

“It was like knowing in the Spirit that this is the way it’s supposed to be,” Robin says. “Being able to send a check to someone individually and be a part of God’s provision was just overwhelming. Even though we didn’t know them from church, it felt like we did.”

The community aspect of Samaritan also impresses them.

In September 2016, their daughter, Hope, had a nine-hour open-heart surgery to repair two heart valves and replace a pacemaker.

“We started getting the cards and the letters,” Robin says. “She got gifts from people, and children who drew pictures of her in the hospital, and we were just overwhelmed.”

“You begin to realize how powerful the Body of Christ is when we work together the way we were meant to work together,” Paul says. “That’s been the real blessing to me, is to see the Church in a way you could never see just through your own local church. It’s an amazing feeling that believers, part of our family that we don’t exactly know personally, helped provide for her rather than a corporation.”