Why SMI? It has a 'spiritual connotation,' Craig Russell says

By by Michael Miller  ·  Sep 20, 2023

Member Spotlight: SS American Memorial

Craig Russell knows about insurance. The director of the SS American Memorial in Seguin, Texas, mainly dealt in property and casualty insurance, but also worked with hospitalization insurance.

“I knew it inside and out,” he said, and was immersed in it until the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, turned health insurance sideways. That forced Craig himself to look for more affordable health care.

“One of my shipmates who comes through (to the Memorial’s ranch) every year told me about share programs,” Craig said. “I had never heard of them, even though I was in the insurance business at the time. I started researching them and found them intriguing. A group organization where members took care of each other, which I believed in, and all of them had a spiritual connotation to them. Asking people to pray, that whole element of utilizing the power of prayer from thousands of people.

“I know how that works, and that’s what drove me to sign up with Samaritan Ministries in 2016.”

He said he appreciates how Samaritan Ministries emphasizes holistic health, including nutrition, which his wife, Nancy, helps soldiers and veterans with as part of a local veterans’ agency.

Overall a healthy man, Craig needed colon surgery in 2020, in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the first time in my life, I went into the hospital, and I was about the only one in the hospital,” he said.

The sharing process, he said, worked well.

Craig said he appreciates how Samaritan works with providers to find fair prices for procedures.

“The group hospital industry can learn a few things from y’all,” Craig said.

Michael Miller is editor of the Samaritan Ministries newsletter.