Why SMI? The Schlatters received large reductions on their bills

Brittany Klaus  ·  Dec 19, 2019

Since joining SMI, both Mark Schlatter and his daughter, Laura, have seen large reductions in their medical bills as self-pay patients. Mark had a surgical procedure that was recommended by the clinic’s ear, nose, and throat doctor, which normally costs $23,000. Mark says, “Because of the fact that I was paying my bills as a non-insured patient, it brought that $23,000 cost down to $8,000 for that procedure, and when I saw that happen, I thought, ‘Wow, this really does work!’”

Laura received dramatic reductions on the bills for her knee surgery for a torn meniscus. She says, “Because I presented myself as a self-paying patient, I was able to get some sizable discounts on my medical bills. The cost of my surgery came out at just over $16,000!”

After a successful surgery and physical therapy, Laura was able to return to dancing for Ballet 5:8, a Christian ministry that uses the arts to present the gospel. “Praise the Lord for Samaritan staff who genuinely care about my health and healing from an injury, rather than making a buck off of a paying member,” says Laura. “It was so refreshing to have a phone call with a Samaritan representative who, after discussing the next steps for my Need, was able to pray with me for continued healing and clarity. Samaritan has been an encouragement to me.”

Mark heard about Samaritan Ministries from another member of the board of directors of Christian Community Health Care, who was also an SMI member. The board was wanting to provide Mark, one of two employees of the volunteer-staffed medical clinic, and his family with a health care plan. Based upon the testimony of the other board member and the fact that SMI is a Christian ministry, Mark and the board members were intrigued.

“I personally looked into it and found that the approach Samaritan Ministries takes with its members is very intentional, as far as having the spiritual accountability with your church,” Mark says. He also appreciated that he would be investing in a Christian ministry as opposed to an organization that may support causes he would not agree with, and that the monthly Share amount is a lot less than many monthly insurance premiums out there.