I could hardly believe my eyes.
So a few days ago we got our monthly "share" letter from the healthcare-sharing ministry group we have belonged to since 2010, Samaritan's Ministries.
The letter told us how much money to send to a woman in Oklahoma who is fighting cancer, and to also pray for her.
Then below that, it had this nugget: "There was more available share money than needs again this month, so we have reduced the assigned share amount by 5.00 percent. (...) Praise God for His provision!"
So, sure enough, our normal family share of US$405 was reduced by $20.25 (5%). So, that means we have $20 more this month to save, spend, or give away.
Also this week, I have gotten two bills from the government for this year's car tax. Funny, those did not say:
"We received more than enough money last month, so we are reducing your car tax by 5%."
As we have gone to local stores and restaurants lately, I never saw, "We received more than enough money last month, so we are lowering all our prices 5%."
Overall, our experience with Samaritan's Ministries has been great. Once Deborah even had some healthcare done in Taiwan, so when we came back to the US, we just turned in all her Taiwan doctor bills (in Chinese), which they let us translate and calculate the Taiwan Dollar =US Dollar rate, and other members sent us the entire amount.
Our family is blessed with great health, and we thank God for it. Still, we had some "this and that" medical expenses over the past eight months, US$3.651.85 to be exact. A few days ago I sat down and calculated all the bills since last October, sent the paperwork into Samaritan's Ministries, and have been told this is how much we can expect to get back by July: US$3,651.85. Yes, that's 100%!
With all the angst, consternation, and high prices we hear about surrounding "Obamacare," (aka "Affordable Care Act") it is so refreshing to have such a convenient, voluntary, user-friendly, and affordable healthcare alternative that is in harmony with our belief system. As our nation grappled with healthcare reform and so many other challenges, we need this reminder that small-scale, voluntary, patient-based, faith-based programs that let individuals use their creativity and resourcefulness can work so much better than massive, centrally-planned, bureaucratically-created and -enforced government programs enforced on us by Washington.
Hear others' stories here.
1. In April I had a follow-up visit with an eye doctor; the fee was US$140. Earlier this month, I got a letter from a Baptist Church in Southwest Virginia that more than paid for that visit. Simply put, an eye procedure that cost me north of US$5,000 has been PAID IN FULL by other members of Samaritan Ministries. Case Closed.
2. Last fall and winter Deborah needed some physical therapy, and the price from the doctor, ultrasound, therapy, and massage (GREAT service from Crystal's Healing Hands in Roanoke, Virginia) came in over US$1,700. So, what a pleasure to go to the mailbox the past few days and find checks from good people like:
Lauri in Houston, Texas; Joan in Georgia; John in Kansas City, Missouri; David in St. Paul, Minnesota; Andrew in Westland, Michigan; JoAnn in Newark, Delaware; a family in Lucedale, Mississippi; and some other nice folks too numerous to mention. (Grammar lesson: note how I put a comma after each city, and a semi-colon after each state. That is how you list things in series that have commas.) If you know your US geography, you know these letters and gifts represent the North, South, East, and West. And as of today, 100% of Deborah's bills from that matter have been paid off by other members. And not only did people send enough money to pay off all the bills, they also enclosed encouraging notes, like JoAnn from Delaware who wrote:
"Praise be to the Lord, for He showed me the wonders of his love." --Psalm 31:21, from the Bible.
Want to learn more? Want to see if this could be for you?Feel free to contact me directly, or Samaritan's Ministries. Learn more at their facebook page. Tell them Scott Fang-yu Dreyer in Virginia sent you!
(Note: as a member of Samaritans Ministries, when I encourage a friend to enroll, the group gives my family a discount on an upcoming share to pay. So, if you enroll, Deborah and I would be GRATEFUL for you to list us as your references. Likewise, when you enroll and encourage friends to join, you too can enjoy such a discount. Lastly, the more families that join these groups, they more stable they will all be, helping us all.)