Samaritan Ministries (Health Care)

A Biblical, non-insurance approach to health care needs

Giving God the glory :Throughout our history God has been working through the members of Samaritan Ministries International as they pray for one another and send notes of encouragement with their monthly shares and special gifts. There are now more than 20,500 households active in this unique ministry. The number of staff at the office has been increased to serve the growing number of members, and the building is again filling up, so a search for another building has begun.

This history of Samaritan pays tribute to a man and his family who persevered in trusting God to establish the ministry, to the staff members who believe in the ministry and serve it, to the leaders who had the faith to join the ministry while it was still in its infancy, and to the thousands of believers who faithfully share and pray each month in dependence on God. But most of all, it is a tribute to the God, Who has provided it all. He is our Creator Who meets all of our needs. It is only through Him that any of this could happen. All the glory and praise go to Him!

The Christian Health Care Newsletter is effective because it is founded on certain Biblical principles:

  • God is the ultimate Source of provision for every need encountered by the Christian. Even when help comes through a person, it ultimately comes from God.
  • A medical need cannot be met with money alone. Prayer and encouragement are also needed.
  • It is the responsibility of those within the Body of Christ to allow them to be used of God to help in meeting the needs of other Christians.
  • The local church is the first line of defense for meeting the needs of Christians. Samaritan Ministries is intended to support and supplement the work of the local body. Serious attention is given to avoid undermining or replacing what should be done locally. We also depend on the leadership of the local church to provide accountability for those in their care.

Accountability is an important scriptural principle and is practiced in many ways at Samaritan Ministries.

  • Members agree to abide by a statement of faith, and ask their pastors for accountability when turning in needs and on annual continuation forms.
  • Members use checklists to make sure shares are sent each month.
  • The board of directors, who oversees the administrative staff and operations of the ministry, is elected by the members. There are always more members who do not receive compensation than Samaritan staff on the board.
  • The ministry is committed to direct sharing, from household to household. Share money is not pooled, managed, or invested. It is sent directly from one member to another.
  • Any increase in the share amount must be approved by a vote of the membership.
  • Samaritan Ministries has an annual independent audit.


What is Health care sharing?

Simply put, health care sharing is a Biblical approach to paying for health care, based on passages such as Galatians 6. Verse two says, "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." That law is the royal law of loving one another.

Although it's actually pretty straight forward, health care sharing can be difficult for us to understand because we are so used to thinking in terms of insurance.

Here's how the need sharing process works in a nutshell: Each member commits to sending a set "Share" amount each month. These "Shares" are sent directly through the mail from one household to another, to the members with "Needs". Samaritan Ministries uses a database that randomly matches Shares to Needs, so that the Sharing is coordinated and Shares go to the appropriate members with Needs.

Here's how the Need Process works in a little more detail: Samaritan Ministries publishes a monthly newsletter mailing that reports the total Shares and Needs and includes an individualized Share Notice for each member household. The Share Notice tells each household how to pray for a specific member with a Need and what his address is, so the Share can be sent to him. Typically less than 10 percent of the members have a Need in a given month and are receiving Shares.

When a member has a health care "Need" he receives health care treatment from a provider of his choice, collects the bills, and sends them to Samaritan Ministries. Samaritan Ministries verifies that the Need meets the Guidelines. Then, in the monthly newsletter mailing, Samaritan Ministries directs some members to send their Shares to the member with the Need. The member with the need receives the shares to pay his health care bills.

With more than 18,000 member households participating in the ministry, there is about $4 million available each month to meet health care needs.

Christian Health Care Newsletter

Members of the basic ministry agree to share expenses incurred for medical treatments specified in the Membership Guidelines. The amount of the monthly share is based on household size (see chart below), regardless of your medical history, age, or other factor.

Membership Type

Monthly Share





Single-Parent Family


Two-Parent Family


Christian Health Care Newsletter - Senior Discount: The monthly shares above are reduced $30 per month for each participating member of the household who is age 65 or older.

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