Health Care Sharing for people of Biblical faith
Members of Samaritan Ministries International (SMI) have been sharing one another’s health care needs directly, household-to-household, for more than 20 years, through a unique method that does not involve health insurance. Membership is open to all Christians who indicate their agreement with the SMI Statement of Faith for members, and agree to practice a Biblical lifestyle as defined in the SMI guidelines. SMI members qualify for an exemption from the individual health insurance requirement in the federal Affordable Care Act, and do not have to violate their Christian faith by purchasing health insurance that supports immoral practices.
The first SMI members started sharing needs in September 1994 and the ministry grew slowly at first, so that by September 1996, a small group of 200 member households were faithfully sharing about $20,000 in medical needs each month. As more Christians learned about the effectiveness of actively trusting God for their health care needs in this way, the rate of growth in membership accelerated. Currently, more than 63,000 households (more than 200,000 individuals) are members of SMI. To learn more about the history of SMI, click here.
CMF CURO is a separate ministry from SMI, and serves CMF CURO members as a Member-Representative to SMI. All members of CMF CURO join SMI, enabling us as a Christian community to participate in health care sharing that empowers us to actively live out our faith in daily life. When you join Samaritan Ministries International, you become a member of a truly unique and powerful Christian health care sharing ministry dedicated to:
- Sharing one another’s medical burdens both financially and spiritually
- Sharing the light of Christ in all we do
- Effectively delivering Christ-centered, Biblically-grounded, Christian health care sharing
- Actively promoting Christian charity
- Actively managing health care costs and increasing health care quality
Most critically, SMI supports the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Unlike the mandated coverage in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), anti-life and death-causing procedures (e.g. abortion, contraception, sterilization, in-vitro fertilization, assisted suicide and euthanasia) are not shared, based on our faith-centered beliefs. Members of SMI are exempt from the ACA health insurance requirement, and are not subject to its penalty (tax).
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Health Care Sharing
All sharing of medical needs is done through SMI in accordance with the SMI Guidelines. Please review the guidelines carefully. Generally, new symptom-related medical needs exceeding $300 and up to $250,000 are shared in accordance with the guidelines as approved by SMI. For more information in regard to health care sharing, please always refer to the SMI Guidelines.
SMI Administrative Guidelines Summary
When a member has a medical need, they must acquire itemized medical bills from their medical provider and submit them online to SMI. CMF CURO Members should contact CMF CURO to discuss their sharing options and SMI if they have questions regarding whether their need is shareable. Once the SMI staff verifies and processes all of the information received from the member in need, the need is published in the SMI monthly newsletter and shared within the SMI community.
To start a need, simply go to www.cmfcuro.com, login with your SMI credentials, go to Access Samaritan Account, select the Needs icon, and then “Start New Need.” If you are unable to submit your need online or prefer not to, you may contact Samaritan ministries and begin a manual submission process through the mail. Please keep in mind that the normal sharing process is 60 days and that you should not allocate funds to your CURO Card in cases where you need to be reimbursed for previously paid medical expenses.
SMI Program Details
Medical needs of $300 or less are not published in the monthly newsletter. Needs greater than $300 may be publishable up to a maximum amount of $250,000. Eligible needs for sharable medical costs that exceed $250,000 may be publishable for CMF CURO members through the Save to Share program. All CMF CURO members are active participants in the Save to Share program, as administered by SMI. The Save to Share program is for those who share in the medical needs of other members that exceed the $250,000 publishable amount. When a CMF CURO participant has a need that exceeds the $250,000 maximum publishable amount, we together, as Save to Share participants, will be asked to share from funds you have set aside to help with the amount over $250,000. If a member is not asked to share any or all of his Save to Share funds for one year, that amount will be added to next year’s total that the member may be asked to contribute. A member can be asked to contribute up to a maximum of 3 years’ worth of their yearly set-aside funds at any given time. As a member of CMF CURO, it is your responsibility to set aside the funds that can be called upon by SMI to help others pay for their medical needs over $250,000.
Needs that do not qualify as Save to Share publishable needs (as defined by SMI) may still be eligible for publication in the monthly newsletter as a Special Prayer Need. This allows the membership to see the Special Prayer Needs of members in need so that they can voluntarily send a gift, above and beyond their required monthly share, to a member with a special need if they so desire. The administrator, SMI, reserves the right to decide whether a Special Prayer Need should be published or not.
Save to Share Program
CMF CURO members also join SMI’s Save to Share program, which is for sharing needs, with other Save to Share members, that exceed $250,000. Please review the SMI Guidelines.
Special Prayer Needs Giving
If SMI members have medical needs that fall outside the SMI guidelines for sharing, they may still be eligible to have these needs published as Special Prayer Needs in SMI’s monthly newsletter. This allows members in need the opportunity to receive help, in charity, with medical burdens that would not otherwise be shared, through gifts from other members in addition to the assigned monthly share amount. Please review the SMI Guidelines.
Samaritan’s Governing Structure
Samaritan Ministries International is a nondenominational ministry that administrates a health care sharing ministry for all Christians who agree to the SMI member Statement of Faith and meet the member qualifications. The ministry organization is not connected to or under control of any denominational or church authority.
SMI is governed by a Board of both elected and appointed directors, and daily ministry operations are carried out by the SMI staff under the leadership of the ministry officers. All directors, officers, and other ministry leadership must meet all of the requirements for serving on the Board of Directors, including agreement with the SMI Statement of Faith for Board members.