Best practices for health care sharing ministries
As a community of Christians helping other Christians with their health care needs, for more than 25 years Samaritan Ministries’ members have supported one another through the direct sharing of financial, emotional, and spiritual support. In our commitment to uphold our Biblical ethics, honor our members, and maintain the highest standards for sustainable governance and practice, we have established and abide by the Health Care Sharing Best Practices listed below.
We believe it is in your best interest to consider the commitments and practices of any membership organization, including a health care sharing ministry, prior to joining. As a part of our ongoing desire for transparency and consumer education, as well as promoting a healthy environment for health care sharing ministries around the world, we publicly provide our ministry’s Health Care Sharing Best Practices for consideration.
Why accreditation matters
The Healthcare Sharing Accreditation Board examines dozens of critical organizational characteristics to determine if a healthcare sharing ministry meets the highest standards of quality and ethical business practices, and established demanding standards against which applicant organizations are evaluated. These include, but are not limited to, standards in the following categories:
- Legal structure and governance
- Organizational management and compensation
- Conflicts of interest and related party transactions
- External communications and marketing
- Enrollment processes
- Written acknowledgments from members
- Published sharing guidelines
- Financial sharing processes, including processing time, dispute resolution and appeals
- Total amounts shared and not shared among members
- Ratio of administrative overhead expenses to programmatic expenses
- Membership contribution guidelines and management processes
- Audited financial statements and IRS Form 990
The professional achievements of the Healthcare Sharing Accreditation Board board members conducting evaluations make accreditation that much more consequential. Samaritan Ministries International received accreditation in 2022.
We are a certified health care sharing ministry
Samaritan Ministries received a letter of certification as a recognized health care sharing ministry by the Department of Health & Human Services (via Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). View Samaritan Ministries' certification letter.
Samaritan Ministries also has a yearly independent audit available upon request. Samaritan Ministries files a federal form 990 annually, and it is available to the public. Samaritan Ministries also has an annual report available upon request.
Health care sharing ministries and the ACA
As a certified health care sharing ministry, members of Samaritan Ministries are exempt from the Federal health care law's (Affordable Care Act) requirement that individuals purchase insurance or pay a penalty-tax (see 26 United States Code Section 5000A, (d) (2) (B)).