Should Christians buy health insurance?

Recently I started seeing ads for a company called Samaritan Ministries International (SMI) popping up on various other Christian sites. SMI is a Christian health care sharing service. Practically speaking, it works like health insurance; however, rather than paying a company to take on your medical risks, you’re entering into a community where people help each other pay for their medical expenses. I have to admit that it’s an interesting concept, but I have my doubts about how well it works.

Here’s an excerpt from an article about Samaritan’s Ministries from, which explains the system in a bit more detail:

Each month, members of Samaritan Ministries receive a newsletter directing them to send their monthly share dues to another participating family who has verified medical bills. The monthly dues range from $135 for singles to $320 for a two-parent family of any size, which is vastly cheaper than insurance. There is also an annual administrative fee of $170 for each membership.

Through this plan, the ministry meets $3.5 million in medical needs a month, according to Lansberry.

But more than having their medical needs met, people join the health care sharing plan because of the emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Samaritan Ministries requires all its members to agree to live in a biblical way that reduces health problems, such as not abusing alcohol, abstaining from use of tobacco and illegal drugs, and abstaining from sexual activity outside of marriage.

And when people send their monthly dues to a member family, they include a card or note of encouragement and prayer.

“So it is not just about getting the financial needs met. That is an important part of what we do,” Lansberry said. “But it is about those notes and cards, especially those prayers that are going up to God so that our members are receiving that prayer blanket at a time when they need it most. The larger the medical need you have the more members are praying for you.”

You can read more about SMI at their FAQ page. A few questions:

Is health insurance (or any insurance for that matter) a Biblical concept? What about SMI’s approach? Would you ever drop your health insurance and participate in a sharing program like SMI?

2 Responses to “Should Christians buy health insurance?”

  • Jase says:

    Christians should be an example of wise living. The church and its store house should be doing more to replace insurance. Samaritan Ministries is a very good practical application of living out what we believe. I do not want to promote the health insurance methods of a for profit system nor do I want to risk my healthy children to their crazy bias logic. The church has lost sight of the wisdom of practical application and relying on the Christ and His Body of growing believers.
    I have 6 children with the last two born at home with the most experience midwife around. My wife and I constantly are asked if we are Mormon or Roman Catholic or Apostolic. This tells us that just regular non-denominational Christians have lost sight of the blessings that children are and how to raise/train a large family. We get asked regularly if we are fearful for our kids since end times are upon us. Church, quit watching the media for your prophetic fulfillment and read your Bibles and discern for No hospital could come close to the common sense methods of home delivery and no insurance company was going to fund the home delivery regardless of the pennies in comparison to cost for delivery in the hospital. Samaritan Ministries is worth checking out and if you live a Christian life and apply biblical wisdom towards nutrition and prevention then I would welcome you to be part of this group as well.

  • Precious says:

    Honestly, I dont feel its something I’d participate in….I am a Christian and I believe highly in God, but I also know that he gave us dr’s and wants us to be wife in our decisions when seeking medical help….I do live accordingly to the BIBLE but things happen in life that need medical attention….So NO i wouldnt drop my health insurance and go with a program like that.