Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Cancer Killers Strike Again

As many of you know, my husband was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, specifically B-Cell Lymphoma, and he's been undergoing chemotherapy. His last chemo treatment was July 21 and just this past week, he was declared to be in remission. We are thrilled! We knew he could beat this thing, but it was not without its setbacks. A serious blood infection landed him back at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for a full eight days, not to mention he's still having some side-effects of chemo.

Cancer is rough. The treatments left him without energy, hair, clarity of thinking and motivation, yet he went to work daily (when not in the hospital) and still preached twice every Sunday like he always does. I think it's incredibly remarkable that he was able to keep up on work and preaching and we as a family gave him room to rest and sleep with no expectation of participation. He was able to join us for dinner most nights, but that was all.

Now, however, his hair is growing back, his energy is returning and his doctors told us we can finally exhale. He'll follow up with blood work every three months for a year while they monitor his remission and he still has to give himself abdominal shots twice daily till the end of this month, but we are now getting on with life.

They are cancer killers at Johns Hopkins and we feel very fortunate that he was able to get his treatment there. They are top-rated and we can see why. His team of seven oncologists attacked his case with gusto and confidence, giving us confidence in turn. His nurse cares deeply and stayed late for him when his treatments took longer than expected. All their wisdom comes from our living God.

And the bill. I want to talk candidly about the bill. As of right now, his medical bills are over $200,000.00 and we do not....I repeat do NOT.....have health insurance. We have something better. We have something so much better that I wish all my friends had it, too. We have full, 100% coverage and we do not have to think twice about these bills. Johns Hopkins Hospital sends us a bill and we send them a check, just like that. And, no, we're not wealthy.

We belong to Samaritan Ministries, a Biblical, non-insurance approach to health care and it tops every health insurance plan I've ever seen. We published our bills to Samaritan and they notified other members and those members sent their "share" (monthly payment) right to our house, allowing us to pay the bills ourselves and completely cut out the middle man altogether. No red tape. Very small deductible ($300), which was absorbed by doctors giving us self-pay discounts, and no worries about how we are going to pay these bills.

And, to top it off, each member who mailed a check also sent a note of encouragement with the promise of prayers. We have a huge stack of envelopes with the notes and each and every one has encouraged us along the way. Some have brought us to tears. Some have sent extra gifts to lighten the load of cancer and the toll it takes. One family sent a restaurant gift card and told us to try to go out and enjoy an evening out...and we did. The prayers were heard, and answered. And we know that more than these Samaritan members prayed and are still praying. We are confident our God hears and is answering.

Samaritan is the way to go. We have not had to worry about thousands of dollars in deductibles or thousands in a percentage we would have to pay. The members of Samaritan pay it all. All we have to do, after we publish the need with Samaritan, is deposit the checks, then write a check to the hospital. It sounds too good to be true, but we are living it and it's all true.

Johns Hopkins was not used to this. For months they called once a week to ask for our insurance information and we told them over and over that we do not have insurance, but that if they will send the bill to us, we will pay it. They would reply, "What? Send the bill to your house?" The billing department was not prepared to do that, but I think they should get used to it as more and more people need to join up with Samaritan Ministries and knock the health insurance industry - and, yes, it is an industry - for a loop.

Some of the checks we've received are large, sent by organizations and churches who purchase Samaritan for their staff. This is open to companies, not just individuals.

We met people who could not get their needed tests or medical care because their insurance company would not approve it. This is unthinkable. No such nonsense exists with Samaritan Ministries. If you need an MRI, you get an MRI. If you need an $8,000.00 PET scan, you can get it. We did not have to postpone or get approval for any test. If the doctors ordered it, we got it. No phone calls for approval, no waiting for someone in an office somewhere to consider it.

We praise God for leading us to Samaritan Ministries. We praise God for their wisdom in handling health care in such an efficient and tangible way. We praise God for remission!

~Tricia

2 comments:

  1. Tricia, praise God your husband is in remission!! we are members of Samaritan and my husband has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Is there a way I could speak with you about how Samaritan worked for this? I'm running into some problems. Thank you!

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    1. Would you mind emailing me at dan_erin@att.net

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