Christian Healthcare Ministries Review_ A Biblical Approach to Healthcare

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review: Cost & Plans

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This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

We joined Christian Healthcare Ministries as members a few years ago after being sick and tired of spending upwards of $800 per month in health insurance premiums alone (not to mention high deductibles and out of pocket expenses). As members of CHM, we pay $135 per month for a family of five, and the company has shared nearly $60,000 in medical bills in six months. This is our testimony.

If you haven’t heard of CHM, let me start by explaining a little bit about the company. CHM is a medical cost-sharing ministry of Christians helping Christians pay their medical bills.

Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, healthcare costs have risen significantly.How to Save Money on Healthcare Without Insurance - Christian Healthcare Ministries Review

The alternative to traditional health insurance is medical cost-sharing, through a company such as CHM, Samaritan Ministries, or other non-faith-based organizations such as Liberty Healthshare.

When my son broke his wrist playing football a few months ago, we were able to submit bills for sharing for the first time, and I’ll admit…I was anxious to see how it would all work.

If medical costs are weighing you down, if you recently lost your job or are you’re nearing retirement and need an alternative to Cobra, keep reading.

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review Surgery
Poor guy. He was a trooper! This was before we had x-rays confirming a broken wrist.

Learn More About Christian Healthcare Here

Spoiler Alert! We’re not going back to traditional health insurance…at least not for a while. More on that later. Here’s a quick video review if you’re in a rush.

How Does CHM Work?

Christian Healthcare Ministries’ mission is to glorify God, show Christian love, and experience God’s presence as Christians share each other’s medical bills. Simply put, you can’t get in if you aren’t a believer or don’t belong to a church.

Medical cost sharing is a way to satisfy your healthcare costs and help others while upholding your Christian beliefs and sticking to your budget

. There are no restrictions based on age, weight, where you live, or your health history (some pre-existing conditions are covered)!

So why aren’t more people doing this instead of paying astronomical premiums for health insurance that delivers poor coverage?

I don’t think enough people know about it. That’s why I wanted to share my review and testimonial of Christian Healthcare Ministries!

Check out CHM Here!

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Christian Healthcare Ministries CostChristian Healthcare Ministries Review - How to Save Money with Health Sharing Ministries

There are three different levels of sharing available to CHM members. You pay a monthly gift amount for each unit. Each adult counts as a single unit, and all kids are grouped into a single unit. So a family of three would pay for 3 units, and a family of 6 would pay for 3 units. Pretty cool, huh?

Bronze Level-24% of members are Bronze Level
$45 per unit, per month

At the Bronze level, you have a $5,000 personal responsibility per incident. In other words, you n

eed to pay $5,000 per incident before CHM helps to share your expenses up to $125,000 per incident.

Silver Level-15% of members are Silver Level
$85 per unit, per month

At the Silver level, you have a $1,000 personal responsibility per incident. In other words, you need to pay $1,000 per incident before CHM helps to share your expenses up to $125,000 per incident.

Gold Level-61% of members are Gold Level
$150 per unit, per month

The Gold program provides members with the ministry’s highest amount of financial support. CHM shares 100 percent of bills for any medical incident exceeding $500 as long as all other Guidelines are met. (Total bills incurred per incident must exceed $500 in order to be eligible for sharing.) You can receive assistance up to $125,000 per illness.

Christian Healthcare Ministries Brother’s Keeper for Catastrophic Illness

Christian Healthcare Ministries also offers an add-on called Brother’s Keeper that will provide financial assistance up to unlimited (depending on which level of sharing you choose). More on that here.

Special Considerations:

  • You can have different levels of sharing for each unit in your household. So let’s say you’ve got a family member that frequents the doctor or hospital. You might want to put them on the Gold Level and you and your spouse on the Silver Level. You can mix and match to fit your budgeting needs.
  • No open enrollment or major life changes required to make changes. You can change your level at any time for any reason.
  • Christian Healthcare Ministries is not insurance. So you will receive cards, but do not give those to the medical providers. Tell them that you are cash pay patients with a medical cost-sharing company. I’ll explain why later.
  • You can count any discounts you receive from providers towards your personal financial responsibility! So if you have the Gold plan, and you negotiate a $1200 discount on a bill, you don’t have to pay ANYTHING out of pocket!

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review

Here’s how it all worked out for us.

My family participates in the lowest level of sharing, the Bronze plan.

We did this simply because it costs us $135 out of pocket per month and we’re generally a pretty healthy family.

When my son broke his wrist, we had to go to the hospital and ended up needing surgery.

We have accumulated(so far) a total of $38,683.09 in bills. He still has to undergo one more surgery to remove the metal plate from his wrist.

christian healthcare ministries broken wrist
If you look closely at the bottom bone, you can see where it splits. 🙁

Christian Healthcare Ministries Broken Wrist

Because we are considered cash pay patients, our hospital discounted their services 70%.  SEVENTY PERCENT, Y’all! We didn’t even have to do any financial assistance applications. They automatically applied the discount.

Christian Healthcare Ministries was shocked that our bills were discounted so much, but it really was easy!

Some hospitals require you to fill out a financial assistance application. Ours simply discounted the services and wrote it off.

The orthopedic surgeon’s clinic did not offer a discount on any of the services because they’re in the business of making money, unlike a non-profit.

Understandable. This portion of the bill is what we will have to pay out of pocket.

Here’s a look at our bills submitted from the first surgery.

Christian Healthcare Ministries Cost and Pay

If we had participated in my husband’s employer health insurance, we’d have paid approximately $9,000 per year in premiums, plus be responsible for a $3,000 deductible and 20% of the services (which would NOT be discounted 70%).

This is considered “affordable”. This isn’t comparable to the outrageous fees self-employed patients pay or those having to utilize Cobra.

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review pin

We pay $135 per month, costing our family $1,620 in “premiums”, and our out of pocket responsibility for this $40,000 incident is only $1,299.

Why on earth would anyone choose traditional health insurance over Christian Healthcare Ministries (or other medical cost-sharing programs)?

My Mom was diagnosed with stage 3a colon cancer at age 50, so I will need regular colonoscopies starting at age 40. Unfortunately, 40 is just a few short years away.

With CHM, there are a few plan exclusions (which is why we are responsible for the $1,299 above).

On the bronze plan, they don’t cover office visits outside of a hospital. This is the difference we were left to pay.

I’ll be doing more research in a couple of years because preventative care such as well visits, colonoscopies, and breast exams are not eligible for sharing.

 

Learn More About Medical Cost Sharing Here! 

Christian Healthcare Ministries Success Story
Our linebacker said he can’t wait to play football next year! He is a true warrior and I’m so proud of him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitting Bills to CHMINISTRIES

Once you’ve received all bills from providers, simply log into your CHM account on chministries.org.

On the left, there’s a section to upload medical bills for sharing. You also have to fill out a medical needs form and a HIPAA form. Once you’ve uploaded, it can take weeks (or even months) before you hear anything from CHM. Don’t be discouraged. Their process is manual, and they’re constantly calling providers to negotiate discounts on members’ behalf.

If your provider offered a discount for services (or you negotiated one for yourself), be sure to note that at the top of the form. Once approved, they will mail you a check made payable to the name on the account (either you or your husband).

Deposit into your bank account, and once it clears their bank, you can write a check to your provider or use online bill pay to pay your medical bills. Be sure to set up payment arrangements or communicate with providers while you’re waiting for payment or they might send you to collections. As long as you’re paying something, they’ll be happy to wait for the full payment.

Also, as a former banker, I want to make something clear. Depending on your relationship with your bank, including average monthly balances, the bank might place a hold on the funds from CHM. This is not anything to worry about.

Many people aren’t familiar with Christian Healthcare Ministries, and when tellers are evaluating a large deposit (when your balance is usually much lower), they are likely to place a hold on the funds just to be sure they are legitimate.

This is totally normal, and the teller is just protecting her job. Be kind and accept the hold. Your providers can wait another few days while you wait for the check to clear. I can’t tell you how many bank clients get irate because a teller is just doing her job.

If you decide Christian Healthcare Ministries is something you’d like to try out, please consider using my referral link. As a member referring other members, I am able to save money on my monthly gift amount, and it really helps the budget (which is what Perfection Hangover is all about…saving money and budgeting for a better life).

 

 

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Comments

  1. Laura Boualavong

    So what about non Christians? What do you suggest for us? This is why I am a huge supporter of universal healthcare. EVERYONE deserves affordable, quality healthcare. I grew up in Finland, a very progressive nation, also rated the happiest nation in the world, where we had universal education and education. It was AMAZING. My mom and some of my siblings actually moved back to Finland and one of the biggest reasons was healthcare. They are so happy there and it’s a huge relief knowing they can get great care if they get sick and don’t have to worry about how they will afford it. America’s healthcare system is really messed up. Nobody should have to suffer because they can’t afford medical insurance or medical care. The US is regressing even more now because of our current awful administration. If you want to learn more about succesful nations, I would highly recommend the book, The Nordic Theory of Everything.

    1. Hi, Laura! I have a bit different view than probably everyone else. I think that there should be universal, transparent pricing and no insurance. Fair prices for all, and payment arrangements for those who can’t afford to pay upfront.

      I believe there are non-faith-based health sharing ministries available, and I would recommend looking into them!

  2. Nancy Lemaster

    Hi, I am a 67 year old who is a born again believer, and in need of help getting my teeth pulled and a set of dentures… I have a gum disease that has rotted out all my teeth… I live off of social security and can’t afford to have this done… Do you help with the teeth as well. Nancy Lemaster

    1. Hi, Nancy. They do not cover dental work. Have you applied for Medicaid? I’m not sure if Medicaid would cover dentures, but it would be worth asking someone! Best of luck to you and congratulations on your decision to follow Christ!

  3. Ted A Charfauros

    Thank you so much for your article! I am soooo desperate to get affordable health care and stumble across these various ministries. I am a believer so that’s a check, but now I have to compare all these amazing Christian organizations. CHM looks like the winner so far, thanks to your article.

    1. You’re so welcome! I’m happy to help! I love sharing this ministry with others! Best of luck while you decide which sharing ministry is best for you!

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  12. Shauna McIver

    HI! We actually currently have CHM but haven’t had to submit anything yet {thank goodness!}. I’m just wondering if you could walk me through the actual process you went through to receive the cost sharing. I’ve read the things from their website but to hear it from another mom is a total game changer 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Hi, Shauna! After receiving our bills from providers, we logged into our CHM account on chministries.org. From there, there’s a section to upload bills for sharing. You also have to fill out a medical needs form and a hippaa form. Once you’ve uploaded, it can take weeks (or even months) before you hear anything from CHM. If your provider offered a discount on your behalf (or you negotiated one), be sure to note that at the top of the form. Once approved, they will mail you a check made payable to the name on the account (either you or your husband). Deposit into your bank account, and once it clears their bank, you can write a check to your provider or use online bill pay to pay your medical bills. Be sure to set up payment arrangements or communicate with providers while you’re waiting for payment or they might send you to collections. As long as you’re paying something, they’ll be happy to wait for the full payment. 🙂

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