My family is with Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM), but, before I dive into our family’s recent CHM experience, I want to spend the next 90-seconds giving you a high-level background on what CHM is all about.
Christian Healthcare Ministries is a healthcare solution for Christians who find it difficult to pay their medical bills, or for those who cannot afford health insurance.
Let’s learn more about CHM and healthcare ministries, but, before we do, please watch this 2-minute video of an individual recounting her experience with CHM. Her story is powerful and explains in short-detail about her recent medical experience.
Christian Healthcare Ministries Review
In a quick nutshell, she speaks about a recent healthcare experience. She found herself hospitalized, and with a $31,000 medical bill. She explains that if she had the traditional healthcare policy, she would have been required to pay the 20% co-insurance, or approximately $6,000. She called the hospital and explained she didn’t have insurance, and the hospital reduced the invoice by $14,000 down to $17,000 in total.
She then explained that she was with a CHM plan member, and the hospital reduced the invoice by yet an additional $3,000.
She filled out the paperwork along with all of her medical expenses, carefully detailing her imaging work, blood work, and doctor’s visits.
CHM asked if she was able to reduce the bill by $500 total? Since she was (more on this later) CHM covered the entire medical bill. So, in the end, she paid for nothing.
What surprised her most was that when she called CHM, the first thing they asked is: “Are you OK?” They were more interested in her health and well-being than money. Her closing comments on CHM are that she feels blessed to be working with CHM, and a community of Christians helping Christians.
Listening to her experience in her own voice will provide more context:
A Brief Introduction to Christian Healthcare Ministries. What is CHM All About?
CHM is a cost-sharing program. BUT, CHM extends well beyond just a healthcare cost-sharing program.
CHM is a healthcare solution for Christians in all American states, and around the world.
CHM is NOT a health insurance plan. CHM is a health cost-sharing arrangement, and there’s a big difference.
In fact, CHM is the longest-serving health cost-sharing ministry. It has shared more than $3.5 billion in medical bills of its members.
Members are required to pay monthly fees, which are directly applied to the medical bills of other members. Such members might be located anywhere. Also, members pray for one another and send notes of encouragement and support.
Christian Healthcare Ministries is the way to save money on your healthcare costs without having to pay an insurance premium. Ever since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the costs of healthcare and medical expenses have skyrocketed, and people have a tough time paying for their medical expenses. Even those with an insurance plan.
Grounded in CHM is a deep Christian mission, and it’s a foundational part of who the company is, and what it stands for, so let’s take a minute to review CHM’s mission.
Christian Healthcare Ministries Mission
Christian Healthcare Ministries has two missions to accomplish:
- They aim to provide financial assistance catering to the medical needs of members.
- They create awareness about the cost of procedures and what they need to do for better alignment of costs. In the case of health insurance, medical bills are paid by a third party. CHM members often decide on the treatment they receive, along with the doctor.
You can watch the short video below for some technical information and details on how CHM works.
Health Cost-Sharing Ministry – Understanding the Basics
So what is health cost-sharing?
Health cost-sharing refers to a way of meeting your healthcare costs and helping others in need while being on a budget and upholding Christian beliefs.
CHM or CHMinistries provides a faith-based framework with the objective of helping fellow believers struggling with a health crisis. There is a belief that the brothers and sisters in Christ come to help each other during times of need. Here, members can preset monthly financial gifts to CHM, which are the funds used for sharing healthcare costs. It can thus be referred to as a community of faith.
“You have to try to live a good lifestyle,” a member of CHM reveals. “You can’t be drinking and smoking. It’s on you.” It is totally based on the Christian practice that they bear the burden of one another.
CHMinistries is Not Insurance
It needs to be noted here that Christian Healthcare Missionaries is not like regular insurance. Members are required to attend church on a regular basis. They need to keep away from certain behaviors, which include “sexual immorality” and drug use. A few things are not reimbursed, which include routine prescriptions, preventive care, and also mental healthcare. Of course, abortion is not covered.
Who Can Benefit from CHM?
Christian Healthcare Ministries uses a specific unit system.
A specific unit refers to a participating individual within a membership. A married couple is considered two units (two individuals) and a single person is considered one unit. A family is considered to be three units, no matter how many dependent children there are. That’s important to remember, so, even if you have 3 children (we only have 1), it’s still considered three units.
Before we get into billing and how you submit bills, you might find this short video helpful:
How Many Different Levels are There in CHMinistries, and How Do the Units Work?
There are three levels, which are gold, silver and bronze. Different units can participate in different programs.
If you are financially and legally responsible for your children, your membership is two units. One unit is the parent and the second includes all the children.
Households With a Single Participating Spouse
If one spouse is a CHM member and the other is not, the participating spouse is considered to be a single CHM unit. The dependent children are one additional unit. Thus, this is also a total of two units.
If a CHM member adopts a child, gets legal custody, or is legally responsible for the medical care of a child, that specific child is also included in the CHM membership. If there is some other source that is available and willing to share the medical bills of the child, all such resources should be exhausted prior to CHM members sharing the bills. However, CHM will not share bills related to medical expenses incurred before the member became financially and legally responsible for the child. CHM also doesn’t share the birth expenses of the child.
How Much Does Christian Healthcare Ministries Cost? Different Levels of Sharing
Now that you understand the meaning of a unit, it gets easier to understand the different levels of sharing. Members need to pay a monthly gift amount for every unit. Each adult is a single unit, and kids are grouped in a single unit. Thus, a family of five members would pay for just three units, while a family of six also pays for three units.
Christian Healthcare Ministries provides an add-on known as Brother’s Keeper. Brother’s Keeper provides an additional level of insurance, through their gold, silver, and bronze packages, for members who suffer from a catastrophic health-related issue that exceeds the $125,000 limit as set by CHM guidelines.
Through the Brother’s Keeper program, members are provided financial assistance up to an unlimited level, dependent on the level of sharing chosen.
Gold Program in CHM
– $150 per unit/month – A plan for extensive financial support
- Members get extensive financial support
- CHM shares 100% of bills related to medical expenses. However, the guidelines need to be met. Thus, to be eligible for sharing, the total bill should be more than $500.
- Assistance is available up to $125,000 for every illness.
Gold Plus Brother’s Keeper – Members who join the gold level and also brother’s keeper have the benefit of unlimited financial assistance. All eligible medical bills are covered. However, the bills need to be more than $500 per accident.
– $85 per unit/month – Primarily for hospitalization
- Members have $1,000 personal responsibility for every incident. This means a member has to pay at least $1,000 per incident before CHM shares the expenses.
- Assistance is available for as much as $125,000 per illness.
Silver Plus Brother’s Keeper – Members who sign up for this get an additional $100,000 of financial support. With every renewal, members get an additional amount of $100,000,which can accrue to $1 million for every illness.
– $45 per unit/month –Primarily for Hospitalization
- Members have $5,000 personal responsibility for every incident. This means, a member needs to pay $5,000 per incident before CHM shares the expenses.
- Assistance is available up to $125,000 per illness.
Bronze Plus Brother’s Keeper – Members who sign up for the program can get an additional cost support of $100,000. With every renewal, members can get an additional $100,000, which can accrue to $ 1 million per illness.
What are the Main Benefits of CHMinistries?
So what are the main benefits of joining the plan and why should one join?
- · Christian Health Ministries is compassionate and quite affordable.
- · There is no annual fee or application fee.
- · It has a generous maternity program.
- · Members have the option of choosing their own healthcare providers.
- · Out-of-pocket expenses reduce with bill discounts.
- · There are no-cost adjustments for past history or medical conditions.
- · No one gets denied membership because of medical conditions.
- · Accountability, longevity, and integrity.
- · If any member brings in another member, the existing member gets one month free.
Group Membership Plans
CHM has many participating groups. All these groups are Christian organizations with Christian staff. But all the members must meet CHM membership requirements. There are many advantages of such group membership:
- Helps save money on healthcare costs.
- Out-of-pocket expenses of employees are reduced.
- There is a single billing option for group.
CHMinistries Special Maternity Program
The maternity program is available to members at no additional cost. In this phase of your life, as you and your family prepare to welcome a new life into your family, CHM offers a number of benefits.
The gold program is highly recommended for women who plan to become pregnant in the future. Any bill from before you joined CHM is not eligible for sharing. However, as per requirements, the delivery date needs to be at least 300 days after joining the program.
Maternity costs up to $125,000 are eligible for sharing. Interested people can download the gold program maternity guide or check the CHM maternity guideline for additional information. If you are still in doubt about the benefits, the programs, or whether the process is going to help you, do not forget to check the many Christian Healthcare Ministries reviews from happy women.
How Do You Join CHM?
Joining CHM is a simple process. You need to apply for membership through a paper application or online. The starting date can be the day you apply, or it can be any future date. There is no waiting period for this program. For more information and to download the form, please visit www.chministries.org.
What Happens After Joining Christian Healthcare Ministries?
Soon after joining, the member receives a welcome package along with a membership card. This is received within 2–3 weeks of application submission. There is a checklist of understanding, which needs to be filled out and returned to CHM before any sharing of medical bills. Members also receive CHM’s monthly magazine and a member gift form on the 15th of every month.
How Do You Submit Medical Expenses to CHM?
Once you are a CHM member, you need to be thorough about the process of submitting eligible medical expenses.
As you receive bills from a provider, you need to visit the www.chministries.org website and log into your account.
On the left-hand side, there is a section where the user can upload medical bills. A medical form needs to be filed along with a HIPAA form.
Once uploaded, it might take a few weeks, or even some months, before you get a response from CHM.
This process is usually manual, and they call providers for negotiating discounts on behalf of the members. In case your provider has offered a discount for services, you need to mention that on the form. Once it is approved, the member gets a check payable to the name on the account.
Once the check is cleared, you can pay the medical bills. You need to set up the payment arrangements and communicate with the providers as you wait for payment.
Many members have faced awkward situations when tellers got suspicious and started evaluating such a big deposit. The fact is that many people are still not aware of Christian Healthcare Ministries. Several members have complained about the placement of a hold on their funds, just to ensure that they are from legitimate sources.
If this happens, it is quite normal, and members should not panic. Remember, the teller is just doing their job. Be patient and accept this hold.
Once you are a member and you are happy with the benefits received, do not forget to introduce other members. Remember, anyone who joins using your referral link will help you to save money on your monthly fee.
More Information on How You Join Christian Healthcare Ministries?
Christians are encouraged to compare Samaritan Ministries vs Christian Healthcare Ministries before choosing a plan. The CHMinistries reviews are by the members who have benefited from the sharing.
If you are interested in joining the community of Christians helping other Christians with health care, also check out
Samaritan Health Care Ministries. By bearing one another’s burden, they are also able to fulfil the law of Christ, as well. To know more about the experiences of the members and the kind of assistance they received, glance through the Samaritan Ministries Reviews.
Healthcare ministries are quite popular and that includes Samaritan Ministries and Liberty Healthshare, along with CHM.
Check out Liberty Healthshare reviews, too, before your final decision. To better understand the experiences of other members, read the numerous Christian care medi-share reviews and then decide for yourself.
Christian Healthcare Ministries Review
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that I would provide a review of my own personal experience with CHM. It is quite similar to the video that was at the beginning of this article.
In June 2019, my son had a fairly serious medical scare that required an emergency visit to the hospital. My husband and I rushed our son to the emergency department, and in turn, a series of some fairly serious, and expensive medical exams ensued.
Because the condition was of some concern to the doctors, they required that my son stay overnight for further investigation and review by a number of other specialists.
Fortunately, in the end, the problem was fairly innocuous, but, the visits and exams resulted in a hospital bill of over $90,000. When I explained to the hospital that we don’t have insurance, they reduced our invoice down to $62,000, which although a large savings, would have been a huge burden to my husband and I. Fortunately, we were covered by CHM. When I called them, their first concern was my son, and not so much the money. Again, they required validation of the savings and reduction of the initial invoice, and once confirmed, CHM paid the exams and fees.
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