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is chm worth it?

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Answer # 1 #

We appreciate having the opportunity to address your concerns.

CHM has a record of sharing payment for 100% of eligible medical bills. We’d have been happy to share for every one of your bills eligible for sharing under the ministry’s Guidelines. As you stated, which we appreciate, CHM shared for your 2018 maternity expenses.

Please know that the CHM staff cares very much about people going through different challenges in their lives: In 2021 alone, nearly $635 million was shared in medical expenses.

The Guidelines are clear: cannabinoid and related products, are ineligible for sharing regardless of the state’s legal position and that the use of these items my result in sharing limitations for other conditions.

Please also accept that CHM cannot share bills for use of unprescribed drugs or those that are unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As Mayo Clinic explains, the FDA “has not approved the use of cannabis as a treatment for any medical conditions.”

Were our Guidelines not in place, any expense for any drug, regardless of its FDA approval or even legality, would have to be shared. As we hope you’ll understand, that isn’t possible.

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Anika Hashimoto
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Answer # 2 #

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.

The alternative to traditional health insurance is medical cost-sharing, through a company such as CHM, Samaritan Ministries, or 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.

Health insurance is expensive for most people. 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.

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. You can also pin this post to your “Saving Money” board on Pinterest.

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!

Related Posts on Saving Money

Dave Ramsey is the host of the syndicated talk radio show for people looking to pay off debt and live like no one else. He’s a pretty big deal in the financial community, and a lot of people listen to what he has to say.

He actually went from bankrupt to build a multi-million dollar business helping people get out of debt and gain financial freedom.

Christian Healthcare Ministries is Dave Ramsey endorsed and approved as an alternative to medical insurance. He has said on his show that the only reason he doesn’t participate in CHM is because his company offers incredible health insurance at an affordable price.

But as a Christian and a finance guy, he sees the value in health sharing ministries, and CHM is the only company he endorses.

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?

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.

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.

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 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:

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.

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.

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.

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 under my current plan.

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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Mahmood ndrmkdd Adnan
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