As a health cost sharing ministry, CHM isn’t insurance. Here are five unique attributes that enrich your experience as a CHM member.
1. CHM members are in a covenant—not contract—with each other.
God is in covenant with His people, and His people are to be in covenant with each other. That’s why we have no legal contracts at CHM—a fact we thoroughly explain on our website and in our promotional materials before members join the ministry.
Being part of CHM is being part of a covenant between our members—people who give assurance that they are Christians living by biblical principles and who voluntarily join together to support each other.
And it works: for nearly 38 years members have faithfully shared 100 percent of each other’s eligible medical costs. The ministry is successful because members honor God by following the New Testament concept of sharing each other’s burdens found in John 13:35, Acts 2 and 4, and Galatians 6:2.
Furthermore, program costs remain the same regardless of your health history: we don’t increase your financial gift or cancel your membership if you experience an illness or injury. CHM is also a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity.
2. CHM is a ministry and looks for ways to help members.
Though we must abide by our Guidelines—shared with all members and prospective members before they join—there are times situations arise that are complex and “outside the box.” In such cases, each situation is reviewed individually.
3. The ministry is not a profit-seeking enterprise.
There’s nothing at all wrong with businesses making a profit, but that’s not what this ministry does. Our purpose is to glorify God and serve His people; our members are our sole concern. Aside from a very low administrative expense (about one percent), your monthly financial gifts go toward helping other Christians with their medical bills. Likewise, 100 percent of all extra giving is applied to members with medical bills.
4. Healthcare providers bill you directly, so there is transparency in medical prices.
Insurance companies are known as “third-party payers,” which means that doctors and hospitals bill them rather than the patient. Therefore, patients often have no idea what they’re really paying for healthcare. If you don’t know what something costs, or why, you won’t know the reasons when prices to you increase or if they’re justified.
In contrast, as a CHM member you can shop for competitive prices on elective procedures and treatment. Our members’ adoption of this philosophy is one of the main reasons CHM is celebrating 11 years with no increase in monthly gift amounts, even while healthcare costs have increased significantly.
In an advantage distinct to CHM, when you receive a discount on an eligible bill, your personal responsibility (the amount you’re responsible to pay) is reduced by the discounted amount. (At the Gold level, CHM shares 100 percent of eligible bills for medical incidents exceeding $500; therefore, personal responsibility is eliminated once the $500 threshold is reached. In contrast, Silver and Bronze personal responsibility amounts are $1,000 and $5,000 per incident, respectively. To learn more and see an example, visit www.chministries.org/programs.)
5. Medical treatment is determined by you and your doctor, not CHM.
For care eligible under the CHM Guidelines, we don’t require pre-authorization for any procedures, nor do we limit your healthcare choices (and how much we’ll assist you) by having a preferred provider network you must follow. As a member, you can go to any doctor or hospital and CHM will share your bills as long as they are eligible under the Guidelines.
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