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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David and I have been blessed to be Christian Healthcare Ministries members for several years. Not only has it saved our family thousands of dollars, but we have enjoyed being informed about the needs of others that we can help with and pray for. Joining together with other believers to meet needs and lift up in prayer is a beautiful example of how the church was called to be… and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Please take a moment to learn how CHM could help your family– and seriously consider joining our family as Christian Healthcare Ministries members soon! (I promise you’ll be glad you did!)
Why CHM Exists
Founded in 1981, CHM is the original health cost sharing ministry for Christians. CHM isn’t an insurance company. Rather, we’re a group of thousands of Christians across the United States and around the world who share each other’s burdens in the area of healthcare costs. We also pray for and encourage one another.
Our mission is to glorify God, show Christian love and experience God’s presence as Christians share each other’s medical bills. As president and CEO Rev. Dr. Howard Russell often says, “If we’re not glorifying God through service to our members, CHM has no reason to exist. Biblically-inspired love and service is the beating heart of the ministry.”
CHM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. The ministry has shared over $3.5 billion in members’ medical bills.
Why CHM Works
We believe that the Holy Spirit influencing the hearts of members is the key to CHM’s success. A CHM member’s faithfulness and giving—combined with the monthly financial giving of hundreds of thousands of member families—is the framework that makes medical bill sharing possible. CHM sharing is based on a spiritual covenant, not a legal contract.
Furthermore, members agree to abide by the ministry’s Guidelines (chministries.org/guidelines) and staff authorize medical bills according to the Guidelines to act in fairness to every member. Members also actively seek medical bill discounts, which in 2017 accounted for 43 percent of all eligible bills sent to CHM.
Who We Serve
Every Christian who lives by biblical principles (defined in the Guidelines and the member application) and agrees to abide by the CHM Guidelines can join the ministry. There are no restrictions based on age, weight, geographic location or health history. (Some sharing limitations apply for pre-existing condition).
What Members Have to Say
I’m forever grateful that my CHM family shared my medical expenses totaling $83,671. Now instead of thinking that Christian Healthcare Ministries sounds too good to be true, I can testify that it’s “that good and that true!” I love to share my CHM testimony and carry information with me so I can talk about and recommend the ministry any time I get the opportunity.
—Cheryl Anderson | Hudson, WI
We’re so thankful to be a part of a ministry that shares other Christians’ healthcare bills. I am amazed at how healthcare prices can be negotiated, and I often wonder what we would have done without CHM when we gave birth to our second child. Making our monthly financial gift to the ministry is easy and painless when we think about how we’re helping other people.
—Derek and Melissa Cladek | Tarpon Springs, FL
The most important thing I can share about our CHM experience is that we never had to panic and there was no drama. Everything flowed smoothly. We didn’t have to worry about how the medical bills would be paid because Christian Healthcare Ministries was there for us.
—Donald & Tracey Kiesling | Brady, TX
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