Editor’s note: This information was published in the July 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news
Medical bill discounts and financial assistance are essential in keeping your monthly financial gifts low.
CHM’s monthly cost to members hasn’t increased in more than 11 years, in large part because healthcare provider discounts represent more than 43 percent of all eligible medical bills sent to the ministry. (Editor’s note: At this time, no future increase in monthly financial gifts is planned.)
The overall rate of 43.3 percent in 2018 discounts reflects a slight increase of over 43 percent in 2017, up from 41 percent in 2016.
Charity Beall, CHM Chief Financial Officer, attributes these statistics to God’s hand at work and CHM members being good stewards, making wise healthcare choices and being proactive in building relationships with their healthcare providers. (Editor’s note: See “Dollars and sense”.)
Members sometimes voice concerns that asking for a discount is somehow shortchanging or taking advantage of their healthcare providers.
“Asking for a discount is requesting the same courtesy that insured patients receive due to rates pre-negotiated between their providers and their insurance companies,” said CHM President and CEO Rev. Dr. Howard Russell. “It’s not a special favor; members are only asking that they not be penalized by their providers because they’re self-pay.”
We suggest using the following discussion points when speaking to your providers about discounts:
“I’m a self-pay patient, responsible for my bills. I’m a member of a health cost sharing ministry; it isn’t an insurance company.
“As the person responsible for my bills I’m not asking for special favors; rather, I’m asking for similar consideration as that given to patients with insurance, except in my case you won’t need to take any time for authorizations, approvals, or filing paperwork.
“As I am a health cost sharing ministry member, you don’t need to worry that as a self-pay patient you’ll be dealing with bad debt. Your bill will be paid. I ask only that you treat me fairly.”
Conversely, we sometimes hear from members expressing regret that they weren’t able to obtain a larger discount. In such cases, please be assured that a discount of any amount does help both you and fellow members. In addition, our Member Advocate team is available at 330-848-1511 to assist you if you have difficulty obtaining a substantial discount (typically 40 percent or more).