By Dave Tschantz, Vice President & General Counsel
*Editor’s note: This information was published in the March 2021 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.*
Last month I discussed CHM’s second and third standards: non-exclusion of individuals based on health status, and that CHM be established as a not-for-profit corporation. This article discusses CHM’s fourth standard.
Standard No. 4: Clearly indicate, in all marketing and informational materials, that it is a religious ministry and that it is not engaging in the business of insurance. Further, the Ministry will not allow itself to be advertised in print or on the web as part of, or in conjunction with, any offer of or quote for health insurance product(s).
Because our purpose is to serve our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s very important that we operate with complete transparency regarding who we are and what we do.
We want to be completely transparent and avoid confusion about the nature of how and when we share medical bills. We do this is by not using insurance terms and also by prohibiting our memberships from being “bundled” with other insurance products. This is done so we don’t even appear to be insurance. The reason for this is straightforward: Health cost sharing isn’t insurance because it doesn’t make any promises to its members, as insurance does. CHM doesn’t assume, at any point, a member’s risk of loss due to illness or injury, nor does it ever become legally liable for members’ medical bills. CHM’s sharing of anyone’s medical bills is a gift from members to members, based on New Testament teachings.
Because our sharing is in the nature of giving (meaning without any legal obligation or prior promise to do so), we have no wish to mislead anyone. It’s our desire that members enroll in our ministry based solely on their faith, not based on the security of anyone’s implied or expressed promises or guarantees.
Editor’s note: Click the button below to read the first article in the series.