By Dave Tschantz, Vice President & General Counsel
*Editor’s note: This information was published in the February 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 standard No. 1, a clearly written mission statement emphasizing ministry as our primary purpose. This article discusses CHM’s standards No. 2 and No. 3.
Standard No. 2: No individual who is otherwise qualified is excluded from membership based on health status.
CHM enables Christian-to-Christian ministry in sharing healthcare costs; therefore, it’s outside our purpose to use health status to exclude applicants. While there are health conditions, treatments, and procedures the ministry cannot share, it’s mission-essential to not turn away applicants because of health status.
Standard No. 3: Be established as a not-for-profit corporation, with a letter from the IRS granting the Ministry tax exempt status under 26 U.S.C. 501©(3) and annually file with the IRS a Form 990 – Return of Organization Exempt Form Income Tax.
CHM was legally formed as a not-for-profit charity under our home state’s laws. This aligns perfectly with assisting Christians in ministering to other Christians’ medical needs—and to not make a profit in doing so. Proper management is vital to financial health and continuation, but our purpose is to share the medical financial needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognition of our charitable function is an important indicator of our charitable status. A letter we received years ago from the IRS says that CHM is a charitable organization and donations to us (not regular monthly financial gifts) are tax-deductible.
Another part of this recognition is CHM’s annual filing of IRS Form 990, the public report of our assets and liabilities. This filing helps ensure transparency and accountability, critical attributes of how our ministry operates.
These first three standards set CHM apart as the standard-setter among health cost-sharing ministries.