By Dr. Joel Judah, M.D.; Macon, Ga.
Editor’s note: This information was published in the June 2020 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.
When I was in fifth grade, my grandmother had a stroke that left her bedridden. My mother was her primary caretaker, and every evening she would take me to see my grandmother. That’s when I began to see the important role healthcare providers play in the lives of others.
During my freshman year of college, my mother had a stroke. The desire to pursue medicine was reinforced within me. I can definitively see God’s hand throughout my life as He guided me into a career as a physician—and I have found my career to be very fulfilling.
I work for a private practice in my hometown of Macon, Ga. I find it a delight to care for patients who are members of health cost sharing ministries, particularly CHM members. As Christians, I can see the way CHM members’ faith affects their health. They are more engaged with their healthcare, and I’ve experienced that most CHM members live lifestyles that lean toward better health.
I often treat patients with cancers related to the gastrointestinal tract. These are serious conditions and often incurable. It’s such an encouragement to my personal walk with Christ when I see fellow believers, such as CHM members, trust God in these grave situations.
Recently I delivered difficult news to a woman who underwent testing: She had pancreatic cancer. Her first reaction was to ask her family and me to have a time of prayer. Upon completing the prayer, the patient in the adjacent room said, “Amen.” He had been listening the entire time! What a testament to the woman’s faith—and because of it, the strong Chrristian witness she shared.
I love the way CHM members are directly involved in negotiating appropriate costs when care is delivered. As a medical provider, I’ve observed that involvement of more intermediaries drives up the cost of healthcare. It’s more efficient and less costly when the patient is directly paying for care and then being reimbursed.
While I’ve always been fond of the health cost sharing model, Christian Healthcare Ministries stands out above the rest. We first experienced the ministry’s faithfulness and sound structure when my wife and I had power of attorney for my wife’s aunt, a CHM member, who passed away from pancreatic cancer.
While handling her estate, I interacted with CHM staff often. I was familiar with traditional healthcare plans, so I fully expected working with CHM to be a challenge. However, I was shocked during my initial call when I was connected to a knowledgeable representative who answered all of my questions on the spot. On top of that, the medical bill submission process was easy to understand and reimbursement was timely.
I was so impressed with CHM throughout this experience that we gladly chose CHM when it was time to pursue a new healthcare program of our own. When participating at the Gold level, plus Brother’s Keeper membership, you can have confidence that even when facing a catastrophic medical event, you won’t be carrying the burden alone. Combined with a fantastic level of member support, CHM couldn’t be more appealing!
I often encourage people to consider CHM membership. Moreover, I encourage fellow providers to consider working with patients who participate in health cost sharing. I think any reluctance a provider might have will easily disappear if they understand how well CHM works.