Coronavirus: what you need to know

In light of coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the CHM Board of Directors and executive management team would like you to know that we’re working diligently to comply with government directives and recommendations—both local and national—while also coming up with solutions to continue serving you as always. We are taking precautions to safeguard our employees’ health so you can feel assured that sharing of your medical bills will continue.

We thank God for His presence and wisdom, and we place our confidence in Him. We’re here to serve you and pray you and your family remain in good health. Thank you for also praying for our staff and your fellow members during this time. If you'd like tips on how you can be praying for CHM's community of believers, I encourage you to read these prayer tips from CHM's chaplain, Pastor Dale Henneman.

In Him,

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley
CHM Board of Directors

Medical bill sharing for coronavirus

Testing and treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) is shared under CHM’s Guidelines, just as are costs for any testing or treatment for a confirmed illness, with Personal Responsibility amounts that depend upon the member’s participation level. As with other medical issues, Personal Responsibility amounts can be reduced based on discounts arranged with providers.

You've got questions; we've got answers!
Will my medical bills, whether coronavirus-related or otherwise, be shared? Can CHM financially support the effects of this pandemic? Will I be taken care of? These are just a few of the questions that might be on your mind. CHM's Chief Financial Officer, Charity Beall, shares with you the answers to these questions and provides an update on CHM's medical bill sharing time.

Five things you should know about CHM and COVID-19

The Church is the hands and feet of Jesus. We're praying for you... We continue to serve you. CHM continues to share eligible medical bills... How to get COVID-19 updates

As a CHM member, you’re part of a body of believers who serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Even when there’s no crisis at hand, every day we see members caring for each other. During extraordinary times, we've seen CHM members make extraordinary gestures of Christian love and goodwill. It’s our honor to glorify God by continued service to you, just as we have done for nearly 40 years.

…and we haven’t stopped since all of this began. We know that God has a plan and purpose for everything, but we also know that many of you are suffering physically and financially right now. Our hope is that CHM can be a beacon of hope for you in the midst of challenging times.

Please know that we’re still working diligently behind the scenes to serve you, even though some processes and procedures look a bit different. For example, some of our employees are working from home. Others are working in-office hours following strict health protocols that will keep our staff safe, so they can continue to share your medical bills and perform other essential ministry functions.

…and we can financially support any bills submitted for COVID-19—along with bills for other health conditions. The ministry employs strong financial principles, including operating within a debt-free mindset, analyzing and adjusting monthly costs to make sure medical bills are shared despite rising healthcare costs, and working with members and healthcare providers to secure the best prices for medical procedures. In addition, CHM's recent sharing time average takes 75-90 days once the ministry receives all necessary forms and itemized medical bills.

There are a number of ways:

  • Our coronavirus page contains the latest updates, including almost-daily “situation report” videos from CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson.
  • Join our social media community @iheartchm for updates and encouragement.
  • Sign up for email updates about COVID-19 and other ministry news.

CHM has always been very easy, fair and wonderful—and this incident was no different. [...] CHM shared my medical bills very quickly. I highly recommend CHM!
Steven Thompson Steven Thompson Bonita Springs, Florida
Within 90 days, 100 percent of our eligible medical bills were shared—and that was in the middle of a global pandemic when many CHM employees were working from home!
John Dondero John Dondero Ponte Vedra, Florida
Losing six weeks of work was hard, but as a CHM member, I had confidence knowing CHM would share 100 percent of my eligible hospital bills.
Keith Weitermann Keith Weitermann Aurora, Illinois

COVID-19: Insights from CHM's Medical Director

Processing COVID-19 with a Christian perspective on Heartfelt Radio

Heartfelt Radio Interview
CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses with Heartfelt Radio morning show hosts Mark and Gabe what the medical community has learned about COVID-19, protests, masks and the vaccine. They also examine ways to process COVID-19 from a Christian perspective.

Please note: Beginning June 12, "situation report" videos providing updates on the happenings of COVID-19 will be added as new developments occur.

120 vaccines under development; China's response to COVID-19

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses the 120 reported vaccines in development, antibiotics and China’s response to COVID-19. As our nation grapples with COVID-19, Christians are called to be instruments of reconciliation and peace.

COVID-19 cases slowly coming down, states opening

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses the U.S. trend line for COVID-19 cases: a slow but steady downward trend. Dr. Jacobson also highlights several resources for understanding the timeline to interact with other people after having COVID-19.

How to be safe working through COVID-19

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses different COVID-19 tests, infection via surfaces and how to safely work in the COVID-era.

Keep connecting in creative ways through COVID-19

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson acknowledges that it has been a long journey but that we still have a long road ahead of us. Though restaurants and other locations are opening up, we are not back to normal yet.

How to share your faith during COVID-19

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses the slowly lifting restrictions and plateaued infection and death rate. He also talks about sharing your faith through the pandemic with organizations like Alpha or other creative methods.

Increased freedom brings increased responsibility to social distance

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses the decreasing coronavirus cases and states lifting stay-at-home orders. This increased freedom requires increased responsibility. Also, new tests may determine immunity and a potential vaccine currently undergoing testing.

What to do about COVID-19 misinformation
Exploring COVID-19 testing and vaccine options

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson examines the positive results starting to be seen from country and state efforts to combat COVID-19. Medical authorities continue to explore testing and vaccine options.

The church is empty this Easter Sunday, but so is the grave

This year church buildings will be empty on Easter Sunday. But Jesus' tomb is also empty. CHM employee and former youth pastor, Jonathan Lambert, reminds us of this victory, the power of the empty grave and the privilege Christians have of enduring in our faith, even as it relates to COVID-19.

A deeper dive into the six phases determining pandemic status

CHM’s Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson shares the latest projections of COVID-19 and the World Health Organization’s six-phase procedure for determining a pandemic status.

COVID-19 Q&A with CHM Medical Director
CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson answers questions about COVID-19 during this livestream video Q&A session on Facebook including: Are people with higher blood pressure at greater risk? What do I need to know about face masks? Are there medications to treat COVID-19?
Facing the worries of tomorrow
It's natural that worry and anxiety is triggered in response to what we hear and see around us. It's also vital to view all life events through a biblical lens. In light of COVID-19, CHM employee Jonathan Lambert urges us to think about ways Christians can help and how the Church can respond with peace.
What the COVID-19 peak in Italy means for us
CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson compares the impact on Italy to what the United States is experiencing. Because the United States has enacted similar protective policies two weeks after Italy, this may be indicative of what Americans can expect to see soon.
Real questions answered by CHM's Medical Director
CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson answers CHM employees' questions about the coronavirus through a Facebook Q&A session including: Can you become infected twice? When can we expect to see the benefits of the measures against the virus?
Encouraging downward COVID-19 trend in Italy

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson analyzes the trending numbers in Italy for new cases per day and discusses what it could mean for the U.S. He also notes an early symptom for those impacted by the virus: the loss of smell and taste.

Practicing good and biblical hygiene during COVID-19

CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson discusses New York and what the increase in testing supplies will do for reporting the spread. He encourages believers with biblical Scripture supporting good hygiene practices and the benefits of quarantining when necessary.

Ohio Department of Health issues stay-at-home order

CHM Medical Director Dr. Jacobson discusses a few highlights of the latest coronavirus happenings including Ohio Department of Health Director, Amy Acton, issuing a stay-at-home order. He also shares an encouraging word by former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson, Michael S. Hyatt.

Proper social distancing; God's people have peace
CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson shares a tool to help viewers better understand social distancing. He also shares a scripture verse as a reminder that God's people can hold on to peace, even in uncertain times.
Free testing and a presidential plea to slow the spread

CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson shares an update on the availability of medical testing supplies and encourages the nation to carry out the president's "15 days to slow the spread" plan.

How to access the most accurate and up-to-date COVID-19 info

CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson explains how to get up-to-date information and navigate the available toolsWith biblical wisdom and understanding Christians can respond to the pandemic in truth—not in fear.

How COVID-19 is different from other viruses

CHM Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson shares how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and how this virus differs from other viruses.

What you need to know about COVID-19

Preparations What is it? Symptoms Risk levels Recommendations
Preparing for coronavirus

By Dr. Michael Jacobson, CHM Medical Director

Last January Americans watched with growing concern as a virus that began in China spread to over 50 locations across the globe. On January 31, 2020, concern turned to alarm when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a U.S. public health emergency.

By the end of March 10, 2020, worldwide the death toll exceeded 2,900 and over 85,000 cases were confirmed. Through the U.S. public health surveillance system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified multiple confirmed cases in the U.S., the majority of which were travel related.

Of the 49 Americans who tested positive while traveling abroad, three traveled to Wuhan City in Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus, and 46 were on the cruise ship Diamond Princess. Japan health authorities prevented passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess from disembarking for two weeks. While quarantined onboard near Yokohama, the positive cases among ship occupants climbed from only ten to over 700. Eventually, over 300 American passengers, including 14 newly confirmed cases, were returned home on February 16 on a flight chartered by the U.S. State Department.

Global efforts were focused on limiting the spread and lessening the impact of the virus. In the U.S., the CDC purposed to prepare local communities to respond to the virus and minimize the potential of a COVID-19 pandemic.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses typically found in a variety of animal species. The virus causing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) most likely originated in bats and spread to intermediate animals such as cattle, cats, and camels. Coronaviruses have the ability to jump from animals to infect people. This particular virus demonstrates capability of spreading person-to-person; however, the CDC confirmed at least two cases in California in which they have no idea how the individuals contracted the disease, the individuals having no known travel or contact with another infected person.

Symptoms and risk

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath, indicating a lower respiratory infection as opposed to an upper respiratory infection or common cold. The incubation period (time between exposure to infection and the appearance of first symptoms) ranges from two to 14 days. Note that it’s possible to transmit the virus to someone else even when the infected person has no symptoms.

There are no vaccines currently available to protect against human coronaviruses and no approved medications to effectively treat COVID-19. While the CDC considers the potential public health threat of COVID-19 to be very high, the vast majority of Americans are at low risk for contracting the infection.

Determining your risk level

Individuals at high risk include those who travelled to the Hubei Province, China. Also, those who have not followed recommended precautions while living in the same household or being within close contact of an infected person are at higher risk. An example of unsafe contact is being coughed upon within six feet.

The risk of infection drops to “medium” If proper precautions are followed. This holds true even if in close contact with an infected person. Air travel with an infected person poses only medium risk as long as there is six feet, or two seats, in any direction between you and the infected person. Sitting in a waiting room or classroom with an infected person does not confer higher risk.

If someone is exposed to COVID-19, but has no symptoms presenting (asymptomatic), he or she should adhere to specific protocol recommended by the CDC, according to risk level.

Recommended precautions
HIGH RISK individuals should:
  • submit to quarantine as directed by local public health authorities
  • receive daily monitoring from public health officials
  • avoid travel, unless approved by public health authorities
MEDIUM RISK individuals should:
  • remain at home
  • avoid congregating with others or going out in public
  • practice social distancing (i.e. maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others)
LOW RISK individuals should:
  • monitor themselves for 14 days to ensure no symptoms develop.

If symptoms of COVID-19 should develop in a person who is medium-to-high risk, he or she should immediately isolate himself or herself from others, wear a face mask, alert healthcare authorities of their concern and arrange for testing and transport in a manner that will not expose others. Low risk individuals who develop symptoms should similarly avoid public transportation and contact with others and reach out to healthcare authorities for advice regarding whether testing is warranted.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has taken the lives of several thousand people, the majority of whom were in the Hubei province of China. Based upon reports from China and the World Health Organization (WHO), out of more than 100,000 confirmed cases, over 96 percent of infected persons will survive. Risk of death increases to a near ten percent when other diseases, particularly diabetes and heart or lung disease, are present. Age can be a contributing risk factor; risk of death increases to 22 percent in the very elderly, while no children under the age of ten have died from the virus. Although COVID-19 does not appear to be as deadly as the 2002 SARS virus, which had a 9.6 percent mortality rate, in less than two months, the number of those infected with COVID-19 exceeded that of SARS by 10-fold.

CDC recommended measures for preventing infection
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or going to the bathroom. Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Wear a facemask if you show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone at home or in a health care facility. CDC does not recommend facemasks as protection from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, for those who are well.

While this information is presented specifically in reference to COVID-19, it is useful instruction for the prevention and containment of any infectious agents.

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