- How much does it cost to participate in CHM? Does CHM have different programs from which I can choose?
Christian Healthcare Ministries offers three programs: Gold ($205 per unit, per month), Silver ($125 per unit, per month) and Bronze ($85 per unit, per month). The Brother’s Keeper program for catastrophic medical bills is an optional (but highly recommended) program with a monthly cost of $20 per unit.
- How frequently are monthly gift amounts raised?
While it’s impossible to predict the future health, well-being and medical costs of our members, it is our goal to keep gift amounts as low as possible. We evaluate the cost of sharing medical bills regularly to make sure that CHM is taking care of our members in a timely manner. Our record shows that we are meeting this goal in spite of rising medical costs. For example, our current operating costs are less than 10 cents of each dollar you give to CHM. This means that over 90 cents of every dollar is earmarked for medical bill sharing.
- Are my financial gifts tax deductible?
Your normal monthly gift amount required for membership is not tax deductible*; however, all extra giving over and above your minimum monthly gift to Christian Healthcare Ministries (including Prayer Page giving) qualifies as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. Christian Healthcare Ministries, Inc. is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
*Per Missouri law, Missouri members' monthly gift amounts are tax deductible.
- Where do I send my monthly gift?
Monthly gifts (and any extra giving) should be sent to Christian Healthcare Ministries in the following ways:
- Submitted via the Member Portal
- By mail to:
Christian Healthcare Ministries
P.O. Box 740569
Cincinnati, OH 45274
Financial gifts are placed into a Member Sharing Account, which undergoes an annual, independent audit. Automatic, recurring giving through credit card or bank withdrawal can be set up by calling 800-791-6225.
Maryland residents only: Maryland giving is member-to-member. Learn more about Maryland membership here.
- What does it mean when you say "share medical bills" or "meet needs"?
As a health cost sharing ministry, Christian Healthcare Ministries members voluntarily contribute to (or "share") one another's medical bills. CHM members reimburse each other for qualifying medical bills through monthly, pre-set financial gifts. CHM members have shared over $6 billion of each other's medical costs!
- What kinds of bills are eligible for sharing?
The eligibility of any bill is ultimately determined by the Christian Healthcare Ministries Guidelines and the members' participation level at the time that the signs or symptoms began.
Members in each program (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) may submit bills for inpatient or outpatient hospital visits or surgery, provided all other criteria are met. Gold level members also may submit bills for medical tests, maternity, incident-related office visits and incident-related prescriptions if all other eligibility is met.
- Are maternity bills eligible for sharing?
Christian Healthcare Ministries offers a maternity program at no extra cost to Gold members. CHM members share qualifying bills up to $125,000 (or unlimited sharing support when also a member of Brother's Keeper) per pregnancy for pre-natal care, delivery, home births, midwives, postnatal care and birth complications. The Silver and Bronze levels exclude maternity sharing.
If a member joins CHM while she is pregnant, bills for that pregnancy or any related complications thereof cannot be shared through any of CHM’s programs or through the Prayer Page.
- What is a pre-existing condition? Are bills from my pre-existing condition eligible for sharing?
CHM has two programs to share pre-existing conditions, the Gold Schedule and the Prayer Page.
The CHM Guidelines define a pre-existing condition as any medical condition for which you experience signs, symptoms, testing or treatment before joining Christian Healthcare Ministries, regardless of whether you have received a diagnosis. (Routine or maintenance medications are considered treatment.)
For example, if you have a stent that was inserted for a heart condition, the stent is considered treatment and your heart condition is pre-existing.
A condition is no longer considered pre-existing if you have experienced one year without signs, symptoms, or treatment (including no maintenance medication) for that condition and it is documented by your official medical records. In contrast, cancer is no longer pre-existing if, after your doctor has pronounced you cancer-free or cured, you have gone five years without any signs, symptoms, testing or treatment.
Learn more about CHM's two programs for pre-existing conditions.
- What is the maximum amount that CHM will share for a need?
Christian Healthcare Ministries shares a maximum lifetime limit of $125,000 for each illness that qualifies according to CHM Guidelines. For information about health cost support of up to $1 million or more, see the Brother's Keeper page.
- How long does it take CHM to share my medical costs?
In general, eligible medical needs are shared by CHM members in the order they are received at the Christian Healthcare Ministries office. You can view CHM's recent average sharing time here. The sharing "clock" starts the date medical bills and all necessary forms are received at our offices.
Medical bills must be submitted within six months from the date of service.
The sooner CHM receives members’ medical bills; the sooner staff can put them in the queue for medical bill processing.
- How do I submit a medical need to CHM?
When you receive your itemized bills, immediately submit copies of the bills to CHM along with the following items:
1. The CHM Sharing Request Packet
2. Copies of your itemized medical bills –OR– your Medicare summary notice (Medicare members) –OR– prepayment agreements from your OB/hospital (expectant mothers).
3. Additional forms, if applicable
- Prayer Page Form
- Accident Verification Form
- Maternity Verification Form
You have three options to send medical bills to CHM (emailing bills is discouraged because it isn’t a secure method of transmission):
1. Online: Log into your Member Portal account and click “Submit Medical Need Online”
2. U.S. Postal Service: Send your bills and Sharing Request Packet to: Christian Healthcare Ministries, Attn: Member Bill Processing, 127 Hazelwood Ave., Barberton, OH 44203
3. Fax: Fax your bills and forms to CHM at 330-848-4322.
Please watch our video on how to submit medical bills. Be sure to keep copies of anything you mail for your personal records.
- When I have a medical need, how do I know the amount for which I'm responsible?
Faith requires mutual sharing of needs. According to Galatians 6:2-5, every believer should “carry his own load” in addition to bearing the burdens of others. Christian Healthcare Ministries practices this principle through the concept of Personal Responsibility. Personal Responsibility for Silver and Bronze members is $2,500 and $5,000 per medical incident, respectively. (Bill discounts, health insurance, Medicare, or other assistance can apply toward your Personal Responsibility amount and reduce out-of-pocket costs.) Gold members: CHM shares 100 percent of bills for any medical incident totaling $500 or more, as long as all other Guidelines are met. (Total bills incurred per incident must total $500 or more in order to be eligible for sharing.)
- Can I choose my own healthcare provider?
You may receive treatment from any healthcare provider if the treatment is within CHM Guidelines. A searchable list of providers recommended by members is available by clicking here. We also recommend that you use other cost comparison tools for helpful information on fair pricing for medical services. For help negotiating medical bills, please contact CHM staff at 800-791-6225.
It is important to note that CHM cannot share bills pertaining to care from non-medical providers (chiropractors, psychologists, counselors, naturopaths, homeopaths, etc.) or any medical doctors practicing alternative, complementary or functional treatment.