Brenda Curatolo, Angier, NC

Total eligible bills
$7,016
Provider discounts
$1,226
Total bills shared
$5,789

Christian Healthcare Ministries members Rudy and Brenda Curatolo of Angier, N.C. welcomed baby Luca Christopher to their family on October 25, 2014. The Curatolos used CHM’s Gold level maternity program. We asked Brenda about their experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: Why did you join CHM?

Brenda Curatolo: CHM was an affordable option for us. At the time we had health insurance through Rudy’s job and we had just given birth to our second son, Micah. The human resource administrator told Rudy the new amount we would pay for adding another child: almost $8,000 annually for a very basic plan! We lived on a single income and this new amount was out of the question. We prayed for another option.

I posted on Facebook about the outrageous cost of health care. A Christian friend responded and mentioned CHM. We joined at the Silver level.

CHM: Later, you switched to the Gold program. Why?

BC: During the first year, Micah was rushed to the emergency room with head lacerations. He needed stitches. We negotiated a 50 percent discount on our hospital bill and CHM shared the rest. It was then we realized what a blessing CHM is.

Soon after, I switched to the Gold level because we wanted to have another child. I called the CHM office to make sure we accurately understood the advantages and Guidelines for the Gold program. My questions were answered thoroughly and I received friendly service from CHM staff.

CHM: When did you discover you were pregnant?

BC: On Feb. 24, 2014, we found out we were expecting our third child. We called the midwife to set up our first appointment and asked her to provide her prepayment agreement for the pregnancy so we could submit it to CHM. We paid her $500 as a deposit that would also go toward the amount due one month before delivery.

I also needed a 20-week ultrasound and state-mandated blood work, so our midwife sent me to the hospital for those tests. We were nervous about the extra cost, but CHM assured us that these expenses were eligible under the Gold program. We were blessed when the hospital gave us a 35 percent discount.

CHM: Did you experience any complications?

BC: We praise the Lord that we had a smooth pregnancy and delivery. Luca was born in our home after only two and a half hours of labor. Rudy even helped the midwife deliver.

Luca had some swelling, so he underwent an ultrasound on his scrotum to check for fluid and a hernia. Thankfully, there was no hernia, but he did have some extra fluid we’re praying will clear up within a year.

CHM: Please describe your experience submitting bills to CHM.

BC: Because the complications were discovered in the first six weeks of Luca’s life, all doctor visits and tests were considered “add-on” bills to my maternity need. The total prenatal, delivery and postpartum charge from our midwife was $3,500. The first ultrasound and blood work bills amounted to $892 after discounts, and bills from the six weeks after birth totaled $728.

The CHM staff was easy to work with and willing to answer every question I had. It was also fairly simple to submit bills for sharing.

CHM sent a check to us for the midwife’s services one month before Luca’s due date, and we received the checks for the ultrasound and blood work about 45 days after submitting the bills. We had no outstanding medical bills when Luca’s birthday arrived.

We really liked that we could choose any birthing option: midwife, birthing center, home birth, or hospital. Most insurance companies require that you choose from a network, but CHM isn’t insurance and offered nearly unlimited options. Because of our great experience, we referred our entire church staff to join CHM!

CHM: Is there anything else you would like to say to fellow CHM members?

BC: We would like to thank you for your ministry. What a joy and blessing it is to be parents. This pregnancy was the first time we used the CHM program for maternity and we’re so thankful for the support and prayer from fellow believers. We feel that a burden was lifted from our shoulders so that now we can enjoy the blessing of new life.

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