Connie Pringle, Pagosa Springs, CO

Total eligible bills
$95,512
Provider discounts
$10,857
Total bills shared
$84,655

In 2011, my health insurance became unaffordable and I was deemed “uninsurable” by because of my pre-existing brain tumors.

My husband, John, and I joined CHM at the Gold level that October.

In April 2013, symptoms related to the growth of one of my two tumors became severe. My neurosurgeon ordered an MRI, which revealed that the tumor was causing brain swelling. Surgery was the next step.

I was very concerned about the costs. I knew from my research that CHM offers two programs for pre-existing conditions. Under the Gold level’s pre-existing schedule, I had $50,000 available to me at the time. The remaining bills would be put on the CHM newsletter’s Prayer Page so that readers could voluntarily donate toward my bills.

It was September 2013 and I scheduled my surgery for January 28, 2014, with the understanding that the hospital required a down payment.

Everything went smoothly until a month before the surgery, when the hospital notified me that I had to make full payment upfront because I was a self-pay patient.

I immediately contacted Lori Perko in the CHM Member Advocate department to explain my dilemma. Lori reassured me that CHM would send a check before the surgery* in the amount still available to me on the Gold schedule.

I was very apprehensive about how the Prayer Page would work because I still had about $40,000 in remaining medical bills. However, the process proved easy because CHM staff members were so helpful. I’d especially like to thank Lauren, Sherry, Jack and Rosie for their encouragement to me and my family.

Each month, I received a check from the CHM office reflecting donations sent from members to help with my remaining bills. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity, prayers and encouraging cards and emails from members and CHM staff.

I had a total of $95,512 in bills. After $10,857 in discounts and $50,000 shared through the CHM Gold schedule, members stepped up to share the remaining $34,655 via the Prayer Page!

The way that CHM members lifted me up in prayer and freely gave of their time, money and love has spoken to me, helped me walk closer with God and increased my desire to “pay it forward” and help others.

I’m doing much better now and evaluating my health daily. I really don’t know how I could have gone through my medical ordeal without God, family and CHM staff and members. I am blessed!

CHM is so much better than health insurance and I have recommended it to family and friends.

*Editor’s note: When possible, CHM works with members to share bills by a health care provider’s deadline, especially to secure a large discount. However, upfront payment is not the typical method of sharing needs. For more information, please see CHM Guideline L.

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