By David Demars MBA, CFP®, CLU, ChFC; Greenacres, Wash.
From the February 2020 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.
When I first joined CHM, I decided our family would try out membership for a year and see how it went. I was a bit skeptical that the ministry really worked. As a financial expert, I have a good understanding of the economic side of healthcare. I wondered if CHM would actually share medical expenses and if I could navigate the world of healthcare costs without health insurance.
I learned about CHM when a friend of mine told me about his experience with the ministry. I signed up at the Gold level with Brother’s Keeper in January of 2017, hoping it would be a biblical and affordable option to provide healthcare for my family.
We discovered quickly that CHM staff seeks to help members and works to their benefit. The staff answered my questions politely and efficiently. They also helped me make sure I had my membership set up correctly to best care for my family.
In addition, we saw firsthand how CHM members “show up” when others are in need. My wife went to the emergency room in January 2019 when she experienced an abnormal reaction to a blood draw. After just a two-hour visit, our charges were nearly $6,500. I didn’t feel the services warranted the cost so I called the healthcare provider and negotiated a bill reduction of over $5,000. CHM members shared the rest.
It’s no secret that healthcare is expensive. On my previous healthcare program I was paying $1,500 per month and around $15,000 out-of-pocket before we received any assistance. It meant spending nearly $33,000 annually before getting financial support! By joining CHM my family saved almost $27,000 in one year, and now those finances can be put towards other needs.
In my line of work you can’t help but think of all the things someone could put an extra $20,000 towards—such as paying off debt, planning for retirement or enjoying more activities and vacations with family, to name a few.
I didn’t feel my previous healthcare program had my best interest in mind, but CHM is the opposite. CHM provides a way for like-minded Christian members to participate in affordable healthcare and employs staff who work for members’ benefit and pray for them in times of need.
As a financial expert and a CHM participant, I want to encourage other members to shop around for healthcare services and to not be afraid to ask for discounts. I’ve found that physicians and practices are generally quite willing to provide more reasonable costs when they learn you’re paying cash.
The wonderful thing about getting discounts is that you’re not just helping ministry members, you’re helping yourself. By keeping medical costs low, you help keep membership costs low.
In my professional opinion, I give CHM an A-plus rating. Whenever healthcare comes up in discussion, I gladly share with others about the ways CHM members provide for my family and me. I’m so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to find healthcare that’s affordable, biblical and credible.