Like many Americans, my health insurance costs doubled when the Affordable Care Act was implemented. I heard about Christian Healthcare Ministries on the radio and we joined the ministry in December 2015 after weighing all of the “what if” scenarios.
The following May, my yearly mammogram results were abnormal and my radiologist recommended a stereotactic biopsy. This type of biopsy is performed in a surgical setting by a surgeon rather than a radiologist.
The biopsy results can be summed up in two dreaded words: breast cancer. Devastated by the diagnosis and concerned about mounting medical bills, I wondered if CHM would work.
Lengthy discussions with doctors, family and friends led to my decision to undergo a mastectomy and lymph node resection as needed—a treatment that included an outpatient, overnight hospital stay.
I called CHM to tell the staff about my diagnosis and to learn about what would be eligible for sharing. I was treated with respect, encouragement and reassurance that CHM was there for me financially and spiritually.
I compared healthcare providers in my area and, at each visit, explained that I was a self-pay patient. Most of my providers hadn’t heard of CHM. Nevertheless, the person at each provider’s front desk either offered me a discount (from 15 to 80 percent) or directed me to the provider’s billing department. My hospital bill of more than $93,000 was reduced to just over $13,000; an 86 percent discount!
Before accepting discounts of any amount, I contacted CHM for input. I made many such phone calls over a two-month time period. Each interaction with the CHM staff was caring and genuine. Heather Collins in the Member Advocate department was especially helpful.
I underwent surgery in July. While recovering, I received wonderful news from the pathologist: my lymph nodes were clear, the surgeon was able to remove all of the cancer and I wouldn’t need radiation or chemotherapy!
As soon as I received each itemized medical bill, I uploaded it to CHM’s Member Portal*—a process that was very easy. CHM shared my bills more quickly than the 90-120 days I anticipated.
Additionally, I received emails and cards of encouragement from CHM members. My husband and I are grateful for the faithful prayers of members, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Today I’m returning to normal activities and feel more like myself. I give thanks every day for this improvement. At this writing I’m preparing for breast reconstruction surgery, but I’m not worried about finances because I know that God, the CHM staff and ministry members will be there for me.
All that to say, yes, I definitely recommend CHM to family and friends!
Editor’s note: The CHM Member Portal is available at chministries.org/members. To sign up for a free portal account, you’ll need your six-digit CHM member number and portal access code. Both items appear on your monthly Member Gift Form billing statement.