Erika Zimmerman, Bloomington, MN

Total eligible bills
$37,887
Provider discounts
$12,535
Total bills shared
$25,352

In 2016 my husband, Christian, and I discovered Christian Healthcare Ministries. I’m a full-time missionary with Reign Ministries, which means that for years I have raised my own support—a difficult endeavor even without the added burden of ever-rising healthcare costs.

CHM made a lot of sense to Christian and me. We liked that members of the Body of Christ encourage each other and provide for each other’s needs. The generous maternity program also was very attractive to us and in November I signed up as a Gold member with Brother’s Keeper.

A few months later I learned I was pregnant with our first child, which was a great blessing because it had taken a while to conceive. During that hard season of waiting we had to learn to trust that God had a perfect plan for our family.

I read through CHM’s Gold maternity program guide and called a few times to ask clarifying questions. Each staff member I spoke with was helpful and encouraging: one even prayed for me on the phone!

Though my pregnancy was high-risk and required extra testing and ultrasounds, it was a relatively smooth nine months.

As delivery time approached, however, I learned that our daughter was in breech presentation and I would likely need to undergo a C-section.

I remember being nervous that a C-section likely meant that our hospital bill would be expensive. Once again, I called CHM and the staff assured me that all my charges would be shared in a timely manner regardless of the type of birth.

Kaija Joy—whose name means “pure joy”—was born healthy and strong on Oct. 3, 2017.

In all, my maternity expenses were almost $38,000 and I received more than 33 percent in discounts from my healthcare providers! CHM shared the remaining balance within 120 days. They were especially quick to share the hospital bill, for which we’d submitted a prepayment agreement prior to Kaija’s birth. (Editor’s note: CHM recommends setting up prepayment agreements before a child’s birth. Waiting until after the birth to send bills often means that some charges from earlier in the pregnancy fall outside the six-month rule for bill submission. For more info, see Guideline J.3.)

We recommend the CHM maternity program to other couples because it enabled us to choose our own healthcare providers and all our expenses were shared. It does require a bit more “leg work” to ask for discounts and request itemized medical bills, but the few additional steps were definitely worth it. We have saved a great deal of money and when all was said and done, we didn’t have any out-of-pocket costs!

Thank you, CHM, for your ministry. We’re so thankful for the support and prayer we received during this journey of welcoming a child to our family.

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