Our internet search was simple: “affordable, reasonable healthcare program.” It sounded like a pipe dream, but when we received notice that our insurance plan would no longer be available to our family, we knew we had to do something to comply with the national healthcare law.
My husband, Matthew, and I did a lot of research about cost sharing programs and considered several, but Christian Healthcare Ministries best fit our needs. Our family of five joined the Silver program* in December 2015 and began paying our $255 monthly gift amount.
Our family has been blessed with good health and we were fine with handling the cost of routine wellness visits. If we incurred medical bills, we knew we’d be responsible for the first $1,000 per incident.
CHM was a great fit and we were excited to find something within our budget.
We also liked the fact that if we had unexpected medical bills, the sharing process was simple: submit the itemized bills and Needs Processing forms** to CHM; the ministry would then send us funds so we could pay our healthcare providers.
At the time we joined, Matthew and I hadn’t planned on having more children. Much to our surprise, however, we learned the following July that I was pregnant with our third child, Shepard.
We were amazed to hear that our $15,000 estimated hospital charge would drop to $7,500 just by telling them we were self-pay patients. They reduced the cost once more—this time to $4,200—when we said we planned to pay the full amount all at once.
In addition to the hospital bill, we incurred $2,500 in doctor’s office expenses—$1,750 of which were eligible for CHM sharing because they were incurred at our hospital. (As Silver members, we were responsible for all prenatal treatment performed outside the hospital.) In all, we paid about $3,000 out-of-pocket for Shepard’s birth. This was far less expensive than when Matthew and I had our first two children.
Shepard brightened our world by entering it on Feb. 4, 2017, and added to the joy of his birth was peace knowing that our finances were in order. CHM shared more than $6,600 of Shepard’s birth expenses, which was much less than the delivery costs of our two daughters.
We’re so grateful for all the ministry did to share our medical bills—and for God enabling us to find an affordable way to meet our family’s healthcare needs.
Additional advantages of being CHM members that we appreciate:
- Pre-existing health conditions and health history don’t disqualify people from CHM membership
- CHM is an eligible option under the national healthcare law; therefore, members are exempt from fines or penalties for not having insurance during the time they are CHM members.
- Members can choose their own healthcare providers and aren’t bound by a network established by the ministry.***
*Editor’s note: CHM strongly recommends the Gold program for women who may become pregnant. To learn more, visit chministries.org/maternity.
** The Needs Processing Forms are available at chministries.org/needsforms.
***Though you can choose your own healthcare provider, consider viewing CHM’s healthcare providers and services directory at chministries.org/providerlist for helpful recommendations.