Natalie Schermerhorn, Black Mountain, NC

Total eligible bills
$24,636
Provider discounts
$21,208
Total bills shared
$3,428

My sister joined Christian Healthcare Ministries 15 years ago, so when my husband’s company downsized and he lost his job and benefits, CHM was an option we researched. It became clear that CHM was the best choice and we signed up as Gold members.

Before April 2014, I had only been to the hospital three times for the births of our sons. Mid-April, however, I experienced sharp pain in my right lower abdomen. After the second day—and too much time researching online—I decided this could be pretty serious. I asked my husband to drive me to the emergency room.

Blood work and CT scans revealed a large cyst on my right ovary. Confirming it wasn’t my appendix, the hospital discharged me and advised me to see my OBGYN as soon as possible. Several weeks later, I underwent outpatient surgery to remove the cyst.

The sharing process was new to me, so I read and re-read the CHM Guidelines. There was a huge difference between the way CHM works and just showing the hospital staff an insurance card; I was now taking responsibility for my health.

Amanda Moore, my Needs Processing representative, was the go-to person for my many questions. She was kind and answered my emails in a helpful way.

Like anything new, the more I interacted with my healthcare providers and CHM, the more comfortable it became. Each time I explained my new way of handling health costs, it became easier. I kept an accurate account of every bill and developed a spreadsheet for convenience.

My bills totaled $24,636, and with guidance from CHM staff, I obtained discounts and financial assistance in the amount of $21,208. The reduced total was only $3,428—an 87 percent discount! As per CHM’s policy, I didn’t have to pay my $500 personal responsibility amount, and CHM shared my bills in a timely manner.

I knew the ministry was there to help if I needed it, but I also knew that no one understood my situation better than me.

I’m doing great now. The surgery was successful and my recovery time was only a few short weeks.

I wish I could share all of the blessings, stories and lessons I learned through this experience, but the best I can do is say this: God grew me in my faith, compassion, patience, steadfastness, confidence, gentleness, thankfulness and boldness in sharing Christian love.

We are grateful to God and CHM, but we are also very thankful to the providers who graciously discounted their bills to help us. I pray that we are not like the nine leprous men in Luke 17:11-19 who continued on their way after Christ healed them. May we be like the one who returned to thank Jesus and give God glory. If you find yourself in a medical situation, I encourage you to write to each doctor, acknowledging and thanking them for their role and generosity.

Through this incident and telling providers about CHM, I had the incredible opportunity to share Christ with those I would not otherwise have met.

Fellow CHM members, I encourage you to read and read again the Guidelines and monthly newsletters. Both are helpful in understanding the many advantages of CHM. Each story was helpful to me in grasping just another little piece of the sharing process and how others experienced victory both medically and spiritually.

I’m a shy person, but I assure you there’s no reason to be shy. I learned how to emphasize to providers that I was responsible for my bills, and it’s to your advantage to learn how, too. I told them that my CHM family would share my bills after other resources were used. I found myself getting more and more excited about the money I was helping save—money that would be used for other CHM members.

Take good notes, keep track of everything, make follow-up calls and don’t hesitate to ask for additional assistance. Most importantly, write or call to say thank you.

I would definitely recommend CHM. In fact, I have. Doctors and hospitals were more willing and eager to work with me than with an insurance company.

As CHM continues to remind us, we are the Body of Christ. When we do things for the glory of God, we experience the impossible becoming possible.

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