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Christian Healthcare Ministries Review {$40k in Bills GONE}

Posted By Mdinich on Business - Christian Healthcare Ministries has been a God-send for my family! If you haven’t heard of CHM, let me start by explaining a little bit about the company. CHM is a medical cost-sharing ministry of Christians helping Christians pay their medical bills. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, healthcare costs have risen significantly. The alternative to traditional health insurance is medical cost sharing, through a company such as CHM, Samaritan Ministries, or other non-faith-based organizations such as Liberty Healthshare. When my son broke his wrist playing football a few months ago, we were able to submit bills for sharing for the first time. If medical costs are weighing you down, if you recently lost your job or are you’re nearing retirement and need an alternative to Cobra, keep reading. This is something you’ll want to look into. Spoiler Alert! We’re not going back to traditional health insurance…at least not for a while. More on that later. Here’s a quick video review if you’re in a rush. How Does CHM Work? Christian Healthcare Ministries’ mission is to glorify God, show Christian love, and experience God’s presence as Christians share each other’s medical bills. Simply put, you can’t get in if you aren’t a believer or don’t belong to a church. Medical cost sharing is a way to satisfy your healthcare costs and help others while upholding your Christian beliefs and sticking to your budget. There are no restrictions based on age, weight, where you live, or your health history (pre-existing conditions are covered)! So why aren’t more people doing this instead of paying astronomical premiums for health insurance that delivers poor coverage? I don’t think enough people know about it. That’s why I wanted to share my review and testimonial of Christian Healthcare Ministries! Christian Healthcare Ministries Cost There are three different levels of sharing available to CHM members. You pay a monthly gift amount for each unit. Each adult counts as a single unit, and all kids are grouped into a single unit. So a family of three would pay for 3 units, and a family of 6 would pay for 3 units. Pretty cool, huh? Bronze Level-24% of members are Bronze Level $45 per unit, per month At the Bronze level, you have a $5,000 personal responsibility per incident. In other words, you need to pay $5,000 per incident before CHM helps to share your expenses up to $125,000 per incident. Silver Level-15% of members are Silver Level $85 per unit, per month At the Silver level, you have a $1,000 personal responsibility per incident. In other words, you need to pay $1,000 per incident before CHM helps to share your expenses up to $125,000 per incident. Gold Level-61% of members are Gold Level $150 per unit, per month The Gold program provides members with the ministry’s highest amount of financial support. CHM shares 100 percent of bills for any medical incident exceeding $500 as long as all other Guidelines are met. (Total bills incurred per incident must exceed $500 in order to be eligible for sharing.) You can receive assistance up to $125,000 per illness. CHM Brother’s Keeper for Catastrophic Illness Christian Healthcare Ministries also offers an add-on called Brother’s Keeper that will provide financial assistance up to unlimited (depending on which level of sharing you choose). More on that here. Things to Consider: You can have different levels of sharing for each unit in your household. So let’s say you’ve got a family member that frequents the doctor or hospital. You might want to put them on the Gold Level and you and your spouse on the Silver Level. You can mix and match to fit your budgeting needs. No open enrollment or major life changes required to make changes. You can change your level at any time for any reason. Christian Healthcare Ministries is not insurance. So you will receive cards, but do not give those to the medical providers. Tell them that you are cash pay patients with a medical cost-sharing company. I’ll explain why later. You can count any discounts you receive from providers towards your personal financial responsibility! So if you have the Gold plan, and you negotiate a $1200 discount on a bill, you don’t have to pay ANYTHING out of pocket! Christian Healthcare Ministries Review Here’s how it all worked out for us. My family participates in the lowest level of sharing, the Bronze plan. We did this simply because it costs us $135 out of pocket per month and we’re generally a pretty healthy family. When my son broke his wrist, we had to go to the hospital and ended up needing surgery. We have accumulated(so far) a total of $38,683.09 in bills. He still has to undergo one more surgery to remove the metal plate from his wrist. Because we are considered cash pay patients, our hospital discounted their services 70%.  SEVENTY PERCENT, y’all! Even Christian Healthcare Ministries was shocked that our bills were discounted so much, but it really was easy. Some hospitals require you to fill out a financial assistance application. Ours simply discounted the services and wrote it off. The orthopedic surgeon’s clinic, however, did not offer a discount on any of the services because they’re in the business of making money, unlike a non-profit. Understandable. This portion of the bill is what we will have to pay out of pocket. Here’s a look at our bills from this incident. If we had participated in my husband’s employer health insurance, we’d have paid approximately $9,000 per year in premiums, plus be responsible for a $3,000 deductible and 20% of the services (which would NOT be discounted 70%). This is considered “affordable”. This isn’t comparable to the outrageous fees self employed patients pay or those having to utilize Cobra. We pay $135 per month, costing our family $1,620 in “premiums”, and our out of pocket responsibility for this $40,000 incident is only $1,299. Why on earth would anyone choose traditional health insurance over Christian Healthcare Ministries (or other medical cost-sharing programs)? My Mom was diagnosed with stage 3a colon cancer at age 50, so I will have to have regular colonoscopies starting at age 40. Unfortunately, 40 is just a few short years away. With CHM, there are a few plan exclusions (which is why we are responsible for the $1,299 above). On the bronze plan, they don’t cover office visits outside of a hospital. That’s why we have to pay that amount. I’ll be doing more research in a couple of years because preventative care such as well visits, colonoscopies, and breast exams are not eligible for sharing. But for now, as for me and my house, we’ll continue using Christian Healthcare Ministries.      
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