We have been withChristian Healthcare Ministriesfor about five years. It’s been a journey but one of the best decisions we have made for our health, spirits, and wallets. Here is everything we’ve learned and what you should know before signing up.
有许多因素,建立了分sion, but overall, we felt we needed to find something with better coverage and prices than what traditional health insurance was offering us.
We researched health shares as a health care alternative for months, and in the end, we settled withChristian Healthcare Ministries。This was a new concept to us, and at first, we weren’t sure we trusted it would work.
- What We’ve Had Covered with CHM
- Christian Healthcare Ministries Cost
- Pre-Approval Process
- Working with Medical Providers
- 提交账单智慧h CHM
- Getting Reimbursed with CHM
- How Much We Ended Up Paying
- Overall Thoughts
- Is a health share right for you?
- Other Posts You May Enjoy:
What We’ve Had Covered with CHM
Over the past five years, we have used CHM for various medical bills – some that were simple and others that would have felt catastrophic to pay. While the process sometimes feels a bit arduous, in the long run, we have saved a lot of time, money, and frustration.
Surgery with CHM
In 2018, we had two surgeries that we had to pay for, and they weren’t cheap. I was so grateful to God that we had found this membership-based program that allowed us to pay for these surgeries.
这些手术是我们第一次谈判账单，说服医疗提供者将实际上获得报酬，最重要的是，提交我们的账单Christian Healthcare Ministriesfor reimbursement.
To say I was nervous was an understatement. If somehow it all fell through, we would end up with tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills.
I will admit at times that I thought, “Insurance would be easier!” but when all was said and done, I am SO grateful that we’ve hadChristian Healthcare Ministriesas opposed to traditional insurance to help protect us from financial difficulties.
Throughout the entire process for both surgeries,CHMwas professional, accommodating, and quick to respond – which I can say is not very common when it comes to handling medical bills.
在2019年，我在使用基督教医疗保健部门的同时也经历了怀孕和分娩this post, but has also given me additional experience into CHM. It was overall extremely positive, and in the end, I paid ZERO dollars for my entire pregnancy, including having a few complications.
Illness with CHM
We have had various illnesses that we’ve submitted bills for. Often, our bills aren’t reaching $400, and since we use a Direct Pay Office for our health care, typical illnesses are pretty inexpensive.
With all that said, I wanted to share an in-depth review of our experience withChristian Healthcare Ministries– specifically when it came to the two surgeries we had done. I can honestly say now that going with CHM is one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Christian Healthcare Ministries Cost
First off, I wanted to share how much we pay per month for Christian Healthcare Ministries.
We have chosen to go with their Gold Plan, which is $172 a month per person. However, after the third member of the family, you do not pay anything else. They have a Silver and Bronze plan – and you can comparethe costs and benefits here。
So for our family of four, we pay $516 a month. Even if we had 10 more children, that’s all we would pay. This is how insurance used to work (thankfully for my parents who had six kids at home at one point!).
We also pay a quarterly gift of, I think, $75 to be a part of the “Brother’s Keeper” program, which essentially gives you unlimited sharing on incidents (instead of the $125,000). If you on the Silver and Bronze plan, it increases the amount by $100,000 per unit that is on the account and pays for Brother’s Keeper (up to 1 million).
Although optional, I try and donate a small, tax-deductible donation to the “Prayer Page” each month. This goes to help people pay bills that aren’t shared by CHM (typically due to pre-existing conditions).
CHMdoesn’t require any pre-approval before you submit a bill for surgery. However, I felt like it was a good idea just to check that everything looked okay before I scheduled my surgery.
Surgery is expensive, and if for some reason they wouldn’t share the bills (not eligible under their sharing guidelines, it’s a pre-existing condition, etc), that’s something you would want to know upfront.
With both of the surgeries, we had done the hospital required some kind of payment upfront for being a self-pay patient. The hospital where Oliver had this surgery required around $3000 and the hospital I had surgery at actually required ALL of the amounts up front. They offered a 60% discount – but it was still over $16,000, which is a lot of money just to hand over.
Because of this, make sure you know what your medical provider or hospital requires up front. You need to makeCHMaware immediately of any discounts that would disappear if you don’t pay in a certain period of time. And don’t assume they will/have to pay it – expediting payment is decided on a case by case payment.
Working with Medical Providers
We went to an ER once, and I swear, as soon as they heard we were “self-pay”, they did everything they could to push us out of the door as quickly as possible. Even as I tried to explain to them what we did. Anyways.
这key is to make sure you talk to the financial department as soon as possible. You need to know what they require up front. If they allow for payment plans. What discounts you can get.
我发现折扣大幅不同。许多人将从10％的超低10％开始 - 而其他人将从高达60％的折扣开始。我会说，如果它很低，总是谈判。我一直可以获得至少20％。
Be aware that when you have surgery, there are LOTS of medical providers involved. For my surgery, I have gotten separate bills from:
有点烦人!但只是意识到什么时候you are using an organization like Christian Healthcare Ministries, you will likely be spending a lot of time on the phone. And it can get frustrating.
这process to submit bills forCHM很容易。最初，有很多论文必须进入：
- Needs Processing Form
- Needs Processing Worksheet
As you get more bills associated with the incident, you will add those as “add-on” bills.
You need to make sure your bills have the medical codes for the procedures, show how much they charged, any discounts applied, and the total amount due.
If you do not send this, you will get a letter fromCHMsaying that you need to submit something else. Some medical providers send this information by default; others will require you call the billing department to get it sorted out. Make sure you get the right bills though, or else it will delay the process of getting them paid.
Getting Reimbursed with CHM
Most of the time, it is going to take 90-120 days to get payment fromChristian Healthcare Ministries。他们将直接向您发送支票，此时，您将负责支付账单。
Now, most medical providers are not going to wait 90-120 days for payment. Which means you will be responsible for paying something for 3-4 months.
CHMencourages you to apply for any financial aid programs that a hospital or medical provider may offer. This can ease that burden of a monthly payment.
We did not qualify for any of those, so we just set up payment plans for as little they would let us, and we paid that for several months for Oliver’s surgery. As soon as the money came, we paid off the remaining balances, and we were paid back as well for the amounts we paid.
We contacted CHM about what they wanted us to do, and they were extremely helpful in helping us navigate that situation.
How Much We Ended Up Paying
当所有人都说并用奥利弗的手术完成时，我们最终为一切付出了0美元。CHMrequires you pay $500 (on the Gold levels – other levels of membership are different), however, if you get enough discounts, and they add up to be over $500, they apply that to your $500 personal responsibility.
Our bills for Oliver’s surgery ended up being over $12,000 (with discounts applied). For me, my surgery will end up being between $25,000 and $30,000 (with discounts applied).
We have been very pleased withCHM。It’s not a perfect system, and you do have to find ways to pay for medical expenses that aren’t shared (such as preventative care), but in our experience, it has been a much easier process than working with insurance, and it’s saved us a lot of money. It also gave me the freedom to see the specialist that I needed to see without having to deal with the red tape of “out of network” providers.
Had we had insurance, we would have been paying about $2000 a month. For this surgery, I would have had to pay around $5000 for a deductible before the insurance even paid a thing (for at least one of the surgeries – it would have definitely maxed out our deductible), and then our max out of pocket cost would have been around $12,000. That’s a lot of money!
It can be trickier to work through, but honestly, even when we had insurance, I found myself on the phone constantly trying to get things worked out. There were always bills that were overcharged or payments that they didn’t apply correctly. Once I even started getting bills for someone who had somehow gotten a hold of my insurance card #truestory.
If you have a lot of bills under $500 (which are not eligible), then CHM may not be the best option either.
我们必须弄清楚“系统”一点– we use a direct pay physician who we pay a monthly fee for unlimited visits and discounts on medical tests. We use医疗保健蓝皮书pretty frequently to make sure we aren’t being charged more than is reasonable. I’ve researched the cheapest urgent care options in the area. So it does take some time. But I am grateful that we have this option, and it has worked really well for us.
CHM is also a BBB+ Accredited charity, and they’ve paid out over 1 billion dollars in shared medical bills.
Is a health share right for you?
You may have access to better insurance – whether because of getting a group insurance rate from work or because you get some kind of credit through the ACA. And I would encourage you to make sure that a health share likeCHMis right for you – I wouldalwaysrecommend going with the option that will be the least expensive for your family. And that may not be the case for everyone.
CHM isn’t right for everyone – and that’s okay. We have put together this greathealth share comparisonto help you find the right one for you. I’m not trying to convince everyone to join, because it’s not always realistic. If you have major medical issues that require a lot of monthly fees, it probably isn’t the best option.
Although CHM will pay a certain amount each year for the first three years for pre-existing conditions (and three years, it’s no longer considered pre-existing), there are certain stipulations on this. So make sure you are aware of all of this BEFORE you signup. I strongly suggest reading theirmember guidelinesthoroughly. I’ve seen people claim they won’t pay their bills – but if they are eligible, they will pay them.
Also be aware that CHM does not pay for alternative treatments, such as acupuncture. Other similar organizations do – such as Liberty Healthshare – but CHM does not.
If you are not religious, you won’t be able to join CHM. We found their “faith requirements” to be less stringent than some, however, you still need to have some kind of religious belief.