Christian Healthcare Ministries as a Health Insurance Alternative
Many Americans have been dealing with decisions about health insurance in the last few weeks. Let us introduce you to the way our family has handled medical bills for the last 22 years, Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM), a great health insurance alternative . We first heard of Christian Healthcare Ministries on a radio show where host Larry Burkett of Crown Ministries endorsed it. We joined immediately.
We have had only one claim, an emergency room visit for a kidney stone, and that claim was paid promptly and completely.
Since the original writing of this article, we have had a new claim. I had a total knee replacement. This need was quite extensive involving many different medical professionals. Each professional billed separately and I had to deal with each as the need progressed. I will admit, just handing out an insurance card with full coverage would have been much easier. But it would have also been much more expensive.
As it turned out, I got a great new knee I’m excited about. I received substantial discounts for my medical needs (which makes it possible for more needs to be met for other members) and the discounts count towards my deductible. So my knee replacement will be completly covered.
Christian Healthcare Ministries, based in Barberton, Ohio, is a nearly 30-year-old cost-sharing ministry through which Christian members share in meeting each other’s medical bills. CHM is based on Galatians 6:2 and Acts 2 and 4. In the last 20 years, CHM members have shared more than $1 billion in medical bills. The non-profit ministry is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Christian Healthcare Ministries is not a health insurance company. Instead, the ministry coordinates the needs of thousands of Christians across the United States and around the world who share each other’s burdens in the area of health care costs. We also pray for and encourage one another through prayer requests.
We really like the fact that the money we spend with Christian Healthcare Ministries helps others pay their bills, and we like knowing that the same will be done for us in a time of need. Besides that, the president of CHM Howard Russell once personally called me and asked how we were doing, then asked if we would like to request prayer.
I can assure you that I have never had another president of a company or organization call me personally and ask to do anything for me.
Christian Healthcare Ministries recognizes that health care needs are not one-size-fits-all. In addition to the regular cost-sharing program, CHM has a number of ministries designed to help our members with medical costs of all shapes and sizes. There are programs for handling maternity bills, bills for catastrophic needs, and bills for pre-existing conditions.
No one is denied CHM membership because of a health condition. Monthly financial gift amounts ($150 for an individual at the highest level of service) are not increased and members are not cancelled if they develop an expensive illness. In addition, CHM can help families keep costs low through medical consulting and bill reductions programs.
To qualify for membership in CHM, the requirements are simple.
- Be Christians living by biblical principles
- Abstain from the use of tobacco and the illegal use of drugs (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Follow biblical teaching on the use of alcohol
- Attend group worship regularly if health permits (Hebrews 10:25)
If you think you would be interested in membership in Christian Healthcare Ministries, look at the CHM website to learn more about this ministry and how it can work for you and your family, church or business. Look at the “How it works” and “Participation levels” & “Costs” pages to understand how CHM might help you with medical bills.
Well, what do you think? Let us know.