Christian Healthcare Ministries Free
Ease of Use
Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is a faith-based healthcare cost-sharing organization that provides an alternative to traditional health insurance.
- Enrollment is open to people in all 50 states
- CHM members meet the federal health insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act
- You can choose your doctor and medical facility (provided they take self-care patients)
- The maternity care under the Gold Program is pretty comprehensive and includes prenatal visits
- All medical costs must be paid out of pocket before you’re reimbursed
- Prescriptions are only covered under the Gold Program
- No dental or vision coverage is offered
- May not be the best option for long-term illnesses/conditions
Our Christian Healthcare Ministries review is here to discuss a different option when you need health insurance when self-employed and aren’t sure where to turn.
They believe everyone deserves quality healthcare, regardless of their budget. That’s why Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) offers some of the most competitive rates in the industry.
CHM offers a unique way to get affordable healthcare based on biblical principles, so you can focus on growing your family, your faith, and everything that matters to you.
We use Christian Healthcare Ministries for our healthcare-sharing needs and have been very happy with the program, so let’s dive in and talk about why you should get on board.
Our Experience With CHM
When Kelan and I decided we were going to leave our jobs, one of the biggest obstacles we had was finding a program to cover our medical expenses.
We knew we wanted to stick with our money-making blogging career, and planned on having more children.
We needed to find a program to cover maternity costs at an affordable price, and Christian Healthcare Ministries lined up with our values.
It also had everything we were looking for regarding a health-sharing program.
So we signed up with the Gold Program and haven’t looked back!
From the time I had my first prenatal appointment until the last bill postpartum, I never once had to worry about any cost of bringing this new baby into the world.
We could focus on recovery and newborn baby snuggles. I even submitted for medical problems for our newborn daughter that were taken care of, giving us one less thing to worry about.
But we had more coverage besides maternity and coverage for our children! Over the years, we’ve had a variety of health scares that were covered in full by CHM.
From sleep studies to vertebral artery dissections to surgeries, we’ve been blessed to be a part of an amazing program where we have no worries about visiting a doctor or needing meds.
The whole process of submitting medical bills has become second nature, and the process is very streamlined.
The positives have lined up for every part of our lives, and we could rave about CHM all day! It has truly been the biggest blessing for our family.
There’s nothing more important than health and family, and we want fellow members to know what help they can expect from CHM in caring for what matters.
Christian Healthcare Ministries Review
Some people receive an insurance plan through their employer or rely on the government’s Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, or Medicare.
Others may choose to get their health care through a private company, such as a traditional insurance company.
Another option is a healthcare-sharing program, such as Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM).
In health-sharing ministries, members share the cost of their medical needs with other members of the program.
This way, less money comes out of your own pocket in the long run!
What is Christian Healthcare Ministries?
CHM is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides a healthcare sharing program for people of any Christian denomination.
CHM is a good option for people looking for an alternative to traditional health insurance. The program allows members to share the costs between themselves.
The program has been in operation for 40 years and has provided healthcare coverage for hundreds of thousands of people- and you could join them.
Dave Ramsey Stamp Of Approval
He believes that most Americans have seen their health insurance premiums rise since the Affordable Care Act was passed and knows people need more cost-effective options.
Ramsey has given his stamp of approval to Christian Healthcare Ministries, recommending it as an affordable alternative to traditional insurance.
Members are united in sharing each other’s medical bills, making a lighter load for everyone, and ensuring everyone gets the care they need in life.
CHM is a faith-based healthcare-sharing ministry based on biblical principles of stewardship and servanthood.
There are no age, weight, where you reside, or health history restrictions; however, there are expectations on your way of life fitting their biblical principles as well.
CHM members agree to live a healthy lifestyle, including abstaining from tobacco, illegal drugs, alcohol, and other substances.
For example, as a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries, you are required to live according to the biblical teachings on the use of alcohol which means that you cannot drink to get drunk.
You must also attend regular group worship, as long as your health permits, to help ensure you’re living according to Christianity’s teachings and care for their physical and spiritual health.
Now that we’ve talked about all you need to join, it comes down to the Christian Healthcare Ministries’ cost to see if it fits your life.
Christian Healthcare Ministries works much like other health care sharing ministries, offering different plans/levels for their members.
The level you choose will determine how much your Christian Healthcare Ministries cost is and what kind of benefits you receive.
Choosing a higher-level membership will result in a higher monthly share with greater benefits.
Your monthly fee amount will be based on the membership level you choose, which will determine how much coverage you have.
Regardless of the membership level, members’ medical bills are shared with the other group members.
There are 3 levels of membership with CHM: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Let’s talk about what each plan costs and what comes with it:
Cost: $85 per unit, per month
The Bronze membership level with Christian Healthcare Ministries is designed for people who want some protection against some high medical costs.
Bronze members are covered for medical costs totaling $5,000 or more, up to $125,000 per illness.
Each year, members who renew their membership receive another $100,000 in funding and may accrue up to $1 million for each illness.
This includes inpatient or outpatient hospital incidents and surgery, surgery performed at some medical facilities, and free access to telemedicine services.
However, this level does not include preventative care, maternity bills, testing, or treatment outside a hospital or urgent care facility.
With the Bronze plan, Brother’s Keepers can be added for $20 per unit, which adds another $100,000 of cost support, which can help with a more catastrophic illness.
Cost: $125 per unit, per month
The Silver membership level is the next step up for more coverage. Yearly renewals also mean you receive another $100,000 in funding (per year you come back!), accruing up to $1 million per illness.
Silver members are covered for medical costs totaling $2,500 or more, up to $125,000 per illness.
This has the same coverage as the Bronze plan: inpatient and outpatient care, as well as surgery, but it doesn’t cover maternity bills, testing, or treatment outside hospitals or urgent care facilities.
Also, like the Bronze level, Brother’s Keeper can be added for $20 per unit per month to cover an additional $100,000.
Cost: $205 per unit, per month
The Gold plan of membership is the most comprehensive level of coverage. With this level, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll have unlimited sharing, no matter how high the bills are.
With this level, you are covered for any medical incident that totals $500 or more, with no limit on the amount that can be shared per illness.
This includes inpatient or outpatient hospital incidents and surgery, as well as surgery performed at facilities that meet accepted standards and telemedicine.
In addition, the Gold level covers urgent care, independent lab work and radiology, maternity, physical therapy, and home healthcare (up to 45 visits for each type), incident-related doctor’s office visits, and incident-related prescriptions.
Finally, the Gold level removes the $125,000 per illness cap when adding Brother’s Keeper. If you are injured in a major accident, your medical costs will be fully shared, up to $1 million.
Here are the steps to follow to get your bills reimbursed with CHM:
First, members are responsible for paying the bills incurred first, which are then reimbursed by CHM. The ministry does not pay medical providers directly, they go over itemized bills to repay you.
Second, the ministry has guidelines for what expenses it will and will not cover. So, you’ll need to ensure that your expenses meet the guidelines before submitting them.
Third, you must fill out the necessary forms with the hospital bills when submitting bills for reimbursement. Make sure to get a medical bill with the medical codes and all the info needed per the guidelines.
Once you receive your reimbursement check from CHM, you can pay off the payment plan you made with your medical provider.
For example, if you have a $10,000 bill for one incident, the whole $10,000 will be considered per the plan you joined.
If you have several bills totaling $10,000 for different incidents, each incident will be considered up to $125,000.
If bills are more than $125,000, as in the case of a catastrophic illness, you will want Brother’s Keeper on your plan, as the remainder of your bills are sent to Brother’s Keeper for help with costs.
To receive reimbursement from CHM for your medical bills, you must submit a request form along with your original bills. The reimbursement process usually takes about 4-6 weeks.
Using CHM as a healthcare sharing ministry is an excellent way to save on monthly medical costs while getting the same quality of care as those with private health insurance.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using CHM, however, such as:
Make sure you are comfortable with the organization’s Christian beliefs.
As a Christian organization, CHM upholds certain religious beliefs that may not align with your own.
However, you’ll have a personal responsibility regarding your medical plans.
The ministry doesn’t make decisions about your care or tell you what treatments you should or shouldn’t have.
Be aware of the limitations of the coverage. CHM isn’t a traditional health insurance company.
It’s one of the healthcare-sharing ministries, so there are some things that it won’t cover (e.g., pre-existing conditions, cosmetic surgery, etc.).
Not only that, but dental and eye insurance aren’t part of CHM plans.
Have realistic expectations. CHM is not a magic solution that’ll cover all your medical bills.
You have a personal responsibility for paying your monthly share and any fees associated with using the services of providers outside of the CHM network.
Any medical condition for which you experience signs, symptoms, or testing before joining CHM is considered a pre-existing condition.
That includes routine medication, too!
Suppose you have been without symptoms, indications, or treatment for one year and aren’t taking a maintenance medication regimen for that condition.
In that case, you no longer qualify as having a “pre-existing” condition.
Cancer is no longer considered a pre-existing condition if you have gone five years without any indications, symptoms, testing, or treatment (other than routine follow-up visits)
This is also after your doctor has declared you cancer-free or cured and there are no residual traces of the disease in your body.
Prescription medication can be expensive! Christian Healthcare Ministries will pay for prescriptions for each incident after you’ve met:
- $500 out-of-pocket cost under the Gold plan;
- $2,500 per Silver;
- $5,000 per Bronze.
So, if you’re taking monthly medication, it won’t be eligible for sharing.
One of the great things about CHM is that there’s no pre-approval necessary when you’re having surgery.
As previously mentioned, CHM members submit bills per incident to the ministry and receive reimbursements based on the ministry’s guidelines and the plan you’ve chosen.
You may need to make some financial assistance arrangements to take care of any self-pay patient expenses until reimbursements come in.
Maternity (Gold Program)
We know that having a baby can cost a lot, so having the right insurance coverage can make or break your family planning.
Christian Healthcare Ministries maternity coverage is available to members with a due date at least 300 days after joining the ministry.
Maternity coverage won’t be shared if the member becomes pregnant before joining CHM.
They recommend waiting at least 30 days after joining the membership to become pregnant.
Also, because it’s a faith-based health cost-sharing ministry, if a woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she won’t be able to enroll for coverage.
The Gold Program pays the medical costs for the following after Gold members reach $500 per pregnancy:
- Prenatal visit bills (including up to three ultrasounds, provided they are medically necessary)
- Hospital delivery (including cesarean and multiple births)
- Home births
- Complications (mother and baby)
- Post-natal (up to six weeks)
- One lactation consultant visit (if medically necessary; an itemized charge must appear on your bill, or you must submit a note from your healthcare provider)
Christian Healthcare Ministries doesn’t have a network of doctors or hospitals; members are free to go to any doctor or hospital they choose.
Members are responsible for paying their healthcare providers directly for their medical needs and doctor visits, which will then be reimbursed.
Until you are reimbursed, one way to lower the costs is to negotiate discounts and set up monthly payment plans for self-pay patients.
Sending Bills For Reimbursement
When you are a member of CHM, you have the personal responsibility of submitting your bills to the organization for reimbursement.
The medical providers don’t submit the bills incurred for you, which is important to note!
Generally, you’ll need to submit a copy of your bill to CHM within 180 days (6 months) of the service date.
You can submit your bills electronically through the CHM website or mail them to the organization.
Once CHM has received your bill, they will review it to ensure it meets their reimbursement guidelines.
If everything looks good, they will send you a check for the bill amount for the submitted bills, minus any discounts or cost-sharing amounts you may owe.
You can contact the Member Advocate team for assistance if you have questions about submitting your bills or need help understanding the CHM guidelines.
On that note, just like medical insurance, it’s never too late to get life insurance set up for yourself and your family members so everyone will be taken care of if anything happens to you.
We know that life can sometimes throw wrenches into our plans, and having life insurance makes it easier for your family to handle the hard times- without worrying about finances on top of their sadness.
Saving Up For Insurance Costs
I know that many families worry about high monthly costs, and every bill makes a difference when you’re worried about money.
We believe that CHM is a low-cost option for insurance coverage, but we understand being apprehensive about another bill in the mail.
To help you find the money for your insurance costs, we researched easy money-saving charts.
They’ll help you can think hard about where your insurance money can come from and where you can find quick savings.
You’d be surprised how cutting back- a few snacks, coffee, and even skipping prepared meals- can be enough to contribute money towards your health coverage.
And if you need help creating a budget that includes insurance, check out our Savvy budgeting guide to get started.
We hope our Christian Healthcare Ministries review has helped you see there’s an option to help you with your healthcare costs.
Overall, we think CHM is an excellent choice for Christians looking for an affordable healthcare option that meets the requirements of the healthcare mandate.
They are a not-for-profit organization based on biblical principles and offer reasonable monthly rates that may align with your life and family budget.
The main downside is that you have a personal responsibility to pay all of your medical bills out of pocket first.
But if the charges for the medical care you need are reasonable and fall within the plan guidelines, then you should be able to get reimbursed quickly.
But the coverage has many possibilities, and reimbursements are made easy, so if you want an affordable healthcare option, we recommend trying Christian Healthcare Ministries.