Testimonials
Click on the member’s name to read their testimonial
Bethany Lillian Grace Allee was born April 26, 2015 to CHM members Adam and Sarah Allee of Hastings, Fla. Sarah explained the difference between her health insurance policy and CHM:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What made you decide to switch from health insurance to CHM?

Sarah Allee: Our older daughter, Meredith, was born in 2013 using our previous health care policy. At the time I worked one day a week as a registered nurse and Adam coached soccer. Neither of us had health insurance through our jobs, so we paid for a private plan. However, the maternity coverage was very limited. We wanted to have another child, so I joined CHM’s Gold program.

CHM: What did you do when you learned you were pregnant with Bethany? SA: I emailed the CHM staff immediately and they congratulated me like I was family. They walked me through how to submit my bills and responded quickly to questions. It was a smooth process.

Before joining CHM, I was ignorant about how health insurance works. I paid a monthly amount and never questioned why or understood the price of care. CHM empowered me to take control of my health care costs. I love how CHM made each medical bill seem “black and white.” With our old insurance, I didn’t understand the jargon, small print or billing process. CHM sharing eligibility, on the other hand, is clearly defined in the CHM Guidelines.

CHM: Are there other differences between your previous health insurance and CHM?

SA: We were still receiving medical bills two years after Meredith’s birth, which was frustrating to say the least! However, Bethany’s birth was an amazing experience in large part because of CHM. The sharing process took about 90 days, and the check for one bill was expedited so we could take advantage of a discount.

There’s no comparison between the ministry and health insurance. We like CHM not just because the ministry is “a better deal,” but also because CHM is honest, easy to understand and fits our belief system. God has called His people to bear each other’s burdens, lift one another in prayer and live lives of honesty and integrity.

CHM: Were birth complications a concern for you?

SA: I was fearful and anxious that Bethany’s birth would be difficult because I had many complications when Meredith was born. God was faithful, though, and graciously gave me a smooth delivery and healthy baby!

CHM is the best health care option because it’s comprehensive and more affordable than insurance. Prayer warriors share your emotional and financial burdens. My monthly financial gift goes to believers who need it. God’s mighty hand was upon my family and over my delivery. My CHM family’s prayers were powerful. You are, to me, an extension of my family. I never want to leave CHM.

Thank you, CHM staff, for your many hours working behind the scenes and for allowing us to invest in other Christians’ lives just as they did for us during Bethany’s birth.

I had nearly lost hope of ever having a baby when my husband, Esteban, and I signed up for CHM. Because we’d spent five long years trying to conceive, I admit I paid little attention to the ministry’s Guideline that members must join CHM at least 300 days before the expected due date in order for maternity bills to be eligible for sharing.

We were therefore very surprised to see a positive pregnancy result about a month after signing up for the ministry’s Gold program in November 2016.

After the initial excitement passed, I began to worry a little that I hadn’t met CHM’s rule for pregnancy bills to be shared. Thankfully, I soon learned that my due date was shortly after 300 days past my join date. (In other words, I wasn’t already pregnant when I joined.)

I was pleased, too, that the ministry offers such easy-to-follow instructions for submitting medical bills, particularly maternity needs. The Guidelines (chministries.org/guidelines) and maternity guide (chministries.org/maternityguide) helped me understand I needed to set up prepayment agreements with my OB/GYN’s office and the facility where I intended to give birth.

I was fairly comfortable with CHM’s policy of seeking medical bill discounts because I’d had melanoma several years before joining the ministry. I had no health insurance at the time but many of my healthcare providers offered substantial discounts. I was also thankful that doctors discovered the cancer before it had a chance to metastasize, so I only needed a minor operation.

During my pregnancy I called the ministry office several times to verify I was doing everything correctly. Each time the staff members were friendly and patient with my many questions.

The pregnancy was progressing normally until 32 weeks gestation. We own horses and use electric wire to make sure they don’t get too close to the fence and harm themselves. One day in late July 2017 I was filling their water trough. As I leaned forward, I forgot to take into account my expanding girth and my stomach brushed up against the electric wire.

Immediately I felt a shock through my entire body.

I had no idea whether the jolt could harm the baby, but I thought surely it would at least startle him awake and I would be able to feel him move.

Attempting not to panic, I waited for a few minutes, even trying a few times to “nudge” my son awake.

Nothing.

I called my doctor, who advised going to the hospital for monitoring. The 15-minute drive seemed to take forever. I still couldn’t feel the baby move; the stubborn little guy had no interest in putting his mama’s mind at ease.

I can’t explain the relief I felt after being hooked up to the fetal monitors and hearing his strong, steady heartbeat. He started up his acrobatics shortly thereafter. It soon became a running joke that as a newborn he’d be a sound sleeper since he could snooze through an electric jolt!

The cost of my hospital visit was the last thing on my mind. A few weeks later the bill arrived and my jaw dropped. The charge was over $4,000! I tried to get a discount on the bill but was told that the hospital only negotiated with third parties.

A little nervous that the charge wouldn’t be included as part of my maternity incident, I called CHM and was immediately reassured there was nothing to worry about. All I needed to do when I submitted the bill was to include a note that the provider wouldn’t negotiate with me and to ask the CHM staff to do it on my behalf. And they did.

I went into labor Sept. 10, a few days after my due date. Over the next four days I had sessions of strong contractions but wasn’t dilated enough to be admitted to the hospital. Additionally, I was getting very little sleep and suffered from back labor. (I later learned it was because our son was in posterior position—his skull was pressing against my pelvis.)

I was finally admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning, Sept. 13. Unfortunately, however, my labor kept getting “stalled out.” After many hours of frustration, a nurse told us that the baby was asynclitic, which means his head was tilted toward his shoulder and he wasn’t in the proper position to be born. After assuring me it was best for the baby, doctors finally performed an emergency C-section.

The minute I saw the face of Jaden Samuel Barradas, I “forgave” him for all of my pain and his refusal to drop low enough to enter the birth canal. In our eyes he was perfect—and perfectly healthy.

I learned that the labor and delivery charges would have been over $30,000 if I had not set up a prepayment agreement. With the agreement, however, the hospital’s price was only $6,400 and CHM shared the cost. In all, we obtained 65 percent in medical bill discounts and ministry members helped us with the remaining $15,000 in maternity charges.

Joining CHM makes a lot of sense, both financially and spiritually. Sometimes I wish I’d heard about the ministry sooner, but I’m so grateful for God’s perfect timing. I love how every month we receive a card with our billing statement that lists a fellow member we can pray for; we also can refer to the Prayer Page in each Heartfelt issue and choose someone to bless through our prayers and donations. CHM is also a great way to be wise stewards of our money.

It was wonderful to be reassured throughout my pregnancy that I was not just a number; rather, with CHM I am a fellow sister in Christ and a recipient of other believers’ thoughts and prayers. It’s an incredible ministry and we look forward to continuing to help carry each other’s burdens.


Every CHM staff person I spoke with was very helpful and kind. I was a little confused in the beginning, but I made sure to keep my medical bills organized and make notes as I went along. After sending CHM the first few bills, I got the hang of it quickly.

I absolutely recommend CHM to other couples and families. Not only is the monthly financial gift a very small amount compared to health insurance premiums, the Personal Responsibility of $500 at the Gold level is very reasonable.

Joshua and Tiffany Berg of Franklin, N.C., have a pair of exceptional reasons to say nice things about Christian Healthcare Ministries’ maternity program. Two of their sons, Wyatt, 2, and Sawyer, five months, were born after the family joined CHM. Ministry members so far have shared more than $40,000 for the two pregnancies, complications and a miscarriage Tiffany experienced in 2009.

“We heard about CHM from friends at church who have been members since the 1980s,” Tiffany said.

“Our health insurance was so expensive that we couldn’t afford to put my husband on our policy. I was nervous because even though he’s young and healthy, he works in construction and the risk of injury is high.

“We did some research and realized that CHM participation was half the cost of our health insurance, even at the Gold level. Joshua could participate and maternity also was included!”

Tiffany in 2011 suffered placental abruption and Sawyer was born five weeks early during an emergency C-section. Five weeks later Tiffany experienced further complications and spent three days in the hospital for tests.

“Due to all of my complications I had a lot of extra, unexpected expenses,” Tiffany said.

“The ministry staff helped us obtain bill discounts and negotiate with the hospitals.”

She said that she recommends Christian Healthcare Ministries to family members and friends.

“We’ve told seven or eight families about CHM and three of them have joined.”

The Bergs enjoy the added incentive offered by the Bring-a-Friend program, which earns them an extra month of participation for each new family they refer to the ministry.

“I love that the maternity program is included and isn’t something we have to pay separately,” Tiffany said. “Our medical bills have always been shared in a timely manner and the CHM staff has been helpful and supportive.”

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your daughter and when was she born?

Molly Berglund: Evelyn Berglund was born February 18, 2013.

CHM: What influenced your decision to join CHM?

MB: My husband and I moved to Uganda in April 2011 to serve God overseas. We previously had health insurance through my husband’s job. We spent a lot of time looking for a different insurance policy that covered maternity. Few companies offered maternity and the ones that did were unaffordable. We were very excited to learn about CHM’s generous maternity program. We signed up right away.

CHM: What was your experience with CHM staff members?

MB: Every time I called CHM, someone answered on the first or second ring. They answered all my questions or quickly directed me to the right person (which I appreciated because I was calling from Uganda!). The few times that I had to leave a message, I received a call back the same day.

CHM: Did you have any complications with your pregnancy?

MB: My pregnancy and delivery were very smooth. We moved back to the United States one month before Evelyn was born, but living out of the country during most of my pregnancy did make things tricky. As a result, I interacted with six different midwives (four of them in Uganda). Receipts from Uganda weren’t like the itemized bills I received in the U.S. After several conversations with staff members, CHM worked with me to reimburse the total eligible amount. I received reimbursement from CHM about six weeks after submitting our bills.

CHM: What are some of the things you like about CHM?

MB: CHM is affordable and simple. The ministry staff encourages members to be informed and take every opportunity to ask about costs, ask for bill discounts, choose the best treatment and make payment arrangements when necessary.

Luke and Danielle Billings of Middletown, Del., found that big blessings come in small packages when their daughter, Mattea Rose, entered the world on August 16, 2013. Our staff asked them about their CHM experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: How did you hear about CHM and what made you decide to join?

Danielle Billings: The health insurance offered through Luke’s job was very costly, especially with its high deductible. When our missionary friends told us about their great experience with CHM, we did the math. CHM was a much better way to go. The maternity program was certainly a deciding factor as well. I joined at the Gold level.

CHM: What was the first step you took after finding out you were pregnant?

DB: I called CHM to find out how to submit my maternity bills. Though at first it was difficult to obtain itemized bills from my health care provider, it all worked out in the end. CHM reimbursed us for every penny spent on our medical bills. Ken Lefever in the Member Assistance department was very informative and happy to answer all my questions. He even prayed for me when I told him I was pregnant. That was a real comfort.

CHM: What was the cost of your pregnancy?

DB: Thank God, we had no complications, but my pregnancy still cost nearly $22,500. Most of the expense came from the hospital bills. In addition, I was required to pay a down payment before my due date. CHM sent the money within that week! (Editor’s note: When possible, CHM works with health care providers to make sure that bills are shared in time to secure a significant discount.)

CHM: What, in your opinion, is the best thing about the CHM maternity program?

DB: We liked the flexibility of having the choice of which type of birth we wanted and we were able to choose our own health care provider. Thirdly, there’s no insurance plan that I know of that even comes close to CHM—with health insurance there’s no way that all of our maternity expenses would have been paid. We’re very grateful that CHM shared all of our expenses.

Shaun and Misti Bloedow experienced their first pregnancy while having health insurance. After Misti became a stay-at-home mom, the couple investigated other insurance plans with maternity coverage and found they all cost more than $1,000 per month.

A friend from church recommended they look into CHM and the ministry’s maternity program became one of the main reasons they joined in May 2011. The Bloedows’ monthly gift as CHM members is $280, saving them more than $700 per month.

Dollar savings weren’t the only advantage for Shaun and Misti, however; they appreciated the simplicity of the sharing process. Once the couple learned they were expecting again, Misti called CHM Needs Processing representative Yvonne Woolridge, who directed her to the necessary paperwork and helped Misti complete the documents needed by her midwife’s clinic for monthly appointments and delivery. “All my questions were answered,” said Misti. “I felt a huge relief, knowing I was being taken care of.”

“It’s important to ask for a self-pay discount from each health care provider,” added Misti. “This brings the cost of services down and helps with the sharing process for other members. Knowing that CHM members were ready to help with our costs empowered me to ask my health care providers for discounts.”

The cost of Misti’s second pregnancy was approximately $10,000. Her medical bills included monthly doctor visits, lab work, ultrasounds, delivery and a post-natal visit. “All my expenses were taken care of once I met my Gold level personal responsibility of $500,” she said.

With CHM’s help, the Bloedows were able to focus on the most important thing: the birth of their daughter, Ashley Elisabeth, on November 2, 2012.

“The Lord has blessed us and we definitely recommend CHM’s maternity program to all couples planning to grow their family. We are so pleased with CHM. The staff members are kind, caring and helpful.”

The Bloedows are often asked how they pay for health care. With a smile, they tell about the impact CHM has had on their lives. “I know that if it wasn’t for CHM, we would have been forced to pay outrageous prices for insurance,” Misti said.

Shaun and Misti thank CHM members for embracing the New Testament call for Christians to care for each other. “The generosity of Christians all over the country is what makes CHM not only possible, but successful,” said Misti.

Our family in December 2011 welcomed our fourth child, Joshua, whose name means “the Lord is salvation.” His life story already reflects that declaration.

My pregnancy with Joshua was physically and emotionally exhausting, partly because our family faced stress regarding our living situation and business.

The birth itself was challenging; after several hours of intense labor at our local birth center I felt nauseated and blacked out. I was immediately given oxygen and IV therapy, which helped me regain consciousness enough to deliver the baby. Paramedics arrived, but thankfully I didn’t require a C-section or emergency transportation to the hospital.

Joshua was a healthy baby and I recovered enough to go home the next day. My mother came from out of state to help me care for our other three children and to prepare meals for us.

Then, without warning, eight-day-old Joshua woke up with a temperature of 102 degrees. I tried to cool him down and keep him hydrated, but the fever didn’t subside. With each passing hour Joshua became increasingly lethargic and wouldn’t nurse.

My midwife advised me to take him to the emergency room. After testing, a doctor told me that Joshua was fighting a serious E. coli bacterial infection. We were fortunate that we caught the bacteria before it spread into the spinal fluid and became meningitis.

We had no idea how he became ill, but the doctor said that without medical care Joshua might not have lived another day.

Joshua returned home on Christmas Eve and was greeted by his excited brothers and sister. We are delighted to watch him learn and grow each day.

One of the best parts of this story is that the hospital wrote off 50 percent of Joshua’s bills, and that Christian Healthcare Ministries reimbursed us for the remaining amount of our need!

We believe that CHM is the Lord’s provision—He is working through our brothers and sisters in Christ. Although we don’t know you personally, we thank God for your love and support; you are a tremendous encouragement to us.

Matt Brannon of Montgomery, Texas answered a few questions regarding his family’s experience with CHM’s maternity program.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What is the name and birthdate of your child born under CHM’s maternity program?

Matt Brannon: My wife, Ginny, and I welcomed our daughter, Vivienne Darling Brannon, on Nov. 14, 2014.

CHM: What made you decide to join CHM’s Gold program?

MB: The maternity program. Ginny and I wanted to have children, but we couldn’t find individual insurance plans in our state that covered maternity costs. Christian Healthcare Ministries seemed too good to be true. The ministry is a solution to our health care problems and it’s a community of believers meeting each other’s health care needs.

CHM: What did you do after you learned you were expecting a child?

MB: We called CHM and a very kind and informative staff member clearly explained how the program works and outlined the steps we needed to take. Every staff member we’ve spoken with performs their work with joy and purpose. It’s evident they know Who they are working for.

CHM: Did you experience pregnancy complications?

MB: During one ultrasound visit, we learned that my wife had a large ovarian cyst. Her symptoms grew worse with time and finally the doctor recommended removing the cyst. Cost estimates from various health care providers totaled more than $26,000—more than the anticipated cost of labor and delivery!

Though we were “freaking out,” the CHM staff did not. On the contrary, they helped calm us down and worked to send us funds quickly. We were blown away when we received the check in our mailbox. It was an emotional experience, not just because our financial needs were met, but because it was such a clear example of the church being the church.

I could feel the presence of our loving heavenly Father at that moment. He takes care of His children.

CHM: Matt, how much was shared for Ginny’s maternity bills and surgery?

MB: The maternity bills were about $10,000. The surgery was just over $19,000 after we received discounts exceeding $31,000.

I remember the day we received the check for our baby’s delivery charges because my wife texted me a picture of the check while I was at work. It was well before our delivery date because we submitted our hospital prepayment agreement very early. With health insurance, I often received a string of bills after each medical incident and still didn’t know exactly what I was paying for. To have our labor and delivery paid before the birth was incredible. We had no financial anxiety whatsoever and could just focus on the unforgettable experience of bringing our daughter into the world.

CHM does exactly what it claims it will do, and the Guidelines—the rules about what expenses are eligible for sharing—are available upfront so there are no surprises. I absolutely recommend the ministry. My advice to other members is to ask questions until you understand and are comfortable with the program, always be diligent to obtain and submit medical bills in a timely manner and, last but not least, trust the ministry to do its work. It pays off.

CHM: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

MB: After Vivienne was born, I received a voicemail from a CHM staff member calling to check on us. What struck me was the sincerity and joy in the man’s voice. He was glad to help us. In fact, he wanted to know if there was anything more he could do. I saved his message for months because it meant so much. He cared—not because he knows me, but because he knows Jesus.

Lastly, it’s incredibly satisfying to know that my monthly financial gift amount helps other families. With all my heart, thank you for being a tangible representation of God’s love and thank you for caring for families like us.

*Editor’s note: The CHM Guidelines are available at chministries.org/guidelines. For step-by-step guides on what to do if you’re pregnant and how to submit medical bills, visit chministries.org/whattodo and chministries.org/stepbystep.

Two brothers married to two sisters and the brothers’ sister are using the Christian Healthcare Ministries maternity program to welcome new bundles of joy into their families.

The results confirm their decision to make CHM their source of health cost support.

The two brothers, Preston and Justin Cadis, married two sisters, Adrienne and Aimee Alfaro. Preston and Justin’s sister, Ashlynn Cadis, married Matthew Coriell. The Cadis and Alfaro siblings all met as children in a homeschooling group.

All three couples have used CHM’s Gold level maternity program—or soon will.

After bill reductions of more than $9,000, Christian Healthcare Ministries members helped Preston and Adrienne with more than $11,000 in expenses from the birth of their second son, Carver.

“After having our first child, Cannon, with regular health insurance, it took nearly two years to pay off our hospital bills,” Adrienne said. “In contrast, with CHM the financial side of Carver’s birth was streamlined. I wrote a letter to CHM when I found out I was pregnant, then called my hospital and inquired about discounts for cash-paying patients. Because we received more than $500 in discounts, we had no out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, CHM did an exceptional job in sending us a check in a timely manner so we could prepay everything.”

Matthew and Ashlynn received $5,000 from CHM members for the birth of their daughter, Esther, born Sept. 23, 2012.

Justin and Aimee have three children—Conrad, Landon and Aniston—born before the family joined CHM. Their fourth child is due March 24; they also plan to use the ministry’s maternity program.

Preston, Adrienne, Justin and Aimee joined Christian Healthcare Ministries in April 2011. “Preston and Justin own a small business, and we had finally become fed up with spending a great deal of our income on health care,” said Adrienne. “Though Preston and I had always wanted four or five children, we questioned whether we’d be able to afford it. With CHM, we are no longer concerned about how the maternity bills will be paid.”

Similarly, Matthew and Ashlynn didn’t think they could afford insurance coverage even though Matthew was an insurance salesman. Their siblings recommended CHM and the Coriells joined in September 2011. Matthew now tells many of his clients about the ministry.

“I tell all of my friends in the same stage of life about CHM and how much the ministry helped us,” Adrienne said. “My advice to other young couples is to promptly send your bills to CHM so the maternity process goes smoothly and you can focus on the most important part: your new bundle of joy!”

Two brothers married to two sisters and the brothers’ sister are using the Christian Healthcare Ministries maternity program to welcome new bundles of joy into their families.

The results confirm their decision to make CHM their source of health cost support.

The two brothers, Preston and Justin Cadis, married two sisters, Adrienne and Aimee Alfaro. Preston and Justin’s sister, Ashlynn Cadis, married Matthew Coriell. The Cadis and Alfaro siblings all met as children in a homeschooling group.

All three couples have used CHM’s Gold level maternity program—or soon will.

After bill reductions of more than $9,000, Christian Healthcare Ministries members helped Preston and Adrienne with more than $11,000 in expenses from the birth of their second son, Carver.

“After having our first child, Cannon, with regular health insurance, it took nearly two years to pay off our hospital bills,” Adrienne said. “In contrast, with CHM the financial side of Carver’s birth was streamlined. I wrote a letter to CHM when I found out I was pregnant, then called my hospital and inquired about discounts for cash-paying patients. Because we received more than $500 in discounts, we had no out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, CHM did an exceptional job in sending us a check in a timely manner so we could prepay everything.”

Matthew and Ashlynn received $5,000 from CHM members for the birth of their daughter, Esther, born Sept. 23, 2012.

Justin and Aimee have three children—Conrad, Landon and Aniston—born before the family joined CHM. Their fourth child is due March 24; they also plan to use the ministry’s maternity program.

Preston, Adrienne, Justin and Aimee joined Christian Healthcare Ministries in April 2011. “Preston and Justin own a small business, and we had finally become fed up with spending a great deal of our income on health care,” said Adrienne. “Though Preston and I had always wanted four or five children, we questioned whether we’d be able to afford it. With CHM, we are no longer concerned about how the maternity bills will be paid.”

Similarly, Matthew and Ashlynn didn’t think they could afford insurance coverage even though Matthew was an insurance salesman. Their siblings recommended CHM and the Coriells joined in September 2011. Matthew now tells many of his clients about the ministry.

“I tell all of my friends in the same stage of life about CHM and how much the ministry helped us,” Adrienne said. “My advice to other young couples is to promptly send your bills to CHM so the maternity process goes smoothly and you can focus on the most important part: your new bundle of joy!”

Our newest arrival is Eden Naomi Cahill, born at home on March 24, 2012, with the help of a midwife. Her medical costs ($3,145) were shared by Christian Healthcare Ministries members.

We have four children, all born while we’ve been CHM members. Our eldest, Lance, was transported to the hospital soon after his birth due to a tear in his lung.

At that time we hadn’t yet submitted any medical bills to CHM and were worried that the bills might not be eligible for sharing. During Lance’s 10-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, doctors ran many tests. We’re thankful for their expertise and care to restore Lance to health.

With cost reduction tips gleaned from CHM newsletters and numerous phone calls to various hospital departments, we obtained an overall 60 percent discount on Lance’s bills. The reductions saved us and the ministry more than $55,000! All remaining bills were eligible for sharing among CHM members.

After seeing how quickly medical costs can add up, we also decided to join the Brother’s Keeper program, which assists with catastrophic medical bills.

We appreciate how CHM supported us in our decision to give birth to our children at home.

My wife, Melissa, and I lost our health insurance in July 2014 when we moved our family from Alaska to Florida. We had never heard of health cost sharing, but a friend posted on Facebook how she received help with medical bills through Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I had my doubts; we were accustomed to having health insurance and I only used it once in 15 years. After our big move, though, Melissa didn’t have health insurance through her job and I’m self-employed, so our only option was to go to the Obamacare health exchanges.

I quickly realized the coverage we could get was considerably more expensive than what we had in Alaska through my wife’s former employer. Under the new law, our previous premium of $220 per month would jump to nearly $700—and we wouldn’t get a dime in assistance until we paid our $7,000 deductible. (As a side note, our insurance premiums and deductibles would be even more expensive in 2016 had we not signed up with CHM.)

We took the leap of faith and joined CHM in December 2014; Melissa became pregnant just a few months later with our second child.

Melissa went into labor around 11 p.m. Dec. 6, 2015. God must have known that we needed to get to the hospital quickly; we left our house at 12:07 a.m. and our beautiful daughter, Emmeline, was born just an hour and a half later!

A few weeks after the delivery, Melissa was in the emergency room with postpartum complications, but thankfully it wasn’t serious and she recovered quickly.

Here’s what I learned about handling hospital and other medical costs during a pregnancy:

  1. Months before Emmeline was born, I called the hospital and asked for its self-pay rates. We were given a prepayment agreement with several options for the type of birth and length of hospital stay. The price was $3,300 plus $500 for each additional day, compared to over $15,000 billed to our insurance company for the birth of our first child, Elijah. I immediately sent the information to CHM via its online Member Portal at chministries.org/members.


  2. In mid-October I called CHM to inquire about sharing time and told the staff we had to make the full payment before leaving the hospital. By early November we received a check from CHM for the hospital charge, along with some other reimbursements for maternity medical bills.


  3. Though we knew that other bills (such as anesthesiology and pathology bills) would arrive after the delivery, we received a suspicious $2,589 bill from a doctor we never remembered seeing stating that the treatment was for a humerus fracture. I found myself wondering if our previous insurance would have processed the claim and errantly paid for a bone fracture we never experienced. The ordeal opened our eyes to how easily billing errors can occur and that a great potential for waste exists in our health care system.


  4. I learned to ask two questions of health care providers: “What is your self-pay rate?” and “If I pay the full balance now, do you offer an additional discount?”*


  5. It can take time to get the right kind of bills (itemized bills), submit them to CHM and wait for them to go through the sharing process (90-120 days according to CHM’s website). Since a pregnancy is a nine-month marathon, there are numerous bills coming and going during that time and careful record keeping is important—and good for your sanity!


We’re so thankful to be part of a ministry that shares other Christians’ health care bills. I’ve been amazed at how health care prices can be negotiated and I often wonder what we would have done without CHM. Having received help with Emmeline’s birth costs in 2015, we’re glad to now be on the “giving end” in 2016. Making our monthly financial gift to the ministry is easy and painless when we think about how we’re helping other people.

Editor’s note: Learn more about the Cladeks’ maternity experience by reading Derek’s blog (christianhealthshare.com), which contains more insights and tips on interacting with maternity care providers.

*CHM recommends upfront payment of a medical bill only if it totals less than $1,000 or if you receive a discount greater than 40 percent. For bills over $1,000, please contact the CHM Member Advocate department; our staff may be able to negotiate a larger discount on your behalf. Remember, once a bill has been paid, negotiations cease and the opportunity to obtain a larger discount is lost.

I had always liked the idea of a midwife helping me give birth at home. However, our first attempt at a home birth ended with emergency transport and a hospital delivery.

Though we were glad that Jenny Elizabeth was safe, I was disappointed that I was unable to give birth to her at home.

Thankfully, the added expense wasn’t an issue. Knowing that CHM would help with our hospital bills was a great blessing.

We once again tried a home birth with our second daughter, Alexa Jane. The Lord gave me strength and blessed us with a successful birth and peaceful recovery.

For the two births we obtained more than $15,000 in bill reductions and CHM members shared the remaining $10,000. We recommend the ministry’s maternity program to our siblings and friends who are adding children to their families.

Two brothers married to two sisters and the brothers’ sister are using the Christian Healthcare Ministries maternity program to welcome new bundles of joy into their families.

The results confirm their decision to make CHM their source of health cost support.

The two brothers, Preston and Justin Cadis, married two sisters, Adrienne and Aimee Alfaro. Preston and Justin’s sister, Ashlynn Cadis, married Matthew Coriell. The Cadis and Alfaro siblings all met as children in a homeschooling group.

All three couples have used CHM’s Gold level maternity program—or soon will.

After bill reductions of more than $9,000, Christian Healthcare Ministries members helped Preston and Adrienne with more than $11,000 in expenses from the birth of their second son, Carver.

“After having our first child, Cannon, with regular health insurance, it took nearly two years to pay off our hospital bills,” Adrienne said. “In contrast, with CHM the financial side of Carver’s birth was streamlined. I wrote a letter to CHM when I found out I was pregnant, then called my hospital and inquired about discounts for cash-paying patients. Because we received more than $500 in discounts, we had no out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, CHM did an exceptional job in sending us a check in a timely manner so we could prepay everything.”

Matthew and Ashlynn received $5,000 from CHM members for the birth of their daughter, Esther, born Sept. 23, 2012.

Justin and Aimee have three children—Conrad, Landon and Aniston—born before the family joined CHM. Their fourth child is due March 24; they also plan to use the ministry’s maternity program.

Preston, Adrienne, Justin and Aimee joined Christian Healthcare Ministries in April 2011. “Preston and Justin own a small business, and we had finally become fed up with spending a great deal of our income on health care,” said Adrienne. “Though Preston and I had always wanted four or five children, we questioned whether we’d be able to afford it. With CHM, we are no longer concerned about how the maternity bills will be paid.”

Similarly, Matthew and Ashlynn didn’t think they could afford insurance coverage even though Matthew was an insurance salesman. Their siblings recommended CHM and the Coriells joined in September 2011. Matthew now tells many of his clients about the ministry.

“I tell all of my friends in the same stage of life about CHM and how much the ministry helped us,” Adrienne said. “My advice to other young couples is to promptly send your bills to CHM so the maternity process goes smoothly and you can focus on the most important part: your new bundle of joy!”

Christian Healthcare Ministries members Rudy and Brenda Curatolo of Angier, N.C. welcomed baby Luca Christopher to their family on October 25, 2014. The Curatolos used CHM’s Gold level maternity program. We asked Brenda about their experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: Why did you join CHM?

Brenda Curatolo: CHM was an affordable option for us. At the time we had health insurance through Rudy’s job and we had just given birth to our second son, Micah. The human resource administrator told Rudy the new amount we would pay for adding another child: almost $8,000 annually for a very basic plan! We lived on a single income and this new amount was out of the question. We prayed for another option.

I posted on Facebook about the outrageous cost of health care. A Christian friend responded and mentioned CHM. We joined at the Silver level.

CHM: Later, you switched to the Gold program. Why?

BC: During the first year, Micah was rushed to the emergency room with head lacerations. He needed stitches. We negotiated a 50 percent discount on our hospital bill and CHM shared the rest. It was then we realized what a blessing CHM is.

Soon after, I switched to the Gold level because we wanted to have another child. I called the CHM office to make sure we accurately understood the advantages and Guidelines for the Gold program. My questions were answered thoroughly and I received friendly service from CHM staff.

CHM: When did you discover you were pregnant?

BC: On Feb. 24, 2014, we found out we were expecting our third child. We called the midwife to set up our first appointment and asked her to provide her prepayment agreement for the pregnancy so we could submit it to CHM. We paid her $500 as a deposit that would also go toward the amount due one month before delivery.

I also needed a 20-week ultrasound and state-mandated blood work, so our midwife sent me to the hospital for those tests. We were nervous about the extra cost, but CHM assured us that these expenses were eligible under the Gold program. We were blessed when the hospital gave us a 35 percent discount.

CHM: Did you experience any complications?

BC: We praise the Lord that we had a smooth pregnancy and delivery. Luca was born in our home after only two and a half hours of labor. Rudy even helped the midwife deliver.

Luca had some swelling, so he underwent an ultrasound on his scrotum to check for fluid and a hernia. Thankfully, there was no hernia, but he did have some extra fluid we’re praying will clear up within a year.

CHM: Please describe your experience submitting bills to CHM.

BC: Because the complications were discovered in the first six weeks of Luca’s life, all doctor visits and tests were considered “add-on” bills to my maternity need. The total prenatal, delivery and postpartum charge from our midwife was $3,500. The first ultrasound and blood work bills amounted to $892 after discounts, and bills from the six weeks after birth totaled $728.

The CHM staff was easy to work with and willing to answer every question I had. It was also fairly simple to submit bills for sharing.

CHM sent a check to us for the midwife’s services one month before Luca’s due date, and we received the checks for the ultrasound and blood work about 45 days after submitting the bills. We had no outstanding medical bills when Luca’s birthday arrived.

We really liked that we could choose any birthing option: midwife, birthing center, home birth, or hospital. Most insurance companies require that you choose from a network, but CHM isn’t insurance and offered nearly unlimited options. Because of our great experience, we referred our entire church staff to join CHM!

CHM: Is there anything else you would like to say to fellow CHM members?

BC: We would like to thank you for your ministry. What a joy and blessing it is to be parents. This pregnancy was the first time we’ve used the CHM program for maternity and we’re so thankful for the support and prayer from fellow believers. We feel that a burden was lifted from our shoulders so that now we can enjoy the blessing of new life.

I contracted norovirus when I was 22 weeks pregnant with our youngest child, Cove. Its effects led to a very difficult winter, a premature birth, an 11-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a tailspin of healthcare costs.

More than $70,000.

Though I knew CHM shares most maternity costs through its Gold program, I still had my doubts during our time of need. However, our recent medical events and CHM members’ faithfulness now leaves me with peace because CHM has proven they have our backs.

My parents were the first to tell us about CHM. They knew my husband, Cory, and I were dissatisfied with what we had at the time because it was expensive and impractical for our needs.

Switching to CHM was a no-brainer because of its faith-based philosophy, affordability, maternity program and the Brother’s Keeper catastrophic bills program. (Editor’s note: To learn more about Brother’s Keeper, see chministries.org/catastrophicbills.) Our Montana farming and ranching family needed the safety net provided by Brother’s Keeper; we also appreciated that with CHM dependent children together are only one unit, regardless of the number of children. We chose Gold for the children and me; Cory became a Silver member.

When we learned we were expecting Cove, I cheerfully called CHM to share the news and learn how to properly submit medical bills for sharing, especially because we planned to use the midwife who helped with the births of our first two children. (Editor’s note: For a video explaining how to submit medical bills, visit chministries.org/videos. For a step-by-step maternity guide, visit chministries.org/maternityguide.)

The CHM representative graciously answered my questions, explained how to submit bills online using the Member Portal and shared her excitement about our growing family.

I followed her advice and the online instructions. Submitting my maternity bills and the Needs Processing forms was so easy that I didn’t touch base again with CHM until several months later when my health began to change.

During the 22nd week of my pregnancy I became very sick—so much so that my husband and I made a trip to our local medical center’s emergency room. Doctors pumped me with fluids and various medications and diagnosed me with norovirus.

Though I began to heal, the virus stunted the development of a strong amniotic sac for our growing little one; Cove was born nearly six weeks early. He was admitted to the NICU because his oxygen levels were low and he wouldn’t nurse.

Meanwhile, I was sick with severe nausea for 12 hours before being taken to the emergency room. My mom and mother-in-law stayed with me while Cory spent time with Cove.

I longed to be with my husband and the new wonder born to us. I was very grateful when a strong dose of medication stopped my vomiting and enabled me to sleep and recover.

The next morning Cory and I learned that our baby’s lungs were not developing fully and that he’d need help with breathing and feeding. Cove rallied during the next 11 days. Finally, we were able to bring him home.

On hospital discharge day we visited the billing office. We said we were self-pay patients and that we were willing to pay out-of-pocket that day.* Doing so secured a discount of over 40 percent and I submitted the bill to CHM for reimbursement.

We are proud to be part of a ministry that brings glory to God and we want others to experience the same peace we did: the peace that comes from knowing that God has everything under control. He was taking care of both our health and finances.

Thank you to those who answered our questions, prayed with us, cared for us and made our medical journey much less burdensome.

*Editor’s note: Please don’t pay medical bills upfront unless you receive a discount of at least 40 percent. Paying upfront means that negotiations cease. If you’re offered a discount under 40 percent, please instead set up a payment plan with your healthcare provider(s) until CHM shares your medical bills. For more information, see Guideline L at chministries.org/guidelines.


My husband, Troy, and I met during a young adults’ retreat in Alberta, Canada. One ironic thing we had in common is that we both have five siblings—he has four brothers and one sister while I’m the opposite with four sisters and one brother.

We married in May 2014 and became pregnant with our daughter, Andi, before joining CHM in 2015. I knew that pregnancy wouldn’t be eligible for sharing through CHM’s maternity program, but we also knew we wanted to have more children so CHM was the best option for us.

Though we admittedly joined for financial reasons, the idea behind the ministry is just as important to us, if not more so: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). Since we had to pay for healthcare provision no matter what, CHM was the obvious choice.

After I found out I was pregnant with our second child, the CHM website was my go-to place for ma-ternity information and we also used the online Member Portal to submit medical bills. We told the prenatal care clinic that as CHM members we are self-pay patients and we received a quote for the approximate cost of prenatal care and delivery fees. Bloodwork and ultrasound fees weren’t included in the quote, so whenever we received bills for those services we marked them as “add-ons” before sending them to CHM.

We continued scanning in bills, making payments to our healthcare providers and receiving checks from CHM until our son, Owen, was born in Nov. 2016. I had a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery and we felt blessed to become parents for the second time.

When all was said and done, our bills totaled over $15,000. About $3,000 of Owen’s bills qualified for an assistance program and CHM members shared the remaining $12,000. We never worried because CHM had been sharing our expenses throughout the pregnancy.

The hospital wouldn’t extend a discount, but the clinic offered an additional 10 percent reduction when we paid the remaining balance, so we were able to return over $800 to CHM to help with other Christians’ medical bills!

CHM’s maternity program is simple to use because of all of the step-by-step guides on the ministry’s website. Furthermore, the staff is always helpful when members have questions.

We love that we can help other believers through our monthly financial gifts and extra giving toward Prayer Page needs. Thank you, CHM, for meeting our needs throughout my pregnancy and delivery.

We’re also happy to report that our third child is due May 2, 2018! We look forward to once again taking this journey with CHM by our side.


My husband, Travis, and I joined CHM in Jan. 2015 because of its great maternity program, biblical basis and affordability.

We have three daughters: Ella, Adelynn and Everly. Everly was born Oct. 28, 2015 under CHM’s maternity program.

When I learned I was pregnant with Everly, I re-read the CHM Guidelines and then called to ask some questions. Every staff member I spoke with was helpful and kind.

For medical reasons I required C-sections with all three children. The relatively higher cost of a C-section caused me a little concern while pregnant with Everly; would CHM come through for me?

Though it required a little effort to complete paperwork, discuss discounts and set up payment plans with my doctor and hospital, the end result was worth it: CHM shared 100 percent of my maternity bills, the ministry staff was easy to work with and meanwhile we were pleased by the thought that our monthly financial gifts were helping other Christians in need.

I’d like to share a tip with expectant mothers: Be sure to send your bills to CHM as soon as possible even if you’re waiting to hear back from your healthcare providers regarding discounts or financial assistance. The lesson we learned was that the longer it takes to submit these items to CHM, the later the sharing time because the sharing “clock” doesn’t start until CHM has them.


I joined the CHM Gold level and my husband, Barry, is on the Bronze program. We have two children—Melory (3) and Damien (2)—and a third on the way. The ba-by is due Jan. 10, 2018 and we’re waiting until the birth to learn the gender.

When I found out was I pregnant I spoke with my sister-in-law, Erin DeHaan, who had experience with CHM’s maternity program and helped me take the right steps. My mother-in-law, Judy, also helped me fill out the CHM paperwork.* When I had specific questions, I called the ministry and Jason Spen-cer in the Member Assistance department was a great help.

I recommend CHM to every believer. It’s Christians helping Christians in times of need and the ministry is run according to biblical principles. It brings me joy to see the Body of Christ coming together and to witness how it has helped our little family, our extended family and many other Christ-followers.


Samuel Jameel and Eliza Marie were born to Rani and Hannah Espanioly under CHM’s maternity program. Samuel was born September 12, 2011 and Eliza was born October 10, 2013. We talked to the family about their CHM experience.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: How did you hear about CHM?

Hannah Espanioly: Rani is an Arab Israeli and we were living in his hometown of Nazareth, Israel. As a foreigner, I didn’t qualify for Israeli social health insurance. When we decided to start a family, I needed an alternative. We worked in full-time ministry and knew we might relocate to the United States so my husband could pursue seminary studies. A missionary friend suggested we look into CHM.

CHM: As a missionary, what about CHM appealed to you?

HE: I was attracted to its strong Christian principles and I knew it would “travel” with me and could be used anywhere in the world to help with our health care costs.

CHM: One month after joining, you found out you were pregnant. What did you do?

HE: I began communicating with Norma Mull in the Member Assistance department. She was very helpful in figuring out the next steps. Because my pregnancy began overseas there were some hurdles to overcome, but I was able to get things sorted out. At six months gestation our family relocated to Plano, Texas. By that time it was smooth sailing.

CHM: What about your second pregnancy?

HE: Monica Rohr helped process my medical bills and she was wonderful. She answered all my questions quickly and even shared some of her own experiences when my daughter had difficulty swallowing after birth (something Monica’s daughter also experienced). She was such an encouragement.

CHM: How did CHM handle your pregnancy complications?

HE: During my pregnancy with Eliza, doctors were concerned that the baby was suffering a genetic abnormality such as Down’s syndrome. A genetic test revealed that Eliza had normal chromosomes, but because of the false positive test results in the first trimester, I was classified as high-risk. I had to have weekly, expensive ultrasounds. CHM helped with all of the costs. Thankfully, we had no further problems and Eliza was born perfectly healthy!

CHM: What was the total cost of your maternity bills?

HE: Samuel’s delivery costs were about $11,000. CHM shared them all in a timely manner. My daughter’s costs were around $13,000 and included a swallow test for Eliza after her birth. This time, the process was slower because of complications, but we did receive the checks.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM to other young couples?

HE: Absolutely! Despite being skeptical at first, I was thrilled with the CHM maternity program. All of my eligible bills were shared and I ended up with less out-of-pocket costs than many friends who had “good” insurance. Plus, CHM offers a network of fellow believers to encourage its members with notes and prayer. I would especially recommend CHM to others in full-time ministry, such as missionaries, who may not have access to affordable care. I still find it hard to believe that anything related to health care costs can be enjoyable, but my experience with CHM was great!

Editor’s note: CHM welcomes members living outside the United States. However, please note that the following additional requirements must be met:

• CHM members must have access to a U.S. mailing address or reliable Internet service capable of receiving e-mails with attached files.

• All bills submitted must be translated into English and converted to U.S. dollars.

My husband, Jonathan, is self-employed and for years we went without any healthcare cost provision. When in 2013 we heard about CHM, we thought it too good to be true. Originally we signed up for the Bronze program, but eventually I realized the Gold level was best.

We wanted to have another child.

In late 2014 we were thrilled to learn we were expecting our fourth child, Siloam. Though our third child, Nathan, was born premature and spent 14 days in the NICU, I didn’t expect complications this time. Nathan had been fine after his release from the hospital.

At my 20-week ultrasound for Siloam, the technician noticed that it appeared our baby’s stomach was missing. A few weeks later a second ultrasound confirmed that she had rare condition called esophageal atresia.

At four weeks gestation her esophagus had never formed and therefore couldn’t connect to her stomach.

Greatly distressed and anxious, I called CHM for advice. A kind staff member said not to worry about the high cost of treatment; the ministry would share my maternity bills and help us find a government program to assist with the expensive treatment Siloam would need during and after her birth.*

I was comforted by her sweet spirit and that she said ministry staff and members would be praying for our family.

On July 18, 2015, Siloam was born eight weeks early via an emergency C-section after a full placental abruption (a serious pregnancy complication). To add to our heartbreak, we learned that she had Down Syndrome and heart complications as well.

Siloam lived at the hospital 365 days, during which time she had seven major surgeries and numerous complications. A surgery at eight months old confirmed a five-centimeter gap from the bottom of her throat to the top of her stomach.

During that time, CHM members sent us about 100 Scripture-filled cards and letters of encouragement. I was amazed to think that complete strangers would take time to write to us. However, we are not strangers in the Lord.

Finally, on her first birthday, we were able to take Siloam home with us. Her medical bills, which totaled in the millions, were paid by our state’s Medicaid and Social Security programs. (My maternity bills had been shared by CHM.) The weight of the financial strain was lifted and we looked forward to the future.

We lived nearly six months with our daughter before she left this world on Dec. 27, 2016 at just under 18 months old. She passed away due to severe brain damage and other complications.

We miss Siloam and will always love her, but we know she no longer suffers and is now in a better place with our Lord.

I still believe that God is good and am so thankful to CHM members for their help and encouragement. We’re very thankful to be a part of the CHM community of believers who demonstrate the love of Christ in such a tangible way.

*Editor’s note: Christian Healthcare Ministries is secondary to any other payment sources. For more information, see Guideline N.2 at chministries.org/guidelines.

Stan and Janelle Gleason of Oregon City, Ore., gave birth to Gentry Gleason on November 5, 2014. Here’s what Janelle said about their maternity journey and CHM experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What sparked your interest in joining CHM?

Janelle Gleason: CHM was highly recommended by some of our family members. My sister-in-law used the maternity program and had a great experience.

We signed up with the hopes of starting a family. I joined at the Gold level because I wanted the best program for any pregnancies.

CHM: What steps did you take when you learned you were pregnant?

JG: I researched chministries.org. The website and the information I gleaned from phone calls to CHM were very helpful. I navigated the process fairly easily—a major blessing considering everything that was going on in our lives at the time.

CHM: Did you experience any complications?

JG: Thankfully, I had no pregnancy or delivery complications, but the staff of the hospital I chose didn’t offer me any discounts because they didn’t consider me a self-pay patient. I explained that CHM isn’t insurance and doesn’t make legal contracts with its members, but they still weren’t convinced. I asked them to call CHM so the ministry staff could explain it to them.* CHM also helped negotiate discounts.

Staff member Naomi Watson was particularly helpful and gracious. After a conversation with her, I told my husband how much I appreciated her genuine spirit and positive attitude.

CHM: What tips can you give to help other members interact with their health care providers?

JG: Consistent communication with the hospital and clinics enabled us to negotiate payment plans and extend discount due dates. We told them, “If you’re willing to wait on the check, we’ll pay the remaining balance as a lump sum.” By taking this approach, we even received an additional 20 percent off our hospital bill! Diligent communication goes a long way.

CHM: Your fellow CHM members shared your medical bills totaling $28,014 after $4,231 in discounts. What did that mean to you?

JG: With an incredibly grateful heart, I say thank you. CHM has been wonderful to work with. Plus, we negotiated discounts that reduced our out-of-pocket costs—another blessing. We love this ministry and pray God’s blessings on CHM.

*Editor’s note: If your health care providers don’t understand CHM or if you have difficulty obtaining discounts, you or your provider can call CHM’s Member Advocate department at 1-800-791-6225, option 5.

I’m writing to thank you and give praise to God for the way this organization worked to relieve the financial stress that came along with the joyful news of my pregnancy. I was delighted to learn that you had achieved a greater discount on the hospital bill than initially quoted!

I also was blessed by the timeliness of your financial gifts; they allowed me to pay the bills in full. It was such a relief.

I had heard good things about CHM and, in faith, applied for membership when our health insurance premiums became unaffordable. To see this ministry working in such a professional and prompt manner really edifies my faith!

Praise God for what you’re doing at CHM, and thank you so much for your continued support through our pregnancy.

Adam and Rossie Hershberger gave birth to their son, Raylan Boone Hershberger, on March 25, 2015 using CHM’s Gold program. Rossie shared thoughts about their CHM experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: Why did you become members of the ministry’s Gold program?

RH: Christian Healthcare Ministries was the most affordable option for our family. We were even more interested after looking into the program’s structure and design. Knowing we could share and help other Christians was a major motivation in our decision to join.

CHM: What did you do when you learned you were pregnant?*

RH: I emailed CHM employees Monica Rohr and Lara Bennett, who specialize in sharing maternity needs. They were helpful and always pleasant. With their advice and the information I gleaned from the ministry’s Guidelines, I spoke to my hospital and the various doctors’ offices. Right away, I asked about a prepayment agreement.

CHM: What was your delivery like?

RH: Raylan was one week late; therefore, my labor was induced. I was concerned at first that would change how my bills were shared—or if they would somehow be ineligible for sharing—but after speaking with CHM staff, I learned that at the Gold level bills from complications are eligible for sharing. I went into labor feeling more calm and confident because I didn’t have to worry about my bills.

CHM: Can you tell us about your experience having the maternity bills shared through CHM?

RH: The total bills for my pregnancy were $11,491 after discounts, and CHM met those needs in a timely manner. Once we got the hang of the CHM program and understood what items CHM needed, the process was easy. There was no stress.

CHM: You prayed for a baby for more than a year before becoming pregnant. What do you think now that your prayers have been answered?

RH: We know that God doesn’t always answer prayer in the way we want. Now, we feel as though our son is a present from God, made to order and just for us. We thank CHM because we continue to feel that way. You helped us to avoid financial struggles, and you were supportive and helpful the whole time.

*Editor’s note: For a step-by-step guide to submitting maternity bills, see chministries.org/whattodo.

Our family decided to join Christian Healthcare Ministries in 2014 for two reasons: our insurance premiums were skyrocketing and we only had catastrophic medical coverage that didn’t include maternity.

With CHM we’d be paying half as much as we did for insurance, we’d be part of a network of Christians and we’d have access to a great maternity program. The best “perk” was that we could participate in CHM while serving as missionaries in Uganda, Africa.*

We were a little uncertain of CHM because it’s very different from insurance, but it was clear that this was God’s path for us.

We were eager to welcome a new little one into the world, but in early 2015 we were devastated to experience a miscarriage. Just eight weeks later I had morning sickness again and we rejoiced that God blessed us with new life growing inside me. After 10 weeks of 24-hour-per-day “morning” sickness, we visited the doctor and were elated to hear our baby’s strong heartbeat and tiny movements.

We told the doctor that in two weeks we planned to return to Uganda with the children’s choir we’d been touring with in the United States for six months. I intended to give birth in Uganda. We planned to live there as full-time missionaries after 10 years of traveling between the two countries while directing Shaddai Ministries, a missions organization.

The doctor took my hands and said she really wasn’t comfortable with us being in such a remote area without medical facilities nearby. She was concerned about the pregnancy being on the heels of a miscarriage and because I was so sick.

Crestfallen, we sought the Lord’s will on what to do. After much prayer we decided to submit to the discernment of our doctor and remain in the U.S. for the pregnancy.

We praise God that it turned out to be the right decision. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness). The symptoms persisted for 21 more weeks and intensified to the point that I had to receive intravenous fluids and significantly limit physical activity just to make it through the day. Nevertheless, we were still very excited to meet our family’s new addition.

At 31 weeks gestation I awoke one night with extreme pain and nausea, the likes of which I’d never experienced. I woke my husband, Steven, fearing something was very wrong. I’d had gallstones before so I thought that was the cause.

My condition grew worse by the moment. After phoning the on-call physician we went to the hospital, where doctors determined that I had preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome. These are serious pregnancy complications and my liver and other organs began to shut down.

We were suddenly thrust into a world we never knew existed.

The baby had to be delivered immediately because we both were in critical condition and faced a less than 10-minute survival window. “It’s way too early for our son to be born,” was all I thought about as I was whisked off to emergency surgery. In the operating room our doctor joined a team of 14 physicians who had gathered for prayer. God’s peace was present in the midst of the crisis, and moments later we heard the tiny cries of our son. Only 16 inches long and weighing just three pounds and one ounce, Joshua Benjamin was rescued from my womb and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Scared but grateful for God’s provision, I remained in the special care unit for a week and Joshua was in the NICU for the next five weeks.

Three days after the birth I called CHM from my hospital bed. The medical bills seemed to be mounting by the moment. The person I needed to talk to at CHM was in a prayer meeting.

At first I was frustrated, then I chuckled because I realized that probably no one else in the hospital could say they had to call their “insurance” company (which CHM isn’t) back because the staff members were busy praying! That thought was like a ray of sunshine in my room.

That afternoon I spoke with CHM staff member Heather Farmer, who encouraged me to focus on the baby and regaining my health. She said we didn’t have anything to worry about because we are CHM Gold members with Brother’s Keeper.** We learned that to be “covered” by CHM is to also be covered in prayer.

Indeed, one of the first nights we were at Joshua’s bedside, we prayed for him and read the Bible aloud. One of his nurses said, “I can walk through the NICU and tell which of the 100 babies here are covered in prayer. They do better, they go home faster, and the peace they have is visible in their vital signs and temperament. Joshua is undoubtedly one of those covered babies.”

As she cared for our son that night she hummed the hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” I will never forget those words or her actions. It was so difficult to leave our tiny son there in the NICU fighting for his life; however, I had such peace as my husband wheeled me back to my own hospital room.

God continued to “show up” in mighty ways. We explained to the hospital staff that we are missionaries and they were gracious and easy to work with. Our medical bills were over $300,000, but were discounted by over 66 percent! CHM, too, was wonderful and worked to get our remaining expenses shared promptly.

Before Joshua was six months old, we were free and clear of all the medical bills. The health crisis that could have been devastating had a beautiful ending. Today Joshua is a little over a year old and is thriving. God has been good to bring steady healing to my body as well, and I can say that the joys of motherhood far outweighed the physical setbacks and challenges.

What we learned because of our health crisis is that God is truly involved in the details of each and every life. We saw Him work in His provision of CHM, a Christian doctor who encouraged us to remain in the country and a hospital that offered generous discounts.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that we were able to remain grateful and in great peace throughout our time of testing and now we share with others how God so graciously met our every need. We praise Him for CHM’s staff and members—our brothers and sisters in Christ.

*Editor’s note: For information on how CHM works internationally, please see Guidelines B and J.1 at chministries.org/guidelines.

**To learn more about Brother’s Keeper, see chministries.org/catastrophicbills.

Joseph and Allyssa Hoover of Burkburnett, Texas, recently received health cost support for the birth of their children through CHM’s maternity program.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What are the names of your children and when were they born?

Allyssa Hoover: Caroline Elizabeth Hoover was born June 6, 2013.

CHM: What influenced you to join Christian Healthcare Ministries?

AH: Before we had our first son, Caden Palmer, I worked at a bank and had insurance with excellent maternity coverage. Once my son was born, I became a stay-at-home mom and lost my insurance. In Texas, no private insurance companies cover maternity, so everything would have been out-of-pocket expenses. My husband and I thought we would never be able to afford another pregnancy due to the high costs of testing, doctors, sonograms and deliveries. We were so relieved to find CHM.

CHM: Please tell us about your experience with CHM’s maternity program.

AH: As soon as I found out we were pregnant with our precious daughter, I called CHM right away. They helped with all the questions I had and thoroughly instructed me about the next steps.

CHM helped with 100 percent of the expenses in a timely manner, even when the doctors and hospitals gave very short time restrictions for added discounts. The ministry was there every step of the way to help with the extra cost and stress that comes with a high risk pregnancy.

CHM: Did you experience any complications with your pregnancy?

AH: My first pregnancy was considered high risk, so my second was automatically categorized as high risk too. My doctors took extra steps to monitor our baby with additional sonograms and tests. I had an emergency C-section during my 36th week due to an abrupted placenta. It was a miracle that the doctors caught it in time.

Amidst all the fear and uncertainty of an early birth and time spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it was such a blessing to know that CHM and its members were there to help and pray. Caroline’s birth costs totaled more than $18,000 because of our high risk situation and the C-section. And that number was after discounts of nearly $8,500!

CHM: Would you recommend CHM’s maternity program to other couples who desire to have children?

AH: We have a beautiful daughter and are a happy family of four. We can’t thank CHM and its members enough for the hard work, dedication, thoughts and prayers. I am one happy momma!

Members Anthony and Rebecca Hott received health cost support through CHM’s maternity program for the birth of their daughter. Myla Louise Hott was born Nov. 27, 2012. Our staff asked the Hotts about their CHM experience.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: Why did you start looking for health care cost support?

Rebecca Hott: My husband and I married in January 2011. We’d graduated from Bible college the previous year and were planning to go into full-time ministry. In the meantime, Anthony was doing part-time ministry and working part-time for his family’s business which, ironically, was insurance. Our health care costs were taken care of through the business. When we found a full-time position in Illinois, health care wasn’t included.

CHM: Working in full-time ministry often causes families to live on a tight budget. How did you hear about Christian Healthcare Ministries?

RH: My parents had been CHM members when I was growing up, but I wanted to try health insurance. Anthony and I shopped around and found that anything including maternity was much more expensive than we anticipated—or could afford. When we did more research into CHM’s maternity program I was really impressed at the services offered for the price.

CHM: How did Anthony’s family react, since they work in insurance industry?

RH: They were a little skeptical because we were entering into something that isn’t health insurance. However, his grandparents—who had also worked in full-time ministry—had been CHM members. After weighing the options, it seemed to be the best choice for us, too.

CHM: What happened when you found out you were pregnant?

RH: I called the CHM office in March 2012, the day I got back home from the doctor’s office after confirming my pregnancy. At first it was a little intimidating and my husband was still a little skeptical and nervous, but my mom kept reassuring us that CHM had always come through for them. Yvonne Woolridge was our Needs Processing representative and she was wonderful. It was unique, too, because Yvonne also was expecting a baby. That was comforting.

CHM: Were there any complications with Myla’s birth?

RH: I was very blessed because my pregnancy was easy and simple and I had no complications. I went into labor naturally four days after my due date. However, when Myla was born, she had a heart murmur. These days it seems that heart murmurs are commonplace, but Myla’s was more severe than most. In fact, at one point the pediatrician was convinced they might have to air flight her to a larger hospital. Fortunately, they didn’t need to do so, but I emailed CHM to see if that kind of need would be eligible for sharing. We were so relieved to find that we would have financial assistance in the case of a birth defect.

CHM: What was the final diagnosis?

RH: Myla had a severe case of pulmonary stenosis—which is a fancy way of saying that her pulmonary artery had narrowed. She underwent a procedure using a small balloon to open the artery. Her prognosis is excellent and now the doctor can’t even hear a murmur!

CHM: How did Myla’s condition affect your finances?

RH: We’re Gold level members. Because CHM honors bill discounts its members receive, our discounts were applied to our $500 personal responsibility amount. We paid no out-of-pocket expenses beyond our regular monthly financial gift. That’s amazing! My husband and his family are no longer skeptical of Christian Healthcare Ministries.

CHM: What else would you like to tell us about your experience?

RH: Our medical bills were handled in a timely manner. CHM staff members were upfront when they said that bill sharing could take up to three months and they were indeed shared in that timeframe. We definitely recommend CHM to young couples, particularly those who wish to add to their families. In fact, we already have recommended CHM and talked to our fellow ministry friends about it.

There’s no other place that will give you the same rate for the same level of service. Furthermore, insurance companies just can’t compete in terms of spiritual support. With CHM, we knew there were people on the other side of the phone seeking to please God in their work. CHM staff members prayed for us. That’s a comfort no insurance company can provide.

Melody Huttar of Rushville, N.Y., answered a few questions regarding her family’s experience with CHM’s maternity program.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What is the name and birthdate of your child born under CHM’s maternity program?

Melody Huttar: My husband, Trevor, and I were overjoyed with the arrival of Isaiah Hilbert Huttar on Aug. 8, 2015.

CHM: What made you decide to join CHM’s Gold program?

MH: Wherever we looked, my husband and I could only find health coverage that far exceeded our budget. Then some friends told Trevor and me about CHM and the way its members help each other spiritually and financially. We joined after making it a matter of prayer.

CHM: What did you do after you learned you were expecting a child?

MH: We decided to expand our family in summer 2014. After I learned the happy news of my pregnancy that November, I read the CHM Guidelines and began completing the Needs Processing forms.* I scheduled my first prenatal appointment and then called CHM to verify that I had everything I needed before submitting my paperwork to the ministry.

CHM: Did you experience pregnancy complications?

MH: I was blessed with an uneventful and healthy pregnancy. My medical bills were approximately $9,000 and discounts reduced the total to about $5,000. CHM staff members were polite and understanding and worked with me so I could pay my bills on time to obtain discounts.

CHM: Matt, how much was shared for Ginny’s maternity bills and surgery?

MB: The maternity bills were about $10,000. The surgery was just over $19,000 after we received discounts exceeding $31,000.

I remember the day we received the check for our baby’s delivery charges because my wife texted me a picture of the check while I was at work. It was well before our delivery date because we submitted our hospital prepayment agreement very early. With health insurance, I often received a string of bills after each medical incident and still didn’t know exactly what I was paying for. To have our labor and delivery paid before the birth was incredible. We had no financial anxiety whatsoever and could just focus on the unforgettable experience of bringing our daughter into the world.

CHM does exactly what it claims it will do, and the Guidelines—the rules about what expenses are eligible for sharing—are available upfront so there are no surprises. I absolutely recommend the ministry. My advice to other members is to ask questions until you understand and are comfortable with the program, always be diligent to obtain and submit medical bills in a timely manner and, last but not least, trust the ministry to do its work. It pays off.

CHM: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

MH: I would like to give a special thank you to Lara Bennett, a CHM staff member who was very kind and gave us prompt attention and service. CHM is a blessing to our family and I have recommended the ministry to many friends and family members. We want to pass the blessing along to others.

*Editor’s note: The CHM Guidelines are available at chministries.org/guidelines. For step-by-step guides on what to do if you’re pregnant and how to submit medical bills, visit chministries.org/whattodo and chministries.org/stepbystep.

We have been very happy with CHM; the staff has been so friendly. CHM is wonderful because we know our monthly financial gifts are going toward other Christians’ health expenses—and now we know what a blessing it is to be on the receiving end, as well.

Because we had health insurance during the birth of our first child, the total cost of maternity care was very high. Now, having experienced our second child’s birth with CHM, we say that CHM’s maternity program is hands-down the better option. We don’t miss our old health insurance at all.

When my husband, Brody, left a job that offered health insurance, my brother-in-law told us about Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I was very skeptical because it sounded too good to be true. However, once I learned how CHM worked, I fell in love with the idea that our monthly financial gift would help pay other Christians’ medical bills.

Brody and I became the parents of Finley Spring Jackson when I gave birth on October 22, 2013, but our CHM story really began in June 2012 when we first learned I was pregnant.

When the pregnancy test stick showed a positive result, I could barely contain myself. “Is it a boy or girl?” “Who will the baby look like?” I went into planning mode and we scheduled our first prenatal appointment. When that hot July day arrived, we strolled into the office, beaming. We couldn’t wait for the ultrasound.

Our doctor asked me to lie back as she moved the device around on my stomach. “Hmm,” she said. “I thought your levels were high. You have identical twins.” Our mouths nearly hit the floor and we rushed home to tell family the good news.

We returned a few weeks later to hear the heartbeats, but the news was devastating. “There are no heartbeats. One of your babies has not developed and has passed away. I’m not convinced the second will develop either. I believe you’re going to miscarry.” A few weeks later, there was still no heartbeat. It was a heartbreaking time for our family.

We called CHM. “We’ll take care of things financially, just take good care of yourself,” a kind staff member told me.vMy husband and I put it in God’s hands. Each month we tested, but nothing changed. On Valentine’s Day 2013, Brody was traveling for some business meetings. I felt strange while working out and decided to take a test just in case. Those few minutes felt like a lifetime.

Positive! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wrapped up the test. When Brody got home, I gave him his Valentine’s Day present and watched his eyes filled with tears. At our 10-week appointment, a beautiful heartbeat covered the screen.

As my pregnancy progressed, I noticed some mole growth on my body. I was told the growth was normal, but one mole in particular looked different and was growing rapidly. The doctor took a sample. The following Sunday, I received a call during my baby shower. “Hanna, you have melanoma.”

It’s hard to pinpoint what went through my mind on hearing this news. The doctor had already called a cancer specialist and my OBGYN. That night, Brody and I just held each other and cried. “We’ll get through this,” he reassured me. “We’ll do whatever we need to do.”

My next biopsy showed active cell growth, which meant the cancer could be spreading to my lymph nodes. I was 36 weeks pregnant. The doctors said I would need surgery after giving birth. Thankfully, they allowed me to go full term and labor was induced at 40 weeks gestation.

After 15 hours of labor, my baby flipped and I needed to have a C-section. I held my hands to my heart in a prayer position and asked God to watch over my baby and me. Ten minutes later, I heard the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard: my baby girl crying for the first time.

After three weeks it was time for surgery. We waited two weeks for the results. I finally heard the words I’d scarcely hoped to hear: “You’re cancer-free.”

Our ordeal was like climbing a huge mountain and I’m so grateful for CHM. I’ve never met my Needs Processing representative, Yvonne Woolridge, but I felt her support throughout the entire process. I thank God all the time for finding a family in CHM.

When the CHM staff printed our prayer request so other members could see it, we received hundreds of cards that were full of wisdom and strength-building encouragement. What an amazing ministry!

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your son and when was he born?

Liz Keizer: Truitt Michael Lukela Keizer was born February 25, 2013.

CHM: What motivated you to join CHM?

LK: We signed up when our family work situation changed. Liz was no longer covered under an affordable insurance plan. We looked at many options, including other Christian health cost sharing plans. We decided on CHM because it best fit our needs and because we were especially impressed with the maternity program. We knew we would be starting a family soon, and CHM’s program was the best available (even compared to insurance plans).

CHM: What did you do when you found out you were pregnant?

LK: I remember calling CHM a few days after we found out we were expecting. We talked with Ken Lefever in Member Assistance (a great guy who hooked us up with the right people). Not only was he helpful, he was excited for us. I felt like we were friends after the first phone call!

Eventually, we worked with Amanda Moore in the Needs Processing department. She was fantastic. She graciously responded to all our questions and was diligent in taking care of things for us.

I really appreciate when organizations employ servant-hearted, kind, relational people to work with. Every person we’ve talked with at CHM has been extraordinarily helpful.

CHM: Were there any complications during your pregnancy?

LK: Though not a complication, our baby boy took an extra two weeks to make his way into the world. When he finally arrived, I was in labor for 14 hours. We chose to deliver without medication. Unfortunately, Truitt’s grand entrance broke my tailbone!

It was a relief to know we were taken care of medically and financially. From day one, we knew who was taking care of us (Amanda), and we had built a solid relationship with her through emails and phone calls. We were confident in her ability.

CHM: What was the cost of your pregnancy?

LK: Our total cost for prenatal care, labor, and delivery was more than $14,000. Fortunately, we were able to obtain some discounts, and then CHM members shared nearly $10,700.

CHM: What else would you like to say about your experience?

LK: Pregnancy and giving birth are lessons in surrendering control and being patient. It’s an amazing experience, but it can be intimidating. So many new things are happening and you don’t know what to expect.

One thing that eases the burden of unfamiliarity is financial preparation. I can’t imagine the stress of financial uncertainty during the most exciting time of my life. My heart is so thankful for CHM because I didn’t have to question if they would help me—they just did.

Christian Healthcare Ministries published a testimony regarding our son, River, in the ministry’s December 2013 newsletter. We wanted to write again and give an update on how we’re doing and how God acted on our behalf since that time.

My wife, Kimberly, became pregnant in 2012 with our sixth child. However, we soon received a troubling diagnosis for our unborn son. River was diagnosed with a genetic disease called Trysomy 18. He was born premature on Feb. 27, 2013, but in our eyes he was perfect in every way. We held him for about an hour before he gave up his spirit and we placed him in the arms of our Savior.

Our family leaned heavily on our Lord, on our church and on Christian Healthcare Ministries and our fellow CHM members. We saved every encouraging letter we received. Words can’t express what they meant to us.

As time passed, we continued to grieve the loss of River, but we allowed God to work on our hearts day by day. We agreed to let God plan our family, but it was still hard not being fearful.

Around Thanksgiving 2013, we learned once again that Kimberly was pregnant. We prayed daily for a healthy baby, and once again, we placed a call to Christian Healthcare Ministries to let the staff know we were expecting.

Every doctor visit showed that our baby was healthy and growing. We did our best not to let fear creep in, but we were anxious nevertheless. Kim was scheduled for a C-section on July 28, 2014. After just a few hours, doctors helped deliver our seventh child—a perfectly healthy boy we named Sawyer Rain Klokus.

For the first time in months, our family exhaled. What a relief! In fact, Sawyer’s middle name, Rain, symbolizes our experience both with his brother and Sawyer’s gestation and birth. During River’s short life and in the following months, we were comforted by MercyMe’s song “Jesus Bring the Rain.” We thank God for our short time with River and for our new life with Sawyer, but mostly for drawing our family to Himself through the tough times.

Once again, CHM took the financial burden off our shoulders by sharing over $17,000 in bills for Sawyer’s birth. The ministry’s help enabled us to find our “new normal” with the addition to our family.

Sawyer is nearly nine months old now and is still healthy in every way, for which we thank God.

Sawyer hasn’t replaced River, nor have we forgotten him. Daily we find ourselves drifting back to that one hour we had with him. We imagine what he would be like now. However, we have learned to find more joy in the day-to-day moments of life. A large part of that is due to Christian Healthcare Ministries and CHM members. We are so grateful for your prayer and support.

Editor’s note: To read the original article about the Klokus family in the CHM December 2013 newsletter, visit chministries.org/newsletter. You also can see an interview with the Klokus family on CHM’s testimonial video at chministries.org/videos.

Nolan Timothy Larson was born to Britton and Heather Larson of Mesa, Ariz., on Oct. 27, 2013. As CHM members, the Larsons had excellent provision for their maternity costs. Our staff asked the couple about their experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: How did you hear about CHM and why did you join?

Heather Larson: In 2012, my husband, Britton, and I decided to join CHM. My employer didn’t have any good health insurance plans, especially for maternity. My sister heard about CHM through a friend and told us about the ministry. It seemed to be the right answer, so we joined at the Bronze level. When we decided to start having children, I moved up to the Gold level.

CHM: What did you do when you found out you were pregnant?

HL: The first thing I did was email CHM with a list of questions. Staff member Monica Rohr was a huge help. She got back to me quickly and answered all my questions. She was knowledgeable and helpful whenever I called. The CHM website was a lot of help in providing answers, too.

CHM: How much did your pregnancy cost?

HL: I was fortunate to not have any complications and to have a healthy baby, so my total cost was about $8,600. CHM met all these expenses and mailed the check even before the bill was due. Getting discounts was easy and well worth it.

At first, I was worried the hospital wouldn’t receive the money in time to get the discount offered from my doctor, but I called CHM and they expedited the process. We received the money in time.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM to family and friends?

HL: Yes, I already do! I tell all my friends about CHM because it’s a great alternative to health insurance. I usually direct my friends who are interested in signing up to the website because it has a lot of good information. It’s a great program and I feel blessed to know that I can have a baby without relying on government programs or by paying for everything out of pocket. I’m worry-free of any large medical bills.

Editor’s note: We strongly recommend the Gold level for women who may become pregnant. The mother must join CHM at least 300 days before the doctor’s estimated due date in order for maternity bills to be eligible for sharing.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What is your daughter’s name and when was she born?

Nelson Larson: Ramona Rosalynne Larson was born August 19, 2013.

CHM: When did you first join CHM?

NL: After my wife and I had our first child (Gabriel Levin, age two) without insurance, we looked at alternatives. Insurance premiums were so expensive and we wanted to have another child. CHM was the perfect fit. We signed up in October 2012, choosing the Gold level for Merry and the Bronze level for me.

CHM: When you first found out you were pregnant, what did you do?

NL: We called CHM. Everyone was able to answer our questions right away or quickly directed us to someone who could. Thankfully, there were no complications with the pregnancy and our total bills were $7,568. After discounts of $525, CHM shared the remaining $7,043.

CHM: Would you recommend the CHM maternity program to other young couples desiring to have children?

NL: Yes! At first, we were concerned about what people would say when we described our health care program, but most people really liked the idea of CHM. It was a true blessing to have CHM walking beside us during this exciting time in our lives.

Cadence Sophia Libman was born to Steven and Grace Libman of Toms River, N.J., on Sept. 29, 2013. As CHM members, the Libmans had excellent provision for their maternity costs. Our staff asked the couple about their experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: How did you hear about CHM and why did you join?

Steven Libman: My wife, Grace, and I were both self-employed and had no health care coverage. After “rolling the dice” for a few years, we knew we needed some protection. The CHM maternity program was definitely a determining factor in our decision because we knew God had a family planned for us.

CHM: What did you do when you found out you were pregnant?

SL: We called CHM to let them know we were expecting and asked what to do next. First, we were heartily congratulated. Then, the steps were laid out for us. Michelle Rhoads in the Member Assistance department and Naomi Watson in Needs Processing were amazing in handling our needs. Both were very responsive, told me how to collect and submit bills, and congratulated me on obtaining such large bill discounts.

CHM: How much did your pregnancy cost?

SL: Grace’s pregnancy went very smoothly with no complications to speak of, but still our “retail” cost of everything amounted to just over $25,000, including prenatal, the hospital, etc. The prenatal bill cost of approximately $5,600 was reduced to $3,500. CHM shared this bill before I paid more than $200 out-of-pocket. What a blessing to walk into the doctor’s office every month and know our bills were paid!

The birth was costly but greatly reduced via discounts. We worked out a payment plan with the hospital to avoid paying out of pocket all at once. Within 60 days of submitting our bills to CHM, we were able to pay our medical bills in full and satisfy our obligations. And, because of our negotiated discounts, we didn’t have to pay our $500 personal responsibility.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM to family and friends?

SL: I recommend CHM to everyone. My household cost is $150 per person at the best level (Gold). If I obtained health insurance on my own—as a healthy 30-year-old—the cost would be $288 just for me. This price wouldn’t include the additional costs of co-insurance or co-pays.

Many of my extended family members have health insurance through their jobs or government agencies, but no one can say that the birth of their son or daughter cost them nothing, except me! We have been blessed to find CHM.

CHM: What, in your opinion, is the best thing about being a CHM member?

SL: I think the cost-sharing idea implemented by CHM that’s based on biblical principles is a life-changing, life-saving and obviously life-giving ministry! Dealing with the joy of a birth or the pain of an illness shouldn’t be followed by mounting medical bills, financial stress and strain. CHM has found a biblical way to put those frustrations at ease. I expect Christian Healthcare Ministries will continue to explode in growth.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your children and when were they born?

Jennifer Miller: Our twins Eli David Miller and Gracie Mae Miller were born April 25, 2013.

CHM: How did you hear about CHM and when did you join?

JM: When my husband had a job change, the cost of insurance offered by his employer was more than our monthly mortgage payment. We also would be stuck with a high deductible. The option was unaffordable and unattractive.

CHM’s maternity program had a lot to do with our decision. Our three-year-old son, Nathan, was born while we had regular insurance and we paid a lot of money out-of-pocket because we had a $5,000 deductible. We knew we wanted another child, though we are overjoyed that God thought two more would be better! The cost savings of going with CHM rather than insurance were so drastic that it was an easy choice. We signed up for the Gold level so that I would receive the greatest level of cost support with my next pregnancy.

CHM: When you first found out you were pregnant, what did you do?

JM: I called the CHM office, not really knowing what to expect. Truthfully, I was very nervous because it was our first experience asking CHM to share our medical bills. Doubt began to creep in. “This all sounds too good to be true,” I thought to myself.

I explained my situation to a CHM representative. He made me feel loved and appreciated and gave me confidence that I would receive help. He put me in contact with Lori Perko, who handled most of my maternity needs and questions throughout the entire process. She was always quick to respond and extremely helpful in getting my bills submitted, reduced and shared in a timely manner. I learned that many health care providers offer deeper discounts if bills are paid in 30 to 60 days. CHM always came through and sent funds within the time frame my providers requested in order to receive the largest bill discounts.

CHM: Let’s talk numbers. What was the total cost of your pregnancy?

JM: After negotiating with providers, we received $13,350 in reductions. CHM then shared $29,388 in maternity care costs.

CHM: The average cost of giving birth is between $5,000 and $10,000. Your pregnancy cost much more than that. Did you have complications?

JM: Due to my age and because I was carrying twins, I was considered high risk. I had to have more ultrasounds than I would with a normal pregnancy. I also had to have two fetal non-stress tests per week during the last six weeks. CHM shared the cost of all of my bills, with no hassles!

CHM: Would you recommend CHM’s maternity program to other families desiring children?

JM: I am so impressed with Christian Healthcare Ministries. I talk to everyone about my experience. With insurance we would have paid more than $1,000 per month for our coverage with an additional $5,000 deductible. Our experience with CHM was simple, efficient and hassle-free!

Jonathan and I have three young sons: Jonathan Allen II, Jamison Elias and Judah Cruz Molock. Judah was born under CHM’s maternity program on Feb. 15, 2017.

We liked that CHM was a healthcare option for Christians. We also appreciated the low cost and that we could choose from three programs. In January 2016 I signed up for the Gold program and Jonathan for the Silver level.

I thought the CHM website had a lot of good maternity information and called the ministry as well to ask a few questions.

Thankfully, Judah was born with no complications and CHM shared nearly $9,000 in birth-related ex-penses.

We think highly of CHM, its dedicated staff and its easy-to-navigate process for sharing medical bills. Thank you to all the staff and members for your help in bringing our youngest son into the world!

Our internet search was simple: “affordable, reasonable healthcare program.” It sounded like a pipe dream, but when we received notice that our insurance plan would no longer be available to our family, we knew we had to do something to comply with the national healthcare law.

My husband, Matthew, and I did a lot of research about cost sharing programs and considered several, but Christian Healthcare Ministries best fit our needs. Our family of five joined the Silver program* in December 2015 and began paying our $255 monthly gift amount.

Our family has been blessed with good health and we were fine with handling the cost of routine wellness visits. If we incurred medical bills, we knew we’d be responsible for the first $1,000 per incident.

CHM was a great fit and we were excited to find something within our budget.

We also liked the fact that if we had unexpected medical bills, the sharing process was simple: submit the itemized bills and Needs Processing forms** to CHM; the ministry would then send us funds so we could pay our healthcare providers.

At the time we joined, Matthew and I hadn’t planned on having more children. Much to our surprise, however, we learned the following July that I was pregnant with our third child, Shepard.

We were amazed to hear that our $15,000 estimated hospital charge would drop to $7,500 just by telling them we were self-pay patients. They reduced the cost once more—this time to $4,200—when we said we planned to pay the full amount all at once.

In addition to the hospital bill, we incurred $2,500 in doctor’s office expenses—$1,750 of which were eligible for CHM sharing because they were incurred at our hospital. (As Silver members, we were responsible for all prenatal treatment performed outside the hospital.) In all, we paid about $3,000 out-of-pocket for Shepard’s birth. This was far less expensive than when Matthew and I had our first two children.

Shepard brightened our world by entering it on Feb. 4, 2017, and added to the joy of his birth was peace knowing that our finances were in order. CHM shared more than $6,600 of Shepard’s birth expenses, which was much less than the delivery costs of our two daughters.

We’re so grateful for all the ministry did—and for God enabling us to find an affordable way to meet our family’s healthcare needs.

Additional advantages of being CHM members that we appreciate:
  • Pre-existing health conditions and health history don’t disqualify people from CHM membership
  • CHM is an eligible option under the national healthcare law; therefore, members are exempt from fines or penalties for not having insurance during the time they are CHM members.
  • Members can choose their own healthcare providers and aren’t bound by a network established by the ministry.***

*Editor’s note: CHM strongly recommends the Gold program for women who may become pregnant. To learn more, visit chministries.org/maternity.
** The Needs Processing Forms are available at chministries.org/needsforms.
***Though you can choose your own healthcare provider, consider viewing CHM’s healthcare providers and services directory at chministries.org/providerlist for helpful recommendations.

Sophia Ellen Arielle and Eliana Liberty Joy were born to Derek and Veronika Ott of Homewood, Ill., on May 14, 2011 and July 5, 2014, respectively. Veronika birthed the children under CHM’s maternity program. Here’s what she had to say about her CHM experience:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: How did you hear about CHM?

Veronika Ott: My journey with CHM began about five years ago. I had moved from Europe to marry Derek, who works in full-time ministry. We started thinking about having children.

However, we didn’t have health insurance and didn’t even know where to start looking. I’m from a small eastern European country where health care is available to anyone who is legally employed, so navigating the maze of health care options in the United States left me feeling helpless. We couldn’t find an affordable maternity option or anyone to give us good advice on the matter.

Desperate for a solution, I kept praying that God would help us. About a year into our search, a family member approached us with information about CHM. It seemed too good to be true. We looked into it and were elated and relieved to find our answer.

CHM: Please tell us about your experience since you joined CHM.

VO: We’ve been members for about four years. We’ve been blessed with good health and no medical needs other than the pregnancies and births of our daughters. We are so pleased that our monthly giving goes to help others in need, rather than toward the costly overhead of running a large insurance company. Whenever we’ve had a question about anything, the CHM staff has answered graciously and helpfully.

CHM: Did you experience any complications with your pregnancies?

VO: In 2010, I found out I was pregnant with Sophia and began planning for an all-natural birth with no medical intervention. However, I ended up needing unexpected treatment and a C-section due to a serious condition I was diagnosed with 10 days before my due date. The new charges were nearly six times the original cost! Thank God for CHM. I had no worries; every penny was reimbursed and we even received a beautiful gift from the ministry for the baby.

In contrast, when Eliana arrived we had the wonderful experience of a natural birth with no medication or complications.

CHM: How much did each pregnancy and delivery cost?

VO: The total cost of my first pregnancy was over $54,000. We received about $28,000 in discounts and CHM shared nearly $26,000. The bills from the second pregnancy totaled $32,000. After nearly $18,000 in discounts, CHM members shared the remaining $14,000.

CHM: Is there anything else you want to mention to our readers?

VO: I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for CHM’s service to our family. I’m always telling friends and family about this amazing ministry based on biblical principles. Thank you!

CHM recently spoke with Bethany Pederson of Cedar Creek, Mo., about the ministry’s maternity program and group memberships.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What is the name and birthdate of your son born under CHM’s maternity program?

Bethany Pederson: We welcomed Simon Pederson to our family on July 28, 2015. We also have two other children born before we joined CHM: Cynthia (4) and Levi (2).

CHM: Why did you join Christian Healthcare Ministries?

BP: My husband, Isaac, is employed by Village Missions, a ministry that places and supports pastors in rural churches. With health care costs rising, Village Missions needed a health care plan that would best serve its employees; CHM’s Gold program is a major component of that plan.

CHM: What CHM staff members were particularly helpful to you?

BP: CHM staff members Terry Lawrence and Joy Spriggs spoke with the Village Missions team and put together webinars to help explain CHM to us. Knowing we wanted to have another child, Isaac and I were specifically interested in how the maternity program works.

Other CHM staff members were very helpful when I called to let them know I was expecting and when I had questions. Joy even called me shortly before Simon’s birth to make sure everything was in order, which I appreciated very much.

CHM: Did you experience any health complications?

BP: Thankfully, there weren’t any medical complications during my pregnancy or birth, and for that we praise God.

CHM: What was the total cost of your pregnancy and delivery? Did CHM meet the expenses in a timely manner?

BP: The prenatal, delivery and hospital stay costs came to just over $7,500 after more than $10,000 in discounts from my health care providers. At my first doctor appointment, I received paperwork showing the total estimated cost of prenatal care ($3,700) and it said the balance needed to be paid before my due date.

I turned everything in to CHM, but I later discovered that the practice preferred receiving monthly payments and they seemed concerned that I hadn’t made payments yet. I called CHM for an update on my sharing status and received a check for the entire amount shortly after; I was able to pay the doctor’s office in a lump sum.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM’s maternity program to other families desiring to have children?

BP: I definitely recommend CHM to other couples; it’s a very family-friendly ministry. The concept of sharing health costs with other believers is much more comforting and, well, biblical than using health insurance. Our experience and the financial help we received were also much better with CHM than what we had with insurance companies during my other pregnancies.

Editor’s note: More information about the maternity program can be found in CHM Guideline R chministries.org/guidelines and at chministries.org/maternity. To learn more about group membership, call 800-791-6225, ext. 1002.

When I left my full-time job, both my husband and I became self-employed. The maternity program is the main reason we joined CHM. I researched several different health cost sharing programs before signing up. We joined at the Silver level until we decided to start a family, then I upgraded to the Gold program.*

After learning I had become pregnant, but before making a doctor’s appointment, I called CHM to talk through the steps I’d need to take. The lady I spoke with was very friendly and helpful. After talking with her, I called my clinic and made my first appointment.

My obstetrician is a Christian and was curious to see how the ministry worked. She even extended my billing for visits until the full amount was sent to me from CHM. The clinic had never worked with a health cost sharing ministry, so there was a bit of confusion as we got all the paperwork together. Monica Rohr of CHM was helpful in answering all my questions and assisting me with my bills. I spoke with several ministry staff members and each one was friendly and encouraging.

In the initial stages [of pregnancy] I didn’t show any risk for gestational diabetes, so the doctor and I were surprised when test results showed very high blood sugar levels. They were so high that I was immediately put on insulin to regulate my blood sugar.

Through medication and careful diet and exercise, I got my blood sugar under control quickly. My baby was carefully monitored throughout the remainder of my pregnancy; every test showed that she was healthy despite the diabetes.

In gestational diabetes situations, doctors almost always insist on inducing labor early. My obstetrician spent time in prayer with me for my baby. Since I didn’t show signs of having placental failure, she allowed me the option of carrying baby Ellie to a full 40 weeks. I still had to be given medication and be induced. However, since the doctor allowed me to wait longer than usual, my body had time to prepare for labor and I had a very quick and easy delivery.

Total expenses for my prenatal care, medication, labor and delivery were $10,501. After $2,940 in discounts, CHM shared the remaining $7,561.

I’ve already referred several friends to Christian Healthcare Ministries. Throughout my pregnancy it was encouraging to know that my needs were being met financially and that I was taking part in Christ’s command that His disciples love and share with one another. CHM shared more of our pregnancy expenses than most health insurance policies would have paid. Plus, my doctor’s office gave us a discount that met our CHM personal responsibility amount. Our expenses were paid in full!

At first, I was nervous about learning how to submit bills for sharing, but I was impressed with how everything came together. Though skeptical at first, I’m now a CHM believer!

*Editor’s note: We highly recommend the Gold program for women who may become pregnant. A Silver or Bronze-level member who upgrades to the Gold program must do so at least 300 days before the baby’s due date for the maternity bills to be shared at the Gold level; if she has been a Gold member for less than 300 days, the bills will be shared at the lower level. See the first article on page 1 for more information about switching programs.

When my husband, Jonathan, and I decided to join CHM nearly two years ago, we could have never anticipated how much we would need this ministry and how encouraged we would be by its members.

In Oct. 2013, we were rejoicing over the news of our first baby boy on the way. Two days after our 22-week ultrasound, however, we got the call: our son had a life-threatening heart defect and might not live to be even one week old.

There went my dreams of an inexpensive home birth with a midwife and my hope of having a healthy first baby. Gone were my dreams of decorating a nursery, shopping for clothes and thinking about his future. We were devastated.

We sought a second opinion in Seattle, Wash., and found a hospital willing to take our case. Perhaps they could perform a life-saving operation on our newborn. Instantly we went from anticipating an inexpensive, natural birth to a high-profile, high risk pregnancy with endless testing expenses and visits to many specialists. In addition, we now had to move across two states.

Being CHM members was the least stressful aspect of a very emotional and difficult season. CHM supported us every step along the way and exceeded our expectations in financial sharing ($28,598 after $7,960 in discounts). The ministry is an amazing health care option and, as fellow members of Christ’s body, CHM members flooded our mailbox with cards of prayers and encouragement.

Almost every day since last October, we’ve received something in the mail from a CHM member sharing encouragement and hope. What an invaluable blessing and joy! How counter-cultural it is to be involved in a health cost sharing program that truly shares your “burdens” and commits to pray alongside you.

Many people have asked about Jimmy, and we can only praise God for His mercy. James David Phillips was born February 11, 2014. He was immediately taken to the children’s hospital and, at just one week of age, underwent the most complex neo-natal heart surgery performed on infants. Many folks didn’t expect him to make it, but he spent more than two months in the critical ICU and now goes for regular checkups and some smaller procedures.

Baby Jimmy is a miracle from God. We don’t take any moments with him for granted. This has changed our lives, strengthened our marriage and deepened our awe and trust in Jesus Christ. We hope you, our CHM family, can share in our joy as we are convinced that it was the prayers of hundreds of God’s people that played a major part in him being alive today. We send our love and thanks.


Increased insurance costs and healthcare law unknowns caused us several years ago to seek different healthcare options. Studying the CHM Gold and Brother’s Keeper programs confirmed that the ministry was the right fit for us, and we were pleased our money would help share fellow Christians’ medical bills. We joined CHM in November 2013.

In early 2014, my husband, Jonathan, and I learned we were expecting our second child. We’d had health insurance for the birth of our first son, Jacob. We were used to simply handing over an insurance card, not realizing how expensive giving birth can be.

I didn’t know how the CHM sharing process worked or if our bills would be shared, so I contacted the ministry right away. The staff encouraged us to ask for discounts and explain to our providers what they could expect.*

Much to my surprise, CHM shared every need except the hospital bill** before our second son, Timothy Charles, was born on September 5, 2014. (The hospital bill was shared after he was born.) What a relief it was, and my OBGYN’s office staff couldn’t believe how easy it was working with me and CHM.

The following year we learned our third son, Jonathan Zachary, was on his way; he arrived on April 15, 2016. Once again, working with CHM was simple and all of my maternity bills were shared.

In total, CHM shared about $45,000 for both pregnancies after nearly 40 percent in discounts. Because discounts are credited toward members’ Personal Responsibility amount, we ended up paying $0 for both births. This was a stark difference from the more than $5,000 we paid for the birth of our first son.

I recommend CHM to other young couples all the time. When I’m visiting with other moms, I always find a way to bring up the topic. Actually, it’s hard not to “shout” about something I love and am passionate about.

I remember that it took 11 months, numerous phone calls and a stack of tedious paperwork for our health insurance to pay a pediatrician’s bill. In contrast, CHM makes things simple and we can rest assured that we have a large community of people who will help us and pray during times of need—whether joyful or sad. We know there’s no limit to what God will do when His people pray.

CHM is an incredible blessing. We’re grateful each day that we joined the CHM family.

*Editor’s note: You can direct your healthcare providers to chministries.org/forproviders or print a letter (chministries.org/providerletter) explaining to your providers what CHM is and does.

**For your benefit, we recommend you request a prepayment agreement from your hospital as quickly as possible, but no later than three months before your estimated due date. For more information, see CHM’s new maternity guide for Gold level members at chministries.org/maternity.

My husband, Matthew, and I became engaged in 2014. We knew we wanted to have children soon after we were married, so finding an affordable healthcare program that would help with maternity expenses was high on our priority list.

That’s when Matthew’s sister told us about health cost sharing. She is a CHM member and was excited to share information with us. We were intrigued and liked that a family’s Gold monthly gift amount doesn’t surpass $450 regardless of how many children they have. We were also relieved to learn that joining the Brother’s Keeper program increases the $125,000 limit per illness.*

After our wedding Matthew called CHM to make sure we understood before we became pregnant the sharing process and how to submit medical expenses.** In late 2015 we learned we were pregnant with our first child, Emma.

At the first visit with our healthcare provider, the financial advisor told us the global charge amount that was due prior to delivery. As self-pay patients, we received an immediate 20 percent discount.

This was the case for nearly every provider whose services we used. By simply asking, we received discounts and worked out payment plans that would fit within our budget until we received the reimbursement check from CHM. Though some providers didn’t initially offer a discount, follow-up phone calls often made the difference.

We were blessed to give birth to our beautiful baby girl on July 1, 2016 and encountered no complications—something for which we’re very grateful. Even so, before discounts our bills totaled $21,681.

After we submitted Emma’s birth expenses, CHM shared our discounted balance of $13,422. It was the first time we’d used the ministry so we weren’t sure what to expect. Now, having experienced the sharing process ourselves, we couldn’t be happier to be part of believers sharing each other’s medical expenses.

We’re now expecting our second child and are using CHM’s maternity program for the second time. We recommend the ministry to any couple who wants to add to their family!

*Editor’s note: For more information about Brother’s Keeper, see chministries.org/catastrophicbills.

**Maternity information, including a downloadable step-by-step guide, is available at chministries.org/maternity.

The first time I found out I was pregnant after joining CHM was the third week of May 2013. We were very excited. Two weeks later, during a trip, I started to miscarry and went to the emergency room. Medical staff confirmed I had miscarried.

CHM shared the emergency room visit, doctor bill, radiologist bill and bills for all the other tests done that day. Follow-up visit costs were also shared.

In August 2013 I again discovered I was pregnant. Naturally, we were excited—but a little nervous. On September 17, at my first appointment where an ultrasound was performed, I saw my baby’s heartbeat. I was thrilled. At about 10 weeks, we started telling family and friends. When I began showing signs of another miscarriage, I went for a second ultrasound. The test confirmed that our baby had passed away a few weeks before.

I was given medication to help the process go quickly, but during the night I knew things weren’t going as they should. I ended up in the emergency room and received a blood transfusion.

It was nice being able to share with the hospital staff about Christian Healthcare Ministries. I explained we are Christians and, instead of using health insurance, we are members of a large group of Christians who not only share each other’s medical bills but also pray continually for each other.

When I got home, the bills started coming in. I called CHM and talked to staff member Monica Rohr. I explained I had lost the baby and experienced complications. She assured me my bills would be shared, and, as promised, CHM shared every penny.

Earlier in 2013, I had experienced some medical needs that CHM shared, so when I had my miscarriages I knew with 100 percent certainty that the ministry would come through financially. For that reason I was able to focus on physical healing and my family.

For my first condition and my two miscarriages, CHM shared a total of about $13,200 after I received discounts of about $13,400.

In the meantime my husband, Stephen, requested I be placed on the CHM prayer list and my name was printed on the prayer cards that are sent with the monthly billing statements. When the first few cards of encouragement came in, I was amazed. We received between 175 and 200! It was wonderful knowing people from all over the country were praying for me. They were sending Scriptures, sharing their own stories and weeping with me.

CHM, too, sent postcards along with every check. A few staff members called and asked if they could pray with me over the phone. I knew they were also praying for me at their weekly chapel service.

Through these situations and one other miscarriage five years prior, God taught me how much He loves me. He never left my side and always comforted me. I learned that children are a blessing and that those whom God chooses to take home early are souls that have been added to heaven. Their lives meant something—however short they were. Those beautiful babies are loved by us and by our heavenly Father. To think, I’ve been the vessel to bring three souls into eternity to bring God more glory!

He also taught me to use my experience to help others. I can relate to other mothers who are going through a miscarriage and I can truly understand what they are feeling and thinking. I understand the questions they have. I understand the pain they feel.

Remember who God is, I encourage them. It’s okay to ask why. We live in a fallen world affected by sin, and when a child is miscarried, God grieves with you. He loves you. Remember the truths of God, pray and read His word. He will reveal new things to you and bring the verses to you that you need.

Cling to Him; don’t push Him away. Allow yourself to grieve and cry. Allow your body to heal and allow others to help. If you have children, let them see you grieve. They need to know it’s okay to be sad their brother or sister is gone. Hug them and love on them. Let them talk to you about the baby. Let them ask questions and try to answer in the most loving way you can. And if you need to, reach out to someone else who’s been through a miscarriage and can pray with you.

If anyone would like me to pray for them as they go through a miscarriage or has questions on dealing with the possibility of a miscarriage, please feel free to reach out to me at rachelrobbins11@yahoo.com.


We’re a homeschooling family with 10 children ages nine months to 19 years.

Ten years ago, we took a leap of faith and joined Christian Healthcare Ministries. The ministry has seen us through five births (including three C-sections), many hospitalizations and the crisis of losing our precious daughter, Emily, in 2008. CHM was there every step of the way—sharing our needs, offering support and praying for us. It isn’t just about healthcare—it’s about family.

We joined CHM in 2007 due to rising premiums in the insurance policy offered by my husband’s workplace. Ty and our four kids joined the Silver program, but I eventually signed up for the Gold level* because we knew we wanted to have more children.

We were expecting our fifth child, Emily, and we knew CHM wouldn’t be able to share my bills from that pregnancy since it began before we signed up. However, we decided to make the switch anyway—that’s how strongly we believed health cost sharing was the right option for us.

After a miraculous manual version (manually turning a baby in breech position) Emily was born on July 4 and appeared to be in perfect health despite a difficult pregnancy.

After Thanksgiving, however, Emily’s health deteriorated before our eyes. What first presented itself as a cold quickly morphed into signs of a serious health condition.

After an emergency room visit that turned into an overnight stay, our five-month-old underwent bowel surgery. The surgeon told us it wasn’t as simple a procedure as she originally thought; Emily had intestinal malrotation, a congenital condition that caused her small intestine to become black and twisted. After surgery she suffered a serious infection and was in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for 10 days and in the hospital for a total of three weeks.

We were able to take Emily home for her first Christmas and, after a follow-up surgery, her health seemed to improve.

However, in February 2008 she contracted a fever and in a matter of hours became listless and unresponsive. We rushed her to the ER but, despite a flurry of activity, little could be done. I remember seeing her little hand go limp, looking at her face and realizing she was gone. Of course, we were devastated and forever changed by Emily’s death, though there was peace knowing that she went home to be with Jesus and that we’ll see her again someday—healthy and whole.

In time, the Lord blessed us with five more children. Micah, Garin, Creed, Aspen and Mercy were born under CHM’s maternity program.

We had a “system” that we used for each pregnancy: We’d go to the initial OB/GYN appointment, let them know we were with CHM, ask for a discount and a letter confirming that discount, turn it in to the ministry and keep track of our bills via a CHM Needs Processing form.** Our doctor’s office became very familiar with how CHM worked and was always happy to help us without ever requiring a payment schedule while CHM processed our need.

Our youngest child, Mercy, was born in 2016 with Pierre Robin sequence—a different congenital condition—and had to be taken to NICU and intubated immediately following birth. We simply followed the same protocol: we worked with the providers to lower the cost, paid what we could, submitted bills to the ministry and paid off the rest once CHM had shared our bills.

When Mercy had to be transferred to a larger hospital, we were able to choose the one we preferred because we didn’t have to pick from an approved list. We chose a hospital we knew had a solid reputation in handling the health needs of children like Mercy.

CHM shared a total of nearly $75,000 for the births of our younger children and shared over $63,000 for Emily’s treatment. In addition, the ministry has shared multiple thousands of dollars for other ailments our family has experienced during 10 years of membership.

It can sometimes seem daunting to have such an active role in your healthcare. However, by working to lower medical costs, submitting your own bills and working with medical professionals to set up payments you can afford, you become very aware of just how inflated healthcare costs can be.

We learned that providers often are more than willing to come alongside patients and work with them because they understand and appreciate the mission of health cost sharing ministries. It has been well worth the extra bit of legwork to know we have control over our own healthcare.

*Editor’s note: CHM strongly recommends the Gold level for women who may become pregnant. See chministries.org/maternity for more information, including a detailed maternity guide and a free sample log for keeping track of your medical bills.

**The Needs Processing forms are available at chministries.org/needsforms.

To read more about Amy (including Emily’s story), visit her blog at raisingarrows.net.

CHM has changed our family’s life. In late 2015 we found out we were expecting our third child. We were so excited and eager to meet the latest addition to our family.

In spring 2016 my wife began experiencing pregnancy problems. Hannah’s complications required medical tests, scans and other procedures. The end result was unnerving: piles of medical bills and a mountain of worry. We asked ourselves, How will we pay for these and what will CHM share?

May 2016 added another round of medical bills—and more financial concerns. Abdominal pain and other symptoms compelled me to make a trip to the emergency room. We learned that appendicitis was the culprit and incurred another $23,000 in expenses.

The healing process caused me to miss many days at work. I’m self-employed as a general contractor, so I couldn’t fall back on paid vacation time or other benefits. When I returned to the job I had to work long, strenuous hours to make up for lost time and income.

As a result Hannah and I fell behind on our regular monthly bills and were struggling to “keep the wolves at bay.” We didn’t have the time, energy or will to worry about how we would also pay our medical bills.

We spent many hours in prayer and were soon reminded that when we joined Christian Healthcare Ministries God had provided a way to meet our medical expenses. After receiving about $5,000 in discounts on my appendicitis bills, CHM shared more than $18,500. Likewise, after nearly $8,000 in discounts for Hannah’s pregnancy costs, CHM shared over $30,000.

We’re pleased to announce the birth of our daughter, Aubyn Rose, born on Aug. 31, 2016. Mom and baby are both doing well, and we couldn’t be more grateful for CHM’s generous support and the faithfulness of fellow members. A great weight was lifted when, thanks to CHM sharing, I paid our hospital in full. It certainly brought tears to my eyes when I returned to my truck after handing over that check.

The love we received from this ministry has humbled me in many ways and I believe our story is a testament to how much God loves us and provides for His children. I can’t say enough about Christian Healthcare Ministries and the blessing you’ve been to us. Thank you, members and staff, for helping us meet our medical needs in both expected and unexpected circumstances.


Christian Healthcare Ministries was our first call after we learned we were expecting our first child. We told CHM even before we told our parents! All our maternity bills were eligible for sharing. The ministry was an answer to prayer.

God truly walked with me throughout my pregnancy—at first it was normal and relatively uneventful. However, at 37 weeks my blood pressure spiked and my water broke. My husband, Joshua, and I weren’t too concerned because 37 weeks is considered full term.

On June 12, 2011, we went to the hospital and had our son, Bronson. There were no complications in the delivery, though Bronson’s bilirubin score was high.

On day two of our hospital stay, I was discharged, but doctors kept Bronson for observation because he was still too jaundiced to come home. I cried—wanting to take my baby home with me—but I soon discovered that this was part of God’s wonderful plan.

At about 8 p.m. Bronson stopped breathing. I mentioned to a nurse that he looked blue. When the nurse examined him, he didn’t breathe out normally.

The nurses didn’t know what was wrong with Bronson, so they brought in the on-call pediatrician. The doctor believed that Bronson might be having seizures. As a result, our baby was transported to another hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

After many tests, scans, and prayers, the doctors found no evidence of seizures. Bronson had apnea and just needed time to learn to breathe. We took Bronson home with an apnea monitor; after two months, he no longer needed it. Praise Jesus!

Tina Farnsworth—the CHM staff member who helped us submit our bills to the ministry—was wonderful. She walked me through each step and helped me understand how to explain what I needed from our health care providers. We also received several calls from CHM during the following months, asking how Bronson was doing and making sure that we were all okay.

We were facing more than $75,000 in medical bills between the two hospitals and follow-up doctor visits. These unexpected bills could have added much stress to our situation, especially because I changed my working hours to part-time after maternity leave. Thanks to CHM, it was paid in full in a matter of months—the ministry made the situation stress-free.

Thank you for all that you do.

Josiah Christopher Taylor was born to Matt and Christy Taylor on December 7, 2013 using CHM’s maternity program. Christy took a few minutes to answer some questions about her experience with CHM. Here’s what she had to say:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What caused you to join CHM?

Christy Taylor: CHM’s maternity program was one of the main reasons Matt and I chose CHM. We chose the Gold program because we wanted to start a family and we knew Gold was the best option for maternity.

CHM: What was it like interacting with CHM staff while submitting medical bills for sharing?

CT: Everyone I spoke with was wonderful and helpful every time we called. Everyone was so personal. We even received a few phone calls and emails from staff who just wanted to check on us and let us know they were praying for us. It meant so much and really communicated that they care.

CHM: Did you experience any complications with your pregnancy?

CT: I had a great pregnancy with no difficult complications, but I did have to have an emergency C-section because Josiah was in breech position. However, God kept us both safe and well.

CHM: What was the cost of your pregnancy?

CT: The doctor visits before the hospital were about $2,500, and because of the c-section, all of our hospital bills totaled nearly $13,000. We qualified for Medicaid at the hospital because Matt changed jobs in November. Medicaid paid $13,000. CHM shared the remaining amount after discounts.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM to others?

CT: Absolutely! CHM was a much more affordable option for us than having insurance through Matt’s employer. It’s also a great feeling to know that the money we send each month is being used to help other people in need. The kindness of the staff and community of believers praying for one another makes it even better.


Andrew and Tiffany Tidwell of Niceville, Fla., recently received health cost support for the birth of their children through CHM’s maternity program.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What are the names of your children and when were they born?

Tiffany Tidwell: Elias Benjamin Tidwell was born June 17, 2013.

CHM: What influenced you to join Christian Healthcare Ministries?

TT: I had been working for a pharmaceutical company before joining CHM. It was bought out by a larger company, after which my employment ended. Rather than pursuing another position, we decided that I would stay home with our young son, Leyton, while helping run my husband’s real estate company.

Andrew is self-employed so we began to research our insurance options. Like many people, we found that the expense far outweighed our family’s needs. We don’t have any ongoing medical issues, but we were hoping to have another child. We chose the Gold level for me and the Silver level for both Andrew and Leyton.

CHM: Please tell us about your experience with CHM’s maternity program.

TT: Throughout the process, we spoke with several people at CHM, but Denise Pennington and Sandy Wiggins in the Member Assistance department were the two staff members who were especially helpful to us.

CHM: Did you experience any complications with your pregnancy?

TT: Other than a cesarean delivery, we had no complications. Still, our hospital bills alone—not including anesthesiology, labs, and a few other necessities—were over $17,000 and the total bills were more than $24,500. As a “cash patient,” however, we were charged about $13,000. CHM shared these remaining expenses and we received the funds prior to the delivery date. When it was all said and done, we had fewer out-of-pocket expenses with this pregnancy than with our first child when we had insurance.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM’s maternity program to other couples who desire to have children?

TT: Definitely, because we already have recommended CHM! At first we were a little hesitant to join because of the stigma of being a self-pay patient. We were nervous to abandon the security we thought we had with insurance, but we are now fully confident in CHM. In fact, our entire family is now on the Gold level.

When some friends who are CHM members said how much they loved the ministry (particularly for maternity), we looked into it. When we saw the low costs and that maternity assistance was available at no extra cost, we decided to give CHM a try. We joined in May 2013.

After learning I was pregnant, I called CHM and asked what we needed to do. They were excited for us, directed me to the appropriate paperwork, and told me what to ask for at our first doctor’s appointment. I spoke to many CHM staff members regarding bill sharing and all were extremely helpful.

Emma Jo weighed eight pounds, 15.3 ounces. She measured 22 inches long. She was born on her great-grandfather Joe’s birthday. We named her Emma Jo in honor of him.

We were fortunate not to have any complications, but our bills totaled $12,588 after $1,638 in discounts. We met our personal responsibility through discounts, and CHM shared the remaining amount.

However, as first-time parents we didn’t realize there were separate hospital fees. These weren’t included in the hospital’s “global fee” we had previously submitted to CHM. These charges totaled nearly $5,800 after discounts. As soon as we received the bills, we sent them to CHM and marked them as “add-ons.” Unfortunately, the bills were lost in the mail.

I called the ministry to explain the situation and told them about the hospital’s deadline for a significant discount. A staff member told me to email the bills and they would begin working on them right away. We received a check for that amount a week later, and it arrived in time to receive the discount!

We recommend Christian Healthcare Ministries all the time. CHM is an amazing, godly ministry. We felt at ease because we didn’t have to deal with an insurance company. The women’s center and hospital staff, too, were impressed with CHM.


The CHM staff was helpful and never rude or irritable even though I asked many questions. Because we received discounts we didn’t “pay” anything to have the baby. I set up a payment plan with some of my providers until I received a check from CHM, which worked great. I also was pleased by how easy it was to submit bills and documents to CHM.

I recommend CHM 100 percent. It was life-changing because I was able to have a baby and not be in debt. The monthly financial gifts are surprisingly low. I was very nervous about joining at first, but we took the leap of faith and I’m so glad we did. If given the choice between CHM and affordable health insurance, we would stay with CHM.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your son and when was he born?

Laura Willis: Isaiah Willis was born January 24, 2013.

CHM: What motivated you to join CHM?

LW: We had been thinking about joining CHM for several years, but were hesitant. With a husband in full-time ministry, purchasing private insurance became nearly impossible. We got to a point where we just couldn’t afford it anymore. We liked that CHM included maternity. We had never had that before because traditional insurance costs for maternity riders were astronomical.

CHM: Were there any complications during your pregnancy?

LW: When I first found out I was pregnant, the doctors thought I had miscarried. In case I hadn’t, they placed me on special medication to help prevent one. CHM staff members called and prayed for me throughout my pregnancy. It was such a blessing to know they were praying for me.

CHM: What was the cost of your pregnancy?

LW: My pregnancy and delivery cost approximately $17,500. After about $3,100 in discounts, CHM shared the remaining bills and we were able to pay our providers in full within two months of delivery.

CHM: What else would you like to say about your experience?

LW: Being in ministry is hard enough without the stress of costly health care. In fact, most churches don’t offer benefits, and private health care is costly. We are so thankful for CHM and what it has done for our family. We look forward to being a part of this wonderful organization for many years to come.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your daughter and when was she born?

Shelley Wilson: Finlee Rose Wilson arrived April 14, 2013.

CHM: How did you hear about CHM and when did you join?

SW: When my husband’s employer switched insurance companies, we knew the cost would be more than what our family could afford. My husband has a condition called ulcerative colitis, and insurance companies deemed him “high risk.” After learning about CHM in 2011, we knew it would work best for our growing family. We chose the Gold participation level.

CHM: When you first found out you were pregnant, what did you do?

SW: We called CHM immediately to figure out our next step. Everyone at CHM was extremely helpful and caring.

CHM: Let’s talk numbers. What was the total cost of your pregnancy?

SW: Our total pregnancy expense was $26,722. We received $8,687 in discounts and CHM members shared the rest. When we needed funds quickly, the ministry went the extra mile to make sure we received them on time to get a large discount.

CHM: The average cost of giving birth is between $5,000 and $10,000. Your pregnancy cost much more than that. Did you have complications?

SW: I had miscarried just months before my pregnancy with Finlee. My husband and I were devastated to learn at our 14th week obstetric visit that our baby had died. When we contacted CHM, we were blown away with their compassion. The woman on the phone actually cried with us and then prayed for us. Even later on, staff members called just to check and see how we were doing.

CHM: Would you recommend CHM’s maternity program to other families desiring children?

SW: We have been so blessed to be a part of this ministry. The people at Christian Healthcare Ministries not only care about the financial aspect of your pregnancy, but they genuinely care about you and your baby. They rejoiced when we rejoiced, and they grieved when we were grieving. There is no doubt in my mind that God knew who He was placing in our lives when we joined CHM. We can’t thank Him enough.

Adam and Jill Winkler gave birth to two children using the CHM maternity program: Jaden, born Nov. 29, 2012; and Logan, born March 6, 2015. Jill shared her most recent experience with the CHM program. Here’s what she had to say:

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What drew you to join CHM?

Jill Winkler: Health insurance companies wouldn’t accept me because I had a pre-existing condition, so we searched for alternatives. We learned that we could choose our own health care providers with CHM and that I could continue seeing my OBGYN. CHM is an eligible option under Obamacare, so I joined the Gold program and added Brother’s Keeper for catastrophic medical bills. Adam eventually joined as well.

CHM: What happened when you learned you were pregnant?

JW: I called CHM right away.* We filled out the Needs Processing forms and sent them in quickly to begin the sharing process. Since we’d gone through the process with the birth of Jaden a few years prior, it was extremely easy. It also gave us the opportunity to tell others about the wonderful advantages of CHM membership.

CHM: Did you experience any complications with Logan’s birth?

JW: Because I had low amniotic fluid during the pregnancy, the doctor ordered additional ultrasounds. Also, I underwent a C-section that cost nearly $14,000. CHM met these expenses just as the ministry staff said it would. Then, after bringing our son home, he was readmitted to the hospital for three days due to complications. What a blessing it was to not worry about looming medical bills! We were pleased, too, when the doctor reduced our bills significantly after hearing about CHM’s mission. The ministry shared the remaining $20,754 of my maternity expenses.

CHM: Would you recommend the maternity program to others?

JW: We recommend CHM to our friends and family because of our great experiences. The ministry has been a blessing to us because we had peace of mind the whole time. We knew CHM members were going to share our bills.

CHM: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

JW: We’ve come to love the ministry and wouldn’t have it any other way. We knew CHM would come through—and it has, twice.

*Editor’s note: Visit chministries.org/whattodo for a step-by-step guide of what to do when you learn you’re pregnant.

Christian Healthcare Ministries: What did you name your son and when was he born?

Jerin Yoder: Jaidon Lee Yoder was born March 18, 2012.

CHM: What influenced your decision to join CHM?

JY: We’re a young couple and we wanted to start a family. Needing support for health care costs, we looked for something affordable that included a maternity program. CHM had both of these characteristics. We immediately signed up at the Gold level.

CHM: What was your experience with CHM staff members?

JY: I called the CHM office right away. The staff members were very helpful and walked me through every step.

CHM: What was the cost of your pregnancy? How much of your maternity costs did CHM share?

JY: My pregnancy cost approximately $7,000 and CHM met all of these expenses—in a very timely manner! Our experience was great. The ministry took a big burden off our shoulders. We knew our bills would be taken care of, including ultrasounds and unexpected expenses. In fact, we’d like to say thank you to CHM members and to the staff for all they do. It’s such a blessing to be part of a ministry like CHM. Thank you!