CHM for newbies: Back to the basics of CHM membership
Adapted from the August 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine. Please note: Some information has been updated since the time of the article's initial publication to reflect updated statistics and information.
This back-to-basics information will help you as you tell others about CHM (and earn free months of membership for bringing new members into the ministry) as well as provide a refresher course on how CHM differs from other healthcare options.
Why CHM exists
Founded in 1981, CHM is America’s original health cost sharing ministry for Christians. CHM isn’t an insurance company; instead, we’re hundreds of thousands of believers across the United States and around the world who share in carrying each other’s healthcare cost burdens. We also pray for and encourage one another.
Our mission is to glorify God, show Christian love and experience God’s presence as Christians share each other’s medical bills.
CHM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. The ministry has shared nearly $4.5 billion in members’ medical bills.
Why CHM works
The Holy Spirit influencing the hearts of members is the key to CHM’s success. Your faithfulness in giving—combined with that of hundreds of thousands of other ministry members—is the framework that makes medical bill sharing possible. CHM sharing is based on a spiritual covenant, not a legal contract.
Furthermore, members agree to abide by the ministry’s Guidelines. Members also actively seek medical bill discounts, which in 2017 accounted for 43 percent of all eligible bills sent to CHM. (Editor’s note: For more information about discounts, see the July 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine).
Our core values
The CHM staff abides by the following core values (we use the acronym GEARS):
- Gratitude: We celebrate that the source of goodness is not ourselves, but God. Everything good comes from Him. (James 1:17)
- Excellence: Our goals, expectations, boundaries and potential are flexible to God’s refining plan. Regardless of our achievements today, we want to be better tomorrow. (Philippians 4:8)
- Accountability: The fruit of accountability is
the willingness to take responsibility for our time, resources and conduct. (Titus 2:7-8)
- Respect: We treat everyone with respect, regardless of how we perceive them. God created every person uniquely and for a unique purpose, beyond what we can see. (Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 2:17)
- Service: We glorify God by serving others with humility, excellence and care. (Matthew 20:28)
Our leadership and staff
CHM is governed by an independent, eight-member Board of Directors from different regions of the country and different walks of life. (Editor’s note: Detailed information about the Board’s responsibilities can be found in CHM Guideline DD.)
The ministry has several main components led by vice presidents: program services (Rich Bochart), administration (Dave Zahn), communication (Lauren Gajdek), member services (Norma Mull), finance (Charity Beall), and information technology (Bryan Schultz).
Program services are departments that work directly with medical bills. These functions include receiving and scanning bills; inputting bills into the CHM database; authorizing medical bills; empowering members to negotiate with healthcare providers; and preparing and mailing checks.
The remaining teams maintain membership accounts and answers phone and email questions; processes and batches members’ monthly payments; prepares and distributes information about CHM; maintains the CHM database, servers, website and workstations; and keeps our two office buildings (both of which are refurbished school buildings) in working condition. (Editor’s note: CHM administrative costs in 2017 were 0.5 percent.)
Who we serve
The most important part of CHM is our members—you—who support fellow Christians in some of life’s most difficult circumstances. Other members, in turn, step in to help with medical expenses that create a burden you can’t bear alone.
Christians who live by biblical principles (defined in Guideline B and the member application) and agree to abide by the CHM Guidelines can join the ministry. There are no restrictions based on age, weight, geographic location or health history. (Some sharing limitations apply for pre-existing conditions; see Guidelines Z and AA.)