CHM milestone: 10 years with no rate increase

From the January 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

Inflation, investopedia.com says, is “the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling.”

Food, clothes, homes—just about everything costs more than it did 10 years ago.
But not your healthcare program, if you’re a Christian Healthcare Ministries member. CHM’s monthly financial gifts haven’t increased since Jan. 1, 2008.

This is while, in just six years’ time, medical care prices have risen 19.7 percent.*

“This 10-year record of no rate increases is a blessing all around,” said Rev. Dr. Howard Russell, CHM President and CEO.

“We attribute reaching this milestone to the hand of God blessing and guiding this ministry,” Rev. Russell said. “We have a book of Acts biblical model of ministry operation that works and our staff is wonderful in how they work with and help our members, In the end, however, God is our leader and our guide.”

Medical bill discounts play a significant role in 10 years of no financial gift increases.

“Our members and staff are very effective at negotiating discounts with members’ healthcare providers,” Russell added. “It’s not unusual for us to see discounts of 50 percent or more on large hospital bills. That’s fair and comparable to what insurance companies pay hospitals.”

Ryan McGraw, CHM Vice President of Administration, said staying true to the ministry’s mission also helps keep costs down. “CHM doesn’t have a preferred provider network; we encourage selective shopping and cost comparisons of both major and incidental types of health expenses,” he said. “This is ‘free-market healthcare.’ Patients are ultimately in control of where, when and how they receive treatment.”

The 2008 increase was minimal: CHM’s best program (Gold) went from $135 to $150 per membership unit, per month. Prior to 2008, gift amounts hadn’t been raised since Jan. 1, 2000.

Russell also said that members’ financial gifts are never increased based on health history or a medical event.
He confirmed that at this time no future increases are planned. “We give God all the glory, honor and praise.”

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Medical Care [CPIMEDSL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CPIMEDSL, November 2, 2017. Also retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/medical-care-prices-rise-4-percent-over-the-year-ending-november-2016.htm, November 2, 2017.

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