Maternity: how CHM’s programs work and what’s eligible for sharing

From the October 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

Editor’s note: This information—and additional details—can also be found in CHM Guideline R and in the Gold program maternity guide (chministries.org/maternityguide).

Maternity health cost support is part of your CHM membership; ministry staff members want to help make your experience full of joy and excitement as you welcome new life into the world.

For each program (CHM’s Gold, Silver, or Bronze), the mother must have joined the ministry at least 300 days before the due date estimated by your doctor. This generally means that members must wait at least 30 days after joining the ministry before becoming pregnant. Though some sharing support is available on the Silver and Bronze programs, we highly recommend the Gold program for women who may become pregnant.

Pregnancy costs eligible for sharing (Gold program)

The Gold program’s maternity expenses are eligible for sharing after reaching $500 per pregnancy. CHM shares qualifying bills for:

  • pre-natal (including up to three ultrasounds unless a complication requires more)
  • hospital delivery (including cesarean and multiple births)
  • home births
  • midwives (see Guideline R.11)
  • complications (mother and baby)
  • post-natal (up to six weeks)
  • one lactation consultant (if medically necessary; an itemized charge must appear on your bill or you must submit a note from your healthcare provider)

Ineligible pregnancy costs (Gold program):
  • immunizations (mother and infant)
  • supplements purchased without a prescription
    doula services
  • birthing tubs or related items (if delivering with a midwife)
  • breast pumps
  • Guideline R.7 contains a complete list of ineligible maternity expenses.

What to do when you learn you’re pregnant

Please obtain medical care as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

OB/GYN services: Seek a prepayment agreement—sometimes called a “stork package” or “global fee”—from your OB/GYN as soon as possible. The OB/GYN agreement usually includes costs for your pre-natal appointments, blood work and OB/GYN labor and delivery charges.

After receiving the prepayment agreement, immediately mail to the ministry or upload the following into your CHM Member Portal account (portal.chministries.org): the prepayment agreement; completed member bill processing form and worksheet; HIPAA (medical release) form; and any bills incurred so far. (The forms can be found at chministries.org/needsforms.)

If your OB/GYN will not provide you with a prepayment agreement and will instead bill you per visit, you’ll need to submit to CHM an itemized bill for each date of service.

Hospital birth: Seek a hospital prepayment agreement (different from your OB/GYN prepayment agreement). The agreement may include labor and delivery charges plus room and board, or labor and delivery charges only.

We recommend you request it be sent to you as quickly as possible, but no later than three months prior to your due date. CHM still requires an itemized final hospital bill before bills can be shared, so send bills to the ministry as soon as they’re received.

After receiving the prepayment agreement, immediately mail it or upload it to your CHM Member Portal account. If you haven’t yet filled out the member bill processing forms, you’ll need to do so at this time. If you’ve already filled out the forms for this pregnancy, there’s no need to complete them a second time. Just submit the prepayment agreement as a “maternity add-on” bill.

Birthing center or home birth: If you aren’t birthing at a hospital, you’ll need just one prepayment agreement from the provider who will deliver the baby. This agreement should include any services from prenatal care up through the birth of the baby, as well as postpartum expenses up to six weeks following the birth. Any additional charges should be submitted to CHM as a “maternity add-on.” You can mail in or upload your prepayment agreement and member bill processing forms to your CHM Member Portal account.

Potential pitfalls to avoid
  • Becoming pregnant too soon after joining CHM: pregnancy expenses cannot be shared (see above or Guideline R.1).
  • Changing your CHM program from Gold to Silver or Bronze if you intend to have children: the pregnancy costs will be shared at the lower level.
  • Neglecting to thoroughly review the CHM maternity Guideline (Guideline R) before and during your pregnancy: Guideline R contains further information about babies as CHM members; ineligible bills; adoption; congenital conditions; midwives; and more.
  • Waiting until after the birth to submit medical expenses (send in ahead of time as many prepayment agreements and bills as possible).
  • Forgetting to notify the ministry when your child is born: see Guideline R.6 for information about newborns as CHM members.
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