Sprains, broken bones don't keep family from active lifestyle, thanks to CHM

By member Missy Barton, Maple Park, Ill. 

From the August 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

Our family of five used to joke that the healthcare plan we had before joining CHM should have been considered “catastrophic.” Most medical costs were our responsibility and we rarely—if at all—received help paying medical bills. CHM seemed like a much better option and we joined as Gold and Brother’s Keeper members in early 2017.

However, since CHM isn’t health insurance, I had some reservations. I was nervous that the ministry was too good to be true and that we’d have to pay large bills in the event of a major medical expense. My husband, Tom, lovingly said, “If we trust in God, everything will be okay.”

Little did we know that God would use three incidents—in rapid succession—to confirm that placing our faith in His people to meet our healthcare costs was just what we needed to do.

One day in May 2017 I was getting out of our family’s truck when I stumbled after stepping onto uneven ground. Pain shot through my ankle. We went to our local urgent care facility where the doctor diagnosed a sprain. We scheduled a follow-up visit at the hospital the next day and I underwent a couple of months of physical therapy.

Two months later Stephany, our 19-year-old daughter, fell and sprained her ankle while getting off a tractor she’d been using to help plant a tree.

Three weeks later our teenage son, Brett, fetched a chain saw so he could cut up a tree that had fallen in our yard. The recoil rope jerked back and the blade edge hit his nose. He was bleeding and in excruciating pain, so off to the hospital we went. He suffered a broken nose, but we praised God that the chain saw didn’t turn on and cause worse damage.

In under three months our family incurred medical bills from three hospital events and many weeks of physical therapy. My fears crowded in. How will we pay for these large expenses? How much will CHM share?

Once again Tom reminded me to trust in God. He is more than able to protect and provide for our on-the-go family.

I pulled out the new member Welcome Pack we’d received upon joining CHM and reviewed the instructions for explaining CHM to our healthcare providers, negotiating discounts, setting up payment plans and submitting the medical incident forms and itemized bills. The information was easy to understand and I got to work right away.

When the invoices began arriving, I called the providers’ billing departments and explained that we are self-pay patients but also members of a health cost sharing ministry. We set up a payment plan and obtained discounts. I sent the medical incident forms and our itemized bills to CHM, hoping for the best.

I was so nervous when I saw the envelope from CHM in our mailbox, but when I opened it I found a check for each of our three medical incidents—totaling more than $8,200 after about $1,150 in discounts. With tears in my eyes, I thanked Jesus and called my husband to tell him the good news.

Tom was right: We can trust God and His children to meet one another’s needs. I simply can’t express what I felt when we paid our medical bills. We couldn’t be more proud to be part of the CHM family and are so grateful for the help from members.

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