Stewardship of your healthcare costs

By Charity Beall, CHM Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

From the July 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

CHM is a modern example of stewardship demonstrated by the early Church in the book of Acts: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:44-45).

A “steward” is someone who manages and protects someone else’s money. Since everything belongs to God, we’re stewards of what He provides to us.

The call to be a steward is one CHM staff members take very seriously. As CFO, I challenge myself daily to seek opportunities to stretch your dollars as far as they will go. Managing cash to maximize monthly gift amounts, renegotiating contracts and revising policies are just a few of the ways we at the CHM offices save millions of dollars each year as we carefully manage the money you send each month.

However, there is no CHM—and no cost-effective sharing of medical bills—if ministry members don’t also see themselves as stewards of God’s money. We’re all in this together. Both CHM members and staff have combined our money, talents and gifts to share each other’s medical bills—and consequently, to share our lives in an act of shared faith. That act of faith causes us to become stewards for one another.

As one body of believers united by the Holy Spirit, CHM in 2018 shared over $388 million in medical bills, satisfying more than $804 million of your fellow CHM members’ healthcare costs. (Editor’s note: For more details, see “Discount in 2018”.)

The $804 million represents 267,408 individual medical bills. These numbers are an amazing testimony of God at work.

What if we could have satisfied 300,000 medical bills for the same dollar amount? It’s achievable, and it can be accomplished by CHM members shopping around.

Here’s a practical example of price shopping: Suppose you’re looking for a fairly new truck, a 2018 Ford F150. You search online and find one at your local dealership for $30,000, but then you scroll down the page and see that if you are willing to drive 90 minutes you can buy the same truck for $25,000. Which one would you purchase?

Many medical expenses work the same way. Here’s a specific example: Two CHM members in Oklahoma City both needed hip replacements. One member went to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City) and was billed $18,609. The other member went to a different local provider and was billed $40,206. All other things being equal, shopping around would have made it an easy choice.

You’ll find this new “Dollars and sense” section in each future issue of Heartfelt Magazine. My goal is to take what I’ve learned as CFO and engage with you so that CHM staff and members—together—can become the best possible stewards of the money God has entrusted us to manage.

Editor’s note: CHM’s recommended provider and health services directory can be found at chministries.org/providerlist. For more resources on healthcare price comparison shopping, please see the related blog post from the July 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

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