How CHM shares pre-existing conditions

CHM has two programs to share pre-existing conditions: Gold Schedule and Prayer Page. Here’s what you need to know about CHM and medical bill sharing for pre-existing conditions:

How does CHM define a pre-existing condition? Active vs. maintenance Gold schedule Prayer Page

A pre-existing condition is any medical condition for which you experience signs, symptoms, testing or treatment before joining CHM, regardless of whether you've received a diagnosis. (Routine or maintenance medications are considered treatment.)

For example, if you have a stent that was inserted for a heart condition, the stent is considered treatment and your heart condition is pre-existing.

A condition is no longer considered pre-existing if you have experienced one year without signs, symptoms, or treatment; you’re not on a maintenance medication regimen for that condition; and it’s documented by your official medical records.

In contrast, cancer is no longer pre-existing if, after your doctor has pronounced you cancer-free or cured, you have gone five years without any signs, symptoms, testing, or treatment (other than routine follow-up appointments).

We distinguish between two types of pre-existing conditions: “active” and “maintained.”

A condition is considered active and medical bills cannot be shared if you have experienced any signs or symptoms either before or at the time of joining CHM (regardless of whether or not you’ve received a diagnosis) and your condition actively need treatment other than with maintenance (routine) medications.

If there is any question about whether you’re in an active incident, CHM will request your official medical records.

Your pre-existing illness is considered maintained if you have gone at least 90 days without testing or treatment; your medical provider states that no further testing or treatment is needed; and your medical records show that you are cured or on a maintenance treatment regimen. Medical expenses for conditions meeting this criteria may be considered for sharing according to CHM Guidelines as described in the next tab.

Gold member pre-existing condition sharing schedule

Gold level members can receive assistance with medical bills for maintained pre-existing conditions according to the following schedule:

  • In the first year of membership, bills incurred for a pre-existing condition are eligible for sharing up to $15,000.
  • In the first two years of membership, bills incurred for a pre-existing condition are eligible for sharing up to $25,000 ($15,000 during the first year plus $10,000 during the second year).
  • In the first three years of membership, bills incurred for a pre-existing condition are eligible for sharing up to $50,000 ($15,000 during the first year plus $10,000 during the second year plus $25,000 during the third year).

After the third year of membership, the condition is no longer considered pre-existing.

Eligible medical expenses incurred during the first three years of membership that exceed the schedule limits for Gold members will be considered for sharing on CHM's Prayer Page.

 

If you are a Gold level member with a maintained pre-existing condition and your medical bills exceed the Gold Schedule limits—or if you're a Silver or Bronze member—the excess amount may be eligible to appear on the ministry’s Prayer Page, which is published in CHM's monthly Heartfelt Magazine. Members give CHM permission to include their names, addresses, summary of their condition, and current donation amounts.

All CHM members are invited and encouraged to give to Prayer Page needs (above regular monthly gifts) as they feel led. Prayer Page donations sent to the CHM office qualify as tax-deductible charitable contributions.

This portion of our ministry is an amazing testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit to change people’s hearts. In 2020, CHM members donated over $6 million to one another’s medical bills.

Frequently asked questions

What is a pre-existing condition?

The CHM Guidelines define a pre-existing condition as any medical condition for which you experience signs, symptoms, testing or treatment before joining CHM, regardless of whether you've received a diagnosis. (Routine or maintenance medications are considered treatment.)

For example, if you have a stent that was inserted for a heart condition, the stent is considered treatment and your heart condition is pre-existing.

Will my condition ever be considered not pre-existing?

A condition is no longer considered pre-existing if you have experienced one year without signs, symptoms, or treatment; you're not on a maintenance medication regimen for that condition; and it's documented by your official medical records.

In contrast, cancer is no longer pre-existing if, after your doctor has pronounced you cancer-free or cured, you have gone five years without any signs, symptoms, testing or treatment (other than routine follow-up appointments).

Why are some bills eligible for sharing through CHM’s pre-existing condition programs and others are not?

Any medical bills considered for the ministry’s pre-existing condition programs must follow all other Guidelines for sharing eligibility. Also important is the distinction between active and maintained pre-existing conditions.

A condition is considered active and medical bills cannot be shared if, at the time you join CHM, you have experienced any signs or symptoms either before or after joining CHM (regardless of whether or not you've received a diagnosis), and your conditions actively need treatment (other than with maintenance [routine] medications). 

If you have gone at least 90 days without testing or treatment and your doctor states you are cured or on a maintenance treatment regimen, medical bills for any new incident (flare-up) related to the pre-existing illness are eligible for sharing on the Gold Schedule (Gold members) or Prayer Page (Gold, Silver, and Bronze members).

Here’s an example of the difference between an active and maintained pre-existing condition: Suppose that Joe X, a Gold member, had a heart attack in October and joined CHM two months later (December). During that time he had surgery and a few follow-up appointments with his cardiologist, one of which took place after Joe joined the ministry.

According to CHM’s definition of a medical incident, Joe is in the middle of an active pre-existing incident because he hasn’t been declared cured, put on maintenance medication, or gone 90 days without treatment of his condition.

In February, Joe had an appointment with his cardiologist, at which time his doctor said he didn’t need to be seen again for six months. Joe’s treatment plan specified that aspirin is the only medication he needs to take regularly. However, Joe suffered a second heart attack in June. Medical bills related to the second attack are eligible for sharing through CHM’s programs for pre-existing condition because it’s a new medical incident—he has taken only routine medication and it has been over 90 days since he last received treatment (doctor’s office visit in February).

What if I didn’t go to the doctor until after joining CHM or switching to a different program (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)?

If you had any signs or symptoms before you joined the ministry—even if you haven’t had testing or treatment—your condition is considered pre-existing and will be evaluated according to whether it’s active or maintained (see the previous question for an explanation). Please note that CHM cannot share any bills incurred to joining the ministry.

If you change to a lower sharing level, eligible medical bills for your maintained pre-existing conditions will be shared at the lower level, regardless of when your medical bills were submitted or incurred.

If you change to a higher level, medical bills for any current conditions will be shared at the lower level for the lifetime of your membership. Exception: If you’re switching to Gold level, a current condition eventually may be considered for sharing at the Gold level once you are pronounced cured and one year free of signs, symptoms, and treatment (including medications). This applies regardless of whether medical bills have been previously submitted for sharing. Medical records may be requested.

New illnesses with signs, symptoms, testing, and treatment beginning after the higher level start date will be considered for sharing at the higher level.

The CHM staff told me my bills will be shared via the Gold Schedule. What does that mean?

CHM has two programs for pre-existing conditions. The Gold Schedule is only for Gold members. Bills incurred for maintained pre-existing conditions are eligible as follows:

  • In the first year of CHM membership, up to $15,000 can be shared.
  • In the second year, an additional $10,000 can be shared.
  • In the third year, another $25,000 can be shared, bringing the three-year total to $50,000.
  • After the third year, the condition is no longer considered pre-existing.
I have bills that exceed the eligible amount on the Gold Schedule. What will happen to those expenses?

Your eligible medical expenses will be shared via the Prayer Page (see explanation below).

I’m on the Silver or Bronze program. Will my maintained pre-existing conditions be eligible for sharing?

If you’re a Silver or Bronze member, your eligible medical bills for your maintained pre-existing conditions will be shared through CHM’s Prayer Page (see below).

I have learned my bills will be shared via the Prayer Page. What is the Prayer Page and how does it work?

The Prayer Page appears in CHM’s monthly Heartfelt Magazine. Readers voluntarily donate funds above their regular CHM monthly financial gift. One hundred percent of this extra giving goes to share Prayer Page needs. Members listed on the Prayer Page receive donations each month proportionate to their total of eligible medical expenses until their bills are shared in full, so long as they remain CHM members.

Is a pregnancy ever considered pre-existing?

If a member joins CHM while she is pregnant, bills for that pregnancy cannot be shared through any of the CHM sharing programs, including the Gold Schedule or Prayer Page. Members must have a due date for delivery at least 300 days after joining the Gold program for maternity bills to be eligible for sharing. Additionally, any complications for an ineligible pregnancy cannot be shared through CHM.

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