- How much does it cost to participate in CHM? Does CHM have different programs from which I can choose?
Christian Healthcare Ministries offers three programs: Gold ($150 per unit, per month), Silver ($85 per unit, per month) and Bronze ($45 per unit, per month). The Brother’s Keeper program for catastrophic medical bills is an optional (but highly recommended) program with a nominal additional cost.
- How frequently are monthly gift amounts raised?
While it’s impossible to predict the future health, well-being and medical costs of our members, it is our goal to keep gift amounts as low as possible. Our record shows that we are meeting this goal in spite of rising medical costs.
CHM hasn’t increased monthly financial gifts in over 10 years (Jan. 1, 2008). Even then, the increase was minimal. For example, the monthly Gold program financial gift went from $135 to $150 per month. Helping us keep gift amounts low is the fact that we are a ministry, not a for-profit corporation.
- Are my financial gifts tax deductible?
Your normal monthly gift amount required for membership is not tax deductible; however, all extra giving over and above your minimum monthly gift to Christian Healthcare Ministries (including Prayer Page giving) qualifies as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. Christian Healthcare Ministries, Inc. is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Where do I send my monthly gift?
Monthly gifts (and any extra giving) should be sent to Christian Healthcare Ministries at the following address:
Christian Healthcare Ministries
Attn: Gift Processing
127 Hazelwood Ave.
Barberton, OH 44203
Financial gifts are placed into a Member Escrow Account, which undergoes an annual, independent audit.
Members from the states of Maryland or Delaware are asked to contact the Member Assistance department at 1-800-791-6225 to find out where to send their monthly gifts. Automatic, recurring giving through credit card or bank withdrawal can be set up by filling out the applicable section of the Member Application.
- What does it mean when you say "share medical bills" or "meet needs"?
Christian Healthcare Ministries is not an insurance company. As a voluntary cost-sharing ministry, we do not assume responsibility or the legal obligation for your medical bills. CHM members reimburse each other for qualifying medical bills through monthly, pre-set financial gifts. Christian Healthcare Ministries members have shared more than $3.5 billion in medical costs!
- What kinds of bills are eligible for sharing?
The eligibility of any bill is ultimately determined by Christian Healthcare Ministries Guidelines. To obtain a copy of the Guidelines, click here or contact CHM at 1-800-791-6225 and ask for the Ministry Information department.
You can submit bills for conditions or incidents involving signs or symptoms that began after your start date (a future day you specify or the day Christian Healthcare Ministries receives your printed or online member application). Members in each program (Gold, Silver, Bronze) may submit bills for inpatient or outpatient hospital visits or surgery, provided all other criteria are met. Gold level members also may submit bills for medical tests, office visits, and prescriptions if all other criteria are met.
- Are maternity bills eligible for sharing?
Christian Healthcare Ministries offers a maternity program at no extra cost to members. CHM members share qualifying bills for Gold level members up to $125,000 (unlimited sharing support with Brother's Keeper) per pregnancy for pre-natal care, delivery, home births, midwives, postnatal care and birth complications. Silver and Bronze exclude most maternity costs. Click here for more information and to learn how maternity works with our Silver and Bronze programs.
- What is a pre-existing condition? Are bills from my pre-existing condition eligible for sharing?
A pre-existing condition is any medical illness with signs, symptoms, testing or treatment predating membership in Christian Healthcare Ministries (even if it has not been diagnosed). During the first three years of membership, Gold level members may receive assistance with certain bills for pre-existing conditions according to an annual schedule. For more information and further opportunity to receive help with certain pre-existing conditions, see the pre-existing conditions section.
- What is the maximum amount that CHM will share for a need?
Christian Healthcare Ministries shares a maximum lifetime limit of $125,000 for each illness that qualifies according to CHM Guidelines. For information about health cost support of up to $1 million or more, see the Brother's Keeper page.
- How long does it take CHM to share my medical costs?
In general, eligible medical needs are shared by CHM members in the order they are received at the Christian Healthcare Ministries office. The time it takes to share needs is dependent on numerous factors. For example, the bigger the healthcare provider's discount, the sooner the need is shared. Recent average sharing time can take up to 120 days from the date medical bills are received at our offices. We continually work to shorten sharing time.
Monthly financial gifts to CHM are not increased because you become sick or injured. You are not priced out of membership, neither are you removed from participation because you suffer an expensive illness. We will do everything we can to meet your medical costs as quickly as possible.
- How do I submit a medical need to CHM?
When you have an eligible medical need, submit the following items to CHM:
1. The CHM Needs Processing Forms
2. Copies of your itemized medical bills –OR– your Medicare Summary Notice (Medicare members) –OR– prepayment agreements from your OB/hospital (expectant mothers).
You have three options to send medical bills to CHM (emailing bills is discouraged because it isn’t a secure method of transmission):
1. Online: Log into your Member Portal account and click “Submit Medical Need Online”
2. Mail: Send your bills and Needs Processing Forms to: Christian Healthcare Ministries / Attn: Needs Processing / 127 Hazelwood Ave., Barberton, OH 44203
3. Fax: Fax your bills and forms to us at 330-848-4322.
Please watch our video on how to submit medical bills. Be sure to keep copies of anything you mail for your personal records.
- When I have a medical need, how do I know the amount for which I'm responsible?
Faith requires mutual sharing of needs. According to Galatians 6:2-5, every believer should “carry his own load” in addition to bearing the burdens of others. Christian Healthcare Ministries practices this principle through the concept of personal responsibility. Personal Responsibility for Silver and Bronze members is $1,000 and $5,000 per medical incident, respectively. (Bill discounts, health insurance, Medicare, or other assistance can apply toward your Personal Responsibility amount and reduce out-of-pocket costs.) Gold members: CHM shares 100 percent of bills for any medical incident exceeding $500 as long as all other Guidelines are met. (Total bills incurred per incident must exceed $500 in order to be eligible for sharing.)
- Can I choose my own healthcare provider?
You may receive treatment from any healthcare provider if the treatment is within CHM Guidelines. A searchable list of providers recommended by members is available by clicking here. We also recommend that you visit www.healthcarebluebook.com for helpful information on fair pricing for medical services. For help negotiating medical bills, contact the Member Advocate department at 1-800-791-6225, ext. 5002.