Authorization is the process all medical bills undergo once they are submitted to the CHM office. CHM’s Member Bill Processing representatives approve bills for sharing according to the CHM Guidelines and the member’s participation level.
Bring-a-Friend is a referral program in which members encourage Christian friends, neighbors and extended family to join CHM and benefit from the joy of knowing that their monthly financial gifts also will help other Christians. To learn more, visit our Bring-a-Friend page.
Checklist of Understanding (COU)
The Checklist of Understanding (COU) is a legal document stating you understand that CHM is a voluntary cost-sharing ministry and not a health insurance company. The COU must be on file with Christian Healthcare Ministries before we can share your medical needs; it corrects insurance regulators who may incorrectly assume that CHM members do not understand the difference between voluntary health cost-sharing and health insurance.
An illness is a diagnosis of a disease, injury, or medical condition that has been identified and can be treated once or multiple times (multiple incidents). CHM sharing limits are determined by illness. Members can receive up to $125,000 per illness in the regular sharing program and up to $1 million or more per illness by participating in the Brother’s Keeper program.
Example 1: Diabetes is an illness that can be treated at a maintenance level but can flare up and create an incident. The incident (medical bills related to the flare-up) has a definite start and end date; the illness can last a lifetime.
Example 2: Your knee hurts so you go to the doctor, who orders an MRI. After viewing your test results, he diagnoses you with arthritis. He gives you a cortisone shot and your knee soon feels better. The diagnosis of arthritis in your knee is an illness. The medical examinations, testing and treatment you undergo is an incident. Two years later, your knee starts to hurt again. You return to the doctor, who says your arthritis has flared up. He gives you another cortisone shot. After two weeks, you go back because it still hurts. He tells you that you need a knee replacement and schedules the surgery. You undergo surgery and physical therapy. After a few months, he gives you a clean bill of health. This scenario describes a second incident within the illness of arthritis in your knee.
An incident includes medical treatment or testing that lasts until one of the following events occurs:
1) a certain medical condition is cured according to official medical records;
2) treatment is at a routine maintenance level; or
3) you experience 90 days without any kind of treatment for that particular condition (testing or treatment must be an eligible expense at your chosen level of participation: Gold, Silver, or Bronze).
The medical bills incurred from the first test to the last treatment before the doctor releases you to a regular, routine maintenance regimen are considered a single incident. If 90 days pass and you receive no further treatment, any future bills you incur will be considered a separate incident. Personal responsibility amounts for the Silver and Bronze participation levels are per incident (for info about the Gold level, see our Programs page).
Example: You go to the doctor due to pain in your side. He examines you and gives you some instructions before sending you home. The next week you return because the pain has continued. The doctor orders a blood test and an ultrasound. After reviewing the results, he diagnoses you with appendicitis and sends you to the hospital. He performs an appendectomy. The hospital releases you with instructions to visit the doctor’s office in one week for follow-up. At that visit the doctor tells you come back again the following week, at which time he pronounces you cured. Medical bills you incur for each of these situations fall under the category of a single incident.
A receipt is not an itemized bill; a receipt only shows what has been paid and doesn't include information about what services were performed. To share medical costs, CHM requires itemized bills, which contain all of the following:
- the patient's name
- the date of service
- the place of service
- the procedural (CPT) codes (or description of services rendered)
- the charge for each service rendered