Jeff Bathiany, Marathon, FL

Total eligible bills
$346,690
Provider discounts
$302,690
Total bills shared
$44,000

I’m a Missouri River riverboat pilot and a fan of financial expert Dave Ramsey. I first heard about Christian Healthcare Ministries while listening to Dave’s radio show. I had no health insurance but was intrigued by the concept of Christians sharing each other’s medical bills, so I joined CHM in July 2015.

I was born with Tourette syndrome and have had symptoms since I was seven years old. I wasn’t undergoing treatment at the time I joined the ministry and, in fact, knew nothing about CHM’s programs for pre-existing conditions. I was simply excited to be part of a Christian health cost sharing ministry and have provision for any future medical costs.

Eventually I learned I needed surgery because the Tourette syndrome caused severe cervical spinal stenosis. The price was staggering—almost $350,000. The surgery center staff wanted 75 percent up-front to perform the surgery.

I explained that I’m a CHM member and that my condition is pre-existing so there was no way I could come up with the money in advance. I did set up a payment plan and, miraculously, my bill was dis-counted to $44,000—a reduction of 87 percent!

Sadly—and despite the surgeon’s optimism—the surgery wasn’t successful and my condition continues to worsen. I sincerely appreciate your ongoing prayers for healing, patience and perseverance.

The good news is that soon after the surgery I heard about the Prayer Page, one of CHM’s programs for pre-existing conditions. The staff was friendly and helpful and I had no problems filling out the pa-perwork to be listed in the monthly newsletter. So far, members have voluntarily donated to share $27,606 of my $44,000 in remaining bills and I continue to receive checks from the CHM office each month.

My Prayer Page experience has been nothing short of a miracle. The funds I received from all the wonderful members have been a game changer for me. I never expected that. Also, the many cards and letters they send offer me hope and compassion. They take my breath away and bring tears of joy when I see how the Lord works. I hope to someday meet some of these dear people and thank them in person.

I tell anyone who will listen about CHM. Most of them say it’s too good to be true. I, too, was skeptical at first, but now I’m a believer! Not only have I received help through the Prayer Page, but I had an unrelated incident earlier this year during which I thought I was suffering a heart attack. I was surprised to learn it was actually a panic attack; CHM members also shared these bills.

Through both experiences, God showed me that there are thousands of Christians like me out there who love helping people and truly care. I’m amazed at how CHM members open their hearts and keep “paying it forward.”

I’m so thankful that God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His purposes. In the 1980s I trained for the decathlon event in the Olympic Games and served as a spokesperson for the Tourette Syndrome Association (now the Tourette Association of America, or TAA). During that time I appeared in a Tourette syndrome educational video along with William Shatner.

Thousands of grade school and high school students viewed the video. I didn’t realize the impact the project had on many kids and teenagers who suffered from the same condition. I mention this only because I feel just as blessed to be a part of the work CHM is doing as I felt being involved with the TAA. I’ll never regret my decision to put my faith in God to provide for my healthcare costs.

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