Lisa Morrow, Veneta, OR

Total eligible bills
$5,899
Provider discounts
$238
Total bills shared
$5,661

My husband and I own a small business, and in 2014 our medical insurance became too expensive. After hearing about health cost sharing ministries, I found several options online.

My husband, Bill, and I were drawn to CHM because its programs are very affordable and fit our business’ budget. We were surprised, too, when we learned that all dependent children are just one membership unit—a great savings for families with multiple children.

In spring 2015 my Siamese cat attacked my elderly, outdoor cat. I intervened and suffered a bite on the back of my right hand. Infection spread quickly up my arm. My local urgent care facility prescribed an antibiotic; however, that night I experienced an adverse reaction and went to the emergency room. The staff prescribed two different antibiotics.

My primary doctor wasn’t satisfied with the emergency room’s treatment; my hand was still badly infected and she was concerned the bite had ruptured a tendon or caused a bone infection. She sent me back to the ER for lancing of the wound and additional testing.

Swelling persisted, so the doctor changed my antibiotic and prescribed an ointment. These helped tremendously but did not fully heal my hand. After six weeks of antibiotics, the doctor wanted me to undergo an ultrasound and bone scan. I was horrified at the tests’ costs—I’d already racked up nearly $6,000 for what first appeared to be such a simple issue—and declined them because I wasn’t willing to undergo the radiation treatment required for the bone scan.

I decided I would rather do self-treatment: aspirin to address the inflammation and a hand cream containing arnica plant extract.

I had questions about obtaining the itemized medical bills necessary for CHM sharing. Staff member Vicki Benek was very kind to answer all my questions and provide me with helpful information.

One health care provider gave us a 20 percent discount and we signed up for the hospital’s program for self-pay patients.

Unfortunately, my self-treatment with aspirin landed me in the emergency room several months down the road. I was experiencing tightness in my chest and pain in my left arm. It wasn’t a heart attack; I was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—probably caused by the aspirin I was taking.

This time, Bill drove me to a different hospital because I hadn’t had a good experience with the first one; one of CHM’s advantages is that as a member I can go to any health care provider I wish as long as the treatment falls under the ministry’s Guidelines.

The second hospital had a shorter wait time and offered a significant discount if the bill was paid by a particular date. This discount also was credited toward my CHM personal responsibility, so I had no out-of-pocket costs. The ministry worked with me to share the bill before the hospital’s due date.

I’m blessed to have learned that CHM really works. The staff members are incredibly patient and we’ve recommended CHM to several friends and family, especially those with many children and those we know who are small business owners.

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