Pamela Bush, Arena, WI

Total eligible bills
$47,303
Provider discounts
$9,929
Total bills shared
$37,374

“I don’t normally personally come to tell people they need a new hip, but you’re literally bone on bone. I can’t imagine the pain you’re feeling.”

Those words, articulated by an X-ray technician, came as no great surprise. It was [month] 2016 and I’d suffered recurring hip pain for the previous six years.

At first I had hoped walking would help ease the discomfort, but the more I walked, the more the pain increased. Physical therapy, a sports specialist and steroid shots didn’t help. Likewise, massage therapy didn’t provide relief.

I took the X-ray technician’s advice and scheduled a hip surgery date. Because as a CHM member I’m considered a self-pay patient, the surgeon’s office required partial payment upfront. I called CHM to explain my situation and ask for guidance. The staff was very understanding and spoke with the surgeon’s billing staff.

Meanwhile, the ministry staff encouraged me to continue with normal pre-operative care unless they informed me otherwise. Thanks to CHM, I went in for surgery as planned without having to pay ahead of time!

The replacement went well and today I’m pain-free. Most of the time I even forget I’m partially “bionic.” I’m so grateful, too, for how thoroughly my healthcare providers prepared me—physical and mentally—for my surgery and what to expect during recovery.

In the years prior to my hip replacement, I had built a friendship with the hospital billing department’s supervisor. By paying promptly on my physical therapy, specialist and other expenses, she was always quick to give me a discount. She once told me how refreshing it was to work with my husband and me because we always paid on time.

In addition to gaining a friend, I received a hospital discount of nearly $10,000 on my hip surgery. CHM members shared the remaining balance of over $37,000. I felt such joy and peace when I went to the hospital and handed that check to my friend at the billing office!

It’s difficult to express the peace of mind and comfort that comes from knowing health cost sharing ministries exist as an affordable way for Christians to pay their medical costs. For many years I had great health coverage, but in time circumstances changed. Though it was scary at first and try a health cost-sharing ministry, I’m so glad I did.

Thank you, CHM staff and members, for all that you did for us.

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