Sandi Robertson, Hermitage, TN

Total eligible bills
$51,426
Provider discounts
$40,188
Total bills shared
$11,238

I’m excited there’s a CHM option

As small business owners, my husband, Michael, and I chose a statewide coverage program as our health care option in 1994. When the federal health care law took effect, the program ended and we had 30 days to find health care coverage. No matter where we applied, we heard two things:

  • The cost would be five to six times as much as we paid before.
  • We couldn’t choose our doctor or hospital—unless we paid more.

Frustrated, we reluctantly searched the health insurance marketplace. Even then, it was unaffordable and we resolved to go without health cost support.

God led us in the direction we needed to go

I needed a haircut and visited a new stylist. She saw I was upset and tense and asked what was going on. I told her about our health care woes and that I felt like we were falling through the cracks. She told me about health cost sharing ministries. Christian Healthcare Ministries, I learned, was the only one that had programs for pre-existing conditions. We joined in March 2014.

It was all in God’s timing

A few short months later, I was rushed to the emergency room with a high fever and severe bladder infection. My bills were shared by CHM. Later that year, I underwent surgery for pain and nerve damage in my hands. Michael, too, has had medical bills shared by CHM.

The blessings are endless

CHM makes it easy to submit bills, and our needs were shared at a much faster rate than claims paid by our insurance company. The CHM Guidelines told us ahead of time what was eligible for sharing. We had peace of mind because we knew the hospital bills and expensive tests would be shared. Many people with health insurance don’t know what they have until they try to use it. They then realize it covers only a percentage of what they thought after a high deductible is applied.

A recent find

Negotiating with health care providers can reap big rewards. My most recent surgery taught me that a “good-faith down payment” goes a long way. Bills can be reduced drastically when you ask and are willing to work with providers.

For instance, my $51,426 hospital bill was discounted to $11,238 when I agreed to make a $500 down payment. I then showed the hospital staff my CHM membership card and explained how CHM would send me a check for the remaining balance, which I would then use to pay the hospital.

God takes care of His children

I believe joining CHM happened because God’s hand was guiding me. My husband and I are close to Medicare age. Friends tell us Medicare is not what they expected and that there are many out-of-pocket costs. We fully intend to use CHM as a supplement* to Medicare, and we continue to share the news of CHM with friends and family.

God is good. We’re very blessed, and CHM is one very big blessing.

Editor’s note: For more information on how CHM works with Medicare, visit chminstries.org/medicare or read the articles on Medicare in our August, September and October 2014 newsletter issues, available at chministries.org/newsletter2014.

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