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Christian Healthcare Ministries

Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is the first HealthShare organization founded in the United States and has been serving its members since 1981. However, they claim their history goes back 2,000 years to the messages of Christ’s disciples. As the original HealthShare, CHM boasts sharing over $6 billion in medical bills for hundreds of thousands of members during its forty years of service. Its longevity has lent it credibility and a reputation that few other HealthShares can claim.

As its name suggests, Christian Healthcare Ministries is founded on Christian values and requires members to adhere to its Statements of Beliefs, which covers topics on faith in the Bible and Jesus Christ, doctrinal disputes, and gender and sexuality. CHM members are therefore united in a commitment to help others that share their values and beliefs. CHM’s self-stated mission is to “glorify God, show Christian love, and experience God’s presence as Christians share each other’s medical bills.”

The language used to describe CHM’s HealthShare programs are all rooted in Christian doctrine, with a large focus on the Body of Christ, selfless giving, and the influence of the Holy Spirit. Members’ monthly program contributions are called “gifts” to emphasize the charitable nature of health sharing and to promote bonds between members who share each other’s burdens.

CHM encourages members to see each other as family and promotes social media interaction between members. The ministry’s monthly publication, Heartfelt Magazine, also features a page for prayer requests. Members are encouraged to pray for fellow members or send letters and words of encouragement to those who submit their name and address on the prayer request page. The magazine also features a Prayer Page (distinct from the prayer request page), a program wherein members with medical needs can request additional gifts for expenses that are not shared in their program—including expenses related to pre-existing conditions. Readers of the magazine can see the names and conditions of their fellow members and share however much they desire in excess of their regular monthly gifts toward the Prayer Page. Members also have the option of specifying recipients of their Prayer Page gifts.

Membership Requirements:

  • Be a member of a Christian denomination
  • Follow the principles listed in the CHM Statements of Beliefs
  • Attend worship services regularly

Key Considerations:

  • Members must abstain from smoking
  • Sharing limit of $125,000 per diagnosis
  • Brother’s Keeper program increases sharing limits, applicable toward catastrophic bills
  • The Gold program offers 100% sharing after medical expenses exceed $500; Silver and Bronze share 100% after $2,500 and $5,000, respectively

Pros:

  • Well-established
  • No application fee or annual fees
  • Online member portal with helpful resources
  • Available in all 50 states
  • BBB Accredited Charity
  • Telehealth—Healthiest You by Teladoc
  • No network requirement, choose your healthcare providers
  • Gold members can partially share in pre-existing conditions in the first year of membership (up to $15,000)
  • Pre-existing conditions are fully shareable after four years of continuous membership
  • Referral program offers a free month of sharing for each new membership brought to CHM (max 12/year)
  • The Prayer Page in CHM’s monthly magazine allows members to ask each other for additional donations to meet their medical needs

Cons:

  • Lack of sharing options for preventive care
  • Strict membership requirements
  • Sharing for many desirable features like maternity care, prescriptions, and urgent care are only available on the Gold plan
  • No maternity sharing for unwed mothers
  • Unit pricing method means couples with only one child pay the same as couples with five children
  • Reimbursement checks only sent through the mail (no online option)
  • Some reviews voice trouble contacting CHM and long reimbursement times

Ideal Candidates:

  • Share the Christian values outlined in the Statements of Beliefs and live by Christian standards
  • Desire a sense of community in their HealthShare program
  • Are in good health and are seeking sharing only for catastrophic medical events (silver and bronze program especially)
Website chministries.org
Religious Requirements Yes, Strict
Need Processing Time 70-85 Days
Caps $125,000 per illness
Personal Responsibility Gold: $500, Silver: $2,500; Bronze $5,000
Pre-existing Limitations Gold plan only: 1st year $15,000; 2nd year $25,000; 3rd year $50,000; 4th year fully shareable
Pre-existing exception(s) None
Wellness Visit No
Preventive Immunizations No (only prenatal-related eligible for Gold members)
Screening for Mammogram No
Screening for Colonoscopy Need-based
Mental Health No
Provider Network No, pick your provider
Need Processing Method Reimbursement
Telemedicine Healthiest You by Teladoc
Startup Fee 0.00
Renewal Fee 0.00
Prescriptions Gold only: Incident-related only; Discounts available
Maternity Gold membership only, up to $125,000
Membership Size 200,000
Community Start Date 1981

Reviews

HealthSharing Reviews 45 reviews
2.7 / 5
Yelp 65 reviews
2.5 / 5
Better Business Bureau 8 reviews
3.5 / 5
0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0

Christian Healthcare Ministries Options

Gold Silver Bronze
Annual Out of Pocket Max N/A N/A N/A
Shareable Cost Per Need 100% after $500 incident threshold 100% after $2,500 IUA 100% after $5,000 IUA
Max Sharing Per Need $125,000* $125,000* $125,000*
Extended Sharing Brother's Keeper* & Prayer Page Brother's Keeper* & Prayer Page Brother's Keeper* & Prayer Page
Doctor's Office Visits Incident-related No No
Hospitalization Incident-related Incident-related Incident-related
Emergency Care Incident-related Incident-related (ER only, no urgent care) Incident-related (ER only, no Urgent Care)
Prescriptions Incident-related Incident-related; Discounts available Incident-related; Discounts available
Maternity $125,000 shareable No No
Note Additional sharing funds available through Brother's Keeper—unlimited Additional $100,000 annually available through Brother's Keeper—up to $1 million per illness Additional $100,000 annually available through Brother's Keeper—up to $1 million per illness
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Units: A unit can be an adult, or all dependent children of an adult: One unit: 1 adult; Two units: 2 adults, or 1 adult + children; Three units: 2 adults + children.

Extended Coverage: Brothers’ Keeper Program costs $20 per unit per month, plus a $40 annual fee.
For Bronze and Silver, shareable amount is increased by $100,000 per year of renewal up to $1 million maximum. For Gold, it is unlimited.

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