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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 in nearly $5 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.”1

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 Christian Healthcare Ministries Statements of Beliefs
  • Attend worship services regularly

Key Considerations:

  • Members must abstain from smoking
  • Lifetime limit of $125,000 per diagnosis
  • Brother’s Keeper program allows members to increase their lifetime sharing limit (up to an unlimited amount for Gold members), applicable toward catastrophic bills
  • While the Gold program offers 100% sharing after medical expenses exceed $500, the cheaper silver and bronze plans only share in medical expenses over $2,500 and $5,000, respectively

Pros:

  • Gold members can partially share in pre-existing conditions in the first year of membership (up to $15,000)
  • No application fee or annual fees
  • No network requirement means flexibility in choosing your own healthcare providers
  • 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
  • Online member portal with helpful resources

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 no family discounts for childless couples or couples with only one child
  • 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 Christian
Need Processing Time 30-45 Days
Caps $125,000 per illness
Personal Responsibility $500, $2,500 or $5,000 options; bills over $500
Pre-existing Limitations In first 36 months
Wellness Visit Not sharable
Preventive Immunizations Not sharable
Screening for Colonoscopy Yes
Mental Health Not sharable
Need Processing Method Reimbursement
Telemedicine None
Startup Fee 0.00
Prescriptions None
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 If >$500 If >$1k If >$5k
Max Sharing Per Need
Extended Sharing Brother's Keeper
Doctor's Office Visits After PR No No
Hospitalization After PR No No
Emergency Care After PR No No
Prescriptions PR No No
Maternity After PR Hospital Only Hospital Only
Note

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 with Brothers’ Keeper Program: Annual fee $40 per year, plus $25 per quarter per unit
For Bronze and Silver, amount is increased by $100,000 per year of renewal up to $1 million maximum. For Gold, it is unlimited.

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Are you or have you been a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries? Please leave a review below so others can get a better sense of what it’s like to be a part of a healthsharing ministry! If you have any questions about Christian Healthcare Ministries, contact us!
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