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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. As the original health sharing organization, 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.

Pre-existing conditions

Christian Healthcare Ministries has an interesting approach to helping members with pre-existing conditions. First of all, they make a distinction between active and maintained pre-existing conditions. An active condition is just what it sounds like: currently causing symptoms or requiring treatment. For an active pre-existing condition, no CHM member will receive sharing as a part of their base program. However, members who participate in Brother’s Keeper or who submit their need to the Prayer Page, may be eligible to receive help from other members who contribute willingly to these special funds.

Maintained pre-existing conditions involve medical issues such as high blood pressure, thyroid issues, asthma, diabetes, and so on. These are medical concerns that may no longer require testing or major treatment, instead they may be maintained through routine care like prescription medication. In these cases, members on the Gold program may share expenses related to maintained pre-existing conditions starting year one of their membership. The limit is $15,000 and reaches $50,000 by the third year of membership. By year four of a continuous membership, CHM will share in full, no longer labeling the condition “pre-existing.” Keep in mind, there is still a per incident lifetime limit of $125,000 for all program levels.

If potential members have pre-existing conditions that are neither active nor maintained—as many individuals do, the good news is, CHM’s definition of pre-existing condition only has a one year look back. That means, most medical issues will no longer be considered pre-existing if the member has gone a full year without symptoms or treatment. This is one of the shortest look backs of any HealthShare.

Christian-first community

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 medical cost 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 Prayer 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 active 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, with the option of specifying recipients of these gifts. Members are also encouraged to pray for one another and send notes of encouragement to those in need.

Key considerations

Here is some of the top information we believe potential members might want to know about this HealthShare.

Noteworthy

  • Members must abstain from smoking
  • Sharing limit of $125,000 per condition
  • Per year, per unit personal responsibility
  • Brother’s Keeper program increases sharing potential
  • Well-established; 40-plus years of operation

Membership Requirements

  • Live by biblical standards
  • Follow the principles listed in the CHM Statements of Beliefs
  • Attend worship services regularly

Pros

  • No application fee or annual fees
  • Online member portal with helpful resources
  • BBB Accredited Charity
  • Telehealth—HealthiestYou by Teladoc™
  • Gold members can partially share in maintained pre-existing conditions in the first year of membership (up to $15,000)
  • Maintained pre-existing conditions are fully shareable after four years of continuous membership
  • Referral program offers a credit toward membership dues for each new CHM member (max 12/year)
  • Additional donations available through the Prayer Page
  • SeniorShare™ program for members over age 65

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
  • 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
  • Want a long-standing, reputable Christian sharing organization
  • Are in good health and are seeking sharing for catastrophic medical events (silver and bronze program especially)
  • Have health conditions in need of routine maintenance, such as high blood pressure, arthritis, or high cholesterol (Gold program)

Learn more about CHM by watching the video

 

Website chministries.org
Religious Requirements Yes, Strict
Need Processing Time 70-85 Days
Caps $125,000 per incident
Personal Responsibility Gold: $1,000; Silver: $2,500; Bronze $5,000; SeniorShare $500
Pre-existing Limitations Gold plan, maintained only: 1st year $15,000; 2nd year $25,000; 3rd year $50,000; 4th year fully shareable
Pre-existing exception(s) Maintained conditions
Wellness Visit No
Preventive Immunizations No
Screening for Mammogram No
Screening for Colonoscopy No
Mental Health No
Provider Network No, pick your provider
Need Processing Method Reimbursement; Member to member in Maryland
Telemedicine HealthiestYou by Teladoc
Startup Fee 0.00
Renewal Fee 0.00
Prescriptions Gold program: Incident-related only; Discounts available
Maternity Gold membership only; up to $125,000; $1,500 personal responsibility
Membership Size 425,000
Community Start Date 1981

Reviews

HealthSharing Reviews 95 reviews
2.6 / 5
Google 170 reviews
3.8 / 5
Yelp 100 reviews
2.5 / 5
Better Business Bureau 18 reviews
3.5 / 5
0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0

Christian Healthcare Ministries Options

SeniorShare™ Gold Silver Bronze
Annual Out of Pocket Max NA N/A N/A N/A
Shareable Cost Per Need 100% after 500* 100% after $1,000 100% after $2,500 100% after $5,000
Max Sharing Per Need $125,000* $125,000 $125,000 $125,000
Extended Sharing Brother's Keeper & Prayer Page Brother's Keeper & Prayer Page Brother's Keeper & Prayer Page Brother's Keeper & Prayer Page
Doctor's Office Visits Incident-related Incident-related No No
Hospitalization Incident-related Incident-related Incident-related Incident-related
Emergency Care Incident-related Incident-related Incident-related (ER only, no urgent care) Incident-related (ER only, no Urgent Care)
Prescriptions Incident-related Incident-related Incident-related; Discounts available Incident-related; Discounts available
Maternity NA $125,000 after $1500 No No
Note *Members eligible for Medicare must seek assistance from Medicare coverage first Additional unlimited sharing available through Brother's Keeper 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.

Personal Responsibility: Starting 2023 amounts are per unit, per year.

Sharing Limit: Sharing limits are per illness, not per incident.

Extended Coverage: Brothers’ Keeper Program costs $22 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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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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