Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) was the first healthcare sharing ministry founded in the United States and has been serving its members since 1981. Its longevity has lent it credibility and a reputation that few other HealthShares can claim.
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. 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.
Christian Healthcare Ministries has a notable approach to helping members with pre-existing conditions. Firstly, 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.
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.” Bronze and silver members can have some expenses related to their maintained pre-existing conditions shared through the prayer page program. Keep in mind, there is still a per incident lifetime limit of $125,000 for all program levels, unless members are part of the Brother’s Keeper program.
CHM only has a one year lookback period for pre-existing conditions. That means, most medical issues will no longer be considered pre-existing if the member has gone a full year without symptoms or treatment in the year before starting their membership. This is one of the shortest lookback periods of any HealthShare.
Here is some of the top information we believe potential members might want to know about this HealthShare.
- Members must abstain from smoking
- Sharing limit of $125,000 per condition (without Brother’s Keeper program)
- Brother’s Keeper program increases sharing potential
- Per year, per unit personal responsibility
- Well-established; 40-plus years of operation
- Strict membership requirements
- Live by biblical standards and attest to CHM’s statement of beliefs
- Attend worship services regularly
- No application fee or annual fees
- BBB Accredited Charity
- 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 giving through Prayer Page
- SeniorShare™ program for members over age 65
- Lack of sharing options for preventive care
- 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
- Long reimbursement times
- Reimbursement checks only sent through the mail (no online option)
- Share the Christian values outlined in their statements of beliefs
- Want to join a long-standing, reputable Christian HealthShare
Learn more about CHM by watching the video
Page Updated 03.01.23