fbpx
Christian Healthcare Ministries Review
Moderate

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review

 

Updated: April 1st, 2019

What is Christian Healthcare Ministries?

Christian Healthcare Ministries, often referred to as CHM is one of the oldest and most popular health sharing ministries in the United States. Christian Healthcare Ministries has existed to biblically and faithfully support the needs of their members since 1981. Their purpose is to glorify God and serve His people. Christians have a two thousand year history of meeting each others needs. This is simply a modern interpretation of that tradition.

 

CHM is not a traditional insurance company, they are a Christian ministry that can help cover any medical costs and medical expenses. While there are many terms for this type of ministry such as “health shares”, “health sharing ministries”, and “health care sharing ministry”, Christian Healthcare Ministries refers to themselves as a “health cost sharing ministry”. They claim to be the nation’s first and longest-serving Christian health cost sharing ministry.

 

Christian Healthcare Ministries has shared over $3.5 billion in healthcare costs for its members and they have been featured on The Dave Ramsey Show. In 2018 alone, CHM shared $388,722,857 in healthcare bills. Additionally, CHM is A Better Business Bureau A+ Accredited Charity.

 

CHM 2018 sharing stats

How Christian Healthcare Ministries Works

Christian Healthcare Ministries isn’t traditional health insurance, it’s ministry. Medical expenses can add up quickly, and this is a way for you to take control of your healthcare costs. Christian Healthcare Ministries is simply Christian members working together to take control of healthcare costs.

 

As a member, you will send preset monthly financial gifts to ministry, and those gifts are used to share eligible medical bills sent in by yourself or fellow members.

 

Below, Christian Healthcare Ministries provides an example of how their ministry could help you pay for your annual healthcare costs.

 

“Example: You receive treatment early in the year for a gallbladder problem. Your bills total $7,500 and you receive $2,500 in healthcare provider discounts.Christian Healthcare Ministries shares $5,000 ($7,500-$2,500), which is 100 percent of the cost after discounts. In the middle of the same year you have some blood tests done (for an unrelated illness) that cost $400. Christian Healthcare Ministries does not share any of these bills because the total cost of the incident is less than $500. At the end of the year, you break your arm and the treatment amounts to $2,500. CHM shares the entire amount of $2,500 because the incident totals more than $500 and the treatment meets all other Christian Healthcare Ministries Guidelines.” – Christian Healthcare Ministries”

 

 

Additionally, Christian Healthcare Ministries is an eligible option for individuals and families under the national healthcare law. Under the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), Christian Healthcare Ministries is an allowable option to meet the law’s individual mandate for health cost coverage.

 

There are additional benefits to enrolling in a care ministry like CHM. The first benefit is that with Christian Healthcare Ministries, the program costs below do not change based on your health history. There are not any medical tests or physical evaluations required in order to join Christian Healthcare Ministries. Pre-existing conditions that are actively undergoing treatment at the time you join CHM cannot be shared. However, any costs associated with maintenance treatment for a pre-existing condition might be shared through Christian Healthcare Ministries.

 

The second benefit is that unlike a traditional insurance plan, you have the ability to negotiate your treatment price in the same way you would negotiate when buying a car. This allows you to lower the cost of treatment before sharing the cost with CHM.

 

Finally, you do not need treatment approvals before receiving medical care. CHM shares bills for most generally accepted and reputable medical procedures. However, CHM does not share bills for alternative treatments or chiropractic care. Members should research the eligible and ineligible expenses.

 

 

 

Pricing for Christian Healthcare Ministries

Christian Healthcare Ministries Review

Above, you can see a pricing comparison between the 3 programs available.

 

Christian Healthcare Ministries is over 65% less expensive than the national average for health insurance.

Pricing for being a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries is determined by the number of people that will be enrolled. They refer to each individual as a “unit”. If you’re just one person, you would be one unit. However, the most amount of units you ever have to pay for is 3. So if you were a family of 5, you are still only paying for 3 units. This helps manage affordability for families with multiple children.

There are three participation levels: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The benefits and responsibilities for these sharing programs are detailed below.

 

Gold


The Gold program is Christian Healthcare Ministries highest and most extensive program. The program costs $150 per unit per month. For an individual, you only have to pay for $150/month. For a family of 5, you’re looking at $450 a month — which is still fairly inexpensive for an entire family. CHM will share “100 percent of bills for any medical incident exceeding $500 as long as all the other guidelines are met.”


Silver


The second tier down is Silver. Silver costs $85 per unit per month This is very similar to the Gold program with assistance up to $125,000 per illness; however, your personal responsibility is $1,000 per incident instead of $500.



Bronze


The lowest tier is the Bronze program. At the Bronze level, the pricing is $45 per unit per month. The assistance is the same as the other two but your personal responsibility per incident jumps up to $5,000.

Brother’s Keeper

Christian Healthcare Ministries has a program for extraordinary expenses. For example, if a member was to get cancer, they could enroll in the Brother’s Keeper program in order to share bills beyond $125,000.

 

Christian healthcare ministries review

The breakdown for Brother’s Keeper is as follows:

“Gold level members: Signing up for Brother’s Keeper provides unlimited cost support per illness (diagnosis).

Silver and Bronze members: Signing up for Brother’s Keeper provides an additional $100,000 of cost support. With each annual Brother’s Keeper renewal, participants receive an additional $100,000 of assistance, up to $1 million per illness.

For medical needs exceeding $125,000, Brother’s Keeper members send a quarterly designated gift amount (average amount: $25 per membership unit) to the CHM office, where it is deposited in an audited escrow account. There is also a $40 annual, nonrefundable fee per membership.

Members receive a quarterly Brother’s Keeper letter stating their quarterly gift amount and the name of a fellow Brother’s Keeper member who has medical bills. They are asked to send cards and letters of encouragement to these fellow Christians.”

 

Signing Up For Christian Healthcare Ministries

Signing up for Christian Healthcare Ministries is fairly easy. They have an application page where they ask for information on you and, if applicable, your family. After submitting the application, you will be contacted by CHM for further instructions on how to enroll into the health sharing ministry.

 

How To Pay For Christian Healthcare Ministries

Christian Healthcare Ministries seem to have a pretty simple process for paying. Your program costs each month can be drafted from your account and sent straight to CHM — you don’t need to worry about sending your money to actual members.

CHM also stress that it is YOU that will be handling your healthcare. They state that all bills must be sent directly to you in which you can then send on to CHM. There are some ministries out there that will deal with the provider directly so you don’t have to stress out about all the bills, but this doesn’t seem to be one of them.

What are some alternatives to Christian Healthcare Ministries?

There are several other programs that offer health shares for those seeking an alternative to traditional insurance. Some of these programs offer the same Christian ideals as Christian Healthcare Ministries, but there are also secular options as well.

Some of the Christian Healthshare alternatives are: Samaritan Ministries, Solidarity Healthshare, and Christian Care Ministry. Samaritan Ministries is a Christian healthshare that is one of the most religious-centered health share options. Unlike Christian Healthcare Ministry, you do not send your monetary contribution to the organization, and instead, you send the funds directly to the person in need.

Solidarity Healthshare is a Christian healthshare that is very similar to the popular Liberty Healthshare. Solidarity Healthshare is known for the ease with which you can submit claims and receive customer support. However, Solidarity Healthshare has a specific Catholic lean which is great if you are Catholic and less convenient if you are not.

Medi-share is the final additional option listed here. According to their website, Medi-Share has 300,145 members since June 2017. If this is true, Medi-Share is potentially the largest healthsharing organization in the country. Additionally, they claim to have shared over $1 Billion dollars among its members. Its pricing is straightforward and their religious status allows them to be exempt from the penalty exemption that many face for not having health insurance.

For more information, please see CHMinistires.org.

 

Healthsaring reviews

 

Leave a review!

Are you a member of Liberty Healthshare? 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 Liberty Healthshare, contact us or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook!

Pros

  • CHEAP
  • Large membership = stability

Cons

  • Only offer assistance up to $125,000 (unless you have Brother's Keeper
  • Seems to be a bit outdated
  • Doesn't deal directly with providers

Overall review score

2.7
14 reviews

Leave Your Review

  • Review Score
    0.0

Reviews

L
Lisa Lahr
July 1, 2019 @ 15:13
3.0  

I am a gold member, I had surgery. it was confusing what was eligible and alot of paperwork to send in. I waited 4 months to get paid. however they did not reimburse me any medications or equipment??? the time frame is way too long. there is no communication from the time you submit your Bill’s till you get a check, so you dont know what to think. I am pleased that the majority was paid. for price it’s worth it just wish they had a better turn around and could communicate where it’s at. I paid alot of interest on credit card waiting.

I am a gold member, I had surgery. it was confusing what was eligible and alot of paperwork to send in. I waited 4 months to get paid. however they did not reimburse me any medications or equipment??? the time frame is way too long. there is no co..
More
M
Mark
June 25, 2019 @ 19:59
1.0  

Horrible Company! Take your $ elsewhere. If you get traditional health insurance, they will cover nothing left outstanding from when you had coverage with them. They stop paying the day you end coverage. What is interesting it it took them MONTHS…I mean MONTHS to process any of our bills during the coverage period. All the while our bills went to collections left and right. Now….when we have traditional insurance…they state, it’s in our member policy we will not pay anything during your covered dates after your coverage. If CHM had paid on time to start, we would not be in this mess. They 100% practiced delay tactics. Excuses were given to us that they were understaffed. Now, we are literally left holding the bill. Do yourself a favor and avoid at all costs.

Horrible Company! Take your $ elsewhere. If you get traditional health insurance, they will cover nothing left outstanding from when you had coverage with them. They stop paying the day you end coverage. What is interesting it it took them MONTHSR..
More
I
Isabella
June 10, 2019 @ 20:27
4.0  

Christian Healthcare Ministries paid quite a hefty hospital bill after I had obtained a 30% discount. I am in awe and overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. I highly recommend their services. They are very polite and prompt in communication. You do have to read the Guidelines and make sure you follow the rules and the process described.

Thank you so much, Christian Healthcare Ministries!

Christian Healthcare Ministries paid quite a hefty hospital bill after I had obtained a 30% discount. I am in awe and overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. I highly recommend their services. They are very polite and prompt in communication. Yo..
More
T
Tricia Yarborough
June 7, 2019 @ 13:03
2.0  

My husband spent 3 days in the hospital, 2 in the neuro icu for a trauma induced intracranial hemorrhage. After 8 months, Christian Healthcare Ministries sent us a check for less than $400 to cover everything; that was it, even though we were enrolled in Brothers Keeper as well.
It’s a shame that consider themselves a Christian ministry, yet are so misleading.

My husband spent 3 days in the hospital, 2 in the neuro icu for a trauma induced intracranial hemorrhage. After 8 months, Christian Healthcare Ministries sent us a check for less than $400 to cover everything; that was it, even though we were enrolle..
More
A
Amanda nelson
April 22, 2019 @ 21:15
2.0  

I am so disappointed in chm. I am a planner and planned all my financial before becoming pregnant. I had other insurance that would cover my maternity costs except for part of my midwife fees. I looked into chm to cover that 1500.00 portion and began paying the monthly silver fee since it says it covers midwife fees. I just submitted my claim and it was denied because they don’t cover the facility fee for midwives. It does not state this anywhere in their guidelines. It says midwife fees are covered. This fee is directly from the midwife and they charge it for in home births as well as birthing center births. Such a waste of 4 years of paying the extra cost so my midwife fees would be covered. They are not up front about this policy and it is such a disappointment. I will not recommend them to anyone again.

I am so disappointed in chm. I am a planner and planned all my financial before becoming pregnant. I had other insurance that would cover my maternity costs except for part of my midwife fees. I looked into chm to cover that 1500.00 portion and began..
More
J
John Doe
February 5, 2019 @ 16:40
4.0  

Notified by health insurance carrier in summer 2013 that they were exiting this business due to Obamacare. Checked on other health insurance options and they were incredibly costly, much more than I could afford (and I make a very decent living). Did a lot of reading/analyzing on healthshare ministries. Started with CHM on 1/1/14.
Spouse had a minor injury from a fall in 2015. Bills were shared; process was a little confusing and reimbursement was in about 4-5 months.
Last year, spouse suffered a major heart attack…very significant expenses. Bills were shared; reimbursements about the same, in 4-5 months.
Some of my thoughts if you are considering Christian Healthshare Ministries (or similar organization)
*Much lower cost. For God’s sake, save the extra $ to pay your medical bills when you need care.
*If you have a concierge healthcare company available, consider joining there also. Even better, look for cash-friendly/self-pay friendly practices and switch to those, the more comprehensive the better (example..Surgery Center of Oklahoma or similar). Most medial practices/facilities are outright hostile (or at best, ambivalent) to self-pay persons.
*Becoming a self-pay person is a whole different ballgame. Expect to be treated terribly by most medical office staff. By this, I mean the care will be the same but the business office will absolutely gouge you on the cost. You must educate yourself on what the costs should be.
*Become a customer…shop around, ask questions, talk w/ business office before you go, talk w/ hospitals/facilities NOW before you have an emergency need, ask for better pricing then demand better pricing, never accept the price you are initially told, get past the person at the desk and speak with a decision-maker. Most medical business offices will treat a self-pay person as some sort of unknown alien being who speaks an entirely different language…be prepared for that. You have to remember that they don’t view you as the customer; their customer is the health insurance/government monstrosity. You’re just an unfortunate annoyance they have to deal with sometimes.
*To the extent you can, start setting aside as much cash as you can afford to pay medical bills. Every day bills are your responsibility; it is the unknown injury or illness the healthshare will help you with. YOU must be responsible, they are there to help you not do everything for you. When you get reimbursed, don’t spend it. Put it back in your medical account for the next time
Lots more I could say, but I will just make one more statement. I wish I had known about this healthshare ministry 20-30 years ago. I would have joined then and never dealt with the government-dominated health insurance industry. I would never consider buying regular health insurance again. In an odd, sort of backhanded way, I will say thanks to Obama for this.

Notified by health insurance carrier in summer 2013 that they were exiting this business due to Obamacare. Checked on other health insurance options and they were incredibly costly, much more than I could afford (and I make a very decent living). Did..
More
R
Ray Holtzclaw
January 17, 2019 @ 20:55
2.0  

This so called Ministry is a joke. My wife had surgery in 2018 and was denied all coverage and sharing because she had a Pre-existing condition from over 30 yrs ago. If you want a company to take your money every month in the name of a ministry then sign right up. If you need help with what they call pre-existing no matter how long ago it was then look elsewhere. This is the kind of stuff that causes a division with Christians. I don’t mind them saying it isn’t covered under their normal plan, but not to let their members elect to help with something that could have easily been covered is just wrong. If no one wanted to help out that is fine, but at least give them a chance to say No on their on.

This so called Ministry is a joke. My wife had surgery in 2018 and was denied all coverage and sharing because she had a Pre-existing condition from over 30 yrs ago. If you want a company to take your money every month in the name of a ministry then ..
More
a
ann marie mooney
January 14, 2019 @ 18:44
5.0  

We lost our obamacare subsidy when our young adult children found employment and obamacare looks at your household income. My premium went from $350 a month to $2000 a month so I had to start looking around. I purchased a short term policy from lifeshield/IBA/healthcare innovations/iquotes. I was lied to by the broker and mislead about pre existing conditions/policy terms/ and claims. Do not believe anything the iquotes broker tells you about the policy. The policy is useless. I did buy christian cost sharing as excess to cover any claim above $5000. CHM delivers unlike the short term carrier and its useless counterparts. It takes a little long to get reimbursed but they tell you that and they deal with you in good faith.

We lost our obamacare subsidy when our young adult children found employment and obamacare looks at your household income. My premium went from $350 a month to $2000 a month so I had to start looking around. I purchased a short term policy from lif..
More
J
Josh
January 3, 2019 @ 00:00
3.0  

The price for CHM is good, especially for what they cover. The Gold plan with brothers keeper is the best “bang for the buck”. However, there is nothing specifically stating what is covered.

Also, we have submitted claims for pregnancy and the turn around time is ridiculous. We submitted bills in June and are still waiting to be paid. This is the second pregnancy we have had covered by CHM. I would say the average turn around time for claim payment is about 6-9 months.

The price for CHM is good, especially for what they cover. The Gold plan with brothers keeper is the best “bang for the buck”. However, there is nothing specifically stating what is covered. Also, we have submitted claims for pregnancy and the ..
More
C
Corey
December 27, 2018 @ 20:43
4.0  

Amazing alternative to Heath Care!! I was on great Cigna insurance for several years but after leaving my job and becoming a stay at home mom we had to make some changes. My husband is self employed and we had few options. CHM is so much cheaper monthly and I am way more involved in my healthcare costs and decisions. We saved 1000s!! in real life. Our first baby cost more with my really good insurance that are recent one who was in the NICU for a week! We LOOOOVE them. Every time i call i get a real person or i get a call back from a real person within a day. They have tons of resources for members and i feel really supported. It takes time to get reimbursement, but every doctor, hospital, and lab I’ve worked with has payment plan options and ways to make it work for you. It takes some more work up front but you don’t go blindly into things as much. I feel like i have a lot more control with CHM. its worth learning about and i think worth switching.

Amazing alternative to Heath Care!! I was on great Cigna insurance for several years but after leaving my job and becoming a stay at home mom we had to make some changes. My husband is self employed and we had few options. CHM is so much cheaper mont..
More
J
Jonathan Hartzler
December 11, 2018 @ 01:56
2.0  

Been with CHM for 4 years. Have only needed to get in contact with them once before now. Both times it has been nearly impossible to actually talk to someone. They have not returned calls. I just tried an online chat as well. Seems that does not work either. I would not recommend.

Been with CHM for 4 years. Have only needed to get in contact with them once before now. Both times it has been nearly impossible to actually talk to someone. They have not returned calls. I just tried an online chat as well. Seems that does not wor..
More
N
Nicole Nolt
August 20, 2018 @ 20:29
1.0  

Dont go with this insurance company!!! They sent back the medical bills 3 months after they had received them only to tell us they wont cover because my husband is a tobacco user. The also call pregnancy a preexisting condition. My husband and I are Christians but we arent good enough to be covered by their plans.

Dont go with this insurance company!!! They sent back the medical bills 3 months after they had received them only to tell us they wont cover because my husband is a tobacco user. The also call pregnancy a preexisting condition. My husband and I are ..
More
B
Bill Harrison
November 10, 2017 @ 12:18
5.0  

I have just joined Christian Healthcare Ministries and haven’t filed a claim. My big name insurer phased out my policy after 15 years. I did not compare sharing programs; they all seemed to provide the same services. On recommendation of Dave Ramsey (CHM has a sponsorship with his show and events) I emailed and promptly received a wealth of information. I was able to sign up and they received my first month’s share right away, so I was able to cancel my other policy right then. I am in good health, so I just needed to satisfy my responsibility to my family and the new healthcare law, and this does both. I have a direct-pay physician, and with both the payment to the doctor and to CHM, I am saving $360 per month which goes toward the deductible or toward “Brother’s Keeper” contributions. Open enrollment notices are going out, and CHM advised me to “do nothing”. So far, the step-by-step process could not have been easier. One caveat: CHM emphasizes the Christian part. They delve deeply into the philosophy of sharing others’ costs from a Biblical standpoint. I did not compare with secular sharing plans, nor with those of other faiths.

I have just joined Christian Healthcare Ministries and haven’t filed a claim. My big name insurer phased out my policy after 15 years. I did not compare sharing programs; they all seemed to provide the same services. On recommendation of Dave R..
More
B
Brandon Hunnicutt
November 9, 2017 @ 21:01
4.0  

Overall our experience has been great. Been on it for about a year. We are in the process of dealing with our first major claim and still working through it. Luckily our hospital has dealt with CHM in the past and has had great interaction with them. We would definitely recommend them to others.

Overall our experience has been great. Been on it for about a year. We are in the process of dealing with our first major claim and still working through it. Luckily our hospital has dealt with CHM in the past and has had great interaction with th..
More