March 30, 2018

Our Experience with Christian Healthcare Ministries

Okay, someone just asked me why we went with a sharing plan (Christian Healthcare Ministries) for our medical. I think my answer might be helpful for a wider audience, so I’m going to put it here. There are a number of reasons:
  1. Cash Payments – you need to have a savings account reserved for medical expenses so you can prepay many of them, but our doctors all give us the “Cash Rate” which is always significantly lower than the insurance rates. Insurance companies tell doctors what they must charge for various procedures. A cash plan allows the Doctor to offer the service at a fair and affordable rate (many times 50% less than the insurance rate).
  2. Doctor Choice – we can use our CHM plan with any doctors, clinics and hospitals we choose. Some have better rates than others, so we may need to shop in some cases — but it’s always our choice. We love our doctors and are so glad we can keep them. And the Florida Hospital/Adventist system is very favorable toward such sharing plans. My upcoming surgery was discounted 75% for the cash rate! That coupled with some of the best doctors in our area makes this a no-brainer.
  3. Affordability – granted, we are on the gold plan, but for most procedures we will get 100% reimbursement for our expenses after sending in the receipt package. We do have to prepay some things (some clinics will work with the billing to wait for our reimbursement). But the actual cost of healthcare (including our premiums) is SIGNIFICANTLY less that we have ever had — even when we were on the government’s “affordable” plan with their annual stipend.
  4. Deeply Discounted Meds – the size of our group across the nation gives incredible negotiation power. We have an app to find the least expensive prescriptions over all of our local pharmacies — it’s amazing how much the price varies between the drug chains, superstores and grocery stores.  In our case, our local Publix consistently has the best pricing — sometimes by as much as $100 per Rx!
  5. Ethical/Biblical Convictions – because this is a Christian sharing group, we know that our moral, ethical and biblical convictions about certain procedures are not an issue.
  6. Prayer Cover – and because it is a Christian sharing group, we also pray for each other.  There are times when Kathryn and I have opted to help people whose medical expenses have gone beyond their plan level. We can pray for them. And we have received wonderful notes back from some of them thanking us and telling how our prayers have been answered.

This whole approach is new to us — but it has been a blessing from the beginning. It’s so much less expensive than any of the insurances we have had. The care is excellent, and our convictions are not infringed.  Add that Florida is now about to open the door for Concierge Care to expand in our state and we have a powerful healthcare combination!  We highly recommend it — at least our experience here in Florida has been outstanding.

Hope that helps!