Note: This is not an advertisement but my experience of an effective option for health related costs.
Health insurance can be crazy expensive! Add being self-employed where you have to foot the entire bill and well... it can quickly become a priority that is no longer a priority. Losing healthcare benefits is actually often one of the greatest hurdles of why people delay or avoid jumping into full time entrepreneurship even if they have a great desire to do so.
When we became self employed we were quoted $1,300 per month for a family health insurance policy! Additionally the policy’s annual deductible was $12,000! That was definitely not in our budget at the time nor did we want that monthly expense only to have to come out of pocket another $12,000 before the insurance company picked up the bill. We prayed for an answer and drum roll please.... here came Christian Healthcare Ministries!
Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is a health sharing membership that shares the cost of medical bills. Depending on the type of coverage: Bronze, Silver or Gold - determines the type of healthcare expenses are shared. For the purposes of this post I will outline their most comprehensive Gold plan which is the plan our family is covered with. You can find information on the Bronze and Silver plans here.
Who is CHM for?
The program is open to anyone who lives by biblical Christian principles; attend group worship regularly (health permitting); follow scriptural teaching with regard to alcohol; and do not use tobacco or use drugs illegally.
What makes CHM ideal for self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs (or really anyone) is that the monthly cost is actually affordable and provides ample coverage.
How much is the Gold plan membership?
CHM splits how you pay into units. Each adult is considered a unit and the children regardless of the number are considered one unit. As such for our family of two adults and three children we pay $150 per unit for a total of $450 per month.
Each incident has a $500 deductible. The deductible is is waived if you receive a cash pay discount. Cash pay discounts are so popular that we have never paid a $500 deductible.
How does CHM work?
You select your choice of doctor and pay as a cash pay patient. Cash pay services are typically reduced so you are paying much less than what is typically billed to insurance company. Preventive expenses such as well child check ups are not included and you are reimbursed for any expenses arising from certain medical costs.
What is covered:
Maternity care (must be a member approximately two months prior to conception)
Inpatient or outpatient hospital incidents
Limited number of therapy and home healthcare visits
Incident related prescriptions
What is not covered:
Preventive care doctor visits
Pre-existing health conditions (see details on website)
Medical expenses arising from not living a Christian lifestyle
Our Experience and Maternity Costs
Our experience with CHM has been nothing but great! Below is the expense detail of our maternity costs arising from pre/post-natal care and labor and delivery fees associated with the birth of my youngest daughter in 2018. As cash pay patients we received over $7,300 in discounts!
Midwife $2,500 (discounted $1,695)
Hospital $4,200 (discounted $3,436)
Lab Fees $145
Newborn Hearing Exam $588 (discounted from $2,759)
Well Check Ups $244
Total Discounts $7,302
All $7,677 of costs associated with the pregnancy were paid 100% by CHM with the exception of a $60 Dtap vaccine.
Did we have to front the entire $7,677 prior to receiving the reimbursement?
Absolutely not! We fronted $2,500 of our hospital based mid-wife prenatal care. Once we received our reimbursement from CHM we used the funds to pay off the remaining mid wife fee, lab fees, etc.
CHM paid us the $4,000 hospital labor and delivery fee before fee was due to the hospital. As such, when we received the check from CHM, we deposited the check in our account then wrote a check to the hospital. It was a fairly easy, no strings attached process.
Our newborn’s well child visit expenses up to 6 weeks were also shared 100%. We have submitted other bills to CHM including a trip to the ER without issues.
How do you all pay for annual checkups?
We pay out of pocket for our families well check up visits. Our pediatrician has a wonderful cash pay policy and we take our children to compounding pharmacies for vaccinations (most under $20 per vaccine!). Well child check ups are $100 per visit.
To keep our family healthy we take lots of nutritional supplements and support our immune system with essential oils. Both have done wonders as none of our children have been to the doctor outside of their well child check ups.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or not and are in search for an alternative health plan, it will be worth your while to look into Christian Healthcare Ministries.
If you decide to join, use my referral code: 290701