Remember Health Care Costs in Retirement

You might not want to go without prudent healthcare insurance. Costs are skyrocketing.

One of the challenges in today’s marketplace is finding rational and reasonable health care insurance for catastrophic health care events. Far too much of today’s insurance is designed to cover everything and every possible scenario. This drives up costs and it is understandable. Insurance companies want to make money, so they have to charge more if they have to pay more in claims. Is there a better way?

Fidelity’s Suggestions

A recent Fidelity article about a bridge to Medicare listed four health care coverage options as you or before you transition to Medicare at age 65. The four include COBRA, hopping onto a spouse’s health care plan, the public healthcare marketplace, and private insurance solutions. Each of these has weaknesses, and can be costly, depending on your income level. There is a link to a PDF of the Fidelity article at the end of this blog post. Are there any other alternatives? Yes, there are. One is a Christian medical cost sharing ministry. If you are interested, read on.

Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM)

When Cindie’s insurance premiums skyrocketed to over $10,000 per year after Obamacare (The Affordable? Care Act) was implemented, she went looking for alternatives. One such alternative is CHM. CHM is a cost-sharing solution. Cindie pays $172 per month for their best plan, the GOLD Program. She also participates in the “Brother’s Keeper” solution that is $50 every six months. The SILVER and BRONZE programs are less costly, but also cover less.

Cindie is a GOLD member with the additional Brothers Keeper participation.

What is CHM?

“Founded in 1981, Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is the original healthcare sharing ministry for Christians. CHM is a nonprofit, voluntary cost-sharing ministry through which participating Christians meet each other’s medical bills. CHM members have shared nearly $6 billion in medical bills. The ministry is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.” – CHM

“Christian Healthcare Ministries is not a health insurance company. Rather, we are a group of hundreds of thousands of Christians across the United States and around the world who share each other’s burdens in the area of healthcare costs. We also pray for and encourage one another.” -CHM

CHM has existed as a ministry since 1981. However, the real history goes as far back as New Testament times. CHM is based on Galatians 6:2 and Acts 2 and 4. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Does it Work?

In 2020 Cindie had some medical costs that we paid. She then submitted a request to CHM to help cover the costs. The total sent to Cindie by CHM was $10,688.59. The total we had paid UWHealth was $11,318.64 in 2020. As you can see, although CHM does not provide health insurance, they do respond to needs. It should be noted that UWHealth wanted considerably more than $11K for the services Cindie received. One other benefit of CHM is that they negotiate a lower cost for plan participants. UWHealth reduced their “normal” charges to make them less onerous. The total original charges were over $18K.

UWHealth 4-page bill from 2020 for Cindie.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask Cindie. You can post your questions on this blog post and I will make certain she sees them.

You Can Participate in Bring-a-Friend

Cindie can earn one free month of Christian Healthcare Ministries membership for each new membership she brings to CHM! (The free month is automatically applied to her account after her friend has been a CHM member for three months.) There are two options for referring friends and receiving credit by having them sign up for CHM. One is for Cindie to enter your name and email address on their website. This may not be to your liking. There is a second way.

Option 2 to Participate

You can click on a link if you are interested. When you use the following link to learn more about CHM, Cindie’s information automatically is included on your online application so that Cindie gets credit for using her referral. Here is the link for that: CHM

LINK to my public Dropbox files: Bridging Health Care Coverage FIDELITY PDF

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.