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Warning on Christian Health Care Ministries

Written by Gary North on June 26, 2014

With ObamaCare costing families extra money, I have recommend Christian non-insurance sharing. These programs are reasonably priced. I used two of them before I was booted, as everyone on Medicare is.

In the past I have recommended Christian Health Care Ministries. But I now think that Samaritan Ministries looks better to me.

A subscriber to GaryNorth.com posted a negative critique of Christian Health Care Ministries.  The accusations are serious.

I tried to go to CHCM to get their side of the story. I couldn’t. They have put up that ghastly double-captcha system that makes it difficult to contact them. To send an email, I had to decipher this.



I couldn’t. See for yourself here.

Double-captcha is a forced subsidy to an outfit that wants us users to finance its program to do OCR scanning of old books. A video on this forced subsidy is here. The man who invented it brags about it. If I had invented it, I would not let anyone know.

Why any organization uses double-captcha is a mystery to me. It is a burden on the users. It also says, “We don’t want to hear from you.” It shows poor judgment.

It supposedly protects you from automated spam. I have run numerous sites since 1996. I have never had a problem with automated spam. I do have a single-captcha barrier on my Tip of the Week sign-up, but only because my mailing list service required it. It is easy to read. The double-captcha system is deliberately difficult to read. I think it is unnecessary and a needless burden on people who want to contact you.

In contrast, look at Samaritan Ministries’ contact form.

SamaritanI suggest that you avoid dealing with any outfit that forces you to use double-captcha.  It shows poor judgment. It doesn’t really want to hear from you.

[Update, June 28: The president of the company has said he will try to find an alternative.]

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17 thoughts on “Warning on Christian Health Care Ministries

  1. Well Gary, I am a CHM member, and I found them because of your article over a year ago. If someone has made "serious allegations", you should link to them so I (we) can investigate for ourselves. I've had no trouble emailing anyone there or calling and getting a person on the phone. I don't want to be alarmed unduly, but I don't even know what questions to ask!
    A double captcha is a PITA, but not something to cancel my membership over.
    Please link to your reader's allegations, so we may investigate.

  2. bob burns says:

    Any time you see " Christian " in a business name you should run for the hills. It is invariably some kind of "born again "scam . Jim and Tammy Faye anyone ??

  3. I agree 100%. If the allegations were that serious, we should know what they were & whether or not other members have had similar complaints. I recall 2 years ago checking on a particular motel I planned on visiting and found 2 or 3 negative reports. I tried the place anyway, found it to be reasonable and adequate & was told that the ones who made the complaints were former employees which may or may not have been true. Also, when I first got there, they were making various repairs since the place had been recently taken over which might have entered into the criticism but not good to make a decision on anything based on the complaints of one person. Ed

  4. I have seen so many captchas which are impossible to do, but I found this one and it is really good! The name of this plugin is "Sweet Captcha". You can view it here:


  5. Article summed up:
    "Warning! Because someone used a "double-captcha script", you should go elsewhere!"

    As a CHM member (mostly on Mr. North's recommendations), I would like to see some sort of substance to this "warning/article". Details, details, details… Please.


  6. Phillip the Bruce says:

    I don't think you read the article quite right. He is not saying "don't join because of the Captcha." He is definitely not saying to leave if you are a satisfied member. He IS saying that he has heard of some issues that he was unable to ask them about because of the Double Captcha. He is quite rightly NOT posting the unsubstantiated accusations. Just issuing a 'caveat.'

  7. As President of Christian Healthcare Ministries I am happy to supply my email address to Mr. North. hrussell@chministries.org. My personal email address is on each monthly mailing we send to our members. Our phone number is all over our web site.(800-791-6225) There are multiple ways to contact us. People contact me regularly from our web site.

    Mr. North mentions a serious accusation against CHM. When there is a complaint that is not verifiable it is difficult to address or even evaluate if it is true.

    I don't know what the other health cost sharing organizations do but CHM does NOT boot you when you reach Medicare age. A large percentage of our members are Medicare age.

    The purpose of a captcha is well known and considered a prudent security method to stop those from around the world that want to get to information for wrong purposes.

    CHM carries an A+ rating as an accredited charity with teh BBB.

    Mr. North, I invite you to contact me.

    Rev. Howard S. Russell
    President & CEO

  8. Sorry, but this article is just grumbling that's largely not related to Christian Healthcare. Find out about the issue before you address it.

  9. Even their name SOUNDS better!

    The other one, come to think of it, sounds too good to be true. Pay attention to names!

  10. This is going to be great. Rev. Russell and Dr. North squaring off. One trying to verify accusations, the other defending against them. I smell christian catfight.

  11. TexasDeb says:


    I am about to join CHM myself due to an upcoming relocation from one state to another to spend more time with loved ones. Just 2 days ago I used the CHM online double-captcha feature to contact your staff and experienced NO problems whatsoever. In fact, I received a kind and reassuring response within 24 hours.

    I am still a decade away from Medicare. But with the help of CHM's cost-sharing ministry, I hope to work only part-time/flex-time/seasonally for my soon-to-be former employer (I am a web designer) — therefore I won't qualify for my employer's insurance any longer (and individual insurance of course is very, very expensive nowadays, no thx to O-care's market distortions).

    I am really hoping CHM's health-care cost-sharing ministry allows folks like me to responsibly yet affordably pursue part-time or seasonal employment, especially if they themselves are caring for loved ones who are ill, disabled, etc.

    This article has caused me a great deal of dismay because Dr Gary North is one of my favorite writers ever (in my personal Top Ten). His numerous free books are awesome, and with CHM's help I hope to spend fewer hours working and more time not only caring for loved ones but continuing to read Dr North's books. (You can even save them to your Kindle).

  12. Medi-Share is a good one too.

  13. perseverance says:

    It looks like Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medi-Share, and Samaritan Ministries allow members to stay on after they become Medicare eligible…Christian Healthcare Ministries and Medi-Share require that they have Medicare part A and B though.

  14. When comparing the seven Healthcare Sharing Plans, I found Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries helpful http://www.healthcaresharing.org/hcsm/ for evaluating costs & services. Unlike the other services Medi-Share and Samiritan responded quickly and fully, in writing and by email, respectively.

    Samaritan also responded to my HSA question separately and encouraged me to contact Congress to promote passage of HR 207 sponsored by Rep. Aaron Schock. See our email exchange below. Tax deductible HSA contributions make sharing plans even more attractive and practical. Everyone should push expansion of sharing plans with HSAs at state and federal levels.


    At this time, membership in a health care sharing ministry does not alone make you eligible to make use of an HSA. However, Congressman Aaron Schock has introduced H.R. 207, which would "make members of health care sharing ministries eligible to establish health savings accounts." You can find out more about this bill at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.113…. You can also discover ways to encourage its passage through our grassroots advocacy page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smigrassroots If you have any more questions, feel free to contact our public policy department at 888-726-4276.

    Please let us know if we can be of further service,

    John Dringenberg
    Membership Development
    Samaritan Ministries International
    888-268-4377 http://www.samaritanministries.org

    On Wed, 27 Nov 2013, dlortner@ wrote:
    Is your plan eligible for HSAs? I'm happy to pay all my medical expenses and contribute a monthly amount to help others. I'd only ask for help in catastrophic circumstances. However, I'd want to save money in a HSA each year to help offset any major medical costs. Is your plan HSA  eligible? Like the concept of your program! Thank you for your time and consideration!

  15. Having two family members enrolled several years with Christian Medi-Share, I can assure you that it is no scam. It operates almost exactly as any PPO / HMO does, and its functions are transparent to both patients and providers. Claims are settled promptly, monthly dues are a fraction of those in the exchanges, and membership is growing steadily due to client satisfaction. The only noticeable difference between Medi-Share's policies and those of any HMO / PPO is that Medi-Share asks clients to pledge to live a lifestyle adhering to Christian principles: No drinking to excess, no tobacco use, an sodomy, no drug use. If you cal live within those guidelines, you're in (and, for that matter, you just may live a longer and healthier life as a bonus).. Mr. Burns, you might wish to reserve your crude generalizations about people of faith until you do your homework.

  16. I have been with Samaritans Ministries for about 4 years. In 2011 I fell over 20' and broke my back, femur and bones in my foot. My road back included an ambulance ride to one hospital, helicopter ride to another, surgery, 9 days in the hospital, 6 after care visits and more I will not mention.
    Samaritans helped with getting almost 50% cash discount on all the bills. My out of pocket costs for this whole ordeal was $47. Compare that to any insurance policy out there.

  17. The double-captcha has two parts, the difficult word (stop spam) and an easy word (read books). If you are unable to solve the difficult part you can request a new captcha by clicking the icon that looks like two arrows forming a circle. Keep clicking until you get one you can solve more easily.

    The easy word is the part that subsidizes an outfit to do OCR scanning of old books. You do not have to enter that word in order to move on past the captcha, in this case submitting your question to CHCM. Just solve the difficult word and click submit.