Since 2000, HMOs have been required to recognize Religious Nonmedical Healthcare Institutions. However, to have an HMO help pay your expenses at a Christian Science nursing facility, your HMO will probably require written authorization in advance of your admission to a facility Christian Science nursing administrators can provide more information on HMO coverage. Christian Scientists who are under HMO coverage through their employers should contact their Human Resources Offices with this information in advance of filing a claim, and request that the HMO recognize their local Christian Science nursing facility as an authorized care giver.
HMOs are groups of medical health care providers that furnish their members with all the medical services they may need but require that their members use only the facilities designated by the HMO. They do not pay for care at Christian Science nursing facilities without a prior written agreement with the facility. When you join an HMO, you give up the right to use your Medicare benefits in a Christian Science facility that does not have an agreement with your HMO. You must withdraw from the HMO in order to reinstate your Medicare benefits. This can be a time consuming process, and it may take a month or more before your Medicare benefits would again be available.