The concept is simple, just like insurance. Get a group of people in a common pool to pay premiums, collected for the purpose of paying them back in claims. The problem is it is not insurance, and there is a notable absence of protections against a run on the pool. Christian cost-sharing ministries that enroll individuals are now facing scrutiny from several state regulators who believe that their claims about claims are not what they seem, and may lack the financial resources to allow faith to function. Yes, the premiums are lower than what is found in the market, but so are the protections, with either internal or external caps and, of course, faith in the finances of the ministry group holding their money. State regulators in New Hampshire, Colorado and Texas are doing some investigation on the practices, promises and reality of what is being offered. Washington State has fined one of the larger health sharing ministries, Trinity Healthshare, $150,000 and banned it from offering its products to state residents. Nevada has sent out a warning, with the Department of Insurance saying “they may seem enticing because they may be cheap, look and sound like they are in compliance with the ACA, when in reality these plans are not even insurance products.” Texas has brought suit against Aliera Healthcare.
Trust in God – All Others Pay Cash – the government goes after faith based plans | Jordan Shields, Partner
March 3, 2020