Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministry Standards
The Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries supports ethical and operational standards for Health Care Sharing Ministries. These standards are in place to protect the over one million Americans who have chosen Health Care Sharing Ministries for their family’s health care.
Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries
Standards for Partner and Affiliate Member Organizations
To qualify as a Partner or Affiliate member of the Alliance of Healthcare Sharing Ministries (the “Alliance”), an organization must comply with each of the following requirements as determined by the Board of Directors of the Alliance in its sole discretion.
- Religious Mission.
The organization shall have adopted a clear, written mission statement stating in substance that the organization facilitates the sharing of medical expenses as an exercise and expression of its religious beliefs.
- Legal Structure and Governance.
The organization shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit legal entity (e.g., a nonprofit corporation) that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization shall have a governing board consisting of at least five members, with a majority of such members being independent from each other and from the organization’s management. The governing board shall meet regularly (and at least twice per year) to review and provide direction regarding the performance, activities, policies and plans of the organization.
- Financial Management.
The organization shall rigorously manage its financial operations, striving to implement best practices for budgeting and financial management. The organization shall engage an independent certified public accountant to audit its financial statements annually in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The governing board shall communicate regularly with management and, when appropriate, with the organization’s independent certified public accountant, regarding any material deficiencies or risks in the organization’s financial management or operations.
The organization shall establish and maintain appropriate and reasonable compensation amounts that do not exceed comparable market values for all senior management positions.
- Conflicts of Interest and Related Party Transactions.
- Health Care Sharing Ministry Practices.
The organization shall operate a health care sharing ministry that:
- Facilitates the voluntary payment of certain medical expenses incurred by its members through payments by other members, all in accordance with methods and criteria adopted by the organization or its members;
- Establishes regular payment amounts for its members;
- Provides no assumption of risk or promise to pay among the members or by the organization;
- Accepts as members only individuals and families who share a common set of religious beliefs held by the organization and who, as an exercise and expression of such beliefs, desire to share voluntarily in paying certain medical expenses incurred by the members;
- Provides monthly to all members the total dollar amount of member medical expenses for which the organization in the prior month facilitated payment according to the organization’s criteria.
- Provides on or accompanying all applications and guideline materials distributed by or on behalf of the organization the following statements (in substance):
- The health care sharing ministry is not an insurance company nor is it offered through an insurance company.
- Whether anyone chooses to assist a member with the member’s medical bills will be totally voluntary, as neither the ministry nor any other member will be compelled by law to contribute toward such member’s medical bills.
- The health care sharing ministry should never be considered to be insurance.
- Whether a member receives any payments for medical expenses and whether or not the health care sharing ministry continues to operate, the member is always personally responsible for the payment of the member’s own medical bills.
- Public Disclosure.