Protecting Christian Health Care
Considerations for Policy Makers
Is it possible to balance religious liberty interests with consumer protection interests at the same time? Click HERE for a deep dive into religious liberty jurisprudence and how it affects policy-making around HCSMs and other entities, as well as a downloadable slide deck.
Independent, Third-Party Accreditation of HCSMs
In 2022, a new, private accreditation organization called the Health Care Sharing Accreditation Board was launched and began reviewing HCSMs for accreditation. The Board is 100% independent of the Alliance or any HCSM. Its accreditation process involves 80+ standards across a number of domains, including financial stability, integrity of operations, religious identity, transparency with the public and its members. The Alliance is proud to announce changes in our bylaws to require governing member ministries to undergo accreditation.
Federal Policy Priorities
- Preserving the exemption for members of HCSMs from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance and the penalty for not doing so.
- Obtaining parity in tax treatment of health care sharing ministry members compared to people who have insurance, including
- Contributing to a health savings account so that members can obtain first dollar tax deductibility on their health-related expenses
- Using a health savings account to make monthly HCSM contributions to ensure that those contributions are tax deductible
- Adding HCSM sharing contributions to the list of qualified medical expenses that are already tax deductible under section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Protecting conscience rights and religious liberty in health care, including for those who deliver health care and organizations that are involved in the payment process for health care.
- Protecting conscience rights and religious liberty for employers like HCSMs, to preserve their ability to hire fellow believers and operate their organizations in accord with their shared religious beliefs.
- Ending secret prices in health care, especially for self-pay or uninsured patients.
State Policy Priorities
The Alliance works in every state to track legislation and regulation that could affect members of HCSMs and to educate policy makers about the importance of preserving the ability for families in their state to choose an HCSM as a health care solution that fits with their religious beliefs. Policy priorities include:
- Ensuring that state law recognizes that HCSMs are not insurance and that they are rightly regulated as charities under the authority of the Attorney General rather than the Insurance Commissioner.
- 31 states recognize HCSMs as not being insurance and therefore not subject to the state insurance code: AL, AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MS, MT, MO, NE, NH, NC, OK, PA, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
- 4 states and Washington DC that have individual insurance mandates exempt members of HCSMs from those mandates: CA, MA, NJ, RI, DC
- Promoting tax parity for members of HCSMs in state tax codes compared to tax filers who have health insurance, including ensuring that sharing contributions are tax deductible
- Ending secret prices in health care, especially for self-pay or uninsured patients
Join us to take action now to protect the freedom to join HCSMs in every state.
Hotline: How Regulators or Policy Makers Can Reach Us
If you are a regulator or a policy-maker and you have a question about HCSMs, a constituent issue to resolve, or any other matter, you can reach the public policy liaisons for our member ministries at:
Altrua HealthShare: email@example.com
Christian Care Ministries / Medi-Share: firstname.lastname@example.org
OneShare Health: email@example.com
Samaritan Ministries International, firstname.lastname@example.org, 888-726-4276
Ministry not listed? Contact the Alliance by clicking here.