Unlike traditional health insurance, these plans do not “insure” people but rather “share” healthcare costs among a large pool of people. Members pay into the system and upon receiving a bill from their physician other members of the plan will contribute to help pay the bill.
Does Faith-Based Healthcare Cover Essential Health Benefits?
Faith-based healthcare is not ACA-compliant and does not have to cover the essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans are grandfathered into the ACA. This means that enrollees are exempt from the individual mandate penalty usually associated with non-ACA plans.
ACA does set certain requirements for faith-based health plans:
- Members must share a common set of beliefs;
- The plans must share medical expenses among members regardless of state residence;
- Members can’t lose their membership even if they develop a medical condition – although, members who don’t pay their share of costs can be disenrolled; and
- The plans must be audited, with audits publically available.
How Many Plans Are Out There?
There are four major healthcare sharing ministries that qualify for exemption from the Obamacare penalty:
- Christian Healthcare Ministries;
- Samaritan Ministries; and
- Liberty Healthshare.
Altrua Healthshare, Anabaptist Healthshare and Solidarity Healthshare also qualify for the exemption from the Obamacare penalty.
There are more than 100 other faith-based health plans that do not qualify for the exemption, most of which are organized by small local churches.
Check out this link for more.