Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that a Christian-only health care ministry, Medi-Share, must cease operation in Kentucky unless it can get regulatory approval from the state Department of Insurance.
Medi-Share is a Florida-based, cost sharing ministry that resembles insurance. However, they only allow those into the system who pledge to live Christian lives and agree to abstain from certain things like smoking, drinking, using drugs and engaging in sex outside of marriage.
The case put the Department of Insurance in the unenviable position of having to fight against a Christian cost-sharing ministry in a Bible-belt state. The agency took the case to court because of concerns that some Christians might mistakenly believe they’re paying into an insurance plan that guarantees coverage if they’re hospitalized. Medi-Share offers no such guarantee.
“As a state agency, we are charged with enforcing the law and protecting consumers,” said Department of Insurance spokeswoman Ronda Sloan. “This case has continued for 10 years but it always has been about those basic principles.”
Medi-Share had continued to operate in Kentucky a year after the state Supreme Court ruled that it is subject to the same regulations as secular health care plans. Medi-Share contends that its participants aren’t buying insurance, but are involved in a charitable endeavor to help cover medical bills of fellow Christians and potentially have their own expenses covered should the need arise.
Wingate ordered Medi-Share, which is operated by Christian Care Ministry of Melbourne, Fla., “to cease all operations in Kentucky unless and until it receives a certificate of authority or other applicable license from the Department of Insurance.”
Wingate’s order specifically states that Medi-Share is
“to cease all operations in Kentucky unless and until it receives a certificate of authority or other applicable license from the Department of Insurance. “Until that time, Medi-Share’s website must clearly state that it does not operate in Kentucky. If the commissioner of the Department of Insurance discovers proof that Medi-Share continues to operate, the commissioner is directed to move this court for an order requiring the secretary of state to place Christian Care Ministry in bad standing.”
According to Medi-Share President Tony Meggs, in a testimony during August, theministry serves nearly 40,000 people in 49 states and at least 800 in Kentucky. The organization has managed to help Christians from all over American share each others medical burdens. In Kentucky alone, they have helped believers to pay more than $25 million in medical bills in the past ten years. Imagine that! All of that took place without government intervention, without Obamacare, medicare, medicaid or any other government assistance. Now the government wants to step in and destroy what has been built up in the Christian community.
In a statement by Meggs, he said “We are currently reviewing whether we will ask for a rehearing before the court or whether we will appeal the denial of our request to have the actions of the Kentucky Department of Insurance reviewed by a neutral administrative hearing officer.”
In the times that we live in, in our country where presidential candidates are both wanting to implement some form or another of socialized government mandated health care insurance, this is the wrong time to be stopping ministries such as this that can offer people the opportunity to actually help each other and keep costs affordable.
In case you are interested, the average cost per month for families is only $282, according to Medi-Share’s website.