The Kentucky Medi-Share coverage has been put to a halt by the state.
The Department of Insurance in Kentucky has advised the members of Medi-Share, a Christians only cost sharing health plan, that this coverage has been ordered to cease its operations within the state, and that if they wish to continue their coverage, then they will need to seek policies from other insurers.
This announcement came following the ruling of Thomas Wingate, a Franklin County Circuit Judge.
That ruling was made earlier in October, and stated that as the insurer selling the plans was not meeting the health insurance code for Kentucky. Medi-Share is a cost sharing ministry based in Florida.
Health insurance alternatives were provided to those individuals who have now lost their coverage.
In an effort to assist the members of Medi-Share, the state Department offered them a list of insurers that would be able to provide individual coverage to make up for what had been lost. According to a spokesperson for the department, Ronda Sloan, “Some of the calls we’ve gotten were ‘what do we need to do now,’ and we’re just trying to be helpful.”
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Though Medi-Share does have many similarities to standard secular health insurance coverage, it limits participation in its plans to individuals who will pledge to live a Christian lifestyle. This pledge includes a life without the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or engaging in unmarried sex.
In Kentucky, officials have been facing the battle with Medi-Share for about ten years. Their goal was to try to regulate a Christian cost sharing ministry, within the region. Their insurance department finally brought this particular case before the courts due to a concern that some of the members of the plan may be under the false belief that their coverage would guarantee payment if they should ever be hospitalized. The Medi-Share plan did not make this type of guarantee.
From Medi-Share’s perspective, the members of the plan are not purchasing health insurance, but are instead taking part in a charitable effort to help other Christians to pay their medical expense, and possibly receive this assistance for themselves if they should ever need it.