2016 Bills

HB113: Exempting Health Sharing from Insurance Regulations

This bill was tabled in committee.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

The (not so) Affordable Care Act is a federal law that, among many other things, mandates the purchase of insurance. Not many are aware that members of recognized health care sharing ministries are exempt from the mandate. These ministries are faith-based organizations where members voluntarily share costs one with another, to defray expenses much like a traditional insurance system would.

While this exemption from federal law is in place, providing cost sharing program members with the exemption needed from the insurance mandate, Representative Mike Kennedy has sponsored House Bill 113 to provide a similar exemption in state law.

Title 31A of Utah code contains all of the insurance laws for the state. HB113 would make clear that the entire title does not apply to members of a health care sharing ministry. Effectively, this means that state law would reflect reality, namely, that cost sharing programs are not insurance, and should not be regulated as such.

To qualify for the exemption, these ministries would be required to provide notice to members that the ministry is not an insurance plan, and despite a good record of cost sharing to cover each person’s medical costs, the individual him or herself is ultimately liable for all personal medical costs.