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Christian-only Insurance Plan Must Cease, Judge Rules

November 1st, 2012

Judge rules Christian-only plan fails to meet Department of Insurance regulations

Medi-Share Christian insurance plan ordered to close

A Kentucky Circuit Court judge has ruled that a Christian-only insurance plan will be closed. Read on to find out why.

A Kentucky judge has ruled that a health insurance plan available only to Christians does not meet Department of Insurance regulations. Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said the health insurance program will no longer be allowed to provide coverage for its 800 Kentuckian members.

Members of Medi-Share, the Christians-only insurance program, will lose their coverage on Thursday, Nov. 1. They have only one day to move to another plan if they want their insurance to be uninterrupted.

Medi-Share was similar to more traditional types of insurance, but only those who attend church and pledge not to use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, or have sex outside of marriage can participate.

Closure of Medi-Share sparks frustrations

Tony Meggs, president of Medi-Share, expressed frustration at the ruling, opining that Judge Wingate and the Department of Insurance did not give policyholders enough consideration. She expressed a desire to work with the government to create a transition plan.

Members of Medi-Share were notified on Tuesday that the program would end late Wednesday, Meggs stated, and lawyers are urging the judge to modify his ruling to allow greater time for transition to other coverage.

Medi-Share’s directors argue that members aren’t purchasing insurance; they are participating in a charitable program to help other Christians in their times of need and receive the same assistance should they require care.

In August, Tony Meggs told the court that the group has organized Christians across the country to help pay medical bills for Kentucky members. He reported that the group had paid around $25 million in health care bills over the course of ten years.

Kentucky government officials cracking down on regulation-violating Christian organizations

For more than ten years, officials in Kentucky have been attempting to regulate Christian organizations acting outside the confines of state and federal regulations, a difficult task in a Bible Belt state like Kentucky. The Department of Insurance finally took Medi-Share to court due to concern that policy holders were not being made aware that they were not covered in the event of hospitalization.

Earlier this month, Medi-Share policyholders were notified by the Department of Insurance that they would need different policies. This notification happened after Judge Wingate made his ruling that the cost-sharing organization based in Florida does not meet department standards. The government also said it released a list of alternative insurance plans for Medi-Share members.

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