What is a Health Care Sharing Ministry?
Specializing in medical cost sharing programs, Trinity HealthShare, a faith-based 501(c)3 non-profit health care sharing ministry (HCSM) organization, is exempt from taxation under 501(a). The ministry focuses on providing members, who are committed to living healthy lives, a practical solution by distributing their collective resources and sharing in each other’s medical costs. To view how Trinity HealthShare meets all requirements to the federal health care sharing ministry exemption, click here.
Members of health care sharing ministries financially assist fellow members with eligible medical expenses through gifts. HCSMs provide health care cost sharing arrangements among persons of similar and sincerely held religious beliefs. Due to the voluntary and ministerial nature of the contributions, HCSMs are recognized in the insurance code as ministries, not as health insurance companies.
To date, 30 states have implemented safe harbor laws to protect health care sharing ministries from state insurance codes. Congress recognized the legitimacy of HCSMs in 2010 after granting participants in these ministries one of the nine exemptions from the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Health care cost support is an essential element of economic security for American families, and individuals and families require more health care cost support choices, not fewer.
Participation in a health sharing ministry typically costs 40-65 percent less than conventional health insurance, and for income earned in 2011, approximately 72 percent of HCSM participants were at or below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), including approximately 44 percent of HCSM participants at or below 200 percent.