No faith in health reform: Christians flock to the health-share model despite restrictions
[...] Under the health-care-sharing ministry model, before coverage kicks in, a household pays a monthly fee that "is matched with another's eligible medical bills," according to Christian Care Ministry's website, which coordinates Medi-Share's program. "You will know every month whose bills you are paying, and when you have eligible bills, your fellow believers will be sharing those and praying for you."
The model offers no consumer protections, critics charge. Courts in some states have ruled that health-care-sharing ministries can operate as long as they make it abundantly clear that they do not guarantee that members' medical bills will be paid.
"These companies are walking a fine line," said Glenn Cohen, faculty director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. "On the one hand, they're telling courts and regulators they're not insurance. On the other, they're telling people, 'You don't need insurance. Use us instead.' " [...]conscience health care reform health law policy i. glenn cohen insurance market public health religion