Tuesday, August 13, 2019

States vs Ministries

Health Care Sharing Ministries, to be precise.

We've long been proponents of the concept, perhaps not so much the execution. Be that as it may, HCSMs have proven to be a viable model, with at least a million souls enrolled. And we also know that, like Direct Primary Care, these non-insurance plans are ObamaCare-compliant; that is, they satisfy the (Evil) Mandate.

Our concern has always been that folks are prone to conflate such alternatives as "the real McCoy." and this can lead to problems. The question arises, then, as to whether there's a role for The State to play, given that the plans are themselves unregulated and unsupervised (which are not necessarily "bad" things).

And it looks like we have a contender:

As I mentioned in response, Mr Kreidler (the Evergreen State's insurance commissioner ) isn't wrong:

"member contribution payments ≠ premiums"

That is, these plans have contributions, not actuarially determined premiums, and that's an important distinction. And at least one of these ministries touts options that mimic ACA metal tiers (eg Bronze, Silver, etc). This can be terribly confusing to the uneducated consumer, and lead folks to incorrectly assume that the plans adhere to ACA regulations (which they are not required to do, and in fact do not).

I then took it a bit further:

"I have the opportunity to sell these, and have always taken a hard pass.


Well, see here."

In that post, I explained that my reluctance has nothing to do with my faith, but my profession:

"Well, what happens when my client has a claim that the Medishare folks decline? He's going to come back to me and ask why I sold him an insurance plan that wasn't insurance. And how do you think the court's going to decide?"

And that's why I think that maybe Mr K has a point, and perhaps a solid case.

Time will tell, of course.
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