Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries prepares for Colorado hearing over legislative attack on Health Care Sharing Ministries
March 29, 2022
WASHINGTON D.C. — The Colorado legislature is considering a deeply flawed bill that could turn thousands of Coloradans into health care refugees. Colorado bill HB 22-1269 creates a hostile environment for Health Care Sharing Ministries and could undermine the ability of more than 50,000 Colorado Christians who participate in a Health Care Sharing Ministry to choose a health care option that matches their budget and their beliefs.
A hearing for HB 22-1269, sponsored by retiring Rep. Lontine, is scheduled for April 1. The bill singles out all non-insurance arrangements that provide in some way for health care— including Direct Primary Care providers, Healthcare Savings Accounts, self-funded employer-sponsored plans, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and particularly Health Care Sharing Ministries for burdensome, unlimited regulation and even potential elimination.
This new legislative assault in Colorado on health care choices has the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries (The Alliance, ahcsm.org) sounding the alarm.
Katy Talento, executive director of the Alliance, stated, “The Colorado legislature is poised to consider a misguided piece of legislation, HB 22-1269. This bill would threaten the health care solution chosen by thousands of Colorado Christians who are members of Health Care Sharing Ministries. The bill singles out these ministries and potentially subjects them to even greater bureaucratic scrutiny than health insurers. This grant of unlimited new powers to the Division of Insurance over religious ministries and their non-insurance programs would unfairly burden the religious exercise of these faith communities and infringe upon the First Amendment rights of every Coloradan.”
In more detail, the bill:
- Requires ministries to file detailed disclosures of everything from the ministry’s organizational chart to publicly naming every organization that is associated with the ministry, such as accountants, IT vendors, churches, other ministries, janitorial services, and office suppliers.
- Redefines Health Care Sharing Ministries as simply unlicensed health insurance as opposed to what they really are— communities of believers sharing their burdens with each other in accordance with their faith.
- Gives the Colorado Insurance Commissioner an unlimited, open-ended ability to demand any other information from ministries, no matter how burdensome, intrusive, or irrelevant.
- Allows the Commissioner to publicly publish a list of all affiliated organizations with ministries, including vendors, partner ministries, contractors.
If approved, any ministries failing to meet these burdensome requirements to the letter could be shut down, immediately, with no due process.
Colorado members and supporters of Health Care Sharing Ministries should contact their Colorado House Representative and their Colorado Senator and urge them to OPPOSE HB 22-1269 and its unfair treatment of thousands of religious Coloradans, and instead SUPPORT HB 22-1198 (sponsored by Rep. Mark Baisley), which carefully addresses the actual issues and respects their religious liberty.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries is a 501(c)(6) trade organization representing the common interests of Health Care Sharing Ministry organizations which are facilitating the sharing of health care needs (financial, emotional, and spiritual) by individuals and families, and their participants. The Alliance engages with federal and state regulators, members of the media, and the Christian community to provide accurate and timely information on medical cost sharing.