SB 18: "An Act exempting a health care sharing ministry from regulation as an insurer."

00 SENATE BILL NO. 18 01 "An Act exempting a health care sharing ministry from regulation as an insurer." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. AS 21.03.021 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 04 (k) This title does not apply to a health care sharing ministry. In this 05 subsection, "health care sharing ministry" means an organization that 06 (1) is described in 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) and exempt from taxation under 07 26 U.S.C. 501(a); 08 (2) is faith-based and whose participants share 09 (A) a common set of ethical or religious beliefs; and 10 (B) medical expenses among participants in accordance with 11 the common set of ethical or religious beliefs; 12 (3) coordinates financial sharing of medical expenses among willing 13 participants in the organization according to criteria established by the organization; 14 (4) provides assistance for the financial or medical needs of a 15 participant through contributions from one participant to another;

01 (5) provides the amounts of assistance that participants may contribute 02 without an assumption of risk or promise to pay by the participants or the 03 organization; 04 (6) provides to all participants written monthly statements that list the 05 total dollar amount of qualified needs submitted to the organization by participants for 06 contribution; 07 (7) provides for an annual audit by an independent certified public 08 accountant in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and makes the 09 annual audit available to the public upon request; and 10 (8) provides a written disclaimer on or accompanying all applications 11 and guideline materials distributed by or on behalf of the organization that reads in 12 substance: "Notice: The organization coordinating the sharing of medical expenses is 13 not an insurance company, and neither its guidelines nor plan of operation is an 14 insurance policy. Whether anyone chooses to assist you with your medical bills will be 15 totally voluntary because no other participant will be compelled by law to contribute 16 toward your medical bills. Participation in the organization or a subscription to any of 17 its documents should never be considered to be insurance. Regardless of whether you 18 receive a payment for medical expenses or whether this organization continues to 19 operate, you are always personally responsible for the payment of your own medical 20 bills."