New Threat to Universal Health Insurance Coverage

April 26th, 2011
New Threat to Universal Health Insurance Coverage

President Obama’s health reforms are facing another threat; this time, from a religious movement.

It seems that a group of Christians are requesting an opt-out from the scheme which expects everyone by 2014 to have health insurance. The group appears to have lobbied Democratic politicians successfully in this regard.

Medi-Share wrote on their web site: “Christians are exempt from insurance mandates. [Medi-Share is] the only organized health care concept to receive a special exemption from the taxes, penalties and regulations.”

Members of this particular organisation believe in a code of conduct, which includes abstaining from drugs and alcohol. They also believe it is wrong to have sex before marriage as well as abusing legal medicines.

People joining Medi-Share are also expected to pay a fixed monthly sum which apparently covers medical expenses. The president of Medi-Share, Robert Baldwin told reporters: “It accomplishes some of the same purposes of health insurance. There are also a lot of contrasts first and foremost, the biblical basis: Members pray for one another and are prone to encouraging one another.”

While this sounds idyllic for members of Med-Share, all is not as it seems. There are some important disclaimers. Health insurance experts believe that members of Medi-Share could find themselves in difficulties if a very serious claim is made. Michael McRaith, the top insurance regulator in Illinois said: “We have seen individuals who buy into a sharing program believing they are paying for a promise, and in fact that is not what they are receiving.”

He added: “There is no promise or certainty this sharing program will pay for health care expenses.”

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