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."