Skip links

1.5 million Americans have chosen to join a Health Care Sharing Ministry to provide for their families’ health care needs, including more than 50,000 Coloradans.

Right now, the Colorado legislature is considering a misguided piece of legislation, HB 22-1269. The bill singles out Health Care Sharing Ministries and potentially subjects them to even greater bureaucratic scrutiny than health insurers. This grant of unprecedented power to the Division of Insurance over religious ministries and their non-insurance programs would confuse the public, unfairly burden the religious exercise of these faith communities and open the door for further restrictions on these religious organizations serving Coloradans. See below for more information.

TAKE ACTION!

Colorado members and other supporters of health freedom should contact Senate President Stephen Fenberg, Majority Leader Sen. Dominick Moreno and your OWN Senator, and urge them to OPPOSE HB 22-1269 and its unfair treatment of the health care solution for thousands of Colorado Christians. See below for talking points.

Talking Points for Calls/Emails to Senators

My name is [NAME] from [CITY] and I am reaching out to the Senator about Health Care Sharing Ministries. 

I’m a proud supporter of Health Care Sharing Ministries. 

Right now, the legislature is considering a deeply flawed piece of legislation, HB 22-1269, sponsored by Senator Hansen, which would impose punitive requirements on Health Care Sharing Ministries. The bill would single out these ministries and potentially subject them to even greater bureaucratic scrutiny than health insurers, and eventually shut them down if they are deemed insufficiently compliant. This grant of unprecedented power to the Division of Insurance over religious ministries would unfairly burden the religious exercise of these faith communities. This misguided proposal must be stopped! 

I urge the Senator to stop this bill and keep the government out of Christian health care. 

Specifically, I would like him to know; 

  • Thousands of Coloradans have chosen a faith-based alternative to health insurance. Their ministries shouldn’t be required to provide exhaustive and intrusive reporting to the Division of Insurance and subjected to the punitive enforcement authority of the Insurance Commissioner because they are not insurance and are already regulated by the Attorney General.
  • These communities are led by faith and stay true to their biblical beliefs in their health care choices. We want the government to stay out of these communities of spiritual and financial support for Coloradans.
  • Since the 1980s, Health Care Sharing Ministries have helped their members share eligible medical bills, including major medical expenses such as surgery, childbirth, cancer treatment, and other life-changing events. They provide reliable help for 1.5 million Americans, including more than 50,000 Coloradans.
  • Health Care Sharing Ministries are uniquely American; they build on the traditional right of Americans to share their burdens in like-minded communities and to forge bold and innovative solutions to big challenges like the rising cost of health care. 
  • We don’t need more government control over our daily lives. Enough is enough.

I appreciate you passing along the message along to the Senator that Health Care Sharing Ministries are a choice for Coloradans that must be protected and that he should strongly oppose this bill.

 

More details about Colorado HB 1269

  • House Bill 22-1269 is a punitive bill that would jeopardize the ability of more than 50,000 Colorado Christians to choose a health care option that matches their budget and their beliefs. 
  • The bill represents an unfair and overbroad power grab by the Colorado Division of Insurance, authorizing the state to impose unprecedented and inappropriate requirements on Health Care Sharing Ministries and infringing upon First Amendment rights.
  • The bill opens the door to misuse of the ministries’ private information about its associations, contracts and vendor relationships, creates mountains of process and paperwork that could generate expensive or arbitrary “process crimes,” and creates a fishing expedition to help the insurance bureaucracy bully religious communities that are engaging in a health care solution that would normally be outside these regulators’ jurisdiction.
  • The bill would sweep health care sharing ministries—which are fundamentally not insurance—under the regulatory authority of the Division of Insurance, and would require ministries to submit extensive information to the DOI or else face massive fines or face a shut-down order.
  • Should this unnecessary and burdensome bill be enacted, it would make Colorado the first state in the country to impose affirmative regulations on Health Care Sharing Ministries as a condition of operating in the state. Not only does no other state regulate ministries in this manner, thirty-one states—a clear majority—have enacted explicit exemptions from their insurance codes for Health Care Sharing Ministries to protect these organizations’ First Amendment rights and in recognition of the important role ministries play as a faith-based alternative to traditional health insurance models.
  • Furthermore, the bill requires the Colorado Division of Insurance to use all the intrusive information collected on ministries to publish an annual report on Health Care Sharing Ministries. This is the very same bureaucracy that published a biased “consumer advisory” in December 2020 that asserted that Health Care Sharing Ministries “leave you stuck with huge medical bills” and that ministries impose “serious financial blow[s]” on members. The advisory then encouraged all Coloradans to go to the ACA exchange and buy ACA-compliant insurance that mandates coverage for objectionable procedures that many people of faith are trying to flee.
  • Not only would such a report create more consumer confusion (after all, why would the Division of Insurance issue a report on something that is not insurance?), but it would allow a bureaucracy that has already demonstrated bias against these ministries to mischaracterize and mislead the public on who they are and what they do.
  • While the bill’s proponents cite scant evidence of actual problems with Health Care Sharing Ministries, HB22-1269 would actually achieve little to ensure consumers are better informed about what they are buying, nor does it provide any new authority to go after bad actors who engage in harmful practices. 
  • In fact, Colorado Division of Insurance has all the authority needed to shut down bad actors, and already did so with a for profit entity that was marketing an organization posing as a Health Care Sharing Ministry.
  • HB22-1269 creates a perverse result: Health Care Sharing Ministries who have faithfully served thousands of Coloradans for decades would be placed under the thumb of the insurance bureaucracy, which is precisely what members of Health Care Sharing Ministries are trying to escape as they flee health insurance due to concerns of conscience and affordability.
  • For example, the Colorado Division of Insurance recently declared transgender surgeries—including such surgeries for minor children—to be an “Essential Health Benefit” that must be covered by insurance.  
  • Health Care Sharing Ministries are already regulated – by the Attorney General, who has jurisdiction over all charities and other non-insurance organizations, and who has broader experience in carefully balancing the Constitutional religious liberty interests with consumer protection interests.
  • Since the 1980s, Health Care Sharing Ministries have helped their members share eligible medical bills. Don’t take this community of spiritual and financial support away from the citizens of Colorado.
  • Health Care Sharing Ministries are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Alliance member ministries hold a certification letter from the federal government, recognizing that they comply with the federal definition of a Health Care Sharing Ministry.
  • Thirty-one states and the Federal government have laws on the books explicitly exempting Health Care Sharing Ministries from insurance law, recognizing that they are not insurance. This bill would send Colorado in exactly the opposite direction from the rest of the country.
  • Regulators, bureaucrats and politicians must keep their hands off our Christian health care!

Join the Health Care Revolution

Sign Up to Receive Important Updates About HB 1269