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Right now, the freedom for Hawaiian families to join a Health Care Sharing Ministry without excessive government intrusion is under threat

Right now, the Hawai’i legislature is considering a misguided piece of legislation, SB 324. 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 Hawai’i 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 Hawaiians. See below for more information.


Hawai’i members and other supporters of health freedom should contact bill sponsor of SB 324, Sen. Stanley Chang, Senate President Sen. Ronald Kouchi, Vice President Sen. Michelle Kidani, and  Majority Leader Sen. Dru Mamo Kanuha, members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and your OWN Senator, and urge them to OPPOSE SB 324 and its unfair treatment of the health care solution for thousands of Hawai’i 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, SB 324, sponsored by Senator Chang, 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 Insurance Division 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; 

  • More than a thousand Hawaiians have chosen a faith-based alternative to health insurance. Their ministries shouldn’t be required to provide exhaustive and intrusive reporting to the Insurance Division 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 Hawaiians.
  • 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 more than a million Americans, including more than 1,000 Hawaiians.
  • 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 Hawaiians that must be protected and that (s)he should strongly oppose this bill.


More details about Hawai’i SB 324

  • Senate Bill 324 is a punitive bill that would jeopardize the ability of more than 1,000 Hawai’i 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 Hawai’i Insurance Division, 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, such as its associations, partnerships (including with churches and other ministries), contracts, and vendor relationships. It also 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 Insurance Division, and would require ministries to submit extensive information to the Division or else face massive fines or face a shut-down order.
  • Should this unnecessary and burdensome bill be enacted, it would put Hawai’i squarely against the approach taken by most other states. Thirty-one states 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 Insurance Division to use all the intrusive information collected on ministries to publish an annual report on Health Care Sharing Ministries and post it on a government website.
  • Not only would such a report create more consumer confusion (after all, why would the Insurance Division issue a report on something that is not insurance?), but it would allow a bureaucracy 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, SB 324 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, the Hawai’i Insurance Division has all the authority needed to shut down bad actors, using current law. 
  • SB 324 creates a perverse result: Health Care Sharing Ministries who have faithfully served thousands of Hawai’ians 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 Hawai’i legislature passed just last year a bill that prohibits insurers from excluding transgender surgeries, even for children and adolescents. This is the sort of approach that many Christians are seeking to avoid when they choose Health Care Sharing Ministries. 
  • 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 Hawai’i.
  • 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 Hawai’i in exactly the opposite direction from the rest of the country.
  • Regulators, bureaucrats and politicians must keep their hands off our Christian health care!

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