Health care cost-sharing program Medi-Share now in Montana

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By: Holly Michels

A previously banned way to pay for health care costs is now available in Montana.

Matt Rosendale, commissioner of securities and insurance, announced on Monday that Medi-Share, a heath care cost-sharing program, can operate in Montana. Christian Care Ministry Inc., had been banned from operating in the state after a 2007 District Court opinion found the company was selling insurance without registering in the state…

At the time, a little more than a thousand Montanans were participating in Medi-Share, the Associated Press reported.

Health care sharing ministries, where members of a common religious faith pool their money to cover health care costs for their group, were a key issue for Rosendale in the election last November, when he defeated Jesse Laslovich, who was the top attorney in the commissioner’s office…

“For far too long, we’ve been hearing the radio ads that say Medi-Share is not available in Montana. I’m excited to announce that as of this week, those ads have changed. Medi-Share is now available in Montana!” Rosendale said in the release.

Rosendale said Medi-Share has been operating in every state except Montana. He said the programs can be more affordable alternatives that expand access to Montanans.

Medi-Share programs, though not insurance, still comply with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The programs have grown in popularity over the last several years, going from about 200,000 participants in 2010 to more than 530,000 in 2016. Medi-Share is one of the largest sharing ministries in the country.

Read more at the Missoulian