This bill would make Monthly Contributions for Members of Solidarity HealthShare, and other ministries, tax deductible. That would expand access to healthcare sharing for Americans across the country. Read the original article on house.gov here
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), a member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health, introduced H.R. 3426, a bill to expand access to Health Care Sharing Ministries. The legislation will allow American taxpayers who are members of Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) to deduct expenses related to ministry membership on their tax returns if their medical expenses exceed an annual income threshold by making such expenses eligible medical expenditures.
“Americans should have choices when it comes to their health care. For many families, traditional insurance is a great option. For some, however, particularly people of faith, alternative options like Health Care Sharing Ministries might more closely align with their values,” said Rep. Kelly. “This legislation preserves that choice for families by allowing them to deduct expenses related to ministry membership on their tax returns in the same way they could if they paid a traditional insurance premium. It’s time we brought freedom, competition, and dignity back to our health care system.”
“I applaud Congressman Kelly for introducing this much-needed legislation to provide taxpayers who are members of health care sharing ministries with the ability to deduct these costs on their tax returns as eligible medical expenditures,” said Brad Hahn, CEO of Solidarity HealthShare. “Enacting this legislation will achieve a longstanding goal and will do so by writing ministries into the list of eligible expenses thereby avoiding any potential confusions with health insurance. It will also balance this benefit with protections for both ministry members and the taxpayers more broadly by requiring additional transparency and accreditation through an independent third-party process by any qualifying ministries.”
Health Care Sharing Ministries are not insurers. Instead, members of the Ministry agree to make sharing contributions that are used to pay for the medical expenses of members. Ministries have a variety of sharing guidelines and operational processes, including processes that help members pay fair and equitable prices for healthcare services in accordance with their religious and ethical beliefs.
Health Care Sharing Ministries are an important option for consumers and an estimated more than 1 million Americans are members of a Ministry. Unfortunately, under current law, the funds paid for such memberships cannot be deducted as medical expenses. This bill will fix this gap by allowing such costs to be deductible expenses for tax purposes, allowing us to expand access to healthcare sharing.