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CHM and the Affordable Care Act

For information about CHM and taxes, please visit our tax page.

CHM as an eligible option

Entering our 40th year of ministry, Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is a federally certified exemption to the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the PPACA, more commonly known as Obamacare). As such, CHM is an eligible option under the national healthcare law. Christian Healthcare Ministries is a faith-based, voluntary cost sharing ministry that has thousands of members in all 50 states.

CHM received notification from the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services that says, “…the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that Christian Healthcare Ministries has submitted sufficient information to substantiate its compliance with the standards specified in section 5000A(d)(2)(B)(ii) of the Code [i.e. the PPACA] and will be considered a healthcare sharing ministry for the purposes of subpart G of 45 CFR part 155.”

See the original letter here.

Christian Healthcare Ministries:

  • has 40 years of compassionate and faithful service
  • doesn’t reject new members if they have a health condition
  • doesn’t increase rates on members who suffer a costly illness
  • doesn’t “cancel” anyone’s membership because of a costly health condition
  • doesn’t set rates based on a member’s age, health status, or geographic location
  • has programs to help members with costs for pre-existing conditions
  • has a catastrophic illness cost sharing program (CHM Plus) that assists members with healthcare costs over $125,000
  • meets each of the qualifications set forth for health cost sharing ministries in the U.S. healthcare legislation (see excerpt below)
Excerpt from the Affordable Care Act

Excerpt from H.R. 3590: U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [26 U.S.C. §5000A(d)(2)(B)(ii); p. 128]:

(2) Religious exemptions

(B) Healthcare sharing ministry.

(i) In general: Such term [note: “term” refers to “penalty”] shall not include any individual for any month if such individual is a member of a healthcare sharing ministry for the month.

(ii) Healthcare sharing ministry: The term “healthcare sharing ministry” means an organization:

(I) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a),
(II) members of which share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed,
(III) members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition,
(IV) which (or a predecessor of which) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1999, and medical expenses of its members have been shared continuously and without interruption since at least December 31, 1999, and
(V) which conducts an annual audit which is performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and which is made available to the public upon request.

Tax reform

The tax bill (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) regarding the ACA’s individual mandate passed by Congress on Dec. 20, 2017 doesn’t affect CHM members. The ACA’s financial penalty remained in effect until Dec. 31, 2018 for those without health cost support; however, CHM members aren’t and have never been subject to the financial penalty. Nothing in the bill changes how CHM operates, who we serve, or how we serve you. For information on how to file your taxes, see our Tax forms & resources page.