December 17, 2019


Donelon Reminds Consumers that Faith-Based Health Sharing Ministries Are Not Insurance Products

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) is clarifying that faith-based health sharing ministries are not recognized insurance products and therefore are not subject to the same regulations as traditional health insurance or oversight by the LDI.

Health care sharing ministries collect monthly payments from members under the agreement that the money will be used when a member has medical bills. However, these programs do not have to follow the same rules as insurers and there is no requirement that they pay claims.

“While some families may feel that the lower-cost membership and the alignment with members religious values works for their lifestyle, I would like to caution that these products are not regulated like insurance and may leave Louisiana families on the hook for expensive medical care and emergencies,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Like any financial decision, your personal circumstances will dictate the best choice.”

Commissioner Donelon encourages consumers who have problems with traditional coverage to contact the LDI for assistance. Unfortunately, since health care sharing ministries are not an insurance product there is nothing the LDI can do for consumers who feel as if they have not received appropriate benefits.

Under Louisiana law and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health sharing ministries are not required to register or be regulated. There are no exact figures, but some industry groups say close to 1 million Americans get health care coverage through a health care sharing ministry and presently there are health care sharing ministries advertising in Louisiana.

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting