Health care sharing ministries are exploding in popularity due to their lower costs and the shared values they promote. Popular sharing ministries include Medi-Share, Liberty HealthShare, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Samaritan Ministries, Altrua HealthShare, and Shared Health Alliance among others.
Do Sharing Plans Qualify as MEC?
Remember that in order to participate in the QSEHRA, an employee must have health insurance that qualifies as MEC, and health Sharing Plans are not technically insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Based on IRS guidance, Sharing Plans do not qualify as meeting the MEC requirements.
Can sharing plans be reimbursed through QSEHRA?
The IRS is proposing that membership in a Health Care Sharing Ministry will be considered an official medical expense under section 213(d)(1)(D). This change will allow members to be reimbursed tax-free for the monthly share they pay to belong to the sharing plans.
What's the Catch?
In order to participate in QSEHRA for 2021 participants will need to have insurance that meets Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC).
This means a separate MEC plan will need to be purchased to qualify.
Once you have the qualified MEC plan you can submit your Health Care Sharing Ministry plan for tax-free reimbursement through QSEHRA. Both the MEC plan and the sharing plan will qualify for reimbursement. The good news is MEC plans are relatively inexpensive and we have a couple of recommendations listed here.