The newest health care reform legislation, called “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA), was brought forth by the Obama administration and is often referred to as “Obamacare”.
Among the most important aspects of this legislation, the ACA enacted the “individual mandate”, which required all Americans to purchase health insurance or hold an acceptable exemption by March 31, 2014. At the time, if you did not have health insurance or have an acceptable exemption, a financial penalty would be imposed and collected by the IRS.
Health care sharing ministries do not qualify as health insurance or meet the requirements to be minimum essential coverage (MEC), but the Affordable Care Act does include an exemption for members of recognized HCSMs. Among other requirements, a HCSM requires that member medical needs were shared prior to 1999, and Sharity Ministries*, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, meets all requirements. To view this exemption under the Affordable Care Act, please turn to Section 1501, page 147-148.
*On July 27, 2020, Trinity HealthShare changed its name to Sharity Ministries