A three-ring circus in Frankfort is no laughing matter for hundreds of Kentucky Christians who could face felony insurance fraud charges for belonging to Christian Care Medi-Share's health sharing program, a viable alternative to mandated health insurance under ObamaCare but a decade-long target of state insurance regulators.
Kentucky's Insurance Code, KRS 304, defines insurance to include activities of not only health sharing groups like Medi-Share, but also their members.
In a March 1, 2011 permanent injunction ruling, a Franklin Circuit Judge prohibited Medi-Share and its members from operating their health sharing program in the Commonwealth, specifically mentioning KRS 304.11-030(2), which prohibits the health sharing activities of both the company Medi-Share and its members.
KRS 304.47-020(2)(b) provides for punishment of imprisonment between one and five years and fines of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Judge Thomas Wingate says he can't rule on a year-old contempt of court motion against Medi-Share and it's members until the state's Department of Insurance and Medi-Share agree on a hearing date. Despite either weeks or months of negotiating on a date, none has been scheduled as of Monday afternoon. While the judge, the state and Medi-Share play hot potato, innocent Kentuckians are put at risk. There is a simple fix for this, though it would surely be more satisfying at this point to run the whole bunch of them out of the state and force them to talk their way back in.