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Understanding The Affordable Care Act

Health Care Sharing is exempt from Obamacare.

Members of Recognized Health Care Sharing Ministries are Exempt From the Requirement to Have Health Insurance.

THE ACA. The new health care reform legislation is called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s more commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare’.

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. The ACA legislation contains many provisions that are complex and detailed about our nation’s health care. Among these provisions is the ‘individual mandate’, the requirement that every American purchase health insurance. Under the law, you must purchase health insurance by March 31, 2014, be exempt from the law, or face a fine imposed and collected by the IRS.

BE EXEMPT. Members of recognized health care sharing ministries are exempt from the mandate to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties. Enrollment with a recognized health care sharing ministry REMOVES your requirement under the healthcare mandate to purchase health insurance.

RECOGNITION. To maximize resources between ministries, in 2014 Liberty HealthShare℠ joined with Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc. (Gospel Light), a healthcare sharing ministry recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As a result, the members of Liberty HealthShare℠ have the security of being members of a recognized healthcare sharing ministry. Liberty HealthShare℠ is a healthcare sharing ministry of Gospel Light which is the non-profit organization that facilitates the sharing of qualifying medical costs between members.

Gospel Light received its recognition letter from CMS on March 31, 2014. For a copy of the recognition letter, click here.

EXEMPTION ACTION POINT. PERSONAL TAXES The IRS has prepared tax forms where taxpayers claim exemption as a member of a healthcare sharing ministry. These forms are simple to fill out and fairly easy to understand.

Follow these basic steps: 

Step 1: Calculate your 'Shared Responsibility Payment' on Form 8965
Step 2: Claim the months that you were a part of a healthcare sharing ministry as an exemption in Part III of Form 8965 using code ‘D’.
Step 3: Report on line 61 of Form 1040 the 'Shared Responsibility Payment' which was calculated from Form 8965

Form 8965 just asks for the Code under which members are exempt. Members of a health care sharing ministry utilize a Code “D” exemption. On Form 8965, leave Parts I and II blank, and in Part III, members simply write in the letter “D” in the column titled “Exemption Type.”

In the event an accountant or tax preparer asks for the name of the recognized HCSM through which members share medical bills, the formal name of our Health Care Sharing Ministry is: ‘Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc.’ Liberty HealthShare℠ is a ministry of that entity.

Obviously, you or your tax preparer will be able to access the Forms referenced above. Have questions? The Liberty HealthShare℠ team is here to help you! Contact us anytime. Info@libertyhealthshare.org or 855-58-LIBERTY

To view an example 8965 Form click here.

The Affordable Care Act’s Definition of a Health Care Sharing Ministry and Liberty HealthShare℠

Excerpt from 26 U.S.C. § 5000A(d)(2)(B): US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Liberty HealthShareSM
(a healthcare sharing ministry of the Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc.)
‘‘(2) RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS.
‘‘(B) HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRY.
‘‘(i) IN GENERAL. Such term [Our note: ‘term’ refers to ‘penalty’] shall not include any individual for any month if such individual is a member of a health care sharing ministry for the month.
‘‘(ii) HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRY. The term ‘health care sharing ministry’ means an organization:
‘‘(I) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a), Liberty HealthShareSM is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization exempt from taxation under 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, Members of Liberty HealthShareSM endorse a common set of religious and ethical beliefs when they enroll, and share expenses accordingly and without regard to the State in which a member resides or works.
‘‘(III) members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition, Liberty HealthShareSM does not “raise rates” or “cancel” anyone because of a costly health 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 Liberty HealthShareSM members have been sharing medical expenses continuously and without interruption since 1995
‘‘(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. Liberty HealthShareSM conducts an annual audit in accordance with GAAP, and it is available to the public upon request.

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