ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Aliera Companies (Aliera) asserts the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) unjustifiably issued a cease and desist order (C&D) against the company and one of its clients, Trinity HealthShare, on December 3, 2019. CID issued the cease and desist order without a prior hearing, or even prior notice, which would have permitted Aliera to explain its legal status prior to C&D.
According to the C&D, Aliera and the healthshare were “conducting an insurance business illegally in Connecticut”. This statement has no factual basis, and Aliera and the healthshare have requested a hearing. With the rising cost of health care and insurance premiums, the citizens of Connecticut should have access to affordable health care alternatives, and the Aliera Companies is going to vigorously defend its right to offer such products and programs in the state.
CID maintains that Trinity health sharing programs marketed and administered by the Aliera Companies were misrepresented as insurance to Connecticut residents. The Aliera Companies has no knowledge of such misrepresentations, and the Connecticut Department of Insurance has not presented any evidence to support such allegations.
Furthermore, as in many states, Connecticut law defines insurance as a contract in which one party agrees to pay a specific sum or indemnify the other party for specific losses as a result of specified events. Health sharing does not meet any of these terms.
Health sharing is not insurance because:
- Health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
- HCSMs are not a contract, and there is no promise to pay on the part of the health care sharing ministry.
- HCSMs have no reserves.
- HCSMs require the signing of a Statement of Beliefs, which declare a member’s faith and legitimacy for membership.
- HCSM members share “member-to-member” as opposed to from a “pool” of monies.
- HCSM members are members for life.
- Prior to membership, consumers must acknowledge by signature that they understand they are joining a healthcare sharing ministry and that they further understand that HCSM programs are NOT insurance.
As one can see, HCSMs and insurance have more differences than they do similarities. Fortunately for Aliera, this misperception was the primary component of the C&D; the company looks forward to correcting this misperception at the upcoming hearing.
Listed as a secondary point in their December C&D, CID also mentions one particular health sharing ministry member complaint. In an effort to protect member information, Aliera will not reveal any identities, but, interestingly, this member has no correlation to Trinity HealthShare, who was the health share named in the C&D. This individual was a Unity HealthShare member, and Aliera hasn’t marketed Unity programs since 2018 and is only administering the program under a previous court order. The Unity block of membership was unsustainable, and, in an effort to support the membership, the Aliera Companies used its own administrative fees to pay millions of dollars in Unity share requests up through February 15, 2020. Now, CID has singled out Trinity, and its administrator, Aliera, for enforcement action. It is of Aliera’s opinion that CID wants all non-ACA health care plans and programs out of their state, including health care sharing programs.
Until further notice, the Aliera Companies and their client, Trinity HealthShare, are permitted to continue to service the existing Connecticut membership but are, unfortunately, prohibited from offering these affordable alternatives to additional Connecticut residents. The hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, but CID has postponed the hearing to a later date.
About The Aliera Companies
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., The Aliera Companies supports multiple wholly-owned subsidiaries with a combination of services dedicated to providing innovative solutions that simplify and redefine the health care experience. The flexible structure and highly experienced management team afford each subsidiary the opportunity to scale quickly, diversify and grow. The company employs more than 260. For more information, visit alieracompanies.com.