Only in Montana: GOP Auditor Rosendale Holds Media Event to Welcome Group Banned for Health Care Fraud
Montana’s new insurance commissioner Matt Rosendale appears to have uncovered yet another foul health care repeal concept he can get behind: legalizing religious insurance pyramid schemes.
Yesterday he held a media event to end the ban on one such scheme. A group called “Medi-Share” that former state insurance commissioner John Morrison had shut down as fraud in 2007, after it tried to deny a man coverage for the heart surgery he needed claiming he wasn’t abiding by the companies “Christian lifestyle” codes. But now Rosendale has resurrected such schemes as an alternative to allowing Montanans to buy insurance through the exchange or to expanding Medicaid to the working poor. The legal documents in the fraud case disappeared from Rosendale’s website, but the internet has a way of making some things hard to delete entirely, and you can see them here.
Here’s how this works: To join the pyramid you must must pledge your devout Christian faith (and even get a reference from a minister). You must not drink, take drugs or have sex outside of a “traditional” marriage. Pre-existing conditions make you ineligible to participate at all, although one does get the benefit of a “prayer chain.”
The coverage doesn’t include products of “un-Biblical lifestyles,” such as contraception or substance use rehabilitation–or preventive care like PAP tests, colonoscopies and mammograms.