WKU Public Radio News Staff
Fri September 7, 2012
Activist Files Civil Rights Complaint Over Christian Health Sharing Battle
Kentucky Tea Party activist David Adams has stepped up his battle with the state Department of Insurance by filing a federal civil rights complaint. Adams has spent the last three months fighting with the department over the rights of Christian Care Medishare and other Christians-only health sharing organizations, Christian HealthCare and Samaritan Ministries.
The state is trying to remove Medishare because the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that it does not qualify for religious exemptions. Medishare refuses to either operate like a standard insurance company or leave the state, as officials have requested.
But Adams says the state is not targeting the other two religious health sharing groups in the same way, leading him to file the civil rights complaint with the federal government.
“The fact that they are creating a chaotic market for people, who are Christians, based on the fact that they are Christians, that’s in violation of civil rights law,” Adams says.
The state Department of Insurance says they have no knowledge of Adams's civil rights complaint. And they declined to comment on whether they are investigating the other organizations. But they have said previously they want to remove Medishare for consumer protection reasons.
Adams says his short-term goal is to get all health sharing organizations to be defined by the same law.
“The baby step that we’re taking is to get them treated the same under the law, so that we’re clear with the bureaucracy in Frankfort that the law means what it’s suppose to mean,” he says.
Adams is also working with state lawmakers to pass a law allowing insurance exemptions for health sharing organizations, which would render any legal battles moot.
Medishare is only open to Christians and requires members to follow a specific ethics code.