A public service announcement from the Wyoming Department of Insurance reminded people that there are products like healthcare sharing ministries that are not considered insurance and therefore are not required to include the same protections that apply to fully insured health plans.

The following are commonly asked questions about healthcare sharing ministries:

Are healthcare sharing ministries considered insurance?

No. Health ministries are considered faith-based nonprofit organizations. HCSM do not provide comprehensive coverage and are not federally subsidized.

How does a healthcare sharing ministry work?

Each member of the HCSM pays a monthly membership fee. These monthly fees are generally less expensive than regular insurance premiums. The collected fees are pooled and distributed directly to members who need to pay qualifying medical bills. What a “qualifying” bill is depends on the ministry and is not regulated by the state or federal government.

Do healthcare sharing ministries cover every medical cost?

No. What costs are covered are completely up to the individual ministries. Since HCSM are not insurance, they do not generally have “in network” providers and may subject members to higher healthcare bills. Legally, HCSM do not have to provide funding to cover medical claims submitted by HCSM members and any funding provided to members is provided voluntarily by the HCSM. Lack of payment from the HCSM often leads to individuals negotiation prices with hospital billing and/or applying for charity care.

For more information on healthcare sharing ministries, read this article. 


Enroll Wyoming is a grant-funded nonprofit that offers information and free assistance to individuals and families who want to know more about their health insurance options. You can find our trained navigators throughout the Equality State.

Those in need of health insurance can visit or call 211 to set up an appointment. Translation services are available.

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