by Don Ingwerson
Beginning in 2014, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), virtually all Americans will need to have a medical health insurance plan that meets federal requirements, or pay a tax penalty. (Those who are enrolled in Medicare or another government health plan will be treated as complying with the law; those enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan should check with their employer to confirm whether the plan is ACA-compliant.) So, like other Americans, Christian Scientists must think through their options under the ACA and how to comply with the law. This information, from the Federal Committee on Publication office, provides some helpful information to understand and plan for these health care requirements:
Christian Science coverage not included in state exchanges for 2014
As you know, over the past two years, the U.S. Federal Office has diligently worked to secure the inclusion of Christian Science health care services in health insurance plans offered at the state insurance marketplaces. We are deeply grateful for governmental receptivity to insurance coverage of this kind.
However, because of the time crunch that insurance carriers experienced due to state and federal governmental delays, it ultimately was not possible for Christian Science health care services to be included in the state exchanges for 2014.
Congressional exemption solution still uncertain
The U.S. Federal Office continues to pursue a legislative solution with Congress that would enable those with sincerely held religious beliefs against purchasing the required medical insurance to apply for an exemption.
There is strong support for this solution among Members of Congress; however, we cannot guarantee that Congress will act on the legislation this year. As always, please consult our website for periodic updates, and let us know if you’d like to help with these efforts!
2014 ACA decision flow chart
Looking for some guidance as you think through your options regarding the health care reform law in 2014? Check out this flow chart we’ve created for informational purposes (the Church does not provide legal advice).