Every Texan (formerly Center for Public Policy Priorities) respectfully submits these comments in opposition to HB 1369. The bill builds on Texas’ current “safe harbor” for health care sharing ministries by creating a parallel track for sharing entities that can be for-profit and lack a common religious belief at their core. These arrangements would not be subject to protections for people with preexisting conditions and would multiply the consumer complaints and harm stemming from currently-authorized but unregulated health care sharing ministries in Texas. HB 1369 does not contain any of the consumer protections found in HB 573, and thus would do nothing to address growing consumer confusion about and well-documented harm from health care sharing products.
Today, Texas allows health care sharing ministries to operate on the honor system, without any oversight. That approach is no longer working in an industry with growing revenue, membership, and complaints. Legislators should focus on protecting consumers in the existing health care sharing ministry industry, which is drawing more scrutiny for consumer confusion and harm, and reject efforts like HB 1369 that would further expand unregulated sharing entities.
Read our full comments here.