While members of health care sharing ministries, including Medi-Share, enjoy an exemption to the requirement to have qualified health insurance coverage, the penalty for non-compliance has been removed. As a result, Medi-Share members no longer have to complete Form 8965 when filing their federal income tax.
However, a number of state governments have now instituted requirements similar to the previous requirements of the Affordable Care Act and will be enforcing penalties for residents who do not have qualified health insurance coverage or an exemption. Currently, the states that have these provisions also provide an exemption for health care sharing ministries. We have included the most current information available concerning state health care regulations and how to apply for an exemption.
Instructions for Medi-Share Members When Filing Federal Income Taxes
UPDATE: Medi-Share Members no longer have to complete Form 8965
Beginning in Tax Year 2019, Form 1040 will not have the “full-year health care coverage or exempt” box and Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, will no longer be used. You will not be required to make a shared responsibility payment or file Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, with your tax return if you don’t have a minimum essential coverage for part or all of 2019.
Instructions for Medi-Share Members Filing Massachusetts Income Taxes
Massachusetts has a special exemption for members of sharing ministries like Medi-Share in the law requiring the purchase of health insurance. Specifically, the exemption states that a “health arrangement provided by established religious organizations comprised of individuals with sincerely held beliefs” constitutes “minimum creditable coverage,” as required by Massachusetts law .956 CMR 5.03(3)(c).
Because Medi-Share is not health insurance, the law’s regulations define sharing ministries like Medi-Share to be “deemed creditable coverage,” so you may specify Christian Care Ministry/Medi-Share as you or your spouse’s “Insurance Company or Administrator” when completing Form HC, Section 4f for filing with your Massachusetts Income Tax Return. Note, for purposes of full disclosure we suggest that below this entry you print: “Health arrangement, See 956 CMR 5.03:(3)(e).”
Additionally, to complete the form you will need the “Federal Identification Number” of Christian Care Ministry, Inc., which is 59-3556915 and your “Household Number” found on your Medi-Share ID card. If your spouse is also a Medi-Share member, you will use the same information in Section 4g.
CAUTION: Do not complete Section 8, “Religious Exemption.” That exemption applies to those with religious beliefs opposed to traditional healthcare, such as Christian Scientist. Do not complete Section 9 “Certificate of Exemption” either as it does not apply to Medi-Share members.
*If you have any additional questions about completing Schedule HC, please contact your personal tax advisor.
Instructions for Medi-Share Members Filing New Jersey Income Taxes
The State of New Jersey requires all state residents to have health care coverage or an exemption. Health Care Sharing Ministries, including Medi-Share, enjoy an exemption to this requirement because we are not insurance. To claim the exemption, Medi-Share members must visit NJ Health Insurance Mandate Coverage Exemptions website:
Completing the Online Coverage Exemption
- Go to Group Membership--Select Health Care Sharing Ministry--then Continue
- Identify the Period for which the Health Care Sharing Ministry Exemption is to be applied—Beginning Date and Ending Date
- List all family members First Name, Last Name, Social Security Numbers, Date of Birth, and relationship to Primary Taxpayer
- Enter Contact Information of Primary Taxpayer--then Continue
- Enter the Name of your Health Care Sharing Ministry: Christian Care Ministry—Check all three boxes and Submit
*If you have any additional questions about completing the Exemption Form, please contact your personal tax advisor.
Instructions for Medi-Share Members Filing Washington, D.C. Income Taxes
The District of Columbia has enacted a requirement for its residents to have either minimal essential health care coverage or an exemption. Members of Health Care Sharing Ministries, such as Medi-Share (because it is not health insurance), qualify for one of the exemptions.
Medi-Share members will need to file Income tax Form D-40 along with Schedule HSR DC Health Care Shared Responsibility Form.
Medi-Share members must complete Part III of the Schedule HSR. You must provide the name of each member of your family and their taxpayer identification number (TIN) which is the member’s social security number, include the Exemption Code D (Members of health care sharing ministries), and the number of months in 2019 that you and your family were members of Medi-Share.
- If you and your family were members for all 12 months of 2019, put 12 in the number of exempt months claimed.
- If you and your family were Medi-Share members for less than 12 months, enter the total number of months you were members in the number of months claimed under Exemption Code D.
- If you and your family were members of Medi-Share for less than 12 months in 2019 and did not have “Qualifying health coverage” during the remaining months of the year, you may have to pay a “health care shared responsibility assessment (penalty)” for the months you did not have minimal essential health care coverage or Medi-Share and will need to complete Worksheet A-2.
*If you have any additional questions about completing the Schedule HSR, please contact your personal tax advisor.
States Requiring Documentation for tax year 2020 but not for tax year 2019
Medi-Share members will be required to provide documentation to receive exemptions to the health care mandates in California and Rhode Island for tax year 2020. Medi-Share members in Vermont may have to verify their health care choice for tax year 2020. We will keep you posted on any additional changes in state requirements for health care mandates and how to file exemptions as a Medi-Share member.