Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 12, 2013

First hurdle for Medi-Share cleared

(Continued)

FRANKFORT —

Buford pointed out DOI had only interpreted existing Kentucky law and that was why his bill is necessary.

He told the story of constituents who had depended on Medi-Share but now faced pregnancies without coverage because the organization was no longer operating in Kentucky.

Buford said he hopes to place an emergency clause on the bill, which would make it effective as soon as the governor signs the bill. It would first have to pass the full Senate, which seems likely given the number of Republican co-sponsors and then the Democratic-controlled House.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, was the only member of the committee to question those testifying in support of the bill — and he ultimately voted to pass the bill out committee.

In response to McGarvey’s questions, Baldwin said the organization had never been unable to pay for a member’s medical needs in its 19 years of operation. Over that period of time, he said, Medi-Share has paid out more than $500 million in “shared needs.”

He said the monthly fee averages about $400 per member and members are explicitly told when they sign up that Medi-Share is not insurance and payments are not guaranteed.

Buford said no member of Medi-Share had ever lodged a complaint with DOI during the time it operated in Kentucky.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

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