For more than four years, the U.S. Federal Office has been actively engaged in the conversation about health care reform on Capitol Hill to represent the unique perspective of Christian Scientists.
For these individuals, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents a looming inequity: the health insurance most Americans will be required to obtain starting this year (2014)* will likely not include the type of care they use, nor does the ACA provide for a religious exemption that meets their needs.
As a result, the Church has been working on two possible solutions that would fix this unintended inequity in the health care law:
- ACA-compliant insurance plans and options that would cover Christian Science health care services. It appears Christian Science coverage was not included in the state insurance exchanges for 2014.
- a legislative solution in Congress that would allow those with “sincerely held religious beliefs” against purchasing the required health insurance to be exempted. While the ACA currently has a religious exemption, it is narrowly crafted and only applies to followers of a few select faiths.
We are grateful to the many friends, including Members of Congress, who have supported these efforts to find solutions for Christian Scientists under the health care reform law. However, please note that these proposed solutions cannot be guaranteed at this time.
*Please note that if an individual enrolls in a qualifying plan by March 31, s/he will not have to pay the penalty.
For additional resources surrounding this issue, check out our ACA Resources web page.