Faith-based insurer banned from doing business in Idaho

Altrua Healthshare, a Texas-based insurer, has been told to either properly license in Idaho or stop doing business there.

The Idaho Department of Insurance issued the order against Altrua, a faith-based company that promotes itself as an alternative to medical insurance. Its members pay a monthly fee and agree to abstain from using tobacco and engaging in extramarital sex, while the company coordinates payment of medical costs, reports the Idaho Statesman.

According to the state department, companies that underwrite and assume financial risk for their members are considered insurance companies and must be licensed in Idaho to do business as such. Altrua uses an extensive underwriting process that includes a comprehensive application form to determine eligibility for coverage and coordinates payment of medical costs among its members.

Altrua must give its Idaho members 60 days advance notice of termination of membership. To continue doing business, the company must file for, and receive, a certificate of authority from the Department of Insurance to become a licensed entity in Idaho, according to Boise Weekly.

However, Altrua officials disagreed, claiming they are a charitable organization and do not assume risk or guarantee coverage.

To learn more:
- see the Idaho Statesman story
- read the Boise Weekly article
- check out the Idaho Department of Insurance press release

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