On Sunday night, John Oliver took a deep dive into the world of Shared Health Care Ministries (HCSMs), faith-based plans that might look like health insurance, but aren’t actually health insurance. And many participants only find out after it’s too late.
The host of “Last Week Tonight” told the story of a family whose child had a brain tumor removed and ended up with a bill for $ 325,000 that was not covered by its HCSM.
“Holy shit,” Oliver said incredulously, calling it “exactly the kind of immoral behavior I would expect sharing ministries to be classified as” fucking disqualification. ”
The company finally paid off after the story received media coverage.
“It shows how little recourse you have,” Oliver said. “If you don’t have a kid that you can put on TV to shame the business, you might be out of luck. ”
Oliver said he understands why people sign up for HCSM.
“I get the allure of cheaper health insurance,” Oliver said. “The problem is, that’s not it. It’s not insurance at all, and states should at least pass laws to make sure people know what they are getting into with HCSMs and require them to allocate funds properly.
But some states, he said, were doing the exact opposite. For example, Florida has lowered the bar so much that anyone can create an HCSM. Anyone, including Oliver himself. Thus, he resuscitated his “church”, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, which he created in 2015 to show how easy it was to use religion to exploit tax loopholes.
Now this church has a spin-off called Our Lady of Perpetual Health, which offers an HCSM called JohnnyCare, with its own website.
“It was all incredibly easy to do,” said Oliver.
Then he brought comedian Rachel Dratch back as his fake televangelist wife to explain this totally insane and 100% legal diet, now available to Florida residents with $ 1.99 to spare and a desire for three band-aids:
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