Are Muslims exempt from PPACA requirements to carry health insurance?

More rumors abound regarding requirements under PPACA. The latest e-mail circulating is that Muslims are exempt from the requirement effective in 2014 to carry health insurance.

So what’s the answer, do Muslims get an exemption?

Maybe, but highly unlikely. The fact is that PPACA contains the same exemption for all religious groups that currently applies to the Amish who are exempt from participation in Social Security, they neither pay nor do they collect benefits. Neither Muslims nor any other religious group is named in PPACA.  The only specified group exempt is American Indians.

Here is what PPACA actually says, note the reference to the Internal Revenue Code Section 1402(g)(3)(B)

Now two things to consider.  First, there is no single muslim sect that has these tenets even though there is some issue with the use of insurance. Second, in the case of the Amish there is a clear close-knit group that takes care of its own and thus forego Social Security benefits.  It is highly unlikely that any system could be set up to deny health care to millions of American muslims who conscientiously oppose buying health insurance (any more than the system does not provide care to individuals who do not have insurance today).


‘‘(A) RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE EXEMPTION.—Such term shall not include any individual for any month if such individual has in effect an exemption under section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which certifies that such individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division as described in such section.

Section 1402(g)(1) of the IRC provides, in part, that —

“Any individual may file an application . . . for an exemption from the tax imposed by this chapter if he is a member of a recognized religious sect . . . and is an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect . . . by reason of which he is conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act). Such exemption may be granted only if the application contains or is accompanied by . . .
(B) his waiver of all benefits and other payments under titles II and XVIII of the Social Security Act on the basis on his wages and self-employment income. . . .”

Here are some of the terms of the IRC Code provision (this is not a new section and not written as part of PPACA).

Section 1402(g)(3)(B) of the IRC provides that the tax exemption on religious grounds shall end after the time the individual ceases to be a member of a properly recognized tax exempt religious sect, or when he ceases to be an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect, or at the time the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that the sect of which the individual is a member ceases to meet the requirements of section 1402(g)(1)(C) or section 1402(g)(1)(D).

Section 1402(g)(1)(C) of the IRC provides that the Secretary of HHS determines whether such sect has the established teachings referred to in the first sentence of section 1402(g)(1).

Section 1402(g)(1)(D) of the IRC provides that the Secretary of HHS determines whether it is the practice of the sect for members to make provision for their dependent members which in his judgment is reasonable in view of their general level of living.

As I have said before, there is a lot to really worry about with PPACA, stop wasting time on uninformed, ignorant people who apparently don’t know how to read.


Categories: Healthcare

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