The Aliera Companies (“Aliera”) asserts the Los Angeles Times (“LA Times”) posted an unscrupulous article about the company and its health care sharing ministry (“HCSM”) clients on August 14, 2020, at 9:31AM PT. The LA Times article refutes the US Treasury Department’s proposal to make HCSM contributions tax deductible, stating “…he (President Trump) has exploited the distractions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to quietly launch yet another attack on the affordable care act”.
On Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 6:48PM ET, prior to the posting of the above referenced article, the Aliera Companies received the following email from Michael Hiltzik, Business Columnist at the LA Times, requesting comment from Aliera:
“In connection with an upcoming column, I’d like Aliera’s comment on the above enforcement actions (TX, CT, and MD) including their current status, and any other legal actions against the company in connection with the marketing of faith-based health sharing programs. I’m planning to post a piece Friday by noon West Coast timetied to the Treasury Dept. proposal to make payments to sharing ministries tax-deductible. I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX or by return email.”
As stated in Mr. Hiltzik’s above email, the Aliera Companies had until 12PM PT to respond. Interestingly, the LA Times unprofessionally and unethically posted the article at 9:31AM PT, three hours ahead of schedule, stating Aliera had no comment.
Though the article was posted several hours ahead of schedule, without notice, the Aliera Companies felt it was necessary to provide the following statement and background to the LA Times to correct any falsehoods about the company:
“For clarification, Aliera is a holding and management company and is neither an insurance company nor a Health Care Sharing Ministry (“HCSM”); however, through multiple wholly owned subsidiaries, among other service-related contractual solutions to other industries, we do provide services to HCSM clients.
As a service provider, we do not belong on your HCSM forum, but we do feel compelled to offer our opinion on HCSMs. Our clients offer an affordable alternative to traditional health care, and we’re proud to have processed tens of thousands of share requests to date on behalf of our HCSM clients, totaling more than $220 million in shared payments, to meet the health care needs of HCSM members. Without this faith-based solution, many individuals and families could not afford the realities of increased health care costs in our country.
HCSMs offer an important solution to many United States citizens, and we will continue to remain confident in our country’s leadership and the longstanding judicial commitment to protecting religious practices against administrative overreach that limits individuals’ rights to health care and religious freedom.”
The Texas Attorney General filed a retaliatory lawsuit against Aliera, after Aliera and Trinity (HCSM client) prevailed in a lawsuit challenging a cease and desist order proposed by the Texas Department of Insurance. The lawsuit contains broad and ambiguous allegations, and the case has essentially been dormant for over a year. Trinity is not a party to the lawsuit, and Trinity’s status as a valid health care ministry is not an issue. A trial is preliminarily set for June 2021.
The hearing is not yet scheduled after Aliera and Trinity prevailed in a judicial appeal of a procedural ruling by the administrative law judge.
A hearing is set for September 29. Aliera is strongly contesting the allegations. The Maryland insurance administration initiated contact with Aliera under false pretenses (entrapment) and then claimed Aliera solicited in Maryland. Further note, Aliera has not promoted any HCSM membership expansion since 2017.
The initial LA Times article was soon redacted, yet only a few words from the above Aliera comment were included in the article. State actions against Aliera have often been constructed using ludicrous statements made in the court of law and perpetuated by unscrupulous news agencies. To give an example, the comment in this article stating Aliera “…admittedly siphons off over 70% of every dollar collected from its members to ‘administrative costs’…”, is a blatantly false allegation. The Aliera Companies’ subsidiaries follow strict contracts set by the HCSM clients and do not “siphon off” over 70% of every dollar but rather earns its fees for services provided to its clients. Generally, Aliera’s administrative fees are twenty-five percent (25%) of the overall HCSM member’s contribution, not including costs of ministry expansion. To be clear, Aliera does not have members; it simply provides contracted services to HCSM clients through its various subsidiaries. The monies paid to Aliera’s subsidiaries give our HCSM clients access to a cutting-edge backend system and share requests portal, a robust call center to handle service-related calls and a broad network of ministry representatives to assist HCSMs in growing their reach. Aliera, the holding company, also donates a substantial portion of its profits back to charity and to the growth of its HCSM clients, a cause it truly believes in.
The article posted by the LA Times shows an apparent lack of research regarding HCSMs and the Aliera Companies; of the tens of non-profit HCSMs around this nation, the agency decided to take a stab at a for-profit corporation who simply provides contracted services to HCSMs through its subsidiaries.
About The Aliera Companies
At the Aliera Companies, we create better, more efficient ways to do business. Through various partners and subsidiaries, the company is a top provider of innovative solutions, from IT platforms, to health care delivery systems. The Aliera Companies is focused on the unique aspects of providing a full spectrum of revolutionary services to businesses and organizations that fit every need and budget. The company offers state-of-the-art technology platforms, top-performing sales teams, creative marketing and advertising, and streamlined management services. Founded in 2015, the company has grown exponentially over the past five years and currently employs more than 250. For more information, please visit AlieraCompanies.com.