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CHRISTIAN HEALTH CARE MINISTRY GETS OK TO OPERATE IN MINNES0TA

 BARBERTON, Ohio, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- James E. Ulland, the Commissioner of Commerce for the State of Minnesota recently determined that the Christian Brotherhood Newsletter of Barberton, Ohio, will not be regulated as insurance in Minnesota simply because it coordinates payments between Christians who pay for each other's medical bills. Ulland seemed to initially take a position against the Newsletter when in September 1993 he asked for the Newsletter to explain why it should not be regulated as insurance or face sanctions for acting as an unauthorized insurer. In reversing that first impression, Ulland, by his Enforcement Supervisor Hollice Allen, declared: "This is to advise that based on our review of the available evidence we have elected to conclude our investigation without initiating administrative action. You should be advised that our decision not to initiate administrative action at this time, is based entirely on the information we have received describing the structure and operation of your program."
 Although no complaint had ever been filed against the Christian Brotherhood Newsletter by a subscriber in its entire 12 year history, the Commissioner of Commerce began an investigation against the Newsletter in September 1993 due to the prompting by other states' insurance regulators who were themselves conducting administrative actions against the Newsletter. The Newsletter General Counsel, J. Michael Sharman, and subscribers within the State of Minnesota presented arguments that it was an expression of its subscribers' religious beliefs and merely a means of bringing people together to help each other in times of medical expense crisis. After careful study and analysis, the Minnesota Commerce Commissioner agreed.
 The Christian Brotherhood Newsletter is a publication correlating church efforts across the United States to help Christians who have qualifying medical expenses. The Newsletter lists medical expenses each month and allows other subscribers to send directly to the subscriber in need on a voluntary basis.
 Minnesota joins the insurance departments in Missouri, Kentucky, Oregon, South Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, Kansas, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Washington and Michigan who have determined that the Newsletter is either not insurance or presents no harm to the public. Still at odds with the Newsletter are the states of Iowa, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Wisconsin.
 From Jan. 1, 1993, to Nov. 1, 1993, the Christian Brotherhood Newsletter subscribers helped each other pay over $27,900,000 in medical needs.
 -0- 11/16/93
 /CONTACT: Dale E. Bellis of the Christian Brotherhood Newsletter, 216-848-0124/


CO: Christian Brotherhood Newsletter ST: Minnesota, Ohio IN: SU:

BM-KL -- CL004 -- 4861 11/16/93 07:59 EST
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Date:Nov 16, 1993
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