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The Kentucky General Assembly passed a law allowing a Christian-only health care plan to resume operations in the state. The Florida-based Medi-Share ministry was shut down last year after objections from the Kentucky insurance department.

The plan helps pay medical bills for Christians who don't smoke, drink or engage in sexual relations outside of marriage.

The new law exempts the ministry from regulations that apply to traditional insurance companies.

Participants will be required to sign an affIdavit stating they're aware that payment of their medical bills is not guaranteed.

Medi-Share says participants know they're part of a charitable endeavor and are not purchasing insurance. They say members also understand the goal is to help cover medical bills for other Christians who may need help.

Medi-Share participants make average monthly payments of $300 to their own accounts at American Christian Credit Union. When other Christians need help paying medical bills, the funds are transferred directly to member accounts.

The legal battle between Medi-Share and Kentucky primarily concerned the state's ability to regulate the Christian health care ministry, which serves nearly 40,000 people in 49 states.

Medi-Share has helped Christians countrywide pay nearly $25 million in medical bills for Kentucky participants over the past 10 years.

The new law takes effect June 25.

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