ALBANY, New York, September 29th — The New York State Department of Financial Services issued the following press release:
on July 8, 2021, Trinity Healthshare, Inc. (“Trinity”) has filed for abrupt bankruptcy as part of an enforcement action Financial Services Department alleges that Trinity and its subsidiary, the Aliera Companies (“Aliera”), are engaged in a fraudulent and illegal health insurance business new York.
In connection with its bankruptcy filing, Trinity, now called Sharity Ministries, ditched its current members, claiming that it was under no obligation to pay members’ medical claims, leaving millions of dollars in outstanding claims. Trinity’s actions underscore a core principle that underpins the department’s enforcement efforts: insurance products must be subject to government oversight to protect consumers. Insurance companies are regulated to ensure they stay financially strong and keep the promises they make to their policyholders.
In October 2020, the Department filed a lawsuit against Trinity and Aliera for illegally selling unregulated insurance products. As claimed by DFS, Trinity and Aliera were selling insurance products disguised as alleged “membership” plans of the Department of Health, claiming that the products were not subject to government oversight. Trinity pretended to be a health care sharing ministry but was entirely dependent on Aliera, its for-profit subsidiary, for essentially all of its activities.
DFS claims that Aliera skimmed most of Trinity’s membership payments instead of using them for their intended purpose: paying members’ claims. In conclusion, through its enforcement actions, the ministry has tried to prevent the new York Consumers from missing out on these illegal operations. Now, Aliera and Trinity are using Trinity’s bankruptcy filing as a shield from being held responsible for violating the law and paying medical reimbursements to consumers.
Consumers who had a plan with Trinity / Sharity or Aliera should contact the DFS Consumer Assistance Unit in the consumer complaint portal immediately. A full copy of the indictment and hearing letter against Aliera and Trinity can be found on the DFS website.