I'm posting this in "Law" because I'm specifically not looking for economic reasons.

Here's the context: Imagine people were very highly motivated to provide healthcare to anyone that needs it, so they start the equivalent of a national insurance that indiscriminately gives money for those who don't have it and need it. Basically, they do what they'd want the government to be doing, but as a non-government institution.

I did try some research, but found nothing close to this proposition, aside from a post here. Other things all refer to the high cost, so I'm wondering about other blockages not related to cost. In other words, if people were willing to pay the price, could it be legally done?

Would there be anything, aside from monetary cost, preventing this from working?

  • The recipients would probably have to pay tax on the awards unless the charitable group somehow covers that for them.
    – acpilot
    Sep 5 '20 at 19:12

You are describing a charity. In the simplest case, a charitable foundation could be established to receive donations and dispense payments for medical services. There are various irrelevant non-legal reasons why it might not work (e.g. insufficient contributions relative to demand). The main legal concerns of such a foundation are its tax liability (do they have to pay income taxes on contributions?), and local regulations (how do you distinguish between a scam and a real charity?). The tax question is primarily about 501(c)(3) status, and for the most part there should be no problems with charitably dispensing contributions, though there is a requirement that no part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual – perhaps the CEO would be an exception to the universality of the program (but providing equivalent service could be a pre-tax employment benefit). A recipient does not have to pay tax on a gift, owing to the "medical exclusion"

Registration is a state-level matter, here is the Washington law. Nothing in that law says "you can't provide coverage of medical expenses", and no maximum income level is imposed on the recipient of a charitable gift. The concern of these regulations is mainly record-keeping and access to records, not on specific ways of benefiting the community.

Since unlike taxes contributions cannot be coerced, this means that some people might not pay what other people deem to be "their fair share", which is, again, a political issue.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.