After many years of negotiations with the Montana State Insurance Commissioner, the Christian healthcare cost sharing ministry 'Medi-Share' was made available to Montanans.

Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale made the announcement on Monday.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce today that Medi-Share is now functioning in Montana," said Rosendale. "Now, folks will have another alternative to address their healthcare needs that is not dependent upon traditional insurance."

Rosendale said the reason Medi-Share had not been available in the state was because their old model asked members to send their donations to the nonprofit company, which would then distribute the funds to members to help pay their medical bills. That model was too similar to a traditional insurance company, and could not be regulated and overseen by the State of Montana, so it was not allowed in the state.

Rosendale said the company revised their operation to comply with Montana law.

"Now, they've changed that all around so that the funds are basically deposited in your own account, and everyone that is participating in this agreement has their own account, so if you submit a medical bill, then the rest of the members have the ability to contribute to that bill, and help you accommodate it."

According to the Christian Care Ministry website, those who join the 'Medi-Share' program must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, attest that they do not smoke or use any illegal drugs. They must also affirm that they do not have sexual relationships outside the realm of a Biblical Christian marriage.

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