Preachers' Aid Society responds to health care proposal
By now most of you are aware of the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits’ (CBPHB) proposal to Annual Conference to eliminate the health insurance plan for active clergy and families beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Active clergy and families will probably purchase plans on the Exchanges, individual policies, or purchase coverage through a working spouse with employer health insurance benefits.
PASBF’s Board of Directors has been kept informed by the CBPHB regarding this possibility, and PASBF has been in discussions on the Medicare Supplement plan for retirees. PASBF greatly appreciates the CBPHB open dialogue related to this issue. As of this date, the Board of Directors has not met regarding this proposal but I can share some insights with you.
- There are no changes proposed or planned for the Medicare Supplement. PASBF is committed to contribute the money to purchase the Medicare Supplement. This means there will be no changes for health insurance for Medicare-eligible retirees and spouses in the plan for the foreseeable future. Our retirees and spouses in the plan will continue to enjoy a no deductible, no co-pay supplement for most Medicare-approved procedures and amounts, and the base monthly premiums of $35 per month for retirees and $70 per month for spouses will remain the same as well in 2015.
- There is a possibility of some groups of retirees and spouses being impacted negatively from this proposal by CBPHB). One possible example is non-Medicare eligible spouses who are currently in the active plan. The Board of Directors will be discussing this situation and possible others at its April board meeting.
- Retirees and spouses who are not in the health insurance plan sponsored by the Conference will not be impacted by this proposal. They will continue in the plans in which they are currently enrolled.
- If the proposal passes, there will need to be a change to the rules of eligibility for the Medicare Supplement. Under our current rules, retirees and spouses are required to be in the active plan for a certain period of time to be eligible for the retiree plan. Obviously, if the active plan is eliminated, new rules for eligibility will need to be created.
- For the past few years, PASBF Board of Directors has been discussing plans for new eligibility for the Medicare Supplement. Plans have not been finalized at this time and the Board will continue this work in the coming year.
Please know that PASBF will stay vigilant in exploring issues related to our retirees and spouses. Feel free to contact me at 217-529-3221 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns that you have over the proposed changes in health insurance or any other concerns.
Rev. Keith Anderson
Preachers’ Aid Society and Benefit Fund