SPRINGFIELD -- Recognizing the financial hardship that the current health insurance environment has placed on some of our pastors, the Conference Board of Pensions will present a group health insurance plan alternative to the 2017 Session of Annual Conference.
Four Pre-Conference meetings are set for Pre-Conference Briefings on the Health Insurance proposal.
Details of the plan are still being formulated. The proposal on the table at this writing would be that the local church or charge would pay $1,100 each month to the Conference for each full-time pastor appointed to the church/charge. This is currently the same amount that is being paid in a health insurance allowance to each pastor.
The pastor would then have the opportunity to choose between several plans and enrollment configurations with up to $1,100 to spend on premiums and ancillary plans. Any choices over and above the $1,100 figure would be the pastor’s responsibility to pay. All of this would be on a pre-tax basis under the current tax rules.
The new plan would begin on Jan. 1, 2018. This is a “mandatory plan” – which means that full-time clergy serving local churches and on conference staff will enroll. However, spouse and child dependent enrollment is optional. Part-time pastors are not eligible for enrollment.
The Commission on Equitable Compensation’s recommendation for 2018 is that if the Conference does not adopt a group plan for 2018, the pastor’s health insurance allowance will increase to $15,000 per year. It is currently $13,200.
These proposals will NOT affect retirees who are on the IGRC Medicare Supplement plan. There are no plans to change the Medicare Supplement.