Rev. Dr. Beverlee Bell made a presentation to the Iowa Annual Conference on Action Item #400, Board of Pension and Health Benefits
“Medical insurance is the big news,” said Rev. Bell “and the future of insuring pastors.”
She gave a report on the history of health insurance provided by the Iowa Annual Conference.
For several years the Iowa Annual Conference was self insured, one-third of the premium paid for by the pastor and two-thirds paid for by the church.
In the 1990’s the Conference was taking a radical spiral down because of the premiums and ended up $800,000 in debt.
“Something had to change,” she said. The only way to get insurance coverage was to require all Conference pastors to have health insurance to equal out both those using the insurance and those who were not (those with fewer claims were opting out of the plan and those with larger claims remained on the plan)
The Conference began offering different plans including a higher deductible plan with lower premiums and added a Health Savings Account. Through our current mandatory insurance plan, participants choosing single coverage can not be required to pay any part of the premium.
The new plan proposed, in an effort to control the cost of the premiums, would raise deductibles by $500 and $1000 - $3000 for single coverage and $6000 family. By offering a qualified high-deductible plan, the Board of Pension may contribute to either a health savings account or a health reimbursement account for each eligible health plan participant.