CHICAGO, IL (November 5, 2010) – Applications are being accepted from Evangelical Covenant Church pastors desiring to obtain medical insurance coverage through Bethany Benefit Service.
The window of opportunity to file applications – popularly known as the open enrollment period – ends January 1, 2011. A special mailing went out earlier this month to all local Covenant churches, conference and other offices with staff who qualify for membership in the plan, explaining the application process along with the plan’s features and benefits.
The plan is available to all qualified individuals who work at least 20 hours per week, says Christina Kempe, benefits coordinator.
Although premium costs for most major medical insurance plans will increase on average 10.2 percent next year, the Bethany Benefit Service plan will only increase four percent, Kempe points out. Some health insurance plans are calling for premium increases in excess of 20 percent next year.
“There are many things to consider when purchasing medical insurance,” Kempe points out, including the level of deductibles, co-pays, generic drug co-pays, and the range of health care services that are covered.
The Bethany plan provides coverage for medical, dental, vision, and prescriptions as well as life insurance, accidental death and disability and long-term disability.
New features available in 2011 include:
* The addition of orthodontia for all ages – Delta Dental will cover 50 percent of orthodontic treatment with a $1,500 lifetime maximum per person.
* Immunizations that have been covered only if administered in a doctor’s office will now be available for a $20 co-pay at any local participating pharmacy.
* Beginning January 1, children age 25 and younger will be eligible for coverage.
Long-term disability is one key area to consider, she says, especially the challenge of continuing to pay medical insurance premiums should an individual become disabled and is unable to work. “The Bethany plan will pay the health insurance premiums on behalf of the pastor for up to two years should they encounter a long-term disability need,” Kempe notes.
Another key benefit is payment of Covenant pension contributions as well as the waiving of life insurance premiums on behalf of the pastor for the duration of the disability – another important feature not found in other plans.
The Bethany deductible of $300 is one additional area to consider – it is lower than many other plans that often include higher deductibles as a way to lower premium costs, requiring more up front out-of-pocket expense for the participant.
To obtain additional information, visit the Bethany Benefit Service website, email Kempe or call her at 773-907-3376 to request an enrollment form.