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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Greg Linscott, Feb 25, 2004.
Any suggestions of avenues to explore regarding health insurance for pastors?
Try the Annuity Board with the SBC.
You are not alone in this concern, Greg. I have been wondering the same thing, since insurance is not usually offered in a pastor's salary...at least, not many that I know of.
Greg, unfortunately, denominational insurance funds tend to be a bit on the pricey side. The reason is simple. Statistics show that church employees on average are older than secular employees, and bear a greater cost of health care. Hence, the insurance rates will be a bit higher. You might want to seek out other coop insurance funds.
BTW, my cousin's church employes probably 100 people or so, and I think they use Blue Cross. He tells me that their denominational insurance is also too pricey.
Some of the pastors in my area have joined the local Chamber Of Commerce and get their insurance through their membership.They offer policies through 3 or 4 different providers.I know very well the maze that we must go through in this area.I am of the age where I can use a medicare/hmo/senior plan coupled with a state prescription plan. My wife is diabetic, and because of this pre-existing condition cannot get insurance.(If you're sick you cannot get health insurance).The church pays us directly the amount they would pay if they were purchasing health insurance for her and this about covers her prescriptions each month. Our accountant has this qualified as health insurance income for the IRS. Fortunately,so far, our income is below a certain level so that she qualifies for free care at the Joslin Clinic and at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.If this lasts for another two years, she will then qualify for medicare etc. We pray a lot!
I elected to not take the insurance of the annuity board because it was about double what I could get elsewhere. When my wife started working at a hospital that gave us great benefits.
Right now, insurance anywere is going to be high.
I belong to the "Christian Brotherhood", thousands of Christians who share an amount monthly to pay the legit bills of members. It is fine but not everything covered.
I cannot buy health insurance. And now will not live long enough to get Medicare (I'm only 55) and we can lose all our savings/home, etc in the near future.
We are taking care to spread assets so my wife will not be left with peanuts after putting up with THIS nut all her life!
I have heard that Christian Brotherhood is good.
Pardon my ignorance (and bluntness), but are you terminally ill?
Check out HMO's in your state. The Annuity Board began to offer HMO Plans here in Missouri and my premium dropped by $3600/year. I haven't seen any difference in the coverage.
We have had the Annuity Board before, but we couldnt make the payments. We dont currently have any health insurance.
This is what we did. The Annuity Board is way to high, forget them. Since we have 2 kids and are not planning on anymore we got a policy with Blue Cross and Blue Shield that didn't have any maternity benefits. This cut the price down greatly. Also, we are lucky that here in Georgia there is a plan for children whose parents that make under a certain amount of money can be covered. So, no maternity benefits, the children covered under the state plan (which is very cheap monthly and covers everything),and now have insurance for exactly half of what the annuity board charges.
Trapper's right. In Georgia we have PeachCare. Families can make quite a bit and qualify. We pay just over $10.00 a month (last time I asked my husband) for one child.
We're not in the ministry but my husband has numerous health problems and we're both over 50. Health insurance with very large deductibles for us would be more than we make in income. Hubby is able to use the V.A. and I just don't get healthcare.
I've spoken with a fella a few times about insurance for us. Right now, I just don't have an extra penny. However...
Give Ron a call at Medi-Share which is a Christian Alternative. It's part of the American Evangelistic Assoc. If he's not there, mention his name. He's helped a lot of people with health insurance and catastrophic insurance. It's 800-747-3389.
He earns his insurance by his referals so be sure to mention Ron Lively sent you. I've got his personal cell number if someone wants it.
We all are, right?
I have an aggressive neuropathy that is destroying nerves in my feet and legs, and now moving into my hands (hence many faux pas in typing). When it reaches the lungs, you die.
The MD says five years max. I have never believed a doctor in my life (esp the one I married). But I have to be wise in planning and being a steward of the time I have.
As do we all.
You seem to be handling it well. I appreciate your ability to "keep smiling" (at least "virtually" so), and keep many of us smiling through your Grif.net mailings and such. May God's grace continue to keep you going for Him!
Thanks for the input on Brotherhood. How has it helped you in your current situation? Would it make a difference with a younger family with a history of good health?
Be very careful when you go outside major carriers such as the Annuity Board or BCBS. There are many 'Associations" that prey on churches. Cheap rates but they are not there when claims are submitted.
If cost is a problem - and with churches it usually is, I recommend an MSA or HSA type plan with a $2,000 medical deductible. This will cover you in the even of a major medical claim, but you will cover trips to the Dr. or pharmacy until you satisfy your deductible. You can accumulate $$ in your MSA or HSA similar to that of a 401K that upon retirement can be used for long term care. Hopefully, if you or one of your staff members does have a large claim the church can help offset that large medical deductible. We set up a designated fund to do just that in our church.
tough decisions - be careful.
Dr. Bob, this is the first I have heard of your ailment - you will be in our prayers (everyonce in a while GOd hears the prayers of a moderate)
I can sympathize with the neuoropathy. I have a nasty form as well, my right side doesn't work (terrible for a right handed person), as a result of diabetes and two strokes. But I have worked to get some semblance of workabiility back, and I can make my hand appear to work normally, but I can't pick up a gallon of milk with my right hand. But I digress with the point of the post...
As for medicare, etc., I would urge you to apply for social security disability. You would be eligble for medicare two years after the effective date of the SSDI approval. I know you are politically conservative, and I am not, but don't let that stop you. That's what it was designed for. If you haven't applied, go to your local Social Security Office, they will help you fill out the forms. You may have to go see a Social Security M.D. Go, I have been to them, and they are just what they are. If they disapprove your case, get a lawyer. You might be able to collect some benefits within a year, and it might help save your assets for your spouse.
Will also pray for you on this one.
This is a time I am glad I live in Canada. We have national health and benefits for disability and it applies almost instantly.
Cheers Dr. Bob and Jeff, you well know that I share a canoe, and feel for you both.