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September 23, 2011

Dear Diocesan Health Insurance Participant and Church Employers:

The benefits committee of the Diocese met today and we are pleased to report that we voted to make no increase in the premiums for 2012.  The primary reason for this was lighter than expected claims in the 2010-2011 plan year.

The committee will meet again in April of 2012 to decide if we will be able to partially fund participant’s health savings accounts as we have done for some years in the past.   In the meantime, some churches have opted to fund their employee’s accounts, and we heartily encourage them to do so.  Please be reminded that if you do decide to fund accounts at the church level, remember that IRS regulations require that you do so in a non-discriminatory manner, meaning all participating employees receive the same dollar amount or the same percentage of their income, etc.  You may NOT favor clergy over laity in this funding.

It might be well to reiterate the diocesan policy for covering employees under our plan.  All employees who work an average of 30 or more hours per week, and who are not temporary employees are eligible to be on the health plan.  Employees must sign a waiver to voluntarily opt-out.  Health premiums will be employer-paid for a single plan participant at 90%, with the employee paying the additional 10%.  The additional cost for spouse or dependent coverage will be shared 50% each by the employer and the employee.  Diocesan policy and IRS regulations require this also be done in a non-discriminatory manner, meaning clergy and laity alike are treated equally in funding offered by the church.  The 2012 rate sheet already has the breakdown of the church and employee’s share of the costs figured for you.

We would also like to remind everyone that any billing account for health insurance premiums that is over 90 days in arrears is subject to cancellation of insurance.  The diocese is no longer in a position to continue coverage for employees whose accounts remain unpaid after 90 days.  If you have an amount owing on your September billing that is 90 days old or more, and you believe it to be incorrect, please contact Susan Burns (sburns@dioceseofsc.org) or (843) 722-4075, ext. 104.  If the amount is correct, please make every effort to clear up the old balance immediately.

If you have any questions concerning any of this, please feel free to contact me at nancya@dioceseofsc.org or (843) 722-4075, ext. 101.

In His Service,


Nancy J. Armstrong
Assistant Treasurer/Diocesan Administrator

 

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