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Health benefits for full-time and three-quarter time clergy

By: Leana Stunes, chief benefits officer, Dakotas UMC


Attention full-time and three-quarter time clergy!

As you may recall it was announced at Annual Conference this year that starting in 2022 it will be mandatory for all full-time and three-quarter time clergy to be on the conference health insurance unless they opt-out for one of the following reasons:

  1. Enrollment in coverage through former or current employer
  2. Enrollment as a dependent in your spouse’s employer-provided coverage
  3. Enrollment in Champus/TRICARE
  4. Enrollment in Medicaid or Medicare
  5. Coverage under HealthFlex through your local church (salary-paying unit) through your Plan Sponsor (Annual Conference) is considered unaffordable under the ACA.
    • Participant is not offered or provided HealthFlex coverage by the local church (salary-paying unit) through the Plan Sponsor.
    • The participant has no offer of employer-provided coverage under HealthFlex.

If a clergy falls under any of the above reasons, they would be able to opt-out of the conference health insurance.

Clergy who want to opt-out of the conference insurance will need to provide a letter of creditability from HR department where insurance is provided as proof that they are able to opt-out and will need to sign an opt-out waiver as well.

Annual election for 2022 will be November 3-18, 2021.

Remember although you may be opting out of coverage your churches will still be responsible for a HealthFlex Direct Bill. 

For more details please contact Leana Stunes.


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