As a further means of determining the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on CTC clergy and their families, the Central Texas Conference UMC is initiating a pilot program in 2017 that would enable local churches and the CTC to experience the use of alternative health coverage options for clergy outside of participating in the HealthFlex Exchange. Participation in the pilot program is limited to a maximum of 10 churches and requires the agreement of the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits (CBOPHB), the CTC Cabinet, the local church Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and the approval of the Church Council or equivalent church administrative body.
The following are the steps to take should your church be interested in being part of the 2017 pilot.
From July 1 to Sept. 1, 2016, the administrative body of a local church may make a request of the CBOPHB to be exempt from offering family coverage for healthcare by submitting a waiver request. The CBOPHB, at its discretion, will decide the appropriateness of each request.
Note to the Local Church: Exemption from offering family coverage would exempt ALL clergy and lay employees who are part of a church sponsored health plan from receiving family coverage - not just those enrolled in HealthFlex.
Any church interested in participating in the pilot program may request an application from the Conference Benefits Officer (CBO). All completed applications, including the waiver, must be received no later than Sept. 1, 2016.
The decision of the CBOPHB will be made by Sept.15, 2016 in order to allow all those selected to participate in the pilot to make adequate plans prior to their scheduled Charge Conference and the Annual Enrollment process in November.
All waivers granted will become effective January 1, 2017.
Under no circumstances does this exempt those eligible clergy or local church from being enrolled in the mandated conference health plan.