As a Health Insurance Specialist for HealthInsuranceChaser.com and Chaser Insurance Group my goal is to find alternative solutions to help individuals find a better health insurance option than they currently have in place. When offering an alternative health insurance option to a pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio I truly realized the opportunity to make changes with the members participating the in the health insurance plan offered by the group of 1500 ohio churches. After explaining an alternative health insurance plan to the pastor and receiveing a very posative response, I realized that this scenario could be duplicated again-and-again to help many other pastors in his same situation.
Days after speaking with the pastor, I received a follow-up from the pastor expressing some concern due to the fact that he had met with a group of other pastors and when discussing the plan I had proposed, one of the pastors replied, “Sure, you can save money now, but you won’t have health insurance when you retire!” This may be somewhat true, but there are many things that have to be considered. Therefore, I responded with this information:
So that you understand the cost currently associated with the plan as it stands now, The health insurance plan currently cost a total of $14,052 annually for a pastor and their spouse. But the pastors portion of that premium is determined by their wage, a pastor and spouse making $35,000 per year would pay only $78 per month or $913 annually (6.5%) for their portion of the health insurance premium and a pastor making $105,000+ annualy would be resposible for $263 monthly or $3,161 annually (22.5%). In my opinion this is a very fair set-up and would be one that most anyone would be happy with.
In additon, you must understand the retiree benefit amount which is determined by years of service:
- After 10 years service you are responsible for 90%, currently would be $1,053 monthly for you and spouse, pre 2005 retirees would be $483 monthly
- After 20 years service you are responsible for 65%, currently would be $761 monthly for you and spouse, pre 2005 retirees would be $380 monthly
- After 30 years service you are responsible for 40%, currently would be $468 monthly for you and spouse, pre 2005 retirees would be $278 monthly
- After 40 years service you are responsible for 15%, currently would be $175 monthly for you and spouse, pre 2005 retirees would be $175 monthly
- And everything after 40 years stays the same as the 40 year mark.
As you can see the retirement benefit does go down over time, but you also have to remember that the benefits will also go down over time, the contribution numbers are based off of a percentage not a fixed amount, so the increase over time is going to be dramatic, especially with the older demographic of the people on the plan. In addition, the people that are opting to make the Methodist group health plan the primary payer are doing a huge disservice to the methodist health plan as a whole. The plan would be much better off having the retiree opt off of the plan, take medicare and also spend the money they were currently contributing to their portion of the premium and purchase a medicare supplement plan to fill the gap. This will give that person full health insurance at retirement. In additon, the money saved up in the Health Savings Account (HSA) would realistically cover all or most of their expenses throughout retirement, including the premiums for the medicare supplement plan.
As you can see, for many people there are better and more affordable health insurance options out there. You just have to find them many times. This is just one example, but in most situations there are similar solutions. You just have to be open to the idea of looking into options on your own and I would recommend starting out by getting a free health insurance quote online to compare to your current situation. You never know what you might find out.