FCMM Benefits & Retirement, the church benefits organization of the EFCA, is pleased to announce access to group health insurance programs starting July 1, 2015. The highly respected health plans of GuideStone Financial Resources (the benefits board that serves Southern Baptist and other evangelical ministries) will be available to EFCA churches through an arrangement with FCMM.
GuideStone insurance plans offer a wide range of solutions to fit a variety of needs and budgets. And now churches with as few as two eligible employees can access the plans as group health insurance, meeting the eligibility for pre-tax benefit.
Personal plans are also available for one-employee-church pastors, but only within 60 days of new hire or with a HIPAA-qualifying event such as marriage, addition of a family member, or loss of coverage. Personal plans for those qualified are available with no medical underwriting restrictions. A GuideStone personal plan is considered part of a group plan, too, allowing for continued tax-free employer premium reimbursement. However if you are a group of one the recent IRS guidance under the Affordable Care Act has exempted you from the ACA reforms. You may continue tax-free employer payment or reimbursement of medical premium of a one-employee plan regardless of “group” or “individual” designation. (See ACA updates from FCMM here.)
A church employer obtaining group health insurance for 2-4 participants will chose one health plan. Employers covering 5 or more participants may offer two health plan choices. The employer must cover all full-time eligible employees. “Eligible” is defined as an employee who has no other group plan coverage, such as coverage under a spouse’s health plan or Medicare coverage.
As with any group health plan, other rules and procedures will apply. Each group plan eligible employee must complete a personal health questionnaire and there are thresholds for employer contribution levels.
Starting June 1, 2015, EFCA churches may contact GuideStone at 214-720-1190 or email@example.com to inquire and request a proposal. Visit www.guidestone.org for general health plan information.
FCMM currently offers benefits services to churches including Retirement Plan, Long Term Disability Insurance Plan, and Payroll Service, as well as human resources expertise. Our partnership with GuideStone now adds the important benefit of group health insurance.