Friday, May 30, 2008

Many Pastors 'On Their Own' for Health Insurance

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Many pastors in America are left to figure out their own health coverage with little or no help from their church or denomination, found a survey released this week.

“Thousands of pastors and churches are among the millions of Americans without health insurance,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, based on responses to the May Evangelical Leaders Survey.

The monthly survey asks the NAE board of directors questions based on relevant issues in society. The NAE board of directors includes the CEO’s of 60 church denominations, and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.

In the latest survey, the majority of respondents expressed that they had little or no help from their national denominations when it comes to securing health insurance.

Many pastors replied that they either received health insurance benefits through their spouse’s employer, a second job, or go without insurance.

“Well over 80 percent of our pastors get health insurance outside the life of the church,” reported one unnamed denominational CEO, according to NAE.


Blogger Zach Doppelt said...


Of course the rules are different for every state, but we had troubles transferring our Indiana Anthem plan to Virginia. We then had an agent help us get involved with a "one man group" that is available for only pastors and accountants here in VA, with complete maternity, etc...

We had to go through multiple agents to find this out... so my encouragement to Pastors is to research as much as they can, because there are sometimes creative options out there for us.


10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've struggled with this for years. I have an individual policy for my wife and I since are not part of a "group". I am spending more than $1000 each month and the coverage I have is not very good. My recent hospital stay required $500/day out of my pocket before any of the other charges began piling up. I have not been able to discover any real help in this area and would love to know if others have.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is possible to work with Anthem, United Healthcare, Medical Mutual and others through business-class brokers. In Ohio, McGohan-Branbender ( is a leader in individual and group plan options. A "regular" insurance agent, or working directly with the insurance company, is probably not going to be very helpful. Use a firm that specializes in brokering employee benefits.

Churches should consider providing high-deductible plans for their pastors coupled to a health savings account, which the pastor can open at his local bank or credit union.

Funds can be deposited regularly into the HSA as a benefit. The HSA can be used for everything health-related: doctor visits, drugs, eyeglasses, dental bills, etc.

This saves money overall, and provides a better benefit.

1:09 AM  

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