Concordia Plan Services (CPS) supports you and your ministry by providing benefit programs to meet the needs of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) ministries and its workers in a manner consistent with our faith.
In 2014, we chose to stay the course with regard to the Concordia Health Plan (CHP), emphasizing stability and education. However, in 2015, we will introduce “transition.” This transition will revolve around four key factors to meet your needs and the needs of your workers. Those factors include:
The reasons for this transition include:
- Feedback we have received from you. The CHP for 2015 and beyond will need to be cost effective for employers, while meeting the broad needs of all workers.
- The need to be flexible in planning and preparing for the changes ahead that will impact the CHP as a result of the ACA. One change in particular is a 40% excise tax, or Cadillac Tax, that will be imposed beginning in 2018 on high-end employer-sponsored health care coverage.
- Legislative provisions of the ACA. These provisions caused us to consider the different types of organizations we serve and capitalize on the flexibility in plan design options that these provisions allow, while still meeting the needs of ministry and upholding our Lutheran faith.
- Group 1 – Churches, conventions or associations of churches, and integrated auxiliaries: These organizations are exempt under the ACA from having to provide coverage for certain women’s preventive care services that are not aligned with our Lutheran beliefs. This exemption is sometimes referred to as the conscience protection clause.
- Group 2 – Universities, some schools, and Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs): These organizations are not exempt under the ACA from having to provide coverage for certain women’s preventive care services that are not aligned with our Lutheran beliefs. Therefore, the conscience protection clause does not apply to them.
What to Expect in 2015
- In 2015, we are introducing four health plan options to those organizations in Group 1. These include two preferred provider organization (PPO) and two high-deductible health plan (HDHP) options. All four offer comprehensive coverage similar to our current plan options, but with changes to network deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, coinsurance, and prescription drug costs. In addition, a health maintenance organization (HMO) option will continue to be offered in those locations where currently available. Special communications devoted to helping you understand the changes and your options will be sent throughout the summer.
For Group 2, current health plan Options A through E plus Option HDHP, will continue to be available. In addition, an HMO option will continue to be offered in those locations where currently available. Keeping these options available for employers in this group will assist those employers that are not considered exempt from covering certain women’s preventive services in complying with the law.
- We will initiate the 2015 election process earlier than in years past. Printed materials will be delivered to you in late June.
- An important distinction in this year’s election process is that you will be strongly encouraged to engage with us and make an active election decision for 2015.
IMPORTANT: Your election period will begin in July, and you will have until September 8 to make your elections.
CPS is evolving to better serve you. We will continue to provide you with total health solutions, beyond administration of your benefit plans. We are committed to supporting you and your ministry. We are in this together, and we look forward to a successful 2015 enrollment.