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Healthcare Battle

by Tim Isbell, August 2013

Every quarter I receive a little magazine from the Pensions and Benefits Department of the Church of the Nazarene. It's written for pastors in our tradition as a way of providing news related to retirement issues. Healthcare is a huge concern among all retirees, including ministers, and especially if health or other circumstances force them to leave full employment before Medicare coverage is available.

The July/August/September issue's lead story offers an excellent perspective on the health care battle in the United States. It's written by Don Walter, the director of Pensions and Benefits for the Church of the Nazarene. Despite the political polarization around healthcare these days, Mr. Walter writes a remarkably balanced article. In addition to offering an excellent top-level view of the issues, he brings a lot of personal experience to the reader - including his involvement in participation mandates.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"One of the biggest challenges the Board of Pensions and Benefits USA and our office have faced over the last three decades is health benefits for pastors. We tried a 'denominational plan' from 1983 to 1995. Unfortunately, it was offered without any enforceable requirements for participation. It eventually ended because only the sickest stayed on the program and there weren't enough healthy folks from whom to collect premiums. I've thought about that experience as I've listened to the debates over requiring people to purchase health insurance. It has been a 'deja vu all over again.'" 

You can read the whole article at Healthcare Battle - Round 83? (Link used with permission. If that link is down, click here for a 2-page pdf file of the article).



(edited by Grammarly)

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