Continued uncertainty in the health care marketplace with the repeal of the individual mandate coming in 2019 and reductions in the number of individuals served by the health care exchanges has some pastors and ministry workers wondering about health care options this year.
Further, the Affordable Care Act continues to drive up costs for consumers nationwide. GuideStone Financial Resources recognizes that affordability is a key issue, and while, like others, the Southern Baptist entity is not immune from the financial pressures caused by the 2010 law, President O.S. Hawkins said, “We are working diligently every day to develop options that reflect the values of our participants and keep costs extremely competitive in the marketplace.” He noted personal health plans offered by GuideStone may be options for churches with a single staff member, usually the pastor.
“We take seriously our ministry assignment from Southern Baptists to make available life and health coverage to our churches and ministry organizations, especially those pastors serving out at the crossroads,” Hawkins said. “We’d encourage any pastor of a single staff-member church to call GuideStone to see if we may be able to serve him and his family.”
For GuideStone to provide health insurance to a pastor or other single staff member, he must be a paid employee of an eligible church or ministry that is affiliated with or shares common religious bonds with the Southern Baptist Convention and works 20 or more hours per week.
GuideStone’s personal health care coverage options include traditional PPO plans, an economy PPO plan and a federally-qualified High Deductible Health Plan designed to be paired with a Health Savings Account.
Churches and pastors interested in seeing if GuideStone can serve them in the individual marketplace can call 1-844-INS-GUIDE (1-844-467-4843) or visit GuideStoneInsurance.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)