Unique church employee health plan

I received an interesting telephone call today from a woman who is working or designing an employee health plan for her small employer, a church. I have helped set up benefit plans (mostly the old-fashioned reimbursement type plans that are no longer allowed today under the Affordable Care Act) for many small churches and so apparently some lingering reputation persists.

Her comments were simple and straight-forward but unique and non-traditional. She was surprised when I said that I had never heard such a proposal before.

Here is their proposal:

  • There are about 10 employees who want group health insurance
  • The employer will sponsor the plan but cannot afford to pay the premium.
  • 3 of the 10 employees cannot afford the cost of insurance so the other 7 agreed to split the extra cost among themselves. (This she said “is the Christian thin to do”).
  • They want to avoid using individual insurance through the exchange (She was clear that they do not want “Obamacare” but she did not specify why).
  • They were disgusted by several group insurance brokers who she caller “lairs” and requested help finding an honest broker to place the insurance.

From an accountant’s perspective there are several messy issues with this proposal, Yet I was so moved by the original approach that I will do what I can to see this church resolve their health plan design issues.


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