New Bethany Rates Announced

CHICAGO, IL (October 11, 2017) – Bethany Benefit Service health insurance rates for 2018 will increase 3 percent, and rates will remain the same for UNUM life and long-term disability insurance, it was announced today.

“Bethany Benefit Service continues to offer outstanding insurance coverage with yearly increases that are lower than industry trends,” said ECC treasurer and director of finance Paul Hawkinson. “While other plans often mask their cost containment in increased deductibles and copays, Bethany Benefit Service is not changing core coverage levels yet again in 2018.”

“In comparing Bethany Benefit Service to others, it is important to remember the comprehensive variety and high-quality nature of coverage that is included in the health insurance rate,” Hawkinson said. He noted, “Low deductible, Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, prescriptions, dental, and vision are all included.”

Bethany is adding enhancements to the plan that are designed to reduce members’ out-of-pocket expenses:

• Discounted three-month prescriptions at Walgreens pharmacies.
• SmartShopper: Pays you cash for “shopping” for care/certain services. More information will be coming soon.
• Electronic access to premium invoices.
• Enhanced, concierge-style customer service with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
• Facebook page to keep members and churches updated with benefit updates and wellness articles.

Bethany has added other enhancements to the insurance package in recent years:

• Teladoc: A telemedicine service to allow members to receive medical care by phone with a licensed physician anywhere in the United States at no cost.
• Fitness Your Way: A wellness option offered through Blue365 to enroll in a discounted fitness center program.
• Blue Distinction Centers: Deductibles are waived and coverage increased from 80 percent to 90 percent at facilities and hospitals with this award for certain procedures and diagnoses.
• Women’s health: Coverage for birth control was enhanced, and coverage for breast pumps for pregnant mothers was added.

The Bethany program provides coverage for pastors, employees of local Covenant churches and regional conferences, conference centers and camps, Covenant pastors who work for voluntary employers of the Covenant Pension Plan, and employees of denominational offices.

Churches or individuals interested in learning more about participation in the Bethany program may call Bethany Benefits personnel at (800) 313-8955 or email bethany@covchurch.org. Information also is available by visiting Bethany Benefit Service online.

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Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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