Proposed Church Health Plan Act of 2013
For over 100 years, church-affiliated organizations such as the Church Pension Group have provided retirement and health benefits to clergy and lay employees. Nationwide, over one million individuals receive healthcare coverage through national church organizations.
However, in the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress did not directly address church plans. So the Church Alliance, a coalition of 37 church benefit programs including CPG, has representatives meeting with congressional and government leaders regarding how healthcare reform will apply to church plans. The Church Alliance wants to ensure that any legislation considers the interest and unique positions of health benefit plans operated by churches and religious institutions.
In 2014, the ACA began offering premium tax credits to certain low- and modest-income families to reduce the cost of commercial health insurance plans offered through a health exchange (health insurance marketplace). Unfortunately, federal law does not extend the same premium tax credits to low- and modest-income clergy or lay employees of churches receiving coverage through a church health plan.
Church Health Plan Act
As a result of the ACA not extending the same premium tax credits available to the general public to the clergy and lay employees covered in church health plans, the Church Alliance is working with Senator Lamar Alexander to introduce legislation that would correct this shortcoming by allowing eligible clergy and lay employees enrolled in church health plans to receive the same premium tax credits as other individuals.
We'll continue to keep you updated on these efforts.
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