A Message from the Chair
A Message from the Chair is published after each regular meeting of The Church Pension Fund (CPF) Board of Trustees. It reflects actions taken by the CPF Board that impact the products and services administered by CPF, as well as other highlights of the meeting.
In these past 18 months, much of the world has adapted to numerous changes. For my own part, Zoom meetings are now normative. In the Diocese of Maine, we are busy planning our diocesan convention, and we’re CHOOSING to gather online because of the tremendous benefits we experienced doing so last year.
The meetings of The Church Pension Fund Board of Trustees (CPF Board) have also adapted. We conducted our June, September, and December meetings last year on Zoom. In 2021, we have held our March and June meetings on Zoom, and we’ll do so again in September. We hope to be in person for our December meeting. The efficiencies are great, but I am eager for us to be reunited, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together, and to be reminded of the power of incarnation and of the indescribable beauty that comes when we can see each other face-to-face.
With this news from our most recent board meeting, the CPF Board continues our commitment to serving you, the people of The Episcopal Church. You’ll find here information about a new product offering from The Episcopal Church Medical Trust (Medical Trust), decisions we made relating to the 2022 Medicare Supplement Subsidy, as well as our ongoing work with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I).
On behalf of my colleague trustees and the 415 employees who serve you, this comes with thanksgiving for the trust you place in us. May the blessing of Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come be with you.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown
Group Medicare Advantage Update
The CPF Board received an update on the work of the Medical Trust in exploring alternatives to the current Medicare Supplement Health Plan. A review of the Medicare landscape found that Group Medicare Advantage (GMA) programs offer improved value, lower cost, and easier benefits management. Effective January 1, 2022, the Medical Trust will offer eligible retirees and their eligible spouses a GMA plan through UnitedHealthcare, instead of a Medicare Supplement Health Plan.
The Medical Trust chose UnitedHealthcare because they are an industry leader, they offer continuity as the Medical Trust’s current Medicare Supplement provider, and they offer a robust set of resources and tools to support the transition with a minimum of disruption to eligible retirees.
GMA will enhance the Medical Trust’s overall offerings to retirees and is designed to simplify the process, make things more efficient for members, and offer savings to retirees and CPF alike. UnitedHealthcare will now manage doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs, versus the current model that creates the need for coordination between Medicare, UnitedHealthcare, and Express Scripts for prescription drugs.
There also will be greater resources and support tools for retirees, which the Medical Trust expects will result in better clinical outcomes. The Medical Trust plans a robust communications program in conjunction with UnitedHealthcare that will begin later this summer to inform retirees of the enhanced benefits offered through the new GMA plan.
2022 Medicare Supplement Subsidy Approved
Each year the CPF Board reviews the financial health of The Church Pension Fund (CPF) and determines its ability to provide a subsidy for medical coverage to retired clergy. CPF’s existing 2021 Medicare Supplement subsidy covers the current Comprehensive Plan for all Medicare-eligible clergy with 20 or more years of Credited Service and their eligible spouses or surviving spouses enrolled in the Medical Trust. The 2022 Medicare Supplement subsidy approved by the CPF Board may be used to cover the cost of the new Premium GMA Plan or to cover the cost of the Comprehensive GMA Plan and offset all or a portion of dental coverage for full-subsidy retired clergy and their eligible spouses.
A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The CPF Board renewed its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) to ensure that all voices are heard and it maintains an inclusive culture. It is working with an outside consultant to advance its efforts around DE&I. The CPF Board also received an update on DE&I at the Church Pension Group (CPG) and the progress that has been made in attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse workforce. They heard from several leaders of CPG’s Affinity Groups, who highlighted the success of these groups in driving inclusion and engagement.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees wil be from September 15 – 17, 2021.