Fall 2016

New Health Plan Array Offers Meaningful Choice

Each year, The Episcopal Church Medical Trust (Medical Trust) strategically reviews its plan array and health plan vendors to ensure we address the evolving needs of our clients and members, while seizing opportunities for enhanced value and/or cost efficiencies within an ever-changing healthcare and health benefits environment.

Our multi-year plan array strategy identifies opportunities that will enable us to continue to provide highly valued benefits while managing the challenges of upward cost pressure, the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare system in flux, local market variation, and an aging population.

Our objective is to provide more meaningful choice and an overall program that both responds to the changing health benefits landscape and continues to meet the unique needs of the employers and plan members we serve.

In its decision-making about the 2017 plan array, the Medical Trust considered factors including enrollment levels, the availability of similar plans, provider participation across vendor networks, and the quality of existing health plan vendor capabilities.

“Our members can expect an even smarter healthcare program and more cost-effective benefits in 2017,” said John Servais, Senior Vice President, Benefits Policy & Design.

The new, more concentrated array continues the strategic direction initiated in 2016. The new gold, silver, and bronze set of Anthem plans rolled out for 2016 remains in place but with additional consolidation and simplification of other plan options. Each of the three plans currently offered by Aetna, the smallest of the Medical Trust’s relationships among nationwide plan providers, will be retired. Given the availability of similar plans, the UnitedHealthcare Choice Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan option will also sunset.

“The relatively small enrollment in these plans gave us an opportunity for consolidation with minimum impact on our members,” John added.

The complement of Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHP, formerly referred to as High Deductible Health Plans) that was introduced in 2016 has been expanded to include Kaiser’s regional plan offerings to create a meaningful choice for Kaiser plan members.

The new Kaiser CDHP and its linked Health Savings Account are comparable to the current Anthem “silver” level CDHP. The Medical Trust will also consolidate two existing Kaiser plans — the High and Mid-option EPO plans — into a single, “blended” High-option EPO plan.

Employers and members can look for the Medical Trust plan array to continue its transition beyond 2017. The outcome of Anthem’s plan to acquire Cigna will factor into the ongoing evolution of the Medical Trust’s plan array.

“We will continue to monitor the status of this potential acquisition,” John said, “and we remain confident that it will bring the best of both worlds for our members.”


Please note that this summary is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment, tax, or other advice. In the event of a conflict between the information contained in this summary and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern. The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates retain the right to amend, terminate, or modify the terms of any benefit plans described in this document at any time, without notice, and for any reason. Unless otherwise noted, websites referenced herein that are outside the domain are not associated with The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates (collectively, the “Church Pension Group”) and the Church Pension Group is not responsible for the content of any such website.