2017 Denominational Health Plan Annual Report
The Denominational Health Plan (DHP), which was established in July 2009 by General Convention Resolution 2009-A177 and its associated canon, continues to help domestic dioceses, parishes, and other institutions subject to the authority of the Episcopal Church control the rising costs of healthcare. The 2017 DHP Annual Report summarizes more recent developments with the DHP and can be viewed in English and Spanish.
Mary Kate Wold, CEO and President of the Church Pension Group (CPG), commented, “The DHP is an excellent example of effective collaboration between CPG and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The General Convention’s decision to consolidate healthcare purchasing power with The Episcopal Church Medical Trust (Medical Trust) and to require health benefits for all eligible clergy and lay employees has made it possible for the Medical Trust to provide responsive, comprehensive, and cost-effective healthcare benefits to those who serve the Church.”
In 2017, the Medical Trust advanced several key DHP initiatives, including these:
Strong Participation in the DHP
- Ninety-five percent of eligible clergy and lay employees either participate in one of the health plans offered by the Medical Trust or qualify for one of the opt-outs available under the DHP.
Containment of Healthcare Costs
- Over the past several years, most dioceses have either received low single-digit annual increases or, in some cases, no rate increase. This is a significantly more favorable trend than what is occurring with plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Access to Multiple, Best-in-Class Providers
- Medical Trust members have the ability to select coverage from the broad networks of Anthem BlueCross BlueShield (Anthem BCBS), Cigna HealthCare (Cigna), and Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser).
Support for Dioceses with Their Benefits Planning
- We provided education and other support to dioceses as they made choices about their offerings.
- We assisted dioceses in developing strategies for parity in funding of healthcare benefits for clergy and lay employees.
Continued Compliance with the ACA and Absorbed ACA Fees
- We adopted the ACA’s required tax reporting and plan design changes.
- We continued to absorb ACA fees, saving the Church more than $3 million in total costs over time.
The future outlook for the DHP is positive. After successfully completing our multi-year plan array strategy in 2017, we are in an even better position to offer the following:
- Robust access to multiple providers
- Affordable coverage
- Meaningful, rather than redundant, choices
For 2018, we are offering strong choices including Anthem BCBS, Cigna, and regional Kaiser plans, and we expect that selection will continue to be part of the DHP in the years ahead.
Frank Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer at CPG, added, “We are committed to helping the Church navigate the changing healthcare landscape. The DHP is fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act and we continue to monitor the ongoing debate over healthcare reform to see what, if any, impact it has on our plans. We hope individuals will read the DHP Annual Report and will remain confident that the Medical Trust is continuing to realize the potential of the DHP as passed by General Convention in 2009.”