Health Benefits and Pension Information

Health Insurance Plan updates:

The 2017 Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference session approved the move to HealthFlex Exchange as the Conference’s health insurance program beginning January 1, 2018. Participants will have access to six different health plans as well as dental and vision coverage options.

In preparation for this year’s health insurance annual election November 1 to 16, the OR-ID Conference Board of Pensions is scheduling four 90-minute workshops to provide information and plan selection tools as you prepare to make decisions about your 2018 coverage. Lisa Pronovost, Tim Overton-Harris and Dan Wilson-Fey will be offering these workshops. Here is the schedule:

  • Thursday, Sept. 14       6:30 p.m.           Oregon City UMC
  • Friday, Sept. 15            1:00 p.m.           Boise: First UMC 
  • Monday, Sept. 25        10:00 a.m.           Hillsboro UMC
  • Thursday, Sept. 28      10:30 a.m.          Trinity UMC in Eugene, OR

If these dates do not work for you, please contact Lisa Pronovost. She will seek alternative ways to give you the information and support you in the election process.

Got more questions?  See the FAQ section below or contact Lisa Pronovost ( and 503802-9224) or Dan Wilson-Fey ( and 503-802-9222).

Here are links to resources that will be shared and discussed at the workshop sessions:

2018 HealthFlex Transition

Will this change affect the Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) for retirees?

  • No. The benefit reimbursement accounts offered by the Annual Conference and managed by Benefit Help Solutions for qualified retirees, will remain exactly the same for 2018.

Isn’t our current plan serving us? Why the change?

  • Our current plan has two options of coverage. Moving to HealthFlex exchange offers participants six plans to choose from, some of which are substantially cheaper. Dental and enhanced vision coverage choices are made available with this change. For those choosing a high deductible health plan (HDHP), participants will open a Health Savings Account (HSA) into which unused defined contributions (“credits”) will be deposited.

What is an HSA account?

  • An HSA Account, available to those with High Deductible Health Plans -- as opposed to Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) -- has some important differences from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). Click here for more information.

How much are conference insurance rates going up in 2018?

  •  2018 Insurance premiums charged to the Annual Conference are increasing 7% over the 2017 rates.The blended rate for local churches is increasing 3.5% to $1294 per month.

Why are our insurance rates going up?

  • The costs to insurance companies to provide insurance to participants is going up for nearly everyone in the U.S. We are no exception. Our Conference’s claims loss ratio for 2016 was 155%. This means that for us as a group, our insurance company paid out $155 in health insurance and pharmacy claims for every $100 they collected in premiums.

Who will pay for the cost increase?

  • The cost increase will be borne by these three sources:
    • Local churches
    • Participants
    • Conference health insurance reserve funds

What is a “Defined Contribution” in HealthFlex Exchange?

  • This is an amount given to participants serving local churches, depending on the level of coverage they choose (Participant or Participant+1 or Participant+Family). The participant may “spend” this credit on premiums for whichever medical plan they choose, as well as different levels of dental or vision care coverage.

When will we enroll in this plan?

  • Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance elections will be November 1-17.

Does Pacific Northwest Annual Conference use HealthFlex Exchange?

  • Yes. Both Pacific Northwest and Alaska Annual Conferences began using HealthFlex Exchange in 2016. Desert Southwest Annual Conference also moved to HealthFlex Exchange in 2016. 

Will the plan choice made by participants affect what a local church pays for health insurance?

  • No. All local churches with clergy eligible for health insurance will pay the same "blended rate" no matter what level of coverage the participant chooses. The local church blended rate in 2017 is $1250/mo. and has been at that level since 2014. The rate for 2018 will be $1294/mo. 

Please check back here later for more FAQs; this page will be updated periodically.

If you have further questions, contact the Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer, Dan Wilson-Fey, at or 503-802-9222, or Human Resources Manager, Lisa Pronovost, at or 503-802-9224.

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