Health Insurance for Clergy, for Church Employees, for All

The church is not immune to the health insurance crisis that is sweeping the nation.  From the worse-than-average health of clergy today to the huge ranks of retired clergy supported by church plans, the church is facing a crisis that pits the costs of health care against mission funding.  Today’s Washington Post has a nice article on this issue (Escalating Health-Care Costs Hit Churches: Insurance for Pastors Draining the Coffers), including a quote from John Kapanke, president of the ELCA’s Board of Pensions.

Particularly in this election season in which health care will be a major issue, we in the church should be involved in conversations about health care – both nationally and within our church, for the two are intimately connected.

Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).  Quality health care for all of God’s children is part of the abundant life God intends for us.  Let us work toward a future where heath care for all is no longer a dream, but the reality.

Published by Lutheran Zephyr

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.

2 thoughts on “Health Insurance for Clergy, for Church Employees, for All

  1. Costs are high because health care institutions charge ridiculous fees for certain things, because the whole insurance paper work “industry” is expensive, because we, consumers, demand the newest technologies and surgeries, and we expect good outcomes, and because the most cost effective “treatments” aren’t followed by most people. {Eat better, exercise and sleep more, avoid stress.}
    Interestingly, there was a recent health article I saw on the Web about the difference in costs comparing smokers, obese people and “healthy” people. The healthy people cost the most over their lifetimes because they lived long enough to enter old age and get the very costly old age impairments. The smokers and obese were expensive in middle age, but died before they got the expensive chronic diseases of aging.
    Sad but true.
    I don’t think that we can separate “health care access” from “health care costs” but they ARE two different things.

  2. I think that we should be involved because the ” worse- than-average” health of clergy is not just about habits, but about also about the “worse-than-average” insurance in general. The cost of coverage that is really only catastrophic coverage, covers no non-generics even if indicated and forces people to make choices about their health that are counter-indicated. And in some way I know that “less than healthy pastors” start out as “less than healthy seminarians” who eat from the food pantry (another serving of processed starch please) and who cannot afford the cost of good vitamins, or a doctor’s visit when you are legitimately sick, where seminarian families are on public assistance insurance, and this is just one more stress for the seminarian. Where choices are made between gas for the car to get to teaching parish or … Just a microcosm of what is going on across the country. And when you take that out into the parishes, which are full of people trying to balance budgets, it just goes on and on.

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