Church Participation Guidelines & Eligibility

    Effective 11/1/16

     

    1.      All churches and organizations within the bounds of the Synod of the Pacific are eligible to offer all of the Synod of the Pacific’s Benefit Services to Lay Employees and Dental/Vision/Voluntary benefits to Ordained Clergy.

    2.      Ordained Clergy* may enroll immediately in elective dental/vision/voluntary benefit plans, coverage will begin the first day of the month following their date of hire.  However, if the date of hire is the first day of the month, coverage would begin immediately.

    3.      Synod of the Pacific offers churches/organizations three benefit package options.  Churches/organizations can elect to offer any one or a combination of the following options to their Lay Employees:

    a.      Medical

    b.      Dental/Basic Life and AD&D

    c.     Vision

    4.      If churches/organizations have at least 1 Employee enrolled in a, b and/or c above, the below benefits can then be offered to all eligible employees:

    d. Reliance Standard Voluntary Life & AD&D Insurance

    e. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

    5.      If churches/organizations decide to offer a benefit option, all benefit eligible employees must be given the opportunity to enroll or waive according to the insurance contract guidelines.  Also, the Synod benefit plan will be the only group plan offered within a category of benefits (i.e. medical plans).  Churches are not allowed to offer another group plan(s) alongside the selected Synod plan.

    6.      Churches/organizations can offer benefits to Lay Employees working at least 20 hours per week.

    7.      Churches/organizations are required to select one of the following waiting periods for eligibility of their Lay Employees:

    a.      All regular employees will be eligible for benefits the first of the month following their date of hire unless hired on the first of the month then effective date is date of hire.

    b.      All regular employees will be eligible for benefits the first of the month following a one month waiting period unless hired on the first of the month then effective date is one month following date of hire.

    c.       All regular employees will be eligible for benefits the first of the month following a two month waiting period unless hired on the first of the month then effective date is two months following date of hire.

    (NOTE: Per the Health Care Reform, employees can no longer have a waiting period over 90 days in length.)

    8.      Churches/organizations should contribute up to 100% of the employee only portion of the medical plan for their Lay Employees.  Employees should contact their Benefits Administrator at their church/org for additional information regarding dependent coverage.  Churches/orgs are not required to make a contribution for any of the other benefit elections.

    9.      Dependent coverage may be paid by plan members through pretax payroll deduction.

    10.   Churches/organizations providing The Synod benefits for the first time are required to provide a complete census of all benefit eligible people.

    11.   Churches/organizations are allowed to begin participating in The Synod benefits on the first of any month.

    12.   Churches/organizations can terminate participation in The Synod benefits with a 60 day notification to the Synod or during annual open enrollment for an effective date of November 1st.

    13. Employing organizations must provide all employees with fair and equal coverage within each basic employment classification. 

        Basic Employment Classifications are:

                           1.  Ordained Clergy*

                           2.  Non-Ordained Exempt Staff

                                          Christian Education Directors

                                          Business Managers, etc.

                           3.  Non-Exempt Staff

                                          Clerical Staff

                                          Custodians, etc.

     

    * The Synod of the Pacific’s Health Benefits Service is available to Ordained Clergy on a voluntary basis.  Our medical plans do not compete or replace the Board of Pension’s medical plan.