Everence announces direction for health insurance and service
Organization charts course as members’ choices change, health care reform evolves
In December, Everence announced its direction for health insurance and services to members who will be affected in 2014. In communication to its members with health plans, Everence announced:
- Two small health plans, for people under 65 years old and for small employer groups, will be discontinued in 2014. Everence will help these members move to new insurance options that will be available next year.
- All other health insurance and services will move forward and continue to be developed for future growth. These services include Medicare supplement plans for older adults and third-party administration services for organizations, businesses and church denominations.
Health care reform and individuals’ insurance decisions affect small plans
Everence has been evaluating the impact of national health care reform on the organization’s insurance plans, particularly plans for members under 65 years old and for small employers. “We believe new state health exchanges or other insurance options becoming available in 2014 will better serve these members,” said Larry Miller, President and CEO.
Health care reform includes the creation of state exchanges that will operate as online supermarkets for buying health insurance, beginning in 2014. The two small Everence plans would face significant challenges if they joined the exchanges, leaving them financially unsustainable for members or Everence.
“We are thankful these plans helped many members in the past. We look forward to continuing to help these members with the insurance plans and financial services they need in the future,” said Dave Gautsche, Senior Vice President of Products and Services. The plan for individuals had a deep history of providing mutual aid over decades, but also had been losing appeal as more people moved to employer health plans and medical costs rose.
Despite these trends, Everence chose to keep this insurance plan because some participating members had serious health conditions, so they could not have bought health coverage from other insurers. In 2014, the new exchanges will provide them with guaranteed access to health insurance, regardless of their health status. “During the transition, we’ll work closely with all affected members, including those with serious health issues, to help them review their coverage options for 2014,” Gautsche said.
Future of health and financial services
Everence continues to develop and grow other health insurance and services for older adults and large organizations.
The number of retiring baby boomers increases every year. For their retirement years, many people choose Everence Medicare supplement insurance plans to cover medical expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare. In 2013, Everence will be actively working to expand its Medicare supplement plans into additional states.
Businesses, nonprofits and church denominations use Everence third-party administration services when they are large enough to partially self-insure health benefits for their employees. Under health care reform rules, more midsized employers are expected to consider self-insuring in the future.
These Everence health services include administration of many health plans for organizations and church denominations, including The Corinthian Plan, and the Mennonite Church USA’s health plan for its congregations and agencies. Live Well, an Everence worksite wellness program for employees, also is one of these services.
“While some people know only about Everence health plans, our banking, investment, retirement and charitable services also have been helping members for decades,” said Miller. “These services have expanded over the years.” Today, Everence is a diversified organization offering comprehensive faith-based financial services throughout the United States, serving 81,000 members.