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Portico Benefit Services

Affordable Health Care and You (A Message from Bishop Gordy)

Much has been said about the large-scale changes set in motion by passage of the Federal Affordable Health Care Act. Major changes in how health care costs are covered will come on-line this fall and will affect the benefits provided by congregations and other ministries that cover their employees through Portico. 

At its recent meeting, the ELCA church council approved the revisions to the plans presented by Portico. Voting members of the Churchwide Assembly were informed of these changes last week. In summary, Portico will move from one uniform plan to a menu of four plans that mirror the four levels of coverage mandated in the new federal design and presented in state exchanges.

The ELCA church council also included the recommendation that the plan identified as Gold+ be commended as the preferred option because it is the one closest to the level of coverage currently offered by Portico.

Please take the time to become familiar with the changes that are coming. It is important.

Here is some of the information that each sponsoring employer and plan member will need to attend to immediately:
  • Information about what these changes mean, description of coverage options, and deadlines and dates for you to follow has likely already come to you from Portico. If you haven't seen this, please give Portico a call right away.
  • You should place discussion of these changes on the agenda of your congregation council for the September meeting so that health care options for staff can be considered. It is important for those who have responsibility for these decisions to be as knowledgeable as possible before bringing information to your council.
  • We have arranged for a representative of Portico to make a presentation of the changes in the health care plan at the Leadership Convocation at Lutheridge September 24-26. Participating in this workshop will help answer questions you may have relating to these significant changes in our church's health insurance coverage.
  • On September 16, Portico opens its Employer Link for a four-week period during which the selection of a 2014 plan can be made.
  • The actual enrollment period is November 1-22, so your attention to these matters now is crucial.