From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Board of Pensions Approves Changes in
04 May 1996 20:53:39
95406 Board of Pensions Approves Changes in
Health-care Benefits/ Pension Options
by Julian Shipp
PHILADELPHIA--Starting Jan. 1, 1996, members of the benefits plan
administered by the Board of Pensions (BOP) of the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) can expect several significant changes --particularly in the areas
of health care and pensions.
The Board of Pensions met here Oct. 26-28 to discuss these changes and
their impact on approximately 60,000 plan members and dependents.
In the health-care area, changes include modifications to the
Prescription Drug Program administered by Diversified Pharmaceutical
Services (DPS). The new benefits design will
retain the $50 deductible
change to a $5 generic/$12 brand copayment from the current 20
pay nonparticipating pharmacy claims at the participating pharmacy
change from voluntary to mandatory use of generic drugs
change from an open to a closed formulary (list of prescription
drugs available under the benefit)
change the quantity limits from the greater of 34 days or 100 units
to the lesser of 34 days or 100 units for prescriptions filled at retail
stores. The greater of 90 days or 100 units for Walgreen's Pharmacy mail
order customers remains. The copayment for Walgreen's mail orders will be
$10 generic/$20 brand name.
Beach B. Hall, vice chair of the BOP Healthcare Committee from Rogers
City, Mich., said
the new changes will maintain the quality features of the DPS program
while slowing down the rate of growth of subscription costs, especially for
those enrolled in Medicare Supplement coverage.
The Board voted to increase the Medicare Supplement rate in 1996 from
$55 per month to $64 per month. However, based on DPS projections, the
above changes to the Prescription Drug Program will allow Medicare
Supplement participants to avoid an additional premium increase of
approximately $8 per member per month.
Also approved were changes to the Board's Optional Dental Program.
Participants will have the option to join the new Prudential Dental
According to Gwen Holmes, project manager of the BOP Healthcare Team
from Philadelphia, the PDO will benefit dental plan members since
Prudential has negotiated set fees in the 21 states where the PDO is
Holmes said PDO members also have the option to choose a dentist
currently in Prudential's network or to ask their non-PDO dentist to enter
into contract talks with Prudential to become part of the network.
"As part of a benefits enhancement, we're also offering an open
enrollment to non-participating members during December of 1995 and January
of 1996," Holmes said. "Unrestricted coverage will become effective on the
first of the month after member enrollment."
The Board announced Prudential expects to have PDO service available
in all states by the end of 1996, and there will be no rate increase for
optional dental coverage for 1996.
In the pension area, the Board approved the addition of two investment
options that will become available to participants in the BOP's Retirement
Savings Plan effective Jan. 1, 1996.
According to Julie L. Bloss, BOP Pension Committee chair from Dallas,
the Retirement Savings Plan currently has five investment options, but
results of an August survey indicated participants in the plan wanted small
company and international equity investment options.
As a result, Bloss said, the Board's Investment Committee recommended
the addition of the Vanguard Index Trust-Extended Market Portfolio and the
Vanguard International Growth Portfolio as available options.
Bloss said another change is a proposed amendment to the Benefits Plan
concerning the provision of free continuation of death and disability
benefits upon termination of eligible service for up to 90 days, depending
on the length of the member's service.
Under the proposed amendment, free coverage would be provided only for
the balance of the month of employment termination. However, enrollment for
death and disability benefits would still continue on a member-paid basis
for up to two years.
Bloss said the change stemmed from a similar free-coverage provision
in medical benefits that was approved in August. Board members said they
wanted the Benefits Plan amended similarly so that both services end on the
same date. Both amendments will be sent to the 208th General Assembly
(1996) in Albuquerque, N.M., and, if approved, would be implemented Jan. 1,
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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