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[LCMSNews] Board OKs changes to WBP

From "LCMS e-News" <>
Date Fri, 29 Aug 2003 21:45:13 -0500

	LCMS News

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	August 29, 2003 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 95

	Board OKs changes to Concordia Plans

	The LCMS Board of Directors approved a number of changes to the
Synod's Worker Benefit Plans (WBP) when the Board met Aug. 14-16 in St.

	One change, going into effect Jan. 1, allows employers in the
Concordia Health Plan to choose among options for the design of their
employees' health plans. Among the options for in-network benefits are:

	* deductibles of $0 (current), $300, $500 and $1,000;

	* co-pays for office visits ranging from $20 to $30 (currently
$15); and

	* co-insurance percentages from 10 (current) to 20 percent.

	Other health-plan changes are an increase in emergency-room
co-pay from $50 to $100; an increase in the co-pay for non-generic
prescription drugs; and the member's share for outpatient mental-health
treatment going from a percentage of the charge to a flat dollar co-pay
per visit.

	A WBP mailing that explains and gives the rationale for the
health-plan changes was scheduled to go to employers and members of the
health plan about Sept. 1. The text of the mailing also is on the WBP
Web site. Go to <>  and click on the CHP
Choice button at the left on the home page.

	The Board of Directors also approved creation of the Concordia
Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP), effective Jan. 1. Any LCMS employee in
the Concordia Retirement Plan will be eligible to contribute pre-tax
dollars through payroll deductions. Employers have the option of
matching their employees' deductions.

	The new plan will be administered by an outside firm that will
act as records-keeper and agent to receive and invest the funds.
Participants will be able to invest their funds in a variey of
diversified investments. WBP staff members say they are working to
include Lutheran Church Extension Fund notes and a Thrivent Financial
For Lutherans mutual fund in those investment choices.

	On retirement, CRSP participants may receive their money in a
lump sum or convert their account balance to a monthly annuity payable
through the Concordia Retirement Plan (CRP).

	The Board of Directors also approved the release of more than
$1.1 million in funds given by LCMS members for relief work in New York
City among those affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

	Those funds will be distributed through Lutheran Disaster
Response, a cooperative ministry of the Missouri Synod and the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to Lutheran Disaster
Response of New York (LDRNY).

	Chief Financial Officer Tom Kuchta explained that both the ELCA
and the LCMS were releasing their funds this year after LDRNY made
changes in its governance that both church bodies requested.

	Responding to a resolution from the Board for Higher Education
(BHE), the Board of Directors in other business authorized up to $1.85
million in matching funds from the Risk Endowment Fund, to help
Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., obtain a waiver for failing to
satisfy an agreement it had with the holder of a letter of credit.

	BHE Executive Director William F. Meyer said that the Risk
Endowment Fund "was set up a few years ago to assist institutions to
meet their obligations under the covenant requirements to maintain a
certain standard in their operations."

	Among other actions, the Board of Directors:

	* appointed a new six-member KFUO Standing Committee on
Broadcast. Appointed for six years are Rev. John Bush, Brownstown,
Mich.; Mary Mantia Likens, St. Louis; and Dr. Raymond Hartwig, St.
Louis. Appointed for three years are Dr. David Adams, St. Louis; Dorothy
Mansholt, Litchfield, Ill.; and William R. Lindenberg, St. Louis.

	* approved the transfer of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church,
Bradford, Ontario, from the Missouri Synod to Lutheran Church--Canada.

	* gave its approval for the Board for District and
Congregational Services to develop a strategic fund-raising initiative
in the Synod with the help of the LCMS Foundation.


	If you have questions or comments about this LCMSNews release,
contact Joe Isenhower Jr. at or (314) 996-1231,
or Paula Schlueter Ross at or (314) 996-1230.


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