From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[LCMSNews] WBP explains 'choice' options

From "LCMS e-News" <>
Date Fri, 29 Aug 2003 22:25:31 -0500

	LCMS News

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	August 29, 2003 ................... LCMSNews -- No. 96

	WBP explains health-care 'choice'

	Employers want and need choices and options for the design of
their employees health-care plan because of skyrocketing health-care
costs, says a position paper that the Synods Worker Benefit Plans (WBP)
mailed in time for employers and employees to receive by Sept 1.

	The position paper, titled Why Choice, also is on the WBP Web
site. Go to <>  and click on the CHP
Choice button at the left on the home page.

	Health-care spending grew nearly four times faster than the
U.S. economy grew in 2002, the position paper says, noting that claim
expenses for the CHP could hit $160 million for 2003 -- double the
claim expenses of just five years ago!

	Not surprisingly, the weight of the added increases over the
years has begun to take its toll. Employers can no longer afford to pay
the entire bill, the paper says.

	The introduction of Choice ... is a necessary step to ensure
the future viability of the CHP, the paper continues. Doing nothing
while the nation (and Congress) debates the solution would be
irresponsible. As difficult as change can be, it was the responsible
action on the part of [WBP] staff and board of managers to institute
Choice. Too many employers participating in the CHP are struggling
financially to be able to afford health coverage for their workers.

	The choices that employers will have are in the designs of their
employees health plans, which could result in lower premiums for
employers and higher deductibles and co-pays for employees.

	The paper says that some employers have left the CHP and others
are considering leaving to find a health plan with a lower benefit
package and thus a lower monthly premium.

	[WBP] has an obligation to employers and workers to offer a
choice of health-plan options, it says. A one-size-fits all health
plan is no longer able to fulfill all the needs of employers and workers
because of the financial diversity and independence among the many
churches, schools, universities, and other organizations enrolled in the
CHP. A variety of health-plan options allows the employer working
together with the staff to choose a plan option that best meets the
particular needs of their organization.


	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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