Enroll in health-insurance plan by Nov. 15 to be covered in 2014


Cigna health insurance forms and information for open enrollment period

By Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director
The Jan. 1 merger of the Kansas West, Kansas East and Nebraska conferences into the new Great Plains Conference will have an impact on health-insurance coverage.

For the Kansas West and Nebraska conferences, it will bring a change in providers, from HealthFlex to Cigna. The HealthFlex health-insurance plans will end on Dec. 31.

All eligible clergy and some lay employees who work for local churches, agencies and the conference need to enroll for health insurance to have coverage in 2014.

The open enrollment period for Cigna health insurance currently is underway and will continue through Nov. 15.

Participation for lay employees is determined by the individual churches and agencies. Church employees should consult their church business administrator or staff-parish relations chairperson to learn if they are eligible for coverage.

Pastors with full-time or three-quarter-time appointments are eligible to participate in the health-insurance coverage. The pastor’s responsibility for the health-insurance premium is 3.5 percent of his or her base compensation and will be deducted from the payroll check. The church’s responsibility is to pay the blended rate. Both of these amounts are billed to the local church monthly.

Choice of plans
There are two medical plans available from which to choose, as described below.

Open Access Plus plan
This is a traditional plan, similar to the HealthFlex PPO plan that has been available to Kansas West Conference participants. A Flexible Spending Plan (FSA) option is available for participants in this plan.

Choice Fund Open Access Plus HSA plan
This is a high-deductible plan that includes a Health Savings Account (HSA) feature, not an FSA. The qualifications for this plan are that the participant:

  •  Cannot have any other health coverage
    • Is not covered by spouse’s medical or pharmacy plan
    • Is not covered through Medicare Part A or Part B
    • Is not covered through a general-purpose Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan, either employer’s or spouse’s
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return

Participants in the Choice Fund Open Access Plus HSA plan will not be able to establish an FSA account.

Optional coverage
With the new Cigna health insurance, vision and dental are optional and are not included in the medical rate. Premiums for vision or dental coverage will be deducted from the payroll checks of pastors and laypeople who elect the optional coverage.

Additional life insurance also is available for eligible clergy and their spouses and for conference lay employees. Local church lay employees are not eligible for the additional life insurance. To participate in the additional life insurance, indicate that selection on the Met Life insurance enrollment form.

All enrollment forms and detailed plan information are available online from the Open Enrollment Packet page on the Great Plains website at www.GreatPlainsUMC.org/OpenEnrollment.

Mail completed enrollment forms by Nov. 15 to the Benefits Office, P.O. Box 4187, Topeka, KS 66604.


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