June 29, 2020

ELCA Benefit Contribution Trust Now Adequately Funded

Reducing the cost of benefits is always welcome, especially during these tumultuous times. Portico is pleased to announce that the ELCA Benefit Contribution Trust is now adequately funded.

Starting in July, sponsoring organizations in the ELCA Pension and Other Benefits Program will no longer be charged 0.7% of sponsored members’ defined compensation for retiree support, which means that ministries can repurpose those funds toward other needs. This reduction in payment is possible due, in part, to changes made in partnership with the ELCA in 2019 to offer Medicare Advantage hospital and medical benefits through Humana, which reduced the contribution rates for members while also reducing overall costs to the ELCA Medical and Dental Benefits Plan.

“The ELCA realizes health care is important to our members,” says Jeff Thiemann, Portico’s president and CEO. “As the benefit ministry of the ELCA, Portico is privileged to honor the service of the faithful servants of the church by providing access to the benefits they need. As always, the church remains steadfast in its commitment to provide retired members and their eligible family members with affordable health care — which is a key element of the community-based health plan administered by Portico.”

Subsidies Support 2 out of 3 Retirees with ELCA Medicare-Primary Benefits

When the ELCA formed in 1988, it inherited health subsidy agreements from predecessor churches and took on a funding shortfall. Since then, Portico and the ELCA have worked diligently to close the funding gap to support the continued care of retired members who were covered under the health subsidy agreements. This health subsidy is intended to offset some or all of eligible retired members’ monthly ELCA Medical and Dental Benefits Plan contributions.

Sponsoring organizations will see this change reflected on their July billing statement and can contact the Portico Customer Care Center at 800.352.2876, Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Central), with any questions.