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Why Us

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Serving You Is Our Life’s Work

Our passion and calling are to support the mission of faith-based organizations and the vital work you do every day. We strive to empower people to become healthy so they can make a positive difference as they serve in churches and congregations, colleges and universities, and social ministry organizations. 

Portico was created as a nonprofit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) with the purpose of serving ELCA-affiliated ministries and organizations like yours. 

Focused On Cost + Value

You want a robust benefits plan to provide for your employees and staff — a plan that can help retain and attract good people. 

As a steward of your organization’s resources, controlling costs is a big concern.  To help you care for your employees and make the most of your budgeted funds, Portico offers you and your staff high-quality, fully integrated, easy-to-administer benefits, with access to best-in-class vendors, proven technology and tools, and an award-winning Customer Care Center.

Portico combines best practices with benefit products to help bring about the best health outcomes and financial readiness for your employees.

Best Practices

involve ongoing research, analyzing, and adapting to new ways to support participating organizations and their employees. We strive to understand your changing needs, and we act to innovate, improve, and exceed expectations.

Best Products

are those most closely suited to your specific needs. We start by listening to employers’ needs and staying on top of the latest innovations to offer you valuable benefits that will help you retain and attract the right people to your organization.

Best Health Outcomes

are the ultimate goal and will result from delivering effective care options and programs tailored to employee needs. Condition management and wellness programs add value to your organization and help us manage overall rate increases for the ELCA Health Plan.

Best Tools and Resources

for financial health and retirement readiness from Fidelity through Portico’s retirement plans. Portico’s own retirement readiness series can help address common pre-retirement concerns and emotions.

What Sets Us Apart

Total Benefits Provider

Providing a high-quality, integrated package of benefits to care for and support your staff. Health and wellness, retirement, disability benefits, and life insurance — administered through a single point of contact.

Strength in Numbers

Our large collective participant pool gives you the advantage that we call “the power of the pool.” This pool helps increase your buying power with improved rate stability and access to a wider range of health services, products, and vendors.

Extension of Your Team

With Portico on your team, you add capacity without added cost. Our comprehensive benefit program includes a full range of administrative support and award-winning customer service — saving you valuable time and resources.

Aligned in Service

Portico’s mission, as a faith-centered nonprofit, is to provide benefits that support your team’s vitality so they can serve others. We understand the calling to serve.

You have questions. We have answers.

Portico Benefit Services pools together more than 18,000 health plan participants and negotiates health benefits for all of them as one collective group.

At Portico, we’ve seen the positive results of this collective power.

Our 403(b)(9) retirement plans are church plans, which are employee benefit plans established and maintained for the employees of a church or church-associated organization.

Church plans are not subject to ERISA or DOL regulations, saving time, money, and effort. Clergy can benefit from significant tax savings when taking distributions from the plan by claiming the clergy housing allowance exclusion, only available through church plans — not banks, investment firms, or fraternal organizations.

Church plans also benefit from the large pool of assets we manage, giving us access to industry-leading investment managers and Fidelity recordkeeping services, often not available to smaller plans.

Learn more about our approach to financial health and investments.

Portico offers a holistic approach to benefits with a focus on financial, emotional, and physical wellness. We curate cost-effective benefit solutions that support total wellness for those who serve, including: Retirement PlansHealth Plan BenefitsLife and Disability Plan Benefits

For congregations, we offer a bundled benefit package that includes health, retirement, disability, and life insurance. This bundled package protects members from a variety of financial risks and serves them throughout their lifetime.

Portico offers an experienced team to guide your employees as they enroll in their benefits. We meet members in their preferred channel whether it’s online, by phone, or even in person. Our team is here to simplify the member experience by taking the guesswork out of using their benefits. Our support includes:

  • Portico Care Coordinators by Quantum Health to help employees navigate the often-complex health care system
  • Condition-specific programs and coaching with personalized support for members’ wellness journey
  • Financial planners and online tools that help guide members toward greater financial confidence

The Portico team will work in tandem with your HR administrator to provide extensive experience and support in onboarding, implementation, benefits education, member enrollment, and payroll integration.

We can provide this one-stop benefits administration experience (access to multiple vendors through our health plan) while you focus on your ministry. Learn more about the other ways we can serve as an extension of your team. 

If your organization is associated with a church and is exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501, you may be eligible to participate in a church plan, which is an employee benefit plan established and maintained for the employees of a church or church-associated organization. This could include congregations, skilled nursing facilities, schools, camps, colleges and universities, or social ministry organizations.

Portico Benefit Services can serve any organization associated with the ELCA or one of its full communion partners. As a nonprofit ministry of the ELCA, we were established to serve church-affiliated ministries like yours.

Church plans are not subject to reporting and disclosure requirements required in Title I of ERISA, including an annual Form 5500 filing requirement, and are not subject to an annual audit requirement — saving you costs.

Determination of eligibility to participate in a church plan is dependent on each organization’s unique facts and circumstances. Set up a call and we can help determine your eligibility. Learn more about church plan status.