I'm really, really, really glad the Compensation, Benefits, and Pension Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association has worked so hard to get a viable health insurance proposal on the table. I had been riding the UUA about this issue, and assuming it gets the Board's nod, the churches and particularly the ministers have to judge it and, if found desirable, see that it works.
Read the report for yourself: http://www.uua.org/TRUS/apr06/C12-cbpc.pdf (PDF format)
One line may pop out to my readers:
We also sought to find a partner with other religious denominations and believed for a while that the United Church of Christ might permit staff of UU and Disciples of Christ congregations to enroll in the UCC self-funded plan. That concept was vetoed by the President of the UCC Pension Boards which owns and operates their insurance programs.
A visceral twinge ran through me briefly: were we being rejected? (This is so much of the folk culture of Unitarian Universalism that I can freely admit feeling it even when there's no logical reason to believe it.) Then I remembered there were news stories intra-UCC about the Pension Boards that make me think the UCC was sheltering itself against unwelcome liabilities while it gets its own act together. After all, letting one's insurance lapse is bad enough for a car owner; imagine what it must look like on a denomination? I can't find the story now, but I remembered it being some trouble. (Have I mentioned how much I hate the UCC.org flash page?)
Later: Never mind. The plagued insurance entity was for building insurance.
Of course, continuing the "is this fair to GenX ministers (and staff)" thread running right now, I wonder if this plan will be attractive to the younger end of the ministerial pool, who will be told to suck it up and pull for the team. After all, all ministers (or their churches) have had to find insurance on their own, be added to a spousal policy, or do without, and the younger end (but perhaps not the youngest) is likely to have found some accomodation. Less-healthy churches will likely balk at the suggested 80% employer-parity contribution. And what's to keep the plan from foundering under the weight of the most-needy, as the last plan did?
I'm sure someone has answers: please note them in the comments. I'll allow anonymous comments on this one provided you put a recognizable email address in the comments section. If you're email address is vague, I'll allow a scott@wells type construction. And I will share these with nobody but Hubby (and he wouldn't care.)