From our President: A healthcare journey can be complicated and expensive

October 06, 2021

​Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up.

— Prov 12:25

​None of us escapes the grip of anxiety. But it is true, a good word can cheer us. At the Board of Pensions, we take a good word to mean caring for Benefits Plan members. It is a compassionate ear when a spouse is lost. It is the arrival of an Assistance Program grant in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane. And it is the knowledgeable guidance of our retirement specialists.

For us, a good word means being an advocate. The Board advocates for the wholeness of our members in four key areas: spiritual, health, financial, and vocational. Each area is equally important to supporting member well-being. But having an advocate in the area of health when medical concerns arise is critical.

Many of us have experienced the anxiety of a complicated, expensive healthcare journey. The Board is always looking for ways to ensure that you receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time — without a lot of anxiety. The Medical Plan helps us do that.

Consider our Centers of Excellence benefit. It is included in all three of our medical coverage options. If you use a Center of Excellence for certain surgical procedures, the plan pays 100 percent of allowable charges after the deductible is met. If you have to go more than 100 miles to reach a center, there's up to $10,000 available for travel expenses. We want you to be able to use these! The Center of Excellence designation goes to hospitals and providers that meet high-quality standards for complicated, costly surgical procedures, and do so efficiently.

We also want you to catch any serious health problems early on. That's when treatment is likely to be less complicated, and you'll probably have a better outcome. To help make this happen, our medical coverage includes generous preventive care benefits. Annual physicals play a huge part in staying healthy. We've had more than one member tell us they learned about a serious health problem during a yearly well-check. So, go. Please. Use a network provider; it will only cost you time. (And don't forget to collect your Call to Health points for the visit.)

Yes, we are your advocate. Healthcare is undergoing historic, rapid transformation. We want to assist you in becoming a better consumer of healthcare, even as we look for new ways to ensure that you receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.  We are always here to ease your burden, and that is a good word.

Grace and peace,

The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer