Churches and ministries that reimburse their employees for individual health coverage may soon find themselves facing stiff penalties of up to $36,500 per employee, per year, under the federal health care law commonly known as Obamacare, as a grace period expires June 30.
The penalties on employers who maintain employer payment plans were to begin in January, but the IRS granted a six-month reprieve.
Organizations that offer GuideStone health plans are not at risk of these penalties. GuideStone’s health plans — both its personal and group plans — are church health plans and are considered group health plans under federal law and thus are not affected by these penalties.
“Fortunately, GuideStone health plan participants and the churches and ministries that employ them can rest assured that they can continue to pay for coverage as they have in the past and will meet the guidelines under the current law,” said Donna Lively, managing director of insurance plans at GuideStone Financial Resources. “Organizations that don’t utilize GuideStone should consult with their legal and tax advisors to determine how to comply with the letter of the law.”
GuideStone has developed new health coverage options that may be appropriate for smaller churches. Additionally, churches with only one employee can apply for coverage for that lone staff member during the employee’s first 60 days of employment. For more information on how GuideStone may help churches with their health coverage needs, call 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433).
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SOURCE: Baptist Press