by Patrick Bradley: Turns out there are lots of church plant health insurance options. It’s still a little complicated, but you have more options than ever to choose from. Here’s an overview as a springboard to your research.
If you’re a new church hiring staff or an established church that’s never offered health insurance before, you have two basic paths to choose from: offer nothing (but pay employees well enough that they can get an individual plan), or offer an employer plan to church employees.
Individual Plan Options (Church Offers No Plan)
Small businesses with fewer that 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance. So in lieu of a group plan, the church could increase employees’ pay up front to offset the burden. You just don’t get to stipulate that it must be spent on health insurance. And it is taxable income to them.
In all of these scenarios, church employees would have to arrange for their own insurance.
Employees’ options include:
1. Get Insurance through an Obamacare Exchange
Start at healthcare.gov It will help you find your state’s exchange or direct you to the federal exchange if your state doesn’t have one. You’ll have lots of options to choose from. Bonus: ministerial housing allowance does not count as income for Obamacare, so you’re more likely to get a government subsidy to help pay your premiums.
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