ELCA Pension Board to Expand Birth Control Coverage
3/6/1998 12:00:00 AM
MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) --Trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Board of Pensions unanimously recommended that coverage of prescribed birth control devices or drugs be included in the ELCA Medical and Dental Benefits Plan. To date the ELCA health plan has not considered birth control as a "medically necessary" treatment of illness or injury. Trustees recommended the expanded health plan coverage to the ELCA Church Council, which will meet in April, since the managed care companies working with the board now cover prescribed birth control.
The trustees, which met here Feb. 21-22, recommended the council approve several other changes to its health plan: * To conform with the Mental Health Parity Act, the plan would remove
the $300,000 lifetime benefit and come under the $1 million lifetime
benefit for all other medical and dental expenses. The revised plan
would limit inpatient mental health treatment to 300 days per
lifetime and no more than 50 visits per calendar year. * The plan would provide more incentives for members to review
itemized charges in their outpatient hospital bills for accuracy, in
addition to their reviewing inpatient hospital bills. * It would clarify coverage available to plan members' children who no
longer meet the eligibility requirements of the ELCA health plan. The trustees also approved a major reorganization of board structure. John G. Kapanke, president of the ELCA Board of Pensions, said the reorganization will help "strengthen lifelong relationships" with plan members and sponsoring organizations and enable the board to be more responsive to their needs, such as financial planning. The ELCA Board of Pensions administers pension, health, disability and survivor benefits for 48,000 plan members and sponsoring employers and manages $4.5 billion in assets.
For information contact:
Ann Hafften, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG