All of us know too well the dramatically escalating rise in health care costs. Annual health care insurance premiums for clergy families in the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church are well over one-third of the minimum salary for full time pastoral appointments.
Retired clergy depend on Medicare and the Conference currently provides a Medicare supplement to help contain medical costs. The benefit is based on a formula proportionate to years of ministerial service within the Conference. The Preachers’ Aid Society, over the past five years, has made a major commitment to ensuring that this benefit continues. We have given over $2,500,000 toward this end. In addition, we have made a $1,000,000 challenge commitment to the “Together For Tomorrow” capital funds campaign for the Annual Conference. We will match, dollar for dollar, up to one million dollars of funds received from that Campaign that are allocated to retiree health care programs.
In addition to this, we provide financial assistance to individuals and families in cases of health care emergency costs.