Family Visitation - Retirement can be a challenge for our United Methodist pastors and their families. After a lifetime of work in which we move into and out of instant and often intense community immersion, we are left to our own devices with no strong roots, housing arrangements or support systems. It is quite an adjustment. Our staff visits regularly, at least once a year, in the homes of retirees living in the New England area. These visits allow us to help retirees keep connected with the Church and with their colleagues.
Emergency Assistance - On occasion, when families are faced with financial emergencies we are able to help address those needs by advocating for our pastors, connecting people to resources, or providing needed financial assistance in the form of grants or loans. The most common concerns we find are connected with unanticipated medical bills, hearing aids, and winter fuel expenses causing one with a restricted income to choose between heat and groceries.
Affordable Housing - Preachers' Aid has 29 single family cottages in two communities:
Wesley by the Sea, a community developed and managed by the Society, provides twenty-one homes in Wells, Maine for retired clergy families.
Each home is about 1200 square feet with one bedroom, a den, and a single car garage. These are mixed income rental homes that are subsidized by the Society based on need.
Green Loans - Retired pastors may draw up to $10,000 (over a period of ten years) in order to make improvements in homes they own which are designed to cut energy costs for that home. Specific uses for these funds may include:
- Replacement Windows
- New Furnaces
- Solar Heating Installations
- Energy Efficient Appliances
- Insulating Window Treatments
- Auxiliary Heating Systems
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. Ensuring affordable healthcare for our retirees is a priority that we take very seriously.
2015 Health Care Changes -
For those of you eligible for the Conference Health Insurance, hopefully by now you have received your new insurance cards and are getting familiar with it. The health insurance also includes Optum RX Pharmacy Coverage and Guardian Dental. Effective January 1, 2015, the Conference secured Willis North America to assist with the placement of the new HealthCare Program with United Healthcare and Guardian. If you have any questions, contact Ann Marie Jedlicka whose role is similar to that of the previous “Health Team” with the General Board. Her contact information is below, along with a few highlights (some from the letter the Conference sent out on February 4, 2015): Ann Marie Jedlicka, CARE Advocate with Willis North America:
Phone: 888-676-6767, Ext. 4 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You must be enrolled in Medicare A & B to participate in the United HealthCare Plan. The plan is a Group United Healthcare National Medicare Advantage PPO plan. Pharmacy is included in the health insurance, so the "Just say no to Medicare Part D" still stands. If you have not yet received your new Medical ID card and Welcome Kit, call the United HealthCare Customer Service at 1-800-457-8506.
You should have received a Dental ID Card for dental benefits from The Guardian, but you do not need it in order to use your benefits; simply provide the conference Group ID Number of 501910 when visiting the dentist.
Medicare Support - 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 $3,500,000 toward this end.
Methodent - A combination cost containment and loan payment program for retired clergy and their spouse's dental expenses. Payments made by the Preachers’ Aid Society to one's dentist will be converted into a low interest loan for the retiree/spouse.