Members should be able to define who should be covered as Eligible Family members, subject to reasonable constraints and conditions to maintain the financial viability and the tax status of the Plan.
It is the intent of the church to ensure that all eligible persons have a reasonable amount of group life, health, and disability insurance, and to provide the opportunity for Plan members to purchase additional coverage to meet individual and family needs.
The Plan should:
- provide a basic level of protection against economic loss resulting from death, disability and extraordinary medical/dental expenses within the constraints of available funds. An objective should be to recognize the impact of increases in the cost of living on both benefit design and premium. It is recognized that in order to provide this coverage at reasonable cost, different benefit designs and funding mechanisms may be required for the active and pensioner plans, and it is necessary to limit the eligibility of certain medical and dental expenses.
- have an intentional focus on prevention as well as treatment to the extent possible.
- provide a supplementary mechanism to assist the member in budgeting for normal reasonable medical/dental expenses.
- integrate the benefits with the Pension Plan and with those provided by government plans wherever possible.
- provide consistent coverage across Canada, regardless of province of residence, even though this may duplicate coverage provided by some provincial plans.
The Plan should be administered compassionately and prudently in the "spirit of the contract" not just by the "letter of the contract" in order that the Plan will be seen to be administered in accordance with Christian principles.
The Plan should:
- be affordable to both the members and the employing units.
- be tax-effective for the members to the extent possible.
- require each of the employing units to pay the same amount per member regardless of whether they have single or family status.
- be consistent with Christian principles and with the principles of group insurance, recognizing that members who use the Plan very little provide a subsidy to members whose use of the Plan is necessarily higher. The philosophy is the same for members who have coverage for themselves only and for those with eligible families, and for active members and for employing units who provide support for pensioners.
- motivate members to become educated consumers so that the members themselves will keep Plan costs as low as possible. The department must therefore put a high priority on communicating with members to educate them about their benefits.
Monitoring and Communication
The church and the department will ensure that the Group Insurance Plan's design will be viewed by the membership as being responsive to member needs, and as being contemporary and effective regarding types and extent of coverage when compared to other plans.
The department reserves the right to modify benefits and funding principles. The Philosophy and Objectives will be reviewed from time to time to ensure relevancy to the church and Plan members. It is recognized that these objectives may not all be attainable immediately, but are intended to provide direction as the Group Insurance Plan evolves in the future.
To accomplish these objectives, the Plan consists of two parts: Core and Optional. (Ideally the Core Plan would be mandatory and funded by the employing units.)