by Jac La Tour

To help you know what to expect if you attend the upcoming 2011 Financial Forum for Ministries, I’ve asked each of the presenters what they’ll be covering. Next up is George Martin, CLU with HUB International Insurance Services. His session is titled, “Slaying the Cost Dragon.” 

MBG: How will your presentation help attendees better serve their ministries?

George: My presentation will give information and ideas to those responsible for their ministries’ benefits programs so that their benefits costs might be more predictable, reasonable, and easier to budget for. 

MBG: What are three important takeaways attendees will learn during your presentation?

George: First will be to think differently about the design of medical plans. Second, we will talk about selling the “We’re all in this together” mindset and teaching employees how to be better consumers of healthcare. Finally, people will learn how to use the new benefit plans to project future costs to their ministries.                                                                                                      

MBG: What is one suggestion you’d offer to help attendees gain the most from this learning experience?

George: Come with an open mind. The plan designs are different, but they have worked very well for many organizations. 

MBG: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing ministries today?

George: Ministries, like all non-profit organizations, typically pay lower wages than other businesses with which they compete for employees. Therefore, most of the secular and non-secular non-profit organizations we work with want to be sure that their benefits packages are as strong as possible. The struggle is how to keep the benefits strong but still affordable to both the ministry and the employees in any economic situation, especially the current one. 

What is the biggest challenge you face regarding benefits packages for your ministry staff?

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  1. The biggest challenge regarding the benefits package for your ministry staff (besides that fact that insurance costs rise faster than the rate of inflation) is the price of insurance goes up exponentially for older folks and our staff is aging and hitting those markers 40, 50, 55, 60.

    We have one (older) couple who have been a model for the rest of our staff as to the benefit of going high deductible with an H S A. But the others are scared to go for it for fear the minute they do, they will have something catastrophic.

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