Did You Know? Guidestone Will Not Sell Health Insurance after 12/31

by Dave Miller on December 20, 2013 · 24 comments

GuidestoneMaybe I’m the last one to know this, who knows? But I heard a rumor this morning and called Guidestone and was shocked to have that rumor verified.

After December 31, 2013, Guidestone will not sell any new health insurance policies. If your church hires a new pastor or a new staff member, you are on your own. You can seek private insurance or wander through the Obamacare minefield. But Guidestone will not be available to serve the insurance needs of Southern Baptists in 2014.

To be clear, if you have Guidestone insurance, you can keep it – for now at least. They are just refusing to write any new policies.

According to the person I talked to, they were reluctant to do this. There is such uncertainty about the dictates of Obamacare that they felt that writing new policies put the rest of us at risk. If I understood him, it had to do with Obamacare restrictions on underwriting. I don’t understand insurance, so I’m reluctant to opine.

But, with all due respect, I will venture my opinion on this: Obamacare is a mess!

Anyway, I publish this to warn you. If you are planning to get a policy from Guidestone for yourself or a new staff member, the application MUST be in the office by December 31. Postmarked won’t do! If you send it, send it early. Otherwise, you can fax it or email it (with scanned copies). ┬áThe ability to register online has been disabled by Guidestone.

This is sad and shocking, but welcome to the world we live in.

1 Dave Miller December 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

From the reaction I have gotten on Facebook and Twitter, I guess that I am NOT the only person who didn’t know this. Came as a total shock to me.

2 Bob Cleveland December 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

If they write a new policy after 12/31, it must cover pre-existing conditions. For everybody already insured, those conditions are, usually, already covered.

I blogged about this some time ago … that pre-ex would be the downfall, which has been the case with more companies, who tried to do the same thing, than I can count.

And just wait ’til this whole thing is 2 years old. I predict a bigtime blowup.

3 Dave Miller December 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

That was pretty much what they said to me, as I understood it. After the first, they’d have to write a policy for someone with 12 heart attacks who was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Costs would skyrocket.

I just wonder if we are all going to be shuffled off to Obamacare purgatory in a year or two.

4 Joel December 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Dave, I think that’s been the idea from the beginning.

5 Dave Miller December 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I hate to be some kind of conspiracy theorist, but I wonder if this whole system was designed to fail, create chaos and work everyone into a frenzy so that we would accept single-payer, government run healthcare.

6 volfan007 December 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Bingo, Dave. I think the current administration is all for the Govt. getting bigger and bigger and bigger. They want to be Big Brother.

David

7 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I have said this since it passed:

The current structure was designed to payoff the insurance companies while collapsing the system. The weight and boondoggle of it all will result in a government-run, single-payer system passed by the Congress elected in 2014 and signed by President Obama.

And that will be the end of that. It’s going to be too broken to fix it.

8 Hescominsoon December 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

yes it is designed to first destroy the private insurance industry..once that’s done we go to a single payer system like canada or britain.

9 Chris Roberts December 21, 2013 at 1:43 am

So let me ask, what should we do about the person who has had 12 heart attacks and is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer who cannot get coverage (though reduce the exaggeration down to actual scenarios)?

10 Tarheel December 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I knew this was coming….once it was verified that Guidestone would not be exempted from having to provide the abortion coverage and abortificiant drugs that it would end.

Unless the law is repealed…they will likely stop offering plans altogether in 2015…because that is when the temporary exemption allowing existing plans that do not cover these things to be in force.

Remember the “if you like it you can keep it” mess….and the extension he announced that is only good for one year….yea that.

11 Joel December 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Dave, I think that’s been the idea from the beginning.

12 Bart Barber December 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Guidestone, as I understand it, will shortly post a clarification on their web site. Here’s what I suspect will be the details of that clarification:

1. Group plan enrollment will go on unhindered, just as before.
2. Personal plan new enrollment is being suspended, not ended, for a few months in the beginning of 2014 while the various legal actions associated with Guidestone and Obamacare work themselves out.
3. Family members of current enrollees (e.g., if you have a new baby) will still be eligible for new enrollment under current plans.

13 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm

In other words, if you were hoping to use Guidestone to replace the individual policy that you’re losing due to Obamacare, then you’re out of luck.

Because the legal actions are going to be unraveling all year, so if that’s the excuse, “we have to wait and see what happens in court,” then there is no end in sight for that.

14 Bart Barber December 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Actually, I think if you hurry up and turn in your application, you’ve still got time.

15 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Unfortunately, as it stands right now, I don’t have the budget for a Guidestone policy. It’s about twice what we’ve been paying for insurance.

That was going to be reconsidered after harvest time here and see what we could find in the budget, but it’s going to be later this spring. We thought we’d have more time to rearrange the church budget, but this is the first I’ve heard that they are ending new policies, and there’s no time to get anything done. Plus, we won’t really have the info we need until February at the earliest.

So, come March-April, I’ll look elsewhere.

16 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

The only way to do it right now is to have a called business meeting Dec 29 and revote the budget, slashing CP to move the money to my insurance.

Doesn’t seem right.

17 Bart Barber December 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Don’t you like your current plan? I heard somebody say that if you like your current insurance plan, you’ll be able to keep it.

18 cb scott December 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Bart Barber,

Obviously, he spoke with a forked tongue.

19 Bart Barber December 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm

It’s not right, and I’m really sorry for the situation you’re in.

20 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

It’s not really a problem until the end of the policy–if BC/BS extends through 2014, I have until this time next year to panic.

If they cut it off at the policy anniversary like they have suggested, then June.

And you know what?

It will be fine, one way or the other. I’ve been uninsured, badly insured, and even had a “Cadillac” health plan when I was a union member. I’ve been every man, except a senior citizen, that the ACA addresses. Now, I’d like it to leave me alone.

Did see some good news regarding the injunction about the abortion mandate. I’m guessing that’s relevant to Guidestone’s decision.

21 volfan007 December 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm
22 Tony Dale December 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Are you aware that there are strong Christian health care sharing groups that are actually specifically protected under the law who members are automatically exempted from the penalties of the law. The Health Co-Op (see http://thehealth.coop), an organization that I started after seeing what the law had done to us all, provides ready access to the largest of these exempted organizations – Samaritan Ministries – along with access to a wide variety of accompanying non-insurance services. Typically The Health Co-Op is able to help the churches that it serves cut around 50% of their existing health costs. Any of you on this thread are welcome to contact me or go to the website to find out more about what we do within this Christ centered environment of Christian health care sharing.

23 Thad December 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

As believers, there are very good alternatives to insurance in the form of health care sharing organizations. Medi-share, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Samaritan Ministries.

If you are interested in a “wrap around” product with premium services added in to Samaritan Ministries, you should check out http://thehealthcoop.com

Disclaimer: I work at the company that provides management services to The Health Co-Op.

24 Andrew Green December 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

Christian care medi-share is what my my wife and I decided on. Christian based organization and much cheaper than any insurance we were able to find if you want more info you can email me at agreen719@gmail.com

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