Health board: No increase in Medicare premiums in 2019

Health board: No increase in Medicare premiums in 2019

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ALCOA, Tenn. (Dec. 12, 2018)  -- The Holston Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits has been advised by Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Tennessee that there will not be any increase in the Medicare supplement premiums for 2019. The Early Retiree rate will also remain the same for current participants in 2019. The 2018 premiums, approved by Annual Conference, will apply for newly approved early retirees for 2019. 

The Rev. Todd Chancey, chair of the Holston Board of Pension and Health Benefits, released this information on Nov. 29. 

“I am pleased to be able to make this announcement,” he said. “In previous years, increases in these plan fees have been passed on to the retirees. Often, the Board of Pension and Health Benefits have been able to increase the pre-1982 pension payment by a small percentage and help offset the increase in health care supplement premiums. For many years, retirees have seen no increase or even a decrease in monthly payments from Wespath because the pre-1982 increases were not enough to cover the health care premium increases.” 

The Annual Conference approved a 1.5 percent increase for the pre-1982 pension payments for 2019, Chancey said. “This will hopefully result in many retirees seeing a slight monthly increase in 2019 from Wespath. As always, the Board of Pension and Health Benefits works hard to make sure every health-care dollar spent and every pension dollar is allocated for the best possible benefit for clergy and laity who participate and their dependents.” 

If you have questions or concerns about the Medicare retiree health-care supplement, early retiree health-care plan, or the pre-82 pension fund, contact the Rev. Ken Luton, benefits officer for the Holston Annual Conference, at (865) 690-4080 or