Grants for financial emergencies created by unreimbursed medical expenses may be provided to qualified, active or retired ministers, or to their immediate family members. Applications for such grants must originate with the District Advisory Board and the District Superintendent and must be approved by Pensions and Benefits USA.
All ministers are expected to carry basic hospitalization insurance for themselves and their family members. Those persons age 65 and over are expected to participate in Medicare, Plan B, if they are eligible. Pensions and Benefits USA assists in paying emergency "hardship" expenses beyond the amount which is covered by regular insurance and Medicare, for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of the application. Note: Normal childbirth is not considered a medical emergency.
The regular medical emergency grants may not exceed $1,250 per family in this 12-month period.
Under the maximum limitation, the actual amount granted may be up to 80 percent of the net balance of medical expenses. The "net balance" includes only expenses for doctors, nurses, medicines, and hospital care minus insurance reimbursements, and the appropriate Emergency Medical Assistance deductible as established by the following criteria:
- Those receiving a benefit under the Basic Pension portion of the Single Defined Benefit Pension Plan will not be required to assume any deductible.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of less than $5,000, the deductible is $100.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000, the deductible is $300.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of $10,000 or more, but less than $15,000, the deductible is $500.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of $15,000 or more, but less than $20,000, the deductible is $700.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of $20,000 or more, but less than $25,000, the deductible is $900.
- If the husband and wife have a total annual income of $25,000 or more, the deductible is $1,100.
"Total annual income" includes income from all sources for both husband and wife including the value of parsonage and cash housing allowance.
In cases of extreme medical costs, when a family has had more than $2,500 net balance expenses in a 12-month period, Pensions and Benefits USA may grant $1,250 for the first $2,500 (the maximum amount allowable for regular assistance) and 50 percent of the amount over $2,500. However, the maximum emergency grant, including both regular and extreme medical emergencies, may not exceed $2,500 in any 12-month period.