Global Methodist Health Insurance: Benefits Access Walkthrough

On July 1st, I was officially a Global Methodist with full benefits…including health benefits. The problem was, my pharmacy, my dentist, my eye doctor, and my doctor’s office couldn’t see me in the insurance system. I had to explain the situation. The doctor’s office told me they would wait a week to process the bill. They actually waited three weeks. My pharmacy, Walgreens, signed me up with GoodRx which worked quite well. It was almost automatic and cut my cost to close to what I paid through insurance. My dentist and eye doctor were both really good to work with and billed me like I had insurance.

I realize that some people likely are having a more difficult time than I did, but I can’t tell you the relief I experienced when I received the letter in the mail letting me know I was insured. Even though I didn’t have my insurance card yet, I knew I could go online and print it. In the video, I do a walkthrough of how to navigate the Wespath portal which will let you see your benefits and claims as well as file for reimbursements.

Why is there such a delay in getting people enrolled in health benefits?

  • The Numbers: Over 3,000 pastors have joined the Global Methodist denomination. The Global Methodists recently tripled their benefits staff to help with the load. There are now three working in benefits. This is a hectic and chaotic season, but it is a season. The Global Methodists could have hired dozens of staff, increased the cost to the churches, and then tried to find busy work for all these people after this chaotic season, but that’s not consistent with our values. We would rather endure the pain of this season in order to avoid the pain of supporting a bloated bureaucracy.
  • Can’t Serve Both: My understanding is that, when a pastor enrolls in the Global Method health plan, that paperwork cannot be processed if they are listed as a United Methodist pastor in “the system.” I’m not sure if that’s Wespath’s system or BlueCross/BlueShield’s system. With hundreds of pastors trying to enroll and many not able to be processed until after June 30th, this made it impossible to get ahead before the rush.
  • The Release: Those pastors transferring from the United Methodist denomination cannot be enrolled in the health plan until they are released by the United Methodist denomination. The pastor’s former conference office needs to file some paperwork to finalize the Withdrawal from the United Methodist denomination.

I hope this helps understand the issue and hopefully the video will help as well.

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