Joining in mutual responsibility strengthens our liberal religious movement as we help lift each others burdens. A self-funded, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) health plan helps foster a mutually beneficial partnership in which eligible staff of congregations, organizations and the UUA staff alike band together to share in its stability, accessibility, and affordability.
In its first year, the UUA Health Plan grew to 228 congregations, 11 Districts and affiliated Unitarian Universalist (UU) organizations, and the UUA staff. The number of previously uninsured staff was cut in half.
In 2008 and 2009, the Plan grew to 300 congregations and now covers nearly 750 employees and their families. The Plan Trustees have voted to improve the benefit offerings each year, and our rate increases have been far below the national average for similar plans. By pooling our purchasing power, both among ourselves and by joining with other religious denominations, we have built a purchasing cooperative that has accomplished far more than we could have done on our own.
Not only has the Plan been financially successful, but the Trustees have been able to make explicit in their Purpose and Values Statement that the Plan is to be guided by the following principles, in order of importance:
- Justice, Fairness and Equity
- Fiscal Responsibility
We challenge any commercial insurer to share openly that “Justice, Fairness, and Equity” is their primary business principle.
Allowing churches to offer quality health insurance coverage to potential employees gives them access to a larger pool of capable staff. Covering interim ministers with a completely portable health plan is a necessity. A self-funded plan removes the high costs of administration and means the plan rules are established by the UUA Health Plan Trustees. The creation of a rate stabilization fund translates into a solid investment for our members by minimizing the possibility of any financial risk.
Congregations and staff are asked to join in sharing the premium costs and our dedication to justice, fairness and equity. Congregations or other employer-organizations are encouraged to pay at least 80% of the premium for employees and at least 50% of the premium for additional family members.