U-City Family Church in St. Louis faced a common dilemma of rapidly growing churches: how can they be stewards of their time and resources while offering full-time benefits for their growing staff?
Here's a review for anyone curious to hear how QSEHRA and churches work together.
Choosing and administering a group plan is time consuming, and funding a traditional group plan costs a fortune. With staff members and their families having a range of needs, from new babies, to singles, to empty nesters, U-City Family Church wanted to find a church health insurance solution that would work for everyone while staying within a manageable budget. We had a great conversation with Carol Cloud, director of HR for U-City Family Church, to hear more about their experience with Take Command Health and what they think of their new QSEHRA.
“A lot of people who go into the ministry have had other careers," shared Carol, director of HR for U-City Family Church. "A lot take pay cuts to come do this. It goes with the territory. But everyone needs good health insurance.”
Carol started doing her research and discovered a QSEHRA: Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Similar to an HRA at a large business, a QSEHRA allows small business, or in this case, a non-profit, to set aside tax free money that allows employees to purchase health care plans or use on medical expenses throughout the year. This sounded like exactly what Carol was looking to implement at U-City.
When I contacted Take Command, the owner of the company called me right back. Wow! There’s real people on the website ready to help.
The level of hands-on customer service and personal touch were things she had not experienced during her search for health care help.
Take Command walked Carol through the options she could implement at her church and helped streamline the process for the staff to individually submit their reimbursements. Carol was able to share the new information with the pastor of the church who also had peace of mind they were in good hands with Take Command Health and the guidance they'd given.
As a growing church, we need to be stewards of our money and time. The QSEHRA helps us do that.
Carol was also thrilled to know that if the staff didn't use their allotted share amounts they could accrue them over the following months. Some months, her employees would use the entire amount, while others wouldn't have needs at all. What’s great about QSEHRA is that if multiple reimbursements came up, they could submit all of them at one time.
Affordable health insurance for churches
While administering a health plan would normally fall on her shoulders as the HR director, Carol is impressed that Take Command does the heavy lifting for her.
Take Command handles it all. The legal documents. The compliance issues. The reports," shares Carol, "It’s almost too good to be true.
She also appreciated the level of flexibility the QSEHRA platform had. “As we grow," explains Carol, "it can grow with us." It's easy to add another person to the platform. It's easy to change contribution amounts.
Carol shared with us that her most important need was making sure the church found something that worked for everyone while staying on budget. With implementing a QSEHRA, and with the help of our team, she was able to accomplish both.
→ Read another pastor's QSEHRA testimonial here!
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for 2023 to reflect the exciting changes going on in the HRA world.
I wrote this blog because I care about ideas (big and little) that can help fix our healthcare system. I used to work on projects for Kaiser Permanente and the Parkland Health & Hospital System so I've seen the system inside and out. It's so important that consumers keep up with industry shifts and changing health insurance regulations. I'm also Take Command Health's Content Editor and a busy mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!