This past year has produced many changes in the health insurance industry which have affected Contextual Learning’s requirements and expectations for this component of congregational support in 2014-2015. The launch of the Affordable Care Act means that most students who are not covered through an employer’s policy now have the option to purchase individual coverage through a state-sponsored insurance marketplace, as an alternative to the policy currently offered through Luther Seminary.
The marketplace is a helpful option since rates for the Luther Seminary health insurance plan have increased dramatically. Each year we attempt to build a cushion into the figure provided on the Financial Matters page on the Contextual Learning website as well as in the internship site application. Unfortunately, the Luther Seminary health insurance rate continues to far outpace our estimates; next year’s rate is a 20% increase over 2013-14. The premium for September 1, 2014 – August 31, 2015 will be $3,566.
As has been the case for a number of years, a congregation is expected to pay for the cost of a full-time intern’s health insurance premium, up to the cost of purchasing the Luther Seminary health insurance plan; for a two-year/part-time intern the cost is 50% of the premium cost each year of the two years of internship.
- If the intern plans to purchase coverage through Luther Seminary, the internship site will send payment to the Business Office and it will be applied directly to the student’s account. This can be paid in one sum at the beginning of September or by contacting the Business Office to arrange a payment plan.
- If an intern plans to purchase coverage outside of the Luther Seminary health insurance plan, and if there is a cost associated with the intern’s portion of the premium, the congregation is expected to pay that amount directly to the intern.
- The student deadline to waive or enroll in the Luther Seminary insurance plan was September 15.
- Students planning to apply for individual coverage through the marketplace may do so prior to the open enrollment period which begins November 15. The end of health insurance coverage through the Luther Seminary plan on August 31 is considered a “life-changing” event, allowing individuals to secure coverage through the marketplace.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kathryn Ostlie-Olson at 651-641-3492 or firstname.lastname@example.org.