Health Benefits Update

November 14, 2019

Please remember about paperwork/forms that need to be completed before the December 1, 2019 deadline. 

Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) Plan

  • If you are electing to participate in the Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) plan, you must complete the Flexible Benefit Election Form for 2020. Just indicating an amount on your Clergy Compensation Report for 2020 is only part of the process. In order to finish the process, you must complete the Election Form, and sending to Treasury Services. The 2020 Flexible medical maximum is $2,750; the dependent care maximum is $ 5,000. The IRS released this increase on November 6, 2019. If you elected $2,700 for 2020 and you wish to increase your election, you will be allowed to complete an amended Flexible Benefit Election form. Here is the link to the form on the conference website:
  • The December 1 deadline for the Flexible Spending accounts (FSA) will guarantee funds and flexible benefit cards being available on January 1, 2020. (Forms received after this date, funds are not guaranteed for use on January 1.)
 Health Plan
  • If you wish to make a change in your health plan, i.e. Basic Plus to Basic; Basic to HSA, HSA to Basic, then you must complete the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form for 2020.  
  • If you elect the HSA plan, the conference health benefit plan will contribute $500 – clergy/employee only; $1,000 – clergy/spouse or clergy/child or children and $1,500 – clergy/family into your account. You would be eligible to make personal contributions via salary reductions into your account. You must obtain an HSA through a third party for the seed funds to be deposited. For individual only - $3,550; For family plans: $7,100 (These amounts less the seed funds.) 
  • If you want to add/terminate dependents, then you must complete the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form for 2020. Here is the link to the open enrollment form:
  • If you are not making any changes, you do not need to complete the enrollment form. 
  • In 2019, the conference added HealthPerx, telehealth, as a benefit for our clergy and their families. If you are not feeling well and are traveling or have an in-the-night illness or simply just want to avoid urgent care or the emergency room, HealthPerx will allow you to speak with a board-certified doctor in the state where you are located. The doctor could prescribe you a prescription that you could fill at a local pharmacy, or the doctor could refer you to the nearest ER or urgent care center. This best part is that this service is at no cost to you!  Copayments/deductibles, etc. do apply if referred to ER/urgent care or the local pharmacy. Here is the link, specific to our group, for you to register:          
  • The December 1 deadline for the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form will provide enough time for new subscriber ID cards to be received for health coverage changes. (No guarantee you will have ID cards for forms submitted after the deadline.)  
Group Term Life Insurance
As you are aware, the Conference has adopted a new group term life insurance plan through The Guardian. With the new group term life, the basic $10,000 term life coverage will continue, so the enrollment form will become your designation of beneficiary form. You have received email communication with the enrollment forms and information from the district offices. The deadline to submit the enrollment paperwork is December 1, 2019. The enrollment form is to be submitted to with questions being directed to 704.618.1015.
United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP)
If you are increasing, decreasing, changing or eliminating your Personal Contributions to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan for Retirement, please complete the Contribution Election for the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP). You must send this information to Wespath, NOT Treasury Services. The Annual Conference does not report this information to Wespath. The Contribution Election is the only way that Wespath knows that you made a change for 2020. As of this writing, the IRS has not released the maximum contributions that can be made into a 403(b) plan. Here is the link to the current form on the conference website:
The deadline for submitting the Contribution Election to Wespath is as soon as possible with a January 1 effective date. 

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A Summons to Witness, Protest, and Promise

We give thanks for this Summons to Witness, Protest and Promise written by the cabinet of the North Carolina Conference.  In our ongoing collaboration, we affirm these words alongside them.  Across our state, we invite all United Methodists to be a part of building “the new world God promises as heaven in time descends to earth.” (Revelation 21)

A Summons to Witness, Protest, & Promise

We, United Methodists in The Western North Carolina Conference, join our voices with The North Carolina Conference in witness, protest and promise in these times of violence against our Black brothers and sisters.

We believe. . .

We believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed poured out upon all people.
We believe that in baptism, we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation, and commissioned to resist evil, injustice and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.
We believe that God’s intent for humanity is community, compassion, and holiness, and that justice has been marred by the history of enslavement and racism.
We believe that repentance is urgent for the historic and ongoing violence against Black girls and boys, men and women.
We believe that in the wounding of Black bodies we see Christ crucified.
We believe that those who have been steeped in white privilege, through repentance, can be transformed into humble servants of the living God.
We believe we are called to work for the day when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

We protest. . .
We protest violent murders of Black men and women, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
We protest the narratives of fear and suspicion that divide people from one another.
We protest our historic failure to ensure all our churches are places of hospitality, welcome, and belonging for our Black brothers and sisters.
We protest the historic and continuing suppression of voting and other basic rights.
We protest all incendiary public leadership in this time of crisis and turmoil.
We protest the lack of will in our communities, our state and our country to protect the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, and especially the most vulnerable, the young and the old.

We promise. . .
We promise to use our voices, resources and power to dismantle white privilege and racist systems, especially within our own United Methodist Church.
We promise to read the Scripture with ear and eye attentive to the continued call toward God’s will for all people.
We promise to exercise the right to vote and to work against voter suppression.
We promise to create around ourselves at all times hospitable space for all people.
We promise to name prejudice when we see it and to receive the correction of others who see prejudice in us.
We promise to be life-long learners, to constantly make adjustments in the way we use our power and influence, to be active participants in the building of the beloved community, and ultimately growing always in holiness toward the perfection we see in Christ.


Bishop Paul Leeland
Laura Auten
Carl Arrington
Michael Bailey
David Christy
Amy Coles
Bev Coppley
Beth Crissman
Otto Harris
David Hockett
Kim Ingram
Linda Kelly
Mark King
Melissa McGill
Samuel Moore, Jr.
Dan Pezet
Mark Ralls
David Snipes
Caroline Wood
Jane Wood

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Tim Russell
Edie Gleaves
Ray Broadwell
Gil Wise
Gray Southern
Mike Frese
Kenneth Locklear
Randy Innes
Linda Taylor
Dena White
Tara Lain
Ismael Ruiz-Millan
Jon Strother
Beth Hood
Lisa Yebuah
Greg Moore
Steve Taylor

Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.