Entries by WELS Benefit Plans Office

2024 WELS Benefit Plans Summary

The following provides a summary of the WELS Benefit Plans for 2024 and information to help newly hired workers begin participating in the plans. WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan (WELS VEBA) WELS Shepherd Plan WELS VEBA To participate in WELS VEBA, a new worker must enroll within 60 days of his/her employment start date.  To […]

2024 WELS VEBA Health Plan Rates

The 2024 premium rates for the WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan are now available. To find the 2024 premium rates for the plan options available in your area, visit the 2024 health rates page. The 2024 rates will increase by 11% over the current 2023 rates. The main drivers of the increase are (1) […]

2022 WELS Retirement Program Updates

WELS has produced the following videos, one for workers and one for sponsoring organizations.  These videos provide an update on the status of the WELS Pension Plan freeze and transition to a defined contribution plan for worker retirement benefits. Spring 2022 worker video. Spring 2022 sponsoring organization video. In addition, the Hahn Financial Group has […]

COVID-19 Home Tests

The WELS VEBA health plan covers at-home diagnostic COVID-19 tests obtained on or after January 15, 2022 at no cost to the member (up to eight per covered family member per 30-day period).  Members can obtain at-home COVID-19 tests in the following ways: At an Express Scripts network retail pharmacy.  Find a network pharmacy by […]

No Surprises Act

The No Surprises Act was enacted to protect health plan members from surprise billing after receiving certain services from out-of-network providers. The WELS VEBA Group Health Care Plan (the “Plan”) provides health benefits to eligible WELS/ELS workers and their eligible dependents.  The Plan is required by law to notify members of their protections against surprise […]

Helping Workers and Organizations Prepare for the 2022 WELS Retirement Program Changes

Following the 2021 synod convention’s endorsement of the WELS Pension Plan freeze and transition to a defined contribution plan in 2022, WELS has produced the following three videos to help called workers and sponsoring organizations prepare for the upcoming changes. The first video summarizes the upcoming WELS Retirement Program changes. The second video provides called […]

Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement

The WELS Benefit Plans Office understands that some WELS VEBA plan members have received a notification regarding the settlement of a lawsuit in which Blue Cross Blue Shield was a party.  The notification provides that individual plan members may have the opportunity to participate in the settlement and file a claim. Resources are available from […]

Proposed changes to WELS retirement program 2021

June 2021 Update:  WELS held two webinars, one on June 3 and another on June 8, to inform 2021 synod convention delegates regarding the proposed changes and allow delegates to ask questions.  A replay of the June 8 webinar is available at this link. A retirement strategy committee was appointed in 2017 and has done […]

Retirement Benefits and Housing Allowance for Ministers of the Gospel

Effective July 1, 2020, WELS announced a change in its interpretation of the workers who may be considered “ministers of the gospel” for federal tax purposes, which was based on a thorough investigation and legal opinion from a nationally recognized expert in this area of tax law.  Read the WELS announcement here. Distributions from the […]

CARES Act and WELS VEBA Benefits

The WELS VEBA Commission has approved several enhancements to the WELS VEBA health plan benefits in response to COVID-19 and the ongoing public health emergency.  A summary of the enhancements is provided below. WELS VEBA will cover, at 100% of the plan’s maximum allowable amount, eligible billed charges for the medically appropriate diagnostic test for […]