Transitional participation coverage

​Ministers in Pastor’s Participation and graduated seminary students are eligible for transitional participation coverage. At termination of eligible service, you may be able to continue most Benefits Plan coverage on a self-pay basis if you enroll for this coverage. You may not participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or continue supplemental disability coverage.

Pastor's Participation provides for 30 days of medical coverage at no cost to you or your employer, and 90 days of no-cost death benefits coverage if you choose not to self-pay for that coverage under transitional participation. Transitional participation begins after any no-cost coverage period and is generally available for up to 24 months. Longer periods are available if you are enrolled for full-time church-related studies or subject to a disciplinary process.

Once eligibility for transitional participation is exhausted, you may enroll for medical continuation coverage or, if eligible, the Medicare Supplement Plan.

Eligibility

Transitional participation is available to graduated seminary students whose presbyteries verify their status and to members in Pastor's Participation who are

  • actively seeking church service;
  • enrolled for full-time church-related studies; or
  • subject to a disciplinary process that leads to a temporary leave or unemployment.

Costs

You choose whether to pay for transitional participation based on the congregational ministers' median salary or on your most recent effective salary (subject to dues minimums and maximums). Severance payments are included in effective salary.

If your effective salary is greater than the median, you should carefully consider which figure to be billed on. If you pay based on the median, the cost of medical and death and disability coverage may be lower. However, pension credit accruals and disability benefits would be based on the median as well, not on the greater, effective salary.

If you are scheduled to start a new, eligible service before no-cost medical coverage expires and want to continue Pension Plan enrollment, death and disability coverage, and, if applicable, dental, and/or supplemental death coverage, you must continue to self-pay until the new service starts.

Enrollment

You must enroll for transitional participation within 60 days of your benefits termination date. You will receive a letter from the Board stating that date, and you should ensure the date is correct; it may be different from your last day worked. Severance packages that include a continuation of employer-paid benefits extend the benefits termination date.

You must complete the Transitional Participation Coverage Enrollment form, included in the termination materials you receive. If you do not want to continue coverage for yourself or eligible family members, you do not need to do anything.

Note: If you do not continue medical and/or death benefits coverage, you may lose eligibility to later enroll for medical continuation coverage through the Board or the Medicare Supplement Plan, and/or eligibility for retiree death benefits. Contact the Board for details.

Member couples

If you are a terminated member who is part of a member couple, you may continue member couple enhanced medical benefit by electing to continue medical coverage under transitional participation. Or, you may elect to be covered under your spouse, along with any eligible children, which would end member couple status. You would then self-pay to continue Pension Plan participation and/or death and disability coverage under transitional participation.

Termination of employment is considered a qualifying life event, so your spouse may also make dental and supplemental death coverage changes within 60 days of the event. As a terminated member, you would not be subject to medical underwriting up to the level of supplemental death coverage you were enrolled for as an active member.