GSI is 25!
On October 6, GSI celebrated its 25th Anniversary! We have seen a lot of changes since 1997: most notably there has been a growing respect for wellness within the benefits and services GSI provides, but we have also experienced demographic shifts to manage, and ongoing technology changes to master.
During these last 25 years, GSI has had the good fortune to have 38 individuals volunteer their time and skills to serve as GSI directors.
Early on, GSI formed the national health plan for active members, followed by the national retiree health plan. Many benefit improvements have been made over the years. One notable improvement in recent years was the psychology benefit’s increasing from an annual allowance of $500 to $5,000. Five years ago, managed short-term disability and parental leave plans were added to support wellness and financial security. In 2021, we added the health care spending accounts to provide members with more flexibility to get the support they need.
Please continue to reach out with all your questions.
Looking for Directors
Do you know someone who is interested in the care of those who serve in the ELCIC? If so, then please ask them to consider a position on the GSI Board. The board’s time together provides many stimulating and thoughtful discussions, with a few laughs in between, as well as opportunities for professional development. It’s really a great group of people that has an important mission within the ELCIC.
Four of the current directors’ terms will be ending/renewing in September 2023. In preparation, we are beginning our search for dynamic and knowledgeable people with a variety of backgrounds and experience to fill positions. Two of the positions are reserved for plan members.
Meetings are held in Winnipeg semi-annually, spring and fall. Anyone interested should complete a biographical data form and forward it to the GSI office. Please call the office (1-877-352-4247) or review the GSI website for more information. The Nominations Committee will be interviewing candidates in January and February 2023 for recommendation to the GSI Board at their March 2023 meeting. The National Church Council elects the directors at their September 2023 meeting, when the new terms begin.
Benefits Premium Rates
The GSI Board has reviewed the financial results and claims patterns of the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan. Our benefits consultants have advised that, based on this review of our members’ claims and on the industry trends and data, we should expect an increase in health costs. The increase will reflect a rise in utilization for mental health claims (drugs and mental health practitioners) and greater dental costs to reflect the continued pressure on dental fee guides, increased utilization, and demand.
The GSI Board understands that the rise of inflation these past months has caused many financial challenges and stresses. Therefore, it was decided that only a portion of the increase expected by the insurance company will be rolled into the Health Module rates for 2023. The increase starting in January 2023 is approximately 4.3%. The LifePlus benefits will remain at 3.5% of Salary Basis; no change from last year.
The 2023 Rates are now posted on the website.
Modular Health Benefits - New Selections
As we move to the end of the year, members will have the opportunity to reflect on their benefits needs and select their benefits module option that would start on January 1st. Members can move to an adjacent module (e.g., from green to teal) by filling in a Group Benefits Enrollment form and submitting it to the GSI office by Monday December 19, 2022.
This is a good time to meet with your pastors and see if they plan on making any changes, and then discuss how any additional premiums will be paid. Employers are required to provide their employees with the Blue module. Any other arrangements are as per the agreement between the employer and plan member.
Employer Receipts Report
This week GSI will be sending each employer a listing of all the pension contributions and benefits premiums that we have received for each of your employees to date. Please review this carefully and reconcile it to your records. This is a great way to detect errors prior to yearend when it may be more complex and costly to correct. Let us know if you have any discrepancies.
The life insurance rates paid to Manulife will be changing for 2023 and therefore the taxable benefit calculation form has been updated. Please use it to determine the monthly with holdings base for 2023.
Please remember to update GSI whenever you elect a new Treasurer. Check the invoice to see who GSI has listed as the primary contact. We encourage all Treasurers to review GSI’s website from time to time to ensure you are not missing anything. If you are new and would like an orientation, please contact our office.
There are just a few congregations/employers left that continue issuing a monthly cheque. We strongly encourage you to move to the automatic electronic payment that is scheduled for the 15th of each month.