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Helpful insights to help you better understand your benefits.

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June 18, 2019

Benefits in the News

Alliance Benefits is committed to bringing you important updates from around the benefits world as it pertains to our Alliance family. Two recent items in the news are good examples of policy and legislation that could positively impact our plans and our community. For those participating in the Alliance Health Plan, you may be interested [...]

June 11, 2019

Medication Benefits and Risks

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks? Taking medicine is part of a daily routine for many people. Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications treat disease and improve health in many ways. Lowering cholesterol, fighting infection, controlling blood sugar levels, reducing pain—these are just some of the helpful effects. Along with the benefits of feeling better and [...]

June 5, 2019

Health Care Consumerism

I have a high deductible health plan—now what? We are all used to shopping locally and online. We check out the product, check out the reviews and price compare to make our decision. But when it comes to health care, being a consumer is very difficult. How do we compare price and quality? What tools [...]

May 22, 2019

Council Week

This weekend, like most Americans, you will hopefully be enjoying your 3-day weekend and, very rightfully, remembering and honoring those who gave their lives for our country as part of your Memorial Day celebrations. While we will most certainly be joining you in that, many of your Alliance Benefits team members will also be preparing [...]

May 14, 2019

Food for Thought

Our brains never rest. They hold down a highly specialized 24/7 job. As one of our largest and most complex organs, the brain contains more than 100 billion nerves that communicate through synapses, or connections, to control thinking, breathing, memory, sleep, hearing, digestion, feelings, heart rate, and so much more. Think of your brain as [...]

May 7, 2019

Brief Market Comment

The below visual is a great illustration of how many perceived market “crises” and headline-important events occur over a relatively short time period.  We are constantly inundated by news headlines that foretell disaster and calamities, all intended to strike the fear chord thereby attracting more viewers/readers/listeners; good news and positive information unfortunately just doesn’t sell.  [...]

May 1, 2019

What If Your Pastor Could No Longer Work?

If your pastor experienced a serious disability and became unable to work, does he have a financial safety net? What about the impact to your church as you make decisions about helping your pastor and his family? In the US, about one in seven people ages 35-65 may become disabled for five years or longer. The [...]

April 24, 2019

Telemedicine Proving to Be a Success

Telemedicine services are exploding in large number mainly due to the continued success stories and reviews shared by customers. A recent survey funded by the National Institutes of Health (which analyzed responses from 3,000 patients treated via telehealth) concluded that between 94 percent and 99 percent were “very satisfied” with telehealth, while one-third of respondents [...]

April 16, 2019

A Heartfelt Thank You

In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. ― A.W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope As we reflect this week on Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and the gift of [...]

April 11, 2019

How to Safely Discard Medications

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day! April 27th is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — a great day to remove unneeded or expired prescription and store-bought over-the-counter (OTC) medications from your home. Many people stuff old medications in cabinets and forget about them. Has your provider changed a prescription when you still had some left? Have [...]

April 3, 2019

ALERT: Pastors and Churches Win Major Victory in Housing Allowance Court Case

On March 15th, our Alliance Official Workers were the recipients of some very welcomed news related to a highly critical court case that has jeopardized a major tax benefit for our ministers over the last several years.  The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a 2017 ruling from the lower district court that [...]

March 29, 2019

Brief Market Comment

Throughout the year we will attend a few high-quality educational conventions. We thought you might enjoy a sampling of some of the interesting data discussed. We will unpack two brief topics:  A Case for Staying Invested There were 672 months from 1/1/62 to 12/31/18. The S&P500 which represents 500 publicly traded companies as a general [...]

March 27, 2019

Medicare and the Alliance Domestic Health Plan

Navigating decisions regarding Medicare as you approach age 65 can be overwhelming, especially with all the information flooding into your mailbox from companies who want to sell you their Medicare products. As a C&MA employee and a participant on the Alliance Health Plan, the first question you need answered is, “Am I required to enroll [...]

March 21, 2019

Traveling: Well Covered Under the Alliance Health Plan!

Business trips, spring break, summer vacation and even short-term mission trips – not only do you receive the same level of health benefits under the Alliance Health Plan regardless of where you’re going – did you know that additional travel coverage is also included? These benefits are available to you and your family members when [...]

March 6, 2019

Patient Safety Awareness Week!

How to Help Your Providers Keep You Safe Naturally you assume the best when you seek healthcare services. You should, in fact, as most healthcare in the U.S. is safe and of good quality. Yet, errors and accidents still happen, and many of them are unintentional and preventable. Harm to patients can happen in several [...]

March 1, 2019

Going Mobile with Your Benefits

Back in the year 2012, it was predicted that “In 2020…there will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web will be less important and useful than in the past and apps will be the dominant factor in people’s lives.” Pew Research Internet Project The mobile era is here. The number of app users [...]

February 21, 2019

Church Treasurer Tips: Processing 403(b) Roth Type Employee Contributions

We here at Alliance Benefits are proud to be able to offer an excellent retirement 403(b)(9) church plan that helps take care of our pastors and staff with their retirement needs. One nice option the Alliance 403(b) plan offers is Roth employee contributions. If that option is chosen however, be sure to know how to [...]

February 15, 2019

6 Strategies for Saving Money on Prescriptions

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the cost of your prescription? You are not alone. The increasing cost of prescription drugs in the United States has become a source of concern for many.  Below is a compiled list of possible ways to save on your prescriptions. While some of these solutions may not apply to your [...]

February 5, 2019

Is Breaking News Breaking You?

How to Stay Informed while Minimizing Stress Almost two-thirds of all Americans say that the daily news causes them stress, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey. Feeling anxious, depressed, hopeless, irritable and worn out are some of the symptoms of “headline stress disorder,” a phrase coined by psychologist Steven Stosny. Since we no [...]

January 31, 2019

Updating Your Beneficiaries: Why It Matters

Do you know who your beneficiaries are? With Alliance Benefits, this would include any life insurance, health savings account (HSA), or 403(b) retirement account you are currently enrolled in. For many people, naming beneficiaries happens when first setting up the account or policy. However, when life changes occur (birth, marriage, death, etc.), you may find [...]

January 21, 2019

Health Plan Tips for 2019!

The Alliance Benefits team has put together a few tips below regarding your health benefits for the 2019 plan year. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible in the coming days so that you are well-equipped when facing important health-care decisions. Vision Coverage Clarification We’ve updated the wording on page 12 of the [...]

January 10, 2019

Managing Your Weight

For a Healthy Body and Mind Carrying excess weight takes a toll on every part of the body. It affects walking, breathing, sleeping and mood, and can have a negative impact on quality of life. Being overweight can also increase the risk of developing serious medical conditions. The risk might rise from the stress the [...]

November 27, 2018

Are Fitness Trackers HSA Eligible?

One of the common questions we get regarding the HSA is if you can purchase a fitness tracker using your saved HSA funds. Can you purchase a fancy new Apple Watch tax free using your HSA dollars? An Apple Watch does potentially include access to a lot of health and medical tracking information right? Unfortunately [...]

November 1, 2018

The Advantages of a Health Savings Account

One of the unique attributes of the Alliance Health Plan is the plan design. By offering a High Deductible Health Plan, we are able to pair it with a Health Savings Account (HSA) which can be used to pay for eligible health-care expenses. As we head into Open Enrollment, I thought it might be a [...]

October 31, 2018

The Alliance Health Plan compared to medical sharing plans

As I travel around the country to various district events and conferences and talk with our pastors and church leadership, I often get questions regarding many of the “medical sharing” plans or ministries offered as an alternative to medical insurance. These have understandably gained in popularity since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in [...]

November 1, 2017

Joining Together For Lower Fees

We are better together, and can realize far greater success when we work together to reach our common goals (or in some cases our uncommon goals) as we partner for His Kingdom. Planning for retirement is certainly a goal we all share. We want our Alliance family to be aware of every opportunity: by joining [...]

May 24, 2017

Top Tax Errors to Avoid

Alliance Benefits would like to make you aware of common tax errors to avoid. We are deeply grateful for our skilled and conscientious church treasurers who work so hard. Forms and reporting may seem mundane, but this vital “staying with the baggage” ministry helps to protect the church and pastor financially and legally. (see I Samuel [...]

July 14, 2016

Forget Not All His Benefits

Forget not all His benefits, the Psalmist reminds us. What are some ways in which we can remember? When you are a brand new enrollee receiving information about your benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by all the information. Then, later on, when you experience a particular need, you are reminded to review the benefits booklet [...]

July 14, 2016

What Is Your Safety Net For Disability?

Alliance Benefits offers a safety net in the event you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury. Employees in the Alliance Health Plan (Premium Plan version*) are covered by Long Term Disability. Disability insurance protects your income in the event that you become disabled and are not able to work. What [...]

June 9, 2016

Why We Decided One Plan Is Better Than Four

For this year, Alliance Benefits participants saw a new approach to healthcare plans: One choice instead of four. Why did we do that? Well, the research data from our partner HCMS Group was just overwhelming. HCMS is a unique company that combines advanced data analytics on healthcare and other benefits with a clinical prevention service [...]