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April 9, 2020

Gift of Salvation

As we reflect on Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the truth and gift of salvation. During these unusual and unique circumstances, we hope you can cling tighter to His promises, and in that, find everything else you need. Thank you for serving in the position the Lord has strategically placed you [...]

April 8, 2020

The CARES Act

On Friday, March 27, after a lot of political jostling, late-night compromise, and a quick signature from the President, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was passed and implemented into law. This legislation contains a very broad spectrum of relief and I’ve done my best to summarize it below. While [...]

April 2, 2020

COVID-19 and Your HSA

Lively, our health savings account provider for the Alliance Health Plan, has put together some useful resources to help you stay on top of, and make sense of, the rapidly changing laws and regulations around COVID-19. Here are the details from Lively as they relate to your HSA and how it’s being affected by new [...]

March 31, 2020

Retirement Plan: Match Relief Instructions

Below are specific instructions regarding the recent match relief announcement available to participating churches, along with an update about submitting forms through our new online submission portal. Requesting Optional Match Relief for Employer Contributions: For April, May and June – please submit changes by the 1st of the month to allow extra time for processing. [...]

March 25, 2020

Important Health and Retirement Plan Updates

Dear Alliance Health and Retirement Plan Employers, I’m sure you have been inundated with dozens of mass emails, countless messages, and numerous webinars and conference calls from businesses, partners, and vendors about their response to the current health crisis impacting our nation. I don’t have to tell you that we are living in an unprecedented [...]

March 19, 2020

Update from Alliance Benefits

Dear Alliance Family, I know that many of you have been wondering how best to utilize your health benefits during this time of public health crisis. First, our plan is currently being amended to make sure that tests for COVID-19 ordered by a physician will be covered in full by the Alliance Health Plan, with [...]

March 17, 2020

Market Comment

In my humble opinion, “perspective” is one of the most elusive human mindsets. Even normal everyday life tends to grind us down to ground zero and we can find ourselves frustrated with even the smallest of issues. Then, we encounter more acute moments that vault us into dangerous mental territory. Under either scenario, minor or [...]

March 10, 2020

Are You Anxious or Depressed?

Know the Signs to Find Relief If you feel anxious or depressed, you are not alone. Everyone feels down or anxious from time to time. It’s a normal response to stress and other situations that arise in our lives. But ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety may signal a problem. In 2017, an estimated 17.3 [...]

March 4, 2020

Coronavirus Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and we are here to help. By using First Stop Health (FSH) telemedicine provided through your employer, you can avoid a trip to a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room. Testing Can FSH doctors order COVID-19 lab tests? Our providers cannot currently order a COVID-19 test. Patients must [...]

February 25, 2020

Market Comment

It’s a cold and snowy day here in the Rockies—perhaps the sun is shining a bit brighter wherever you may be on this Tuesday afternoon. It’s been a rough ride over the past 36 hours in the capital markets. Investors woke up on Monday, February 24, 2020, to unpleasant news that the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues [...]

February 20, 2020

Protecting Your Smile

Did you know that your oral health is an indication of and provides clues to your overall health—or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? The mouth is a window into the physical condition of the body and routine dental care is important through every stage of life. Delta Dental, [...]

February 12, 2020

Free Financial Health Resources

Since 2018, The Alliance has partnered with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Lilly Foundation with an initiative that helps strengthen the financial health of our pastors and churches. Whether it’s time for a financial health checkup, budget adjustments to address life changing situations, or a plan to achieve long term goals, our [...]

February 6, 2020

Improving Your Health

Most of us know that healthy diets are important for health. They nourish and protect us against disease. In fact, unhealthy diets are linked to almost half of heart disease, stroke and diabetes deaths according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Of the 702,308 U.S. adults who died from heart disease, stroke and [...]

January 29, 2020

The SECURE Act

On December 20th, President Trump signed a key piece of legislation impacting retirement plans across America. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, or SECURE Act (Don’t you just love how politicians like to give catchy names to every piece of legislation?), was signed into law as part of the 2020 Spending Bill [...]

January 22, 2020

2020 IRS Contribution Limits

Now that it’s January, perhaps you are curious what you can contribute to your 403(b) and your HSA for 2020. Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions If you are on an HSA-eligible health insurance, such as the Alliance Health Plan, here are the IRS maximums you can contribute to your HSA. Employee and employer HSA contributions [...]

January 16, 2020

W-2 Filing for Clergy and Church Employees

When it comes to preparing taxes, there are a few important things to note when filing tax forms for clergy and church employees. We’ve compiled a list of answers to common W-2 questions typically received around this time of year. We hope you find this information helpful in the midst of tax-filing season! Clergy compensation [...]

January 8, 2020

How to Start SMART

Are you planning on making healthful changes this year? Research shows that those who set SMART goals are more successful than those who just have a general idea that they want to get healthy. In 1981, a corporate planning consultant named George Doran wrote a paper in Management Review called There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals [...]

December 31, 2019

And the Awards Go To…

The 2019 year is coming to an end and a new decade is quickly approaching. Before we close this chapter, we wanted to take the time to reflect and highlight a few achievements accomplished by some of our vendors and those in Alliance Benefits. We congratulate them for a job well done and consider it [...]

December 23, 2019

Gift of the Christ Child

Intentional: (adj.) Done on purpose. Deliberate. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this word, “intentional.”  Particularly, I’ve been thinking about how it relates to this season. How we set aside this time of year with intention to remember the gift of the Christ Child to a broken world – a world in desperate need [...]

December 19, 2019

Tips for Traveling

Are you heading home or traveling for the holidays? With Christmas right around the corner, we’ve put together a brief benefit-related checklist of things to bring with you or to have in order as you plan and pack for your upcoming trip.   Provide updated emergency contact information to your employer, family members and friends before [...]

December 12, 2019

Christmas Traditions

It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. This week we thought it would be fun for the Alliance Benefits team to share with you some of our fondest Christmas recipes from over the years. Recipes that stir up memories or have been passed down from [...]

December 5, 2019

Balancing Retirement and Health Savings

Saving money for healthcare and building retirement funds at the same time can be challenging. With health-care costs on the rise, the competition for dollars can be overwhelming and knowing which account to contribute to and when can be confusing. If you are enrolled in the Alliance Retirement Plan, did you know that you have [...]

November 20, 2019

His Hand in Every Season

We rejoice in the Lord’s provision over these past few years and praise Him for the ways we’ve seen His hand in every situation and season of life. The Alliance Benefits team is privileged to serve the Alliance family and works daily with those in all different kinds of circumstances. We thought it would be [...]

November 13, 2019

HDHP/HSA Pairing Is Gaining Momentum

Some wonder or ask why we offer a single high deductible health plan (HDHP) paired with a health savings account (HSA). As many know, the employee benefits landscape in recent years has been transformed by the rapidly increasing costs in healthcare. As a result, employers are searching for various ways on how to manage the [...]

November 6, 2019

A Cold, the Flu, or Allergies?

How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold, the Flu and Allergies It’s that season again. When you first start to feel lousy, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it’s a cold, the flu, or allergies acting up. Knowing the difference may help you pick the best treatment. All three ailments affect the respiratory system [...]

October 30, 2019

403(b) Plan: Includible Compensation

Here at Alliance Benefits we do all that we can to serve our pastors and their staff with their Alliance health insurance and retirement plans. A common question we get asked is about what types of compensation are included when calculating 403(b) contribution percentages. We want to be sure all of our pastors are treated [...]

October 24, 2019

A Note of Appreciation

Fall is here. The beauty of God’s handiwork is evident in the change happening all around us in His creation. More specifically, it’s October and that means it is Pastor Appreciation Month.  At Alliance Benefits, we recognize that ministry is hard. Our Alliance pastors, missionaries, and chaplains work long hours, serve generously, and love on their people in ways that [...]

October 16, 2019

Open Enrollment

“We chose the Alliance Health Plan to avoid major premium increases. This is a win-win, since this savings enables us to better fund our staff and ministries and reach more people with the gospel! As a bonus, the Alliance Benefits team puts our minds at ease because of their knowledge and responsiveness to any questions [...]

October 10, 2019

Flu Shot Season

Are flu shots safe? Are they effective? Do you need one every year? First Stop Health, our telemedicine provider, says the answer is yes, yes and yes! Initial estimates from the 2018-2019 flu season reported that between 37.4 million – 42.9 million Americans suffered from the flu during this time. Last year was higher than [...]

October 4, 2019

Thriving Together

Around this time of the year, many of our churches are reviewing employee benefits and considering whether to stay with their current health plan or move to a new one. Alliance Benefits understands the difficult decisions churches have in balancing cost while also trying to accommodate and provide a complete benefit solution for their employees. [...]

September 26, 2019

Announcing 2020 Health Plan Rates

We are excited to announce the new 2020 monthly rates and loyalty rewards for the domestic Alliance Health Plan! Once again, we are grateful for God’s provision this year and will be able to offer rates for 2020 that are less than a 3% increase. Here are the details: The Alliance High-Deductible Premium Health Plan—includes [...]

September 18, 2019

Saving Together

Unpredictability—here on earth it’s the one thing about the future we can all agree on. Day-to-day challenges keep most churches and ministries struggling to keep up, let alone thinking ahead to the future. For some, retirement may seem like a long way off. For others, it is just around the corner. Regardless, saving for retirement [...]

September 11, 2019

Preventive Care

Did you know that preventive care screenings can prevent 85% of illness and disease and are covered at no additional cost to members enrolled in the Alliance Health Plan? Preventive care shifts the focus of health care from treating sickness to maintaining good health and includes a variety of health-care services such as a physical [...]

September 4, 2019

Believing You Can Cope

This week’s blog is an insightful article written by our partners from KnovaSolutions on the topic of ‘Resiliency’. The Bible is full of stories of resiliency shown through the lives of God’s people. Through Him, they found the strength to overcome enormous obstacles, whether they be physical, emotional, or spiritual. While this article addresses resiliency [...]

August 28, 2019

HSA News

Earlier this week, Alliance Benefits announced some exciting news for our US health plan participants. After careful consideration and extensive research, we have selected a new Health Savings Account provider. As of October 1, 2019, Lively (www.livelyme.com) will partner with the Christian and Missionary Alliance to provide a modern, user-friendly HSA to our participants. This [...]

August 19, 2019

Protecting Those You Leave Behind

Nearly everyone believes life insurance is important, but at least 40% of Americans don’t have any, and many others don’t have enough. Do you know if you have enough life insurance? Life insurance is, very simply, an income replacement for your family. What would you need to protect those you love if you were no [...]

August 12, 2019

Turning Food Into Energy

Keeping Your Digestive System Healthy Do you ever wonder how the blueberries or chicken you eat get broken down into fuel for the body? The digestive system is made up of organs that each have different roles in processing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and liquids. Each organ works to break food into smaller parts and [...]

August 7, 2019

Economic Commentary

Due to some of the market gyration recently and the particularly downtrodden doom-and-gloom headlines this week, we all need a dose of fundamental perspective about our economy. Enjoy the short communication below! The U.S. Consumer Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the measure of all economic activity over a certain period of time and is the [...]

July 30, 2019

Know Your Limits

Did you know you are limited to how much you can contribute to the Alliance 403(b) Retirement Plan each calendar year? You’re also limited to how much you can put into your Alliance Health Savings Account (HSA). The IRS sets contribution limits to all kinds of retirement and savings plans, and the Alliance plans are [...]

July 25, 2019

Sleep Well, My Friend

We all can agree that sleep plays an important role in so many ways including our physical health. Did you know that sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels? Statistics show that ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood [...]

July 16, 2019

Road Trip to Retirement

I’m sure the last time you were on a road trip you likely used some form of GPS to tell you right where you were. It may have even told you how far you had to go and what time you would likely arrive or if there was an accident ahead, right? Wouldn’t it be [...]

July 5, 2019

Work-Life Integration

The concept of work-life balance was introduced in the 1970’s as baby boomers struggled to balance their careers, families, friends and hobbies with staying healthy. The idea is to ‘balance’ your work with your private life. Work-life balance means focusing on your job when at work and making time outside of work to enjoy family and friends, [...]

July 3, 2019

Where for Care?

The excitement builds as we look forward to spending time with family and friends over the Fourth of July weekend. As we celebrate, did you know that over 74 million Americans are planning to grill out, we will consume 150 million hotdogs, 40% of us will attend a fireworks display, and nearly 47 million will [...]

June 24, 2019

A Testimony of Thanksgiving

“Your wife needs to go to the emergency room,” the paramedics told me. These are words you never want to hear when you’re 1,500 miles apart. I was at home in Michigan and Debbie was in Colorado. After rushing to find flights, my son and I found Debbie in the ER experiencing multiple system failures. [...]

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.  [...]