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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 [...]

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 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 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 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 [...]

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 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 [...]