By Kirk Petersen

The cost of healthcare coverage only moves in one direction, and once again costs are rising faster than inflation. For people covered under the Church Pension Group’s Denominational Health Plan (DHP), however, the cost is rising less than the national average for similar plans.

The annual report for the DHP states that the plan posted “an average rate increase of 5.5% for 2020 as compared to an average forecasted rate increase of 6.5% among U.S. employers.” The current overall inflation rate is about 2.5%.

DHP added 530 subscribers to the plan, bringing total subscribers to more than 13,200, said Curt Ritter, senior vice president for corporate communications.

The DHP was created by a resolution of the 2009 General Convention, and since 2014 all it has covered all domestic dioceses. It also covers employees of 48 other groups related to the Episcopal Church, including schools, camps and conference centers.

By combining the purchase power of the entire Church, the DHP is able to negotiate more favorable terms with program vendors.

For non-domestic dioceses, CPG maintains a Fund for Medical Assistance, which made grants of $55,355 in 2019 to help defray employee medical costs that are not covered by insurance.