Implementing Parity

Implementing Parity

The Denominational Health Plan to be fully implemented in the Diocese of Northern California by January 1, 2012

By Canon Bobbi Yeo, Canon for Administration & Fiance 

At their joint meeting on June 18, 2011 the Diocesan Council and Board of Directors set January 1, 2012 as the deadline for churches and diocesan institutions obtaining benefits through the Church Medical Trust to fully implement the provisions of the Denominational Health Plan (DHP).

The DHP was passed by the 2009 General Convention as Resolution A-177 and is required to be fully implemented by January 1, 2013. This diocese has been a recognized leader in the implementation of all aspects of the Plan except for item #4: “The DHP shall provide equal access to health care benefits for eligible clergy and eligible lay employees.”

Equal access means parity between clergy and lay employees as it relates to the amount of premium paid by the employer for health and dental insurance.

Throughout 2010, and during 2011, clergy and congregational leadership have received electronic and printed information noting that the expected implementation date in our diocese for the parity component of the DHP will be January 1, 2012. This information has been distributed in the form of e-news articles, e-mails, and hard copy mailings directed to clergy, senior wardens, and treasurers. It was also discussed in the Treasurer’s breakout sessions at the Congregational Leadership Conferences in February 2011.

The Office of the Bishop has practiced parity in the area of health care benefits for many years and has encouraged churches and diocesan institutions to do the same, consequently, many of our churches already do practice parity in this area.

If your church does not currently pay equal benefits on behalf of lay employees you will want to address this issue well in advance of the deadline as this will affect your 2012 budget. If you would like clarification regarding how to calculate the affect on your budget please contact Canon Bobbi Yeo at the Office of the Bishop. She can be reached at or (916) 283-8211.

This information was distributed via the U.S. Postal Service as well as e-mail to clergy, senior wardens, treasurers, and church administrators the week of July 4, 2011.



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