A NON PROFIT opens a wide
health insurance UMBRELLA
By Asa A. Gregory

Non Profits are poor. Non Profits can't provide squat in the way of salary for their employees, much less a great health insurance plan. Right?

WRONG! Not all non profits are handicapped by the lack of profit. Some pull from their donations and multiply their serving power. Read more about how some parts of America's religious sector point the way toward health insurance sanity.

CDC statistics for US health insurance coverage.
Presbyterian Church, USA
Presbyterian Children's Health Insurance Program


Medicare, Medicaid, HMOs, co pays, premiums and deductibles…

These are all words that swirl in the minds of most Americans as they struggle to keep health coverage for themselves or their family.

In a country without socialized medicine (i.e. universal coverage for everyone), it is increasingly common for many people to find themselves in the terrible situation of not being able to pay their bills.

Despite putting in long and very hard hours at work, Americans seem not getting the coverage they need and deserve.

Given the high costs of medical care, you might expect more of the same from a nonprofit agency.

However, a November 4, 2003 interview with a
Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) employee revealed how quickly and for how much this nonprofit was willing to insure its employees.

Kenneth Slifer, has been working for PCUSA for two years in the national headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Slifer handles a number of administrative duties including (but not limited to) public relations, promotion, filing, email, and more.


His health insurance is provided for him by the Board of Pensions of the Church. The only drawbacks to the plan are what any right-minded person would expect with any good health insurance plan. He has $25 co pays for doctor visits and expected deductibles for any type of surgery or major treatment.

When asked if he could make it if he were to become "decisively ill," Mr. Slifer responded, "If I had to, guess I would find a way. If you're asking would my deductibles be more than I can I financially handle? Probably…would still incur lots of debt…"

Despite any obvious negative flavor from the previous quote, Mr. Slifer still had a glorious review of the health coverage provided for him by the Presbyterian Church, USA.

Kenneth Slifer had come from a humble background and remembers his parents' difficult conversations concerning health care and general payment of bills, much like what most Americans go through today.

His mother had suffered from cancer and had no insurance at the time. His father is now disabled and collects from Medicaid.

Another striking thing about this religious nonprofit representative in this capitalist world of the HMOs and rich and demanding insurance companies is that not only do they provide insurance for their ministers, administrators and other employees; they also seek to promote health elsewhere.

PCUSA advocates the providence of health care to the most important members of American society, the children. PCUSA "…actively [works]… to get children enrolled, "…in the CHIP or
Children's Health Insurance Program."

PCUSA also works to promote good health in general by providing health tips online and creating a whole separate ministry to serve the community. Health Ministry USA is their way of reaching out to the community at large to provide them any sort of assistance that the government or even their own insurance company fails to deliver.

When asked if PCUSA would be a good national model for the floundering health care state in this nation, Mr. Slifer felt that it would eliminate most of the problems associated with health care that keep 16.8 percent or 40.5 million of Americans under the age of 65 without it.

See Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics for US health insurance coverage.

Though Slifer admits that the Presbyterian model would not eliminate all problems associated with healthcare, it was obvious that he was quite satisfied with the coverage he receives from the Presbyterian Church, USA.

When asked why he felt PCUSA provided such great coverage for its employees, Mr. Slifer felt that the Church is, "…trying to set a good example, values good healthcare [and the Church] values [its] employees."


Asa A. Gregory describes himself as a "lyrical writer" having written "lyrics since I was about 12-14." He has since learned acoustic and electric guitar, some drums and percussion, keyboards and many other instruments. He has put this knowledge to use in musical experiments adapted to tape, he adds.


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