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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) The Slovak Zion Synod has surpassed its 65% participation goal for Portico Benefit Services plan member participation in the 2013 Health Risk Assessment. Furthermore, it has been reported that our Synod achieved 86.67% participation, making us the most active participant in the assessment, by percentage, than any other synod. Taking the Health Risk Assessment results in $150 in wellness dollars for each eligible plan member. In addition, a financial incentive consisting of a 2% discount on health premiums for all congregations/employers in the Synod results if at least 65% of eligible plan members took the online Mayo Clinic Health Risk Assessment by April 30, 2013. What does this mean for us? Since our entire Synod has earned the 2% discount, it reduces our health contributions for all of 2013 and frees up money, that would have been paid for health premiums, for other use. Collectively, the ELCA would have saved $2.2 million if all synods (and employers within a synod), seminaries, and churchwide ministries had qualified for the discount.

In early January, Portico calculated the number of eligible plan members and spouses receiving ELCA-Primary health coverage for each synod, seminary, and churchwide ministry. At the end of January, February, March, and April, the percentage of eligible plan members and spouses for each synod, seminary, and churchwide ministry which had taken the health risk assessment was calculated. Early in the next month, results were posted on the Portico website’s “Progress Toward 2% Discount” tab. Following April 30, the final results for the year were calculated and those synods receiving at least 65% participation received the 2% premium discount for the entire synod and for the entire year, retroactive to January 1.

It is clear that the Slovak Zion Synod has not only reached the 65% health risk assessment participation goal, it has once again surpassed this goal and become a leader in this endeavor. Such an achievement makes an enormous statement with regard to how the Slovak Zion Synod emphasizes wellness in our leaders. A very hearty “Thank You!” to all who participated and made this benefit a reality for everyone!


Bishop Wilma Kucharek and Vice President Jerry Owen stand at the Portico display at 2013 Churchwide Assembly