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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) Portico Benefit Services is once again offering the opportunity for plan members, congregations, and synods to earn wellness dollars in 2014. For plan members and spouses taking the confidential Mayo Clinic Health Risk Assessment, this means an immediate reward of $150 each in wellness dollars; going a step further and completing follow-up activities adds another $350, for a total of $500 for each plan member and each spouse. Then, if 65% of our eligible ELCA primary plan members and eligible spouses complete at least the Health Assessment between January 1 – April 30, all our congregations will earn a 2% discount on ELCA health contributions for all of 2014; in addition, our Synod will receive grant monies for wellness use. What does this mean for us? If our entire Synod earns the 2% discount, it reduces our health contributions for all of 2014 and frees up money, that would otherwise pay for health premiums, for other use. Collectively, the ELCA could save $2.2 million if all synods (and congregations/employers within a synod), seminaries, and churchwide ministries qualified for the discount.

If you have ELCA-Primary health benefits, we need your help. Take the 2014 Mayo Clinic Health Assessment on the EmbodyHealth web portal at by April 30. We’ll be one person closer to 65% participation, and you’ll earn $150 credit. Go a step further and complete the follow-up activities, and you’ll receive $350 credit, for a total of $500 to offset out-of-pocket medical costs. You can find the health risk assessment and follow-up activities at

Last year, our Synod achieved 86.67% participation, making us the most active synod participants in the assessment by percentage, more than any other Synod. Each year that Portico has offered this promotion, our Synod has reached the 65% participation goal; let’s join together again this year to reach this goal and once again become a leader in this endeavor. Such an achievement makes an enormous statement: that the people of the Slovak Zion Synod emphasize and take seriously the wellness of our leaders and are good stewards of all that God has given us: ourselves, our time, and our possessions.