Category Archives: EPC Medical Plan

EPC BRI Board reviews financial position, plans for 2020 and beyond


The EPC Benefit Resources, Inc., Board of Directors met at the Office of the General Assembly on February 27. Members of the Board are (from left) Erik Ohman, Michael Moore, Robert Draughon, Bill Reisenweaver, Kim Ray, Bart Francescone (BRI Executive Director), Randy Shaneyfelt, and William Barnes. Also attending but not pictured were Michael Busch and Ron Horgan (Board Chair).

Meeting in Orlando February 27, the EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI) Board of Directors addressed a variety of topics related to its oversight of the EPC’s retirement plans, group medical plans, and other benefits offerings.

Among other items on its agenda, the Board reviewed BRI’s 2018 and 2019 financial status, discussed current and possible future ways to improve participants’ physical and financial health, and began deliberating on 2020 benefit plan offerings.

The board also heard presentations from representatives from Merrill Lynch, and the Orlando-based CPA firm, Batts Morrison Wales & Lee.

Members of the BRI Board of Directors are Ron Horgan (Chair), TE from the Presbytery of the Midwest; Will Barnes, RE from the Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes; Mike Busch, RE from the Presbytery of the Alleghenies; Robert Draughon, RE from the Presbytery of the Central South; Michael Moore from the Presbytery of the Central South; Erik Ohman, TE from the Presbytery of the Midwest; Kim Ray, RE from the Presbytery of the Pacific Southwest; Bill Reisenweaver, TE from the Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean; and Randy Shaneyfelt from the Presbytery of the Great Plains.

BRI is staffed by Bart Francescone, Executive Director; Rebeca Santana, Benefits Administrator; and Caroline Swanson, Benefits Assistant. For more information on BRI, see

November 1-30 is EPC Benefits Open Enrollment


BRIlogo-96dpiRGBNovember is Open Enrollment month for EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. and the time of year when the 2019 benefit offerings, plan changes, and rates are introduced. All changes made during open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2019. Open enrollment is the annual enrollment period when churches and eligible individuals can enroll in the EPC’s Benefit Plans:

  • Eligible individuals can enroll in the EPC Benefits for the first time.
  • Eligible individuals can make changes to their benefit selections for 2019.
  • Churches can enroll in EPC Benefits for the first time.
  • Churches can change their employee offerings for 2019.

Bart Francescone, BRI Executive Director, said changes have been made to certain Medical and Prescription Drug Plans so participants should review the 2019 Plans before making selections for next year.

“Open Enrollment is a ‘passive’ process, meaning you will automatically retain your 2018 benefit elections unless you actively chose a new plan or decline an existing coverage,” he said. “Make sure you have completed all that is required by the submission deadline of November 30 so your coverage will continue uninterrupted as of January 1, 2019.”

Individuals currently enrolled in the EPC Benefit plans may contact their church administrator, Clerk of Session, and/or those overseeing the implementation of terms of call for information on the benefits offered by their church.

For more information, see or contact the EPC Benefits Admin Office at 877-578-8707 or

Bart Francescone named Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.


Bart Francescone

Following a nationwide search, Bart Francescone of Cream Ridge, N.J., has been named Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI). He fills a vacancy created when the BRI Board of Directors elected to relocate operations to the EPC Office of the General Assembly in Orlando, Fla. Current Director of Benefits Don Voyles declined an offer to move to Orlando, and completes his work with the EPC on October 31.

“Don has served the EPC with distinction for almost four years,” said Phil VanValkenburg, EPC Chief Operating Officer. “Largely through his efforts and expertise, EPC Benefits is in a much better place than it was in 2013. We look forward to Bart building on the great foundation Don has set for us.”

Francescone comes to the EPC from Heartland Fidelity Insurance Co. of Washington, D.C., where he served as Chief Operating Officer. He previously was Executive Vice President for Benecard Services (Clifton N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; and Mechanicsburg, Va.). Earlier in his career he managed an entrepreneurial program at Princeton University; worked in business development and venture management; and was a staff accountant with a CPA firm.

“I very much look forward to serving the EPC,” Francescone said. “I hope to put everyone at ease regarding their healthcare needs and retirement plans, and enable all to more fully focus on their ministerial callings.”

He has more than 20 years of experience with companies that provide health benefit plan administration services, benefit consulting, and insurance protection to employer and union health plans. He holds insurance producer licenses in health, life, property, and casualty in 45 states. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Francescone is an active member of Allentown Presbyterian Church in Allentown, N.J., where he has served as an adult education teacher, confirmation instructor, small group leader, youth leader, prayer leader, and church treasurer. He also has served as a substitute teacher and member of the Finance Committee at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, N.J. He has served as a Young Life volunteer leader and committee member, and volunteers in local youth and recovery programs as well as in food, shelter, and medical care organizations.

He and his wife, Lisa, have been married 29 years and have three adult children: Alex, Liz, and Holly. Lisa has served as a special education teacher in the Upper Freehold (N.J.) Regional School District for 10 years.

Open Enrollment for EPC Benefits begins November 1


BRIlogo-96dpiRGBOpen Enrollment for EPC Benefits is November 1 through November 22. Coverages and changes are effective January 1, 2018. Benefits participants have three options during Open Enrollment:

  • Individuals enrolling in EPC benefits for the first time must complete the Benefits Enrollment Form and have a church officer sign and submit the form to the contact information on the form.
  • Current participants in EPC benefits who do not need (or want) to make changes to their benefits selections for 2018 do not need do anything, except pay the January 2018 invoice.
  • Participants who need or want to make changes to their benefit selections for 2018 must complete a new Benefits Enrollment Form with all requested information, including the desired changes. This form must be signed by a church officer and submitted to the contact information on the form.

Changes for 2018 include new premium rates for the Medical, Prescription Drug, and Life and Long-Term Disability (LTD) bundled premiums rates. Other changes include a new hearing aid program and a revised delivery method for maintenance drugs.

For more information, see the Benefits 2018 Open Enrollment page at or contact Diane Pray in the EPC Benefits office at 734-838-6942 or Participants in the EPC Benefits plans may contact their church administrator and/or pastor for information on specific benefit plans offered by their church.

Response to Obamacare


October 2, 2013

Now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces are “live,” churches are impacted in several ways: federal subsidies, contraceptive mandate, age-based premium rates, and coverage value standards. The EPC Medical Plan has responded to each of these issues, including adding a Silver Plan, to help churches in 2014 and beyond. Click here for a summary of how we are preparing for the ACA. For info about the Silver option and much more, go to benefits documents.

EPC Medical Benefit Plan Update


EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah provides and update from the Board of Benefits and the Committee On Administration about the EPC Medical Benefits Plan.

EPC Medical Benefit Plan Update

Having taken responsibility for making necessary changes to our Medical Plan, the Committee on Administration has also committed to communicating with you as quickly and as effectively as possible about any changes that are made.  That’s the reason for this brief video.  We have three important items to call to your attention today.

One, the EPC Medical Plan will be in business in 2014 and 2015.  Because of continued uncertainties and delays in the implementation of major portions of Obamacare, we don’t expect a large number of EPC churches will depart our Medical Plan to go to Exchanges in 2014.  As long as enough churches participate in the Plan to keep it viable, we’re going to make improvements to the Plan in order to better serve you.

That leads to our second point:  In an effort to make our Plan more affordable (especially to those under 55 years old), an age-based premium structure will be implemented in 2014.  This will result in substantially lower premium costs for many Plan participants and no increase for all other participants next year.  We believe that the reduced costs of this new premium structure will make our Plan attractive to EPC churches that are currently not in the Plan.  Those churches will have the opportunity to enter our Plan for 2014 during the open enrollment period November 1-20, 2013.

Here’s an important qualifier: In terms of cost alone, we do not expect to be competitive with medical coverage offered on exchanges.  The reason being that those plans will be subsidized by the federal government’s Premium Tax Credits.  Our plan will not.  However, if you consider entering an Exchange, please remember that the EPC Plan is exempt from the mandate to provide abortions and abortifacient drugs.  Plans offered on the Exchanges are required to offer that coverage.

Third: In order to provide you better customer service, the administration of as much of the Medical Plan as possible has been outsourced to a professional benefits administrator –CDS.  This outsourcing is already in process.

In closing, this video blog is a brief overview provided to introduce you to these important developments.  More information about these will be coming to you soon via email.  If you need information immediately, please contact Phil VanValkenburg at

Thank you and God bless you!

EPC Medical Plan Premiums Reduced For Many In 2014


Premium rates for all participants in the 2014 Medical Plan will decrease or be equal to current rates. Early this week, the Committee on Administration approved the Board of Benefits proposal to set premium rates based on participant’s age, as follows: For those less than 40 years old, rates will be 50% less than currently; for those 40-54, rates will be 25% lower, and for those 55+, rates will be unchanged for 2014. Enrollment from November 1-20, 2013 will be open to all eligible employees. New rates will be effective November 1 for all current participants. Coverage and rates for new participants will be effective on January 1, 2014. More detailed information will soon be published. Anyone needing details immediately should contact Chief Operating Officer Phil VanValkenburg at