Musings on Spiritual Matters

by Matthew Morine

Preachers and Medical Insurance

medical-insurance.jpgA lot of preachers struggle with finding and paying for medical insurance. Personally, I am blessed because I have this Tennessee Rural insurance which is 336 dollars a month for the the whole family. It does not include drugs, but after a $1000 dollar deductible, it is a 80/20 pay. Not bad for the cost of it every month. Now I pay my own insurance so I shop around for a good deal. If I did not, I would be paying something like $950 a month. This would be a major hit to the budget. Every year my elders ask me how the money situation is and every year I tell them I am thankful for my health insurance plan. Fortunately, before I had this plan, the elders were willing to work with my family and I in maybe paying for the deductible if we had to pay it one year. That way we could save some money by having a high deductible. Anyway, not everyone has a good situation and some good elders like me. Some elders will not provide or help with insurance at all. The wife is not working so the husband has to provide the family with the insurance. It is sad that some ministers do not even have health insurance. So what is the role of the congregation in providing health insurance? Is the minister always expected to find his own and pay for it? Paying $1000 dollars a month when you are making $3000 or $4000 seems to eat the money quickly. Is there a way that all ministers can come together and develop a group plan for preachers in the churches? Some ministers are leaving the ministry because of insurance issues. This is a important topic for the preachers and the churches.

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About The Author

Matthew is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a beautiful wife named Charity and a precious baby named Gabrielle. He has graduated from the Brown Trail School of Preaching, Heritage Christian University with his Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies, Lipscomb University with his Master’s of Arts in Biblical Studies and his Master’s of Divinity at Freed-Hardeman University. He is presently working towards his Doctorate of Ministry at Harding Graduate School of Religion. His articles have appeared in the World Evangelist, the Highway to Holiness, The West Virginia Christian, The Christian Echo, The Firm Foundation, Church Growth, and the Gospel Advocate. He enjoys hockey, golf, boxing, and chess. In his spare time he enjoys reading numerous genres of books. Also, he is working on climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado. Matthew is the Pulpit Minister for the Castle Rock church of Christ.


16 Responses to “Preachers and Medical Insurance”

  1. joe says:

    i don’t know how much it costs, but the mennonite church has something called mennonite mutual aid (mma). it is a way for larger churches and smaller churches to help each other out. you don’t have to be mennonite to be a part of it. sorry if its no good, but it came to mind. google it. who knows.

  2. Matthew says:

    I never heard of that before.

  3. Revolutionite says:

    I’m curious to know why pastors of small congregations don’t have full time employment outside the church? This would take care of the health care situation as well as keep the pastor in the community and in touch wiht the non-believers he/we/she should be trying to reach. Maybe you have a large church and you need 40 hours a week to minister to and prepare for them. If not though, why not work outside the church?

  4. Matthew says:

    Well a lot of congregation are medium size and most of the small congregations do not have a full time minister. But in a medium size congregation, there is more than 40 hours of work a week, and having a part time job that provides health insurance is a big “if”. Most part-time stuff does not have insurance and if you are doing over 40 hours a week in ministry, I guess you are not spending time with you family. That is a big sin, my friend.

  5. revolutionfl says:

    might have to define “medium” and “small” congregation. also might have to define “work”.

    Here’s the true irony: The priority shouldn’t be “spending time with your family”, the priority should be providing for your family. This would include time, money, and insurance. If a pastor’s “ministry” isn’t able to provide for his family, then his priority is to cut down the “ministry hours” and upgrade the familial providence until such a time as the ministry can provide for the family completely.

    Can’t put the cart before the horse.


  6. Revolutionite says:

    Well certainly you would be remiss if you were to neglect your family. How many people comprise a mid-sized congregation?
    Additionally, how does the pastor who works 40 hours a week for the church while simultaneously managing to meet the needs of his family find time to reach his community? It’s a conundrum. The bigger the church, the less time the pastor, it would seem, has for reaching the lost. I mean, in the pulpit you are more or less preaching to the choir, as they saying goes.

  7. Leon Cole says:

    I have been in the ministry nearly fifty years and provided my own health insurance (and the family) all the way. Thank the Lord I am now on medicare with a supplement as will my wife come November. At one point I belonged to a preachers group Blue Cross of WV. It went bankrupt and I was almost caught in a pickle. Matthew I have the same coverage with the same people you do except mine was a bit higher (age factors. When I got in that predicament I had a rider for a year but it was the best I could do. I have found that generally speaking brethren never consider that usually their insurance is provided by their work where as preachers must foot the bill themselves with a few exceptions.

  8. preacherman says:

    I am blessed to be at the church I am. It is a small country congregation of about 35 members. It is a mission point. I don’t get paid very much. I live in a parsonage. The boys are on medicade so they are taken care of for medical. When I got sick last November the church here started up a medical fund. Churches and people in the town gave to the medical fund. I applied for assistance at the hospital which covered the hospital 100% The fund so far has covered all Dr. Bills, medications. I have submitted forms to for persciption assistance and have some of my medications for free. You see some congregation just can’t afford to pay insurance for their preachers. If you know anyone who would like to contribute to my medical fund they can send contributions to:
    Peoples State Bank
    C/0 Kinney Mabry Medical Fund
    Rocksprings Texas 78880

    God has taken care of us so far and will continue to do so. I know that during the most diffuct time during the disease (GBS) you can see and learn more at
    God has been answering prayers and has been providing what I need. I have been so thankful. He has been so good.

    Matthew, I want to thank you for talking about this subject. God bless you brother and keep up the great posts.

  9. Matthew says:

    I guess I would include reaching out in the work of the preacher or minister. He is ultimately working for Christ. Also, just from a few comments, it really hurts my heart to see good men preaching the Gospel and struggling to pay the medical bills. Our preachers deserve better.

  10. preacherman says:

    I am blessed to be at the church I am at though. The people are so wonderful and loving. It is just a small country church.

  11. Sonny Owens says:

    Insurance is tough business and that is exactly how I treat it….business.
    My INs. is almost 900.00 a month. The church has given me a salary and out of it my insurance is paid. It has gone up twice in 3 1/2 years. So far they continue to pay it. It has boosted my salary but I fight to keep them to pay the increase. They are gracious men who understand. The last 2 congregations I worked with either did not pay the increase or was going to put cap on it to where I would pay the increase. I left before another increase. That was not why I left but I was gone before it increased. This needs to be handled as business. Hang in there with the elders. I truly believe we deserve it. of course I reserve the right to be wrong about that.

  12. Alan says:

    A few months ago ACU was trying to put together a solution to this problem, called the Christian Leaders Benefits Alliance. Ministers looking for reasonable health insurance might want to contact them. You could email elderlink (at) for more information.

  13. osipov says:

    NO ONE should have to be without a way to pay for medical expenses.

  14. Cherry Hanz says:

    I ran across your post at “Jesus Creed” and was intrigued because you are ministering at a Church of Christ. I’m PK and Mk, my Dad graduated from David Lipscomb in 1954. In 2000 my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was 64 years old. My Dad always ministered at mission churches. He ministered full time. He was always very active in the community, doing radio ministry, a newspaper column, prison ministry, hospital ministry and home Bible studies. He had never had health insurance. He lived 10 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had over $200,000.00 dollars in doctor bills when he died. I am the oldest of seven children and I felt very responsible for these bills. My mother had always helped my Dad and only worked part-time. She had a heart attack 2 weeks before Dad died.

    To anyone who thinks that a mission congregation is less than a fulltime ministry – you are mistaken. The mindset of the Church of Christ towards their Minster/pastors is unscriptural. The ox that labors is to be fed!

    My Dad had always lived by faith, and God did not fail him. The tiny congregation of 75 people and the recipients of his newsletter collected over the amount needed to resolve my Dad’s doctor bills after his death.

  15. Brad says:

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  16. Brad says:

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