Benefiting our workers

Starting Nov. 1, WELS VEBA is offering limited open enrollment into its health care plan. Eligible workers at WELS/Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) organizations that have at least one worker already using WELS VEBA can enroll through Nov. 30.

WELS established the WELS VEBA health care plan more than 30 years ago to provide for its workers’ health care needs. About 80 percent of WELS and ELS calling bodies provide this nationwide, long-term health coverage to their pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and lay workers.

“WELS VEBA’s strength lies in the large number of workers and calling bodies across the country that join together and participate in our synod’s health plan,” says Mr. Joshua Peterman, director of WELS Benefit Plans. “In this way, WELS VEBA has been able to provide consistent, comprehensive benefits to our workers and their families for generations.”

Knowing that coverage will remain intact offers peace of mind to called workers when they receive calls to different ministries or congregations, making health care coverage not a factor in the decision-making process.

Through WELS VEBA, health care costs of covered workers are shared across all participating calling bodies throughout the synod. Churches and schools don’t have to worry about the cost of benefits when making a call, since the plan’s premium costs are the same across all age groups. WELS VEBA also doesn’t charge higher premiums based on an individual’s medical care needs. It protects called workers and their calling bodies by ensuring comprehensive coverage for all participants in the plan.

“As the church’s plan, we understand the need to keep coverage costs stable from year to year and as low as reasonably possible, so that calling bodies can preserve valuable assets to fund ministry efforts,” says Peterman.

Congregations appreciate this effort to maintain reasonable costs as they look to provide health care for their workers. Mr. Stan Bothe, congregation president at Peace, Green Lake, Wis., says, “We’re not big and we don’t have unlimited funding, so to know we can offer our teachers and our pastor a good health plan that will meet their needs and that they can take with them if they should be called into a new ministry is a relief. It’s important to take care of the people who work in the ministry.”

Eligible workers will be mailed information about the limited open enrollment in late October. Learn more at or by calling 414-256-3860.