While a sour economy and rising costs make it harder for small businesses to afford health coverage, one group of employees is especially vulnerable: clergy.
Many denominations provide health care for clergy, but pastors of small and independent churches can be hard-hit by rising health-care costs. Some clergy latch onto their spouses’ health care, or take a second job that offers insurance. But as the job market tightens, even those secondary solutions are hard to come by.
For the clergy, health-care reform has become personal.
“So many churches are small and too many pastors are uninsured,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, in a statement. “As clergy age with the rest of America’s population, we may see a growing list of pastors entering retirement with bankrupting medical bills.”