Insurance Update
April 2014
Issue No. 45    
In this issue
Donate the gift of life
World Health Day
Tips for Brethren Medical Plan members
Long-Term Care Insurance
ThyroidDonate the gift of life

Organ, eye, and tissue donation for people 50 and over. 



About Us 

Insurance logo 

 A not-for-profit ministry of
Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust Inc.

Church of the Brethren Insurance Services provides ancillary coverage for ministers and other employees of congregations, districts, and camps.
Medical and ancillary plans are available to Brethren-affiliated employer groups.
Long-Term Care Insurance is available for all members of the Church of the Brethren, their family and friends, and employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities.  
Contact Us 
1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120



Is spring finally springing? At Brethren Insurance Services' office in Illinois, the snow has finally melted, and the days are getting longer. What a relief!


Often, Insurance Update focuses on your health, but because April 7 is World Health Day, we encourage you to think of global health concerns for a moment. Read below about vector-borne diseases, which threaten the health of millions.

Now that you're thinking about the health of others, consider taking action (if you haven't already done so) to help others: Register to donate vital parts of your body to others after you die. Read the article to the left of this letter about organ, eye, and tissue donation to get an idea of what that entails.

Finally, Brethren Medical Plan members have two tips at the bottom to help them more easily manage their accounts.

As spring arrives, so too does the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. May you have a joyous Easter and a healthful spring! 


SignaturesScott, Tammy, and Connie 
WHOWorld Health Day -- April 7, 2014
The topic for 2014 is vector-borne diseases

World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organization in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. The Day provides an opportunity for individuals in every community to get involved in activities that can lead to better health.


The topic for 2014 is vector-borne diseases.

What are vectors and vector-borne diseases?


Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another. Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations. They are most commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems is problematic.


The most deadly vector-borne disease, malaria, caused an estimated 660,000 deaths in 2010. Most of these were African children. However, the world's fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the last 50 years. Globalization of trade and travel and environmental challenges such as climate change and urbanization are having an impact on transmission of vector-borne diseases, and causing their appearance in countries where they were previously unknown.


In recent years, renewed commitments from ministries of health, regional and global health initiatives -- with the support of foundations, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and the scientific community -- have helped to lower the incidence and death rates from some vector-borne diseases.


World Health Day 2014 will spotlight some of the most commonly known vectors -- such as mosquitoes, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and snails -- responsible for transmitting a wide range of parasites and pathogens that attack humans or animals. Mosquitoe s, for example, not only transmit malaria and dengue, but also lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and yellow fever.


Goal -- better protection from vector-borne diseases


The campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves. A core element of the campaign will be to provide communities with information. As vector-borne diseases begin to spread beyond their traditional boundaries, action needs to be expanded beyond the countries where these diseases currently thrive.


More broadly, through the campaign, we are aiming for the following -- 

  • families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by vectors know how to protect themselves;
  • travelers know how to protect themselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases when travelling to countries where these pose a health threat;
  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem, ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their populations; and
  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat, health authorities work with environmental and relevant authorities locally and in neighboring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their proliferation.

tipsTips for Brethren Medical Plan members   

Go paperless with your medical insurance program


Consider receiving your Brethren Medical Plan/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois documentation electronically rather than on paper. Through BCBSIL's online portal, you have the power to receive notifications, explanations of benefits, and care management tips via email or text message.


To change your notification settings, log in to your account at (click on the "Log In" button and enter your information). Click on "View all quick links" under the Quick Links box on the right side of the screen, and click on "Stop receiving paper statements" to see the many notification options available to you.


Blue Access Mobile: Your member information is just a text away


Have you ever gone to the doctor's office and then realized you forgot your health insurance card? With Blue Access Mobile, your information is a text away. Log in to Blue Access for Members, click Settings and choose Preferences. Enter your mobile phone number and click Save Changes to opt in. Then the next time you need your ID card information, simply text "ID" to BCBSIL (222745)  

to receive it.

 LTCILong-Term Care Insurance
Alzheimer's disease wipes away memories. It can also wipe away savings. According to the 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report from the Alzheimer's Association, payments for care for Alzheimer's are estimated to be $200 billion in 2012. Perhaps that's the reason why over 15 million Americans provide unpaid care to people with Alzheimer's or dementia.

Brethren Insurance Services is here to help you. We offer Long-Term Care Insurance for all members of the Church of the Brethren, their family and friends, and employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities.


If you are interested in obtaining this coverage, contact Brethren Insurance Services at or 800-746-1505 for a free, no-obligation proposal or click here to request more information