Insurance Update
November 2014
Issue No. 52          
In this issue
National Family Caregiver Month
Open Enrollment
Thanksgiving Recipes
Long-Term Care Insurance

National Family Caregiver Month 

When we're happily seated around the Thanksgiving table with our children and their grandparents at our sides, it's hard to imagine that life will ever change, but with each passing year, we marvel at how fast time flies, how big the kids are getting, and of course, how old we are! Whether you're planning for your own care or entering the phase of life where you need to start caring for your elderly parents, you'll find this informative article useful. It is filled with advice, practical checklists and charts, and resources you will need when faced with caring for an aging family member.



About Us 

Insurance logo 

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

Church of the Brethren Insurance Services provides dental, vision, basic life and accidental death & dismemberment, supplemental life and ad&d, dependent life and ad&d, retiree life, long-term disability, short-term disability, and Medicare supplement coverage for eligible ministers and other employees of congregations, districts, and camps. Dental, vision, retiree life, and Medicare supplement coverage is also available for eligible retirees 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


Greetings from the Brethren Insurance Services staff, 


Sometimes it's hard to think about being thankful when we've just said goodbye to warm weather and all the beautiful colors with which God graces our landscape each fall. Yet in November, we are reminded to give thanks for all the blessings bestowed on us. That being said, isn't it odd that while many people arrange their lives around a day devoted to celebrating gratitude, we often witness Thanksgiving getting lost in the shuffle? Over time, it has become more about parades, football games, travel plans, and Black Friday -- not really in keeping with the original idea of gathering to give thanks for a good harvest, or what George Washington envisioned when he proclaimed the first Thanksgiving celebration as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God." In honor of the true spirit of our November holiday, let's try to refocus on all that we have to be truly thankful for, and not get too caught up in the whirlwind of shopping lists and sale flyers. We'd like to start by saying how thankful we are that you are part of our Brethren Insurance Services Family!


To help save you time when it comes to planning that Thanksgiving feast, we've included several (mostly healthy) recipes that you can use. Since November is not only Sweet Potato Awareness Month, but also Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, we had to feature recipes using both of these. Enjoy!


As you're gathering with your family, you might be interested to know that it's also National Family Caregivers Month. This is an ideal time to begin thinking about the best way to care for family members as they age and need more attention and resources. The Prepare to Care planning guide is full of helpful information on how to approach this difficult topic.


It's also Open Enrollment time, so if you are a plan member or wish to become a plan member, please take advantage of these products now or add to your current benefits. For Brethren employees who work 20 hours or more a week, we are offering Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability. There's still time -- Open Enrollment period runs through Nov. 30. Click here for details.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Scott, Tammy, and Connie
EnrollmentOpen Enrollment

It's Open Enrollment season, and Brethren Benefit Trust is excited to be offering coverage on all of our benefits. Here is a quick review of what all those benefits are.


Our excellent Dental plan coverage comes through the Delta Dental PPO network, with three different plan designs for you, depending on what level of coverage you're looking for. No matter which plan you choose, 100 percent of preventive services are covered, and all three include orthodontia.


The Vision coverage, through EyeMed, uses the Select PPO network and offers minimal copayments and generous allowances for annual eye exams, contact lenses, and eyeglasses, with no deductible.


We also offer a variety of helpful coverage plans through Basic Life with Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Dependent Life, and Supplemental Life with Accidental Death and Dismemberment.


Long- and Short-Term Disability are also available. Both plans pay a percentage of your salary when you are disabled. They are offered without underwriting, and are subject to the 3/12 Pre-Existing Period, which means that any sickness or injury for which you received medical treatment, consultation, care, or services - including diagnostic procedures - or took prescribed drugs or medicines to treat during the three months immediately prior to your effective date of insurance is not covered for the first 12 months the policy is in effect.


To be eligible, employees need to be working a minimum of 20 hours per week. If you want specific information, please look over the enrollment forms at


Coverage for benefits acquired through Open Enrollment takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015. If you have questions or need extra help interpreting the many services we offer, please feel free to contact our member services representative, Connie Sandman, at or 800-746-1505, Ext. 366.
 RecipesThanksgiving Recipes

It's hard to not associate the month of November with food, and that's just the beginning of a long season of treat-filled holidays. If you're stressing a bit over the calorie-fest on the horizon, you might want to try your hand at the healthy Thanksgiving meal recipes below. Don't worry, they're delicious too. Happy Feasting!



Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Sauce Serves 10

Instead of adding fat during cooking and serving the turkey covered with gravy, this roasted bird is complemented with a refreshing, aged Italian vinegar-brown sugar sauce.


Directions: Preheat oven to 325.



1 whole turkey

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

3-4 cloves of garlic

½ cup water

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup defatted pan drippings

3 tablespoons brown sugar


Turkey: Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Rub turkey with olive oil, a sprig of rosemary, and garlic cloves. Place all remaining rosemary and garlic inside the bird. Loosely tie the legs together. Place on middle rack of oven (if possible). When the skin is light (after about 1½ hours), cover the breast with a tent of foil to prevent overcooking the breast. Check turkey with meat thermometer after 3 to 3½ hours. Turkey is done when the thigh is pierced deeply and juices run clear (180-185 F) or when the breast muscle reaches 170-175 F. Remove the turkey from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes to allow juices to settle in the meat.


Sauce: Deglaze the pan by adding ½ cup water. Stir to scrape up browned bits. Pour pan drippings into a gravy separator. Reserve 1 cup of defatted pan drippings for sauce. In a pan or microwave dish, stir together the vinegar, defatted pan drippings, and brown sugar. Warm the sauce until the flavor is just released, about 15 seconds in the microwave, or over low heat on the stove until steam escapes. Do not boil. Drizzle carved turkey slices with the warmed brown sugar sauce. Serve immediately.


280 calories for a 5-ounce serving of light and dark meat (plan for leftovers!)

8 g total fat, 150 mg cholesterol, 154 mg sodium, 9 g total carbohydrate, 3 g sugar, 43 g protein.




Apple Salad with Figs and Almonds (Serves 10)

Figs are a sweet fruit with soft flesh and tiny edible seeds. They are a good source of iron, calcium, and phosphorus. You can eat figs raw, with or without their peel, or use them in baked goods.



2 large red apples, cored and diced

6 dried figs, chopped

2 ribs of celery, diced

½ cup fat-free lemon yogurt

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

2 carrots, peeled and grated



In a small bowl, combine apples, figs, and celery. Add yogurt and mix thoroughly. Top with almonds and grated carrots. Serve.


89 calories in a ¾ cup serving

18 g total carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 38 mg sodium, 1 g total fat, 2 g protein, 3 g sugar




Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Serves 8)



6 cloves garlic, peeled

¼ cup olive oil

7 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed

½ cup milk

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper


Directions: Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Place garlic cloves in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, cover and bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but firm. Drain, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place roasted garlic, milk, parmesan cheese, and butter into the bowl with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Beat to desired consistency with an electric mixer.




Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Serves 8



2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

1 (6 oz.) package dry corn bread stuffing mix

2 teaspoons butter

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic

1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms

1 cup long grain and wild rice mix

2 sprigs fresh sage, chopped

2 cups vegetable stock


Directions: Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease 2 baking pans, and place the cleaned-out squash, cut-side down, into the pans. Bake in the preheated oven until barely soft to the touch, about 25 minutes. Follow package directions to prepare stuffing mix; set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and cook and stir the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook and stir until they give up their juice, about 5 more minutes. Add the rice mix and sage, and cook and stir the rice and vegetables until the vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, stir to combine, cover and reduce heat. Simmer the rice mixture until tender, 30-40 minutes.


Lightly mix the cooked rice mixture with the stuffing in a bowl, and pile the mixture into the centers of the squash without packing it. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake until the squash are tender and stuffing is hot, about 15 minutes more.




Gluten-Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie (makes one 9-inch pie)



2 eggs

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

⅛ tsp ground ginger

1¼cups evaporated milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

¼ cup chopped pecans


Directions: Preheat oven to 400.

Beat eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a bowl until blended. Stir in milk and pumpkin until mixture is smooth; transfer to a 9-inch glass pie dish. Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until set, 30-40 minutes more. Cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.




Sweet Potato Pudding (makes 4 servings)



2 large eggs

¼ cup honey, divided

¼ cup 1% low-fat milk

1 slice whole wheat bread, crusts removed

2 cups peeled, baked, and mashed sweet potato

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

¼ cup plain low-fat Greek Style yogurt



Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 1½-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Combine eggs, 3 tablespoon honey, milk, and bread in a large bowl. Beat with mixer until smooth. Add sweet potato, vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice; beat until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish. Scatter pecans and ginger over top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until pudding is set and slightly puffy (it will sink slightly as the pudding cools).


While pudding bakes, combine yogurt and remaining 1 tablespoon honey; stir until smooth. Divide pudding among four bowls and top evenly with yogurt mixture.

 LTCILong-Term Care Insurance

November is Long-Term Care Awareness month. This is not something to think about when you actually need it, so why not decide right now, in the month of November, to check out how this may be a benefit to you?


You can learn a lot more about this on the BBT website, at


Brethren Insurance Services offers LTCI for all members and employees of the Church of the Brethren and their family and friends; and also for employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities and their families and friends.

Brethren Insurance Services at or 800-746-1505 for a free, no-obligation proposal or click here to request more information.