GuideStone working to help storms victims

DALLAS (BP) – GuidStone is working to give greater support and access to Southern Baptist churches, pastors and retirees affected by the storms that swept across the Midwest and south over the weekend.

“During this time, GuideStone has made it easier to obtain prescription refills, even if a refill would not normally be authorized. Participants in GuideStone’s PPO health plans are already able to access Teladoc at no charge, which may be a benefit to those displaced by the tornado outbreak. Any members who need to speak to a doctor for acute, non-emergency care can,” the entity released through a press statement Wednesday.

Churches served by GuideStone’s life and health plans that are unable to pay premiums, remit contributions or payments should contact 1-844-INS-GUIDE (1-844-467-4843) for more information, according to the release.

Mission:Dignity staff have reached out to all participants in the affected states to determine needs. They are asking Southern Baptists to contact them by email if a participant needs help.

“At GuideStone, we exist to honor the Lord by being a lifelong partner with our participants in enhancing their financial security,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “During times like these, we seek to serve as Christ’s hand extended to our participants and the churches we serve across these states and are joining with our Southern Baptist family in praying for all affected by this storm.”

The release also offered help for additional benefits:

Where applicable, full Protection Section benefits will be continued, and the requirement that retirement contributions must be made for continuous months will be waived for individuals whose church has been impacted. While GuideStone encourages churches to resume making retirement plan contributions, in the event of a death or disability, up to 12 months Protection Section credits will be granted, even if there are no retirement plan contributions. GuideStone does not need to be contacted for this relief, as it will be applied when the applicant’s death or disability is determined by GuideStone.

Distributions, rollovers and loan repayments will be handled in accordance with IRS guidance.

Wire transfer fees and overnight mail fees to expedite payments to the affected areas will be waived.

Participants should call the GuideStone Customer Solutions Center at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) in order to expedite plan distributions and loans.

“All of us at GuideStone are joining with others throughout the Southern Baptist Convention to lift up the millions affected by this tornado outbreak,” said Hance Dilbeck, Guidestone president-elect. “We are committed to serving our participants during these days.”

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