Published: 27 May 2016
Last Updated: 27 May 2016
Dear Fellow Retiree:
The IRS posted on its website yesterday, Thursday, May 26, its intent to implement a limited interim process that will provide for making advance monthly payments (AMP) of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) to individuals who are enrolled in qualified health coverage.
What does this mean to DSRA VEBA members?
The IRS adapted a work-around plan that enables the agency to implement a temporary AMP mid-summer. There are specific qualifications for participating in the temporary program. NOTE: the DSRA VEBA and the non-Medicare medical insurance plans offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) meet these special requirements.
There are, however, certain hurdles to be cleared given there is just one month to get all parties and processes engaged. The IRS still has to clearly define responsibilities and finish the enrollment form and process. The longer they delay, the harder it will be for BCBSM and the VEBA team to get our program running in a timely manner. Toward that concern, the IRS held a conference call today with Plan Administrators and others to explain the interim process and answer questions. Rest assured that the DSRA VEBA team is working diligently with the IRS and BCBSM to implement the process and is committed to getting the monthly pay plan running as soon as possible.
For all months in 2016 that you make a full premium payment, a refund of the HCTC can only be obtained through the filing of your tax return.
The following two links outline the IRS announcement and process for implementing AMP temporarily.
You will recall from our previous communications that the IRS announced a six-month delay in implementing AMP and your DSRA AMP Subcommittee and the Cone Retiree Healthcare Group were working together to turn around this decision. Thank you for participating in our Call to Action asking you to contact your Congressperson and Senator for their support. Once again, your efforts made all the difference. It was the political pressure from our legislators that led to the face-to-face meeting during which Mrs. Cone of Cone Retiree Healthcare Group presented the work-around plan that served as the basis for this interim AMP process. Please remember to thank your respective legislators for responding.
It is very welcomed news that the IRS reversed its decision to delay AMP. We know you probably have many questions about the program details and your next steps. Stay tuned. Updates about the VEBA program initiation and enrollment requirements will be sent via DSRA VEBA e-mail blasts and will also be posted at the VEBA website www.dsrabenefittrust.net.
Your DSRA HCTC AMP Subcommittee
Published: 26 August 2015
Last Updated: 07 April 2016
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS -HCTC Updated 04/05/16
The Board of the DSRA-BT has already received many questions regarding the recent passage of the HCTC. The following is an update to our previous FAQs. If you don't see an answer to your question, please send an e-mail to Lori Ostrander, Secretary. Her e-mail can be accessed through the DSRA-BT website under "Contact Us". The updated items are included in RED below.Read more: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS—HCTC Updated 04/05/16
Published: 18 February 2016
Last Updated: 18 February 2016
Click on the link below to read a Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan tax letter addendum for 2014:
Published: 13 January 2016
Last Updated: 13 January 2016
There are many people who still think the DSRA and the DSRA-BT are the same organization. This is not TRUE!
- The DSRA (Delphi Salaried Retirees Association) is the organization that is working hard to restore our pensions.
- The DSRA-BT (DSRA Benefit Trust) is the organization that handles healthcare plans including medical, dental, and vision and also life insurance.
We just want to remind everyone that if you have any questions pertaining to healthcare or the HCTC (Health Care Tax Credit), please contact your DSRA-BT board not the DSRA. Our website is http://www.dsrabenefittrust.net
DSRA Benefit Trust Board of Directors
Published: 26 December 2015
Last Updated: 26 December 2015
Update for 2014
The GOOD NEWS is this: For those of you who had Silver or Bronze healthcare plans along with dental and or vision and qualify for the HCTC, the IRS has agreed that we can call these plans “bundled”--- But Only as of September 1, 2014. What this means is that the HCTC will apply to not only your medical premiums but also your dental &/or vision premiums. The BCBSM statement that you just received does include the dental and or vision premiums for this tax amendment purpose. This beneficial change in HCTC eligibility is due to the administration (TPA) transition from Mercer to BCBSM in August 2014. Unbeknownst to the DSRA BT board, BCBSM established their insurance plan and billing system in a manner that met IRS requirements for bundling of medical, dental and vision for all our plan offerings.
The NOT SO GOOD NEWS: Based on information provided from some of our BCBSM enrollees who have received their 2014 statements from BCBSM, there appears to be an error in the accumulation of the 2014 premiums paid. It appears that BCBSM included premiums paid in September, October, November and December for October, November, December and January coverage but missed the premiums paid in August for September. Again, because of the holidays, we won’t know for sure until next week.
Two additional pieces of information you and your tax advisor should be aware of at this point:
- The Mercer statement will cover the January through August 2014 coverage months. The BCBSM statement will cover the September 2014 through January 2015 coverage months. This will be a total of 13 months. The IRS established the insurance payments made in the current calendar year to be the basis of that year’s tax return. However, the December 2013 premium payments we made for January 2014 coverage were not eligible for the HCTC in 2013 due to the expiration of the HCTC on December 31, 2013. This is the reason we should be eligible for the 12 months of premium payments we made in 2014 and the one payment we made in December 2013. We have queried our contact at the IRS and anticipate a response next week.
- If you intend to file a federal tax amended return to recover the HCTC, please verify that your state tax return is not affected by this amendment.
Update for 2015
Great news for those of you who have Silver, Bronze and Copper healthcare plans and qualify for the HCTC. The IRS has agreed that we can call these plans “bundled” if you carry dental &/or vision. What this means is that the HCTC will apply to not only your medical premiums but also your dental &/or vision premiums.
As a result, the statements you get from BCBSM at the end of January 2016 for the 2015 premiums will reflect the entire total you paid this year and you can use this amount to claim the HCTC on your 2015 tax return.
Update for 2016
Based on this new information, we have several unanswered questions regarding your 2016 coverage and are awaiting answers from BCBSM.
- We know that numerous people chose the Gold plan because it was the only plan considered bundled for the HCTC. There may be a few who would have chosen a lower premium plan if they had known all plans would be considered bundled. Can they switch plans?
- Also, there may be people who opted not to get dental &/or vision coverage and would reconsider if it were eligible for the HCTC. Can they now add these coverages?
We hope to have answers to these questions next week.
We will keep you posted as these things get sorted out.
The Board hopes all of you had a Merry Christmas and you have our best wishes for a healthy and Happy New Year.