Published: 19 January 2016
Last Updated: 19 January 2016
We would like to offer some clarification on the letters you received concerning your payments for 2014 coverage. The IRS has stated that we can only claim payments for 12 months of coverage not 13 months of payments as we originally thought.
The letter you got from Mercer did include payments made in December 2013 for coverage in January 2014 and should match the amount you paid for medical only for the first 8 months of 2014. We would suggest that you confirm this by multiplying the cost of medical only for any plan other than Gold by 8. If you were in a Gold plan you can include the entire premium amount. You can use the Mercer letter for January – August coverage if these amounts match. If they don’t then you will have to run copies of your cancelled checks or bank statements but again do not include the cost of dental or vision on your forms unless you were on the Gold plan.
There are several potential problems with the BCBSM letters. If you made a payment in August for September coverage, that was not included in the amount they sent you. In addition, in many cases they included the premium amount for January 2015 coverage. If their total does not match what you paid for coverage for these 4 months we would suggest that you run copies of your cancelled checks or bank statements and include those with your amended tax return. BCBSM is sending out new letters this week but they will not give you the corrected total because they can only pull payments received and not payments for coverage months. As we stated in our announcement in December you are able to claim all your coverage (medical/dental/vision) from September to December for purposes of the HCTC. Those people who have dental / vision only or have a Medicare Disabled supplemental policy should disregard the letters. You are not eligible for the HCTC.
As a side note, you will be receiving a letter later this month from BCBSM concerning your 2015 coverage. As a result of the problems we experienced with the 2014 letters this letter will only show the months of coverage and the plan(s) you were in. You will have to provide payment documentation.
The IRS has changed the link for instructions to claim the HCTC. Please use the following: https://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/HCTC
Lastly, we are not tax experts so if you have additional questions related to the impact of the HCTC on your state tax returns or how to fill out forms we would recommend that you contact a tax professional.
DSRA-BT Board of Directors
Published: 14 January 2016
Last Updated: 14 January 2016
We confirmed today that for those people who have auto pay or ACH with BCBSM, the invoiced amount for both January and February will be pulled from your account on February 1, 2016. If you have an account set up on their website you can go out and pay one of them early if you so wish.
Invoices for January were mailed last Wednesday and the invoice for February was mailed today. If you feel you have a discrepancy, please contact BCBSM Customer Service at 1-877-354-2583. If you are not getting resolution, please send one (or all) of the DSRA-BT board members an email and we will try to help.
Thank you all for your patience.
DSRA Benefit Trust Board of Directors
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: 03 December 2015
Last Updated: 07 January 2016
Instructions to Claim 2014 HCTC Issued by IRS (IRS Link Updated)
The IRS posted new information on how to claim the HCTC for 2014 a few days ago. The following link will give you the instructions and information you need to supply with your amended 2014 tax return:
As you may recall, at the beginning of 2014, Mercer was the Third Party Administrator (TPA) for the Pre-65 health care plans. That responsibility was transferred to BCBSM effective September 1, 2014. The board has requested that both organizations gather the information on premiums for their respective timeframes and send out a letter to each participant. The letter will also substantiate your enrollment in a HCTC eligible medical insurance plan. We anticipate that it will take them a couple weeks to accomplish this task.
There are several ways you can substantiate your HCTC eligibility to the IRS:
- Include a copy of your PBGC 1099R supplied to you for tax year 2014
- If you have set up a PBGC online account, you can print off your 2014 payment history
- Include a copy of your January 2014 PBGC Advice of Deposit
If you cannot find any of these documents, call the PBGC at 1-800-400-7242 or contact them at www.pbgc.gov.
DSRA-BT Board of Directors
Published: 06 January 2016
Last Updated: 06 January 2016
The BCBSM January coverage invoices for medical, dental and vision insurance were delayed and never issued. They will now be issued along with the February invoice in the next week to 10 days. You should anticipate paying both months at the same time and promptly. The grace period has been extended to February 13, 2016.
The Hartford and Express Scripts January coverage invoices were delayed and have not been issued by Mercer. January premium will be combined with February and the combined invoices will be issued and mailed next week. Please pay your January premium no later than 1-31-16.
DSRA Benefit Trust
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.