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UNITED STATES SENATE
For Immediate Release
Friday, August 2, 2019
Contacts: Kevin Smith/Emily Benavides (Portman) 202-224-5190
Jenny Donohue/Matt Keyes (Brown) 202-224-3978
Portman, Brown Introduce Extension of Health Coverage Tax Credit
Health Coverage Tax Credit is Critically Important for Thousands of Hardworking Delphi Retirees in Ohio
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation that will extend for five years the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) for retirees who lost their health care coverage — in addition to their pensions and other benefits — when their employers either entered into bankruptcy or laid off workers due to foreign trade. The HCTC is critically important for many hardworking Ohioans, including as many as 5,000 Delphi salaried retirees in Dayton, the Mahoning Valley, and Sandusky. In addition, a few hundred workers from the Lordstown General Motors plant have applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and would benefit from the HCTC as well.
“Thousands of retirees in Ohio and their families depend on the Health Coverage Tax Credit, and I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure that this credit will again be available for them,” Portman said. “Since I came to the Senate, I’ve fought for multiple extensions of the HCTC, including my bill that was included in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 the last time the credit was extended. These hardworking Ohioans rely on the HCTC for affordable health insurance after their pensions were terminated or after they were adversely affected by foreign trade, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation to ensure the stability of health coverage for these individuals and their families.”
“The Health Coverage Tax Credit is a lifeline for thousands of Ohioans, many of whom are living on fixed incomes after losing their pensions and healthcare. This critical legislation will help ensure these retirees and workers get the relief they need in order to afford healthcare,” said Brown.
NOTE: The HCTC, which is set to expire on January 1, 2020, helps to reduce the cost of maintaining health insurance coverage for a number of individuals that are either receiving TAA benefits or are between the ages of 55-64 years old whose pensions were terminated and are being administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Portman and Brown worked together to extend this tax credit in 2011 and again in 2015.
The Senate Finance Committee is tasked with the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). They have established a Health Task Force and it is charged with making recommendations regarding health-related tax provisions (in this case, HCTC) expiring by year end. We have just learned that the task force is no longer accepting email from the public.
Disregard our recent direction to email directly to the task force. The best course of action to follow now is write your 2 Senators and your Representative in the House. Tell them how important the HCTC is to you and your family and that you are requesting each of them to contact on your behalf the four Senators on the task force. Don’t delay, send your comments very soon to your three DC representatives asking them to take action to reauthorize the HCTC immediately! Remind them that the HCTC Program has provided financial assistance to Delphi retirees impacted when their pensions were significantly reduced and their healthcare in retirement eliminated due to the GM bankruptcy. Please urge them to take action to ensure the HCTC becomes permanent tax law. The task force is in the position to make this recommendation. Their help in extending the HCTC is greatly needed by thousands of Delphi retirees who will struggle to obtain affordable health care if the HCTC is not extended beyond 2019.
In your communication with your State Representative(s) for the district in which you reside, request their support in co-sponsoring Congressman Mike Turner’s (R-OH) bill, H.R. 1939 for HCTC Reauthorization.
We appreciate your help! If you have any questions, contact one of the following DSRA-BT Board Members.
Lori Ostrander Sharon Delezenne Paul BeiterSecretary Member at Large Co-Chair
Dear Delphi Retiree or Eligible Dependent:
In a recent email blast, we mentioned that if you are currently enrolled in the HCTC AMP program and you changed/updated your mailing address with BCBSM through a new enrollment form, you MUST verify that your address matches what the IRS currently has. If the address is different, you MUST submit a new 13441-A form to the IRS. While this information is still true, you DO NOT need to completely fill out the 13441-A form as previously stated. Please reference the sample 13441-A form located at https://www.dsrabenefittrust.net/dsrabene/index.php/document-center/Health-Coverage-Tax-Credit-(HCTC)/Sample-Documents/ for the sections that you do need to fill out when submitting your new address to the IRS.
On behalf of the DSRA Benefit Trust Committee, we thank you for your participation in the DSRA Benefit Trust benefit plans and your ongoing support. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve you!
DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors
To All DSRA Benefit Trust Enrollees with a Qualified Family Member
The purpose of this communication is to review the eligibility duration limits for both the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and the DSRA Benefit Trust subsidy provided for the retiree’s Qualified Family Members (QFM). Spouse and dependents claimed on retiree’s tax return are considered qualified family members. The HCTC regulations governing QFM eligibility have generally always limited the younger spouse and other dependents eligibility to a maximum of 2 years once the retiree reaches Medicare eligibility. The Trust has always followed a plan to increase the “combined subsidized” retiree vs. spouse age gap window by another 2 years for a total of 4 years. The Trust cannot match the magnitude of the amount of the HCTC premium subsidy, but our goal was to soften the blow from the loss of the HCTC. Based on age data of our enrollees, it was determined that 4 years of combined subsidy assistance would cover more than 90% of our affected enrollees.
For 2018, eligibility for a subsidy is as follows:
Looking ahead to the 2019 plan year, if you will lose eligibility for either the Trust subsidy or the HCTC during 2019, please keep the premium cost under consideration this November during Open Enrollment. If you feel it is in your best interest to change plans as a result of either of these events, BCBSM has agreed to call both of these situations a “qualifying event” and allows you 30 days to change plans mid-year.
DSRA Benefit Trust