BCBSM has told us that they will not send out a letter this year stating your plan is considered qualified for the HCTC. They have however sent out forms 1099-H and 1095-B. The IRS has informed us not to instruct HCTC enrollees to include a copy of the 1095-B as “proof” of coverage when you file your tax return. The reason being it is an affordable care act document and inclusion might imply you are not eligible for the HCTC.

If you are in the AMP in 2017, BCBSM has turned off your access to your previous payment history at their website. For those of you who were in the HCTC AMP for part of 2016 we recommend that you include a copy of the following documents with your tax return:

  • PBGC 1099R with the Payers name and the reference to the Delphi Retirement Program circled
  • Bank records showing payment date and amount – if you are using your statement as proof of payment, verify that it does clearly show BCBSM in the description. If not, we recommend that you write a note on the statement that the highlighted charge is to BCBSM.
  • Copy of page 26 from the 2016 Guide to Benefits booklet with the plan you were enrolled in circled so they can see the correlation to your bank records. This can be accessed at the following link 2016 Guide page 26.
  • Copy of your 2016 enrollment form. If you did not retain a copy we would suggest that you fill one out again as if it were the original and include copies of pages 1,3, 5 & 6. A blank form can be obtained at this link Blank Form.

Remember, you can only claim the months you paid the full premium. Do not include months that you were in the AMP.

For those not in the AMP, you have access to your payment history at the BCBSM website and can use that as proof of payment rather than bank records if you prefer.

If you do not have bank records or access to your previous payment history on the BCBSM website, we suggest that you call BCBSM customer service at 1-877-354-2583 and request a copy of your proof of payment be mailed (or emailed) to you for the months you need.

DSRA-BT Board of Directors

The IRS will now accept your check or money order due no later than February 10, 2017 for your insurance premium payment for the month of February.  Please remember, premium payments received before the 22nd of the month prior to the premium payment will be returned to the sender. 

  • Example:  Plan participant premium window for February 2017 premium payment is January 24th-February 10, 2017.  If you make your payment outside of this window, you may be required to pay 100% of the cost for your insurance premium the month of February. This window applies to the window for every month of 2017

If your 27.5% premium payment is not received by the IRS between the 24th of the current month and the 10th of the month your premium is due, you will have to pay 100% of that months premium directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and you will have to request an IRS refund of the 72.5% on your federal tax return the following year.  We strongly encourage you to send your payment along with the completed voucher during the specified window in order to avoid paying 100% of the month’s premium.

DSRA-BT Board

The IRS will not accept your check or money order before the 22nd of the current month for next month’s HCTC premium payment.  Premium payments received before the 22nd of the current month will be treated as current month payments and will be returned to the sender. (A payment for February, received before January 22, will be treated as a duplicate payment for January)   If your 27.5% premium payment is not received by the IRS between the 22nd of the current month and the 10th of the month your premium is due, you will have to pay 100% of that months premium directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and you will have to request an IRS refund of the 72.5% on your federal tax return the following year.  We strongly encourage you to send your payment along with the completed voucher during the specified window in order to avoid paying 100% of the month’s premium.

As we have noted in our prior communications to you, there is a NEW Advance Monthly Payment (AMP) process that has been put in place by the IRS/HCTC effective January 01, 2017.   The process will require you to send in a voucher, your IRS assigned Participant Identification Number (PIN) and your payment each month to the IRS.   The IRS will verify eligibility each month and then will collect the 27.5% premium payment from the plan participant (you), matching it with the 72.5% premium subsidy from the IRS/HCTC program, and make payment to BCBS of Michigan for the insurance program selected by you.  This means that BCBSM, the pre-65 plan administrator, will no longer be managing the payment and billing process for you.  

By now, most of you have received your “Welcome” letter from the IRS HCTC/AMP Program. That letter will include your Participant Identification Number (PIN) on the top of the letter.  You must mail one of the HCTC AMP Payment vouchers including your PIN, each month to the IRS/HCTC address located on the voucher, along with your Check, Money Order or Certified Check (the only forms of payment acceptable by the IRS/HCTC) to make your payments for each month you remain eligible to participate the HCTC AMP monthly program in 2017.   

Read more: TIPS to Help Navigate the NEW HCTC Payment Process For All Participants Enrolled in the 2017 HCTC...

If you are Newly Enrolling in the AMP

If you are enrolling in the AMP and have confirmation via phone from the IRS that you are enrolled and have your Personal Identification Number (PIN), you DO NOT have to wait for your IRS enrolled letter before you can send in the second BCBSM enrollment form. This has been approved by BCBSM.   However, you will need to supply BCBSM with your PIN number and the total premium dollar amount that you have been approved for by the IRS along with your enrollment form selecting HCTC coverage.

If you are already enrolled in the AMP

It came to light this past weekend that a few of the existing AMP participants thought they needed to wait for the IRS enrolled letter before they could submit a BCBSM enrollment form to upgrade/change their plan. This is NOT the case. Those who are current participants in the AMP DO NOT have to send anything from the IRS to BCBSM. Therefore, if you are an existing AMP participant, wish to upgrade and have not previously applied, please send your BCBSM enrollment form directly to BCBSM as soon as possible.

Additional Important Information

A few people have received their enrolled letters from the IRS. We wanted to alert you that the contact phone number at the top of this letter is incorrect. The actual phone number is what we published last week, 1-844-853-7210. The IRS has been alerted to this fact.

We have heard from several people that customer service at the IRS is telling them that if they don’t have their PIN they can still mail in their payment. This is NOT true. Please wait until you get your enrolled letter with your PIN to mail your payment. Our contact at the IRS informed us that they mailed 500 letters today. Many, many of these were to DSRA-BT people. As we stated last week, your payment must be in the IRS bank’s hands by January 10th for January coverage.

The IRS should include their fax number in your letter if you need to submit some additional information. It appears that a few of our members used the sample form with the yellow highlights and red Xs. You will most likely get a rejection letter from the IRS. Please make sure you complete a blank Form 13441-A and use the sample as only a guideline for your resubmission. Make sure you fill in the total monthly premium amount in Part 4. We would suggest that you fax your corrected form to the IRS HCTC at 1-855-250-1731 rather than snail-mail it to speed up the turn around.

Please note, several people have incorrectly contacted the DSRA with questions. They are a totally separate organization from the DSRA-BT. The DSRA is focused on restoration of your pensions. The DSRA-BT handles healthcare and life insurance. To ensure timely responses to your questions about healthcare, life insurance or the HCTC please make sure you contact us at https://www.dsrabenefittrust.net

  • The IRS has established their new HCTC Customer Servicetoll free line.The number is 844-853-7210. We encourage everyone to utilize this number to check on the status of their 13441-A form processing.
  • While the IRS has published the payment voucher, form 13973, DO NOT mail in your January payment until you have received your enrolled letter. This letter will give you your HCTC Participant Identification Number, which is required on this form. The form can be accessed at the following link: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13973.pdf
  • The IRS started mailing out the enrolled letters to NEW AMP enrollees on December 8th. They have told us that they will start mailing letters to those people in the current AMP interim process December 15th. You have until January 10th to get your payment to the IRS bank (for January coverage). Obviously, you don’t want to cut it that close unless you absolutely have to because if it gets to the IRS even one day late, you will not be eligible for the AMP for that month. That means you will have to pay BCBSM the full premium.
  • BCBSM recognizes that they made mistakes in loading the Non-HCTC rates for 2017. Many of you may have received invoices this week that reflect the wrong information. If you are newly enrolling in the HCTC AMP, what you submitted to the IRS was correct so no changes are required. BCBSM has told us that they will issue new invoices with the correct amount tomorrow to those who are not HCTC eligible or have not yet been enrolled in the AMP. A new due date will show on these invoices.
  • BCBSM will continue to accept premium payments over the phone with a charge card. They have said that they will be working December 27-29 and will accept credit card payments on these dates for January coverage. (They are closed December 23-26 and December 30.) They have agreed to accept HCTC AMP enrollment forms with an IRS confirmation letter until January 8th for January coverage but remember that you must get your payment to the IRS by January 10th.
  • Finally, for those people currently in the interim AMP program that are utilizing automatic payments, make sure you cancel your automatic payments with BCBSM before the first of the year once you’ve received your IRS enrolled letter.
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