Last week Congress passed, and President Trump signed a spending package that extended the HCTC for one year. DSRA Benefit Trust members will benefit from extension of the HCTC however, due to Congress’ delayed action on this matter, the January invoices which were to be mailed in December have now been delayed and will be sent the second week of January. January premiums will now be due by January 25th. ALL PREMIUM PAYMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID TO BENISTAR UNTIL YOU HAVE SUBMITTED A NEW 13441-A FORM AND HAVE RECEIVED A RE-ENROLLMENT CONFIRMATION LETTER FROM THE IRS/HCTC. If you already have a HCTC PIN from being enrolled in 2019, your number will be the same in 2020 but you are still required to send a new 13441-A form and until you receive the re-enrollment confirmation from IRS/HCTC you are responsible for paying 100% of the premium to Benistar. For those that signed up and qualified for the Trust subsidy, this will still be reflected in your January invoice. Your reimbursement from the IRS will be 72.5% of the reduced amount. The DSRA Benefit Trust Subsidy will end no later than March 1, 2019.
In addition, the HCTC department will be reopening January 15th. ALL HCTC AMP PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE A NEW 13441-A FORM FOR 2020. Here are the steps for completing the re-enrollment process.
2.) If you were enrolled for December 2019 in the HCTC AMP program, it is not necessary to provide proof of eligibility to the IRS when re-enrolling. If you are enrolling for the HCTC AMP program for the first time, you will need to include proof of eligibility.
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Congress has made the HCTC subsidy retroactive for those participants paying 100% in a qualified plan such as the DSRA Benefit Trust plan. You will receive the 72.5% subsidy reimbursement, for the months in 2020 that you pay 100% of the premium, by completing the necessary IRS form 8885 with your 2020 Federal Tax Return. If you participated in the HCTC AMP program in 2019 and terminated your Pre-65 DSRA Benefit Trust insurance because of the uncertainty of the HCTC reauthorization but would now like to continue to stay in the plans for January 2020, you can call Benistar at 1-888-588-6682 before January 1st and request to remain in the same plan that you ended 2019 with. You will be responsible for paying 100% of the monthly premium to Benistar until you are re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP program, but you will receive the 72.5% subsidy reimbursement with your 2020 Federal Tax Return.
The DSRA Benefit Trust and BCBSM will offer a special Open Enrollment period with the reauthorization of the HCTC program. DSRA Benefit Trust members will have the opportunity to make benefit election changes and to enroll or re-enroll if you had terminated your insurance at the end of 2019. More information regarding the dates for the special Open Enrollment period will follow soon. If you elect to make changes to your plan during the special Open Enrollment period, you will also have to complete a second 13441-A form updating those changes with the IRS/HCTC. For members who did not change plan levels at the end of 2019 or for those not wanting to change their 2020 plan level, you do not need to go through the special Open Enrollment process.
The one-year reauthorization of the HCTC program is a relief but not the five-year or permanent status we had hoped for and asked for. Therefore, we ask you to continue to bring this important program to the attention of your representatives in Washington, DC by thanking them for the 12 months while asking them to support a more permanent option. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep this important benefit available to DSRA Benefit Trust members.
If you have any questions regarding your 2020 DSRA Benefit Trust insurance plans both Pre-65 and Post-65, please call Benistar, the DSRA Benefit Trust administrator, at 1-888-588-6682.
Stay tuned for more information!DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors