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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
The election committee for the DSRA Benefit Trust is pleased to announce that we have one candidate that has submitted their name for a position on the Board of Directors of DSRA Benefit Trust. The person is Lori Ostrander who is a current board member.
The DSRA-BT Election Procedure, section 4.8, states the following:
4.8 If, at the end of the nomination process for DSRA BT Board candidates, the number of candidates approved to be eligible to run for the DSRA Board does not exceed the number of open positions available for election, then the DSRA BT Board may declare that an actual election is not required. In this case, all approved candidates will be considered elected Board Members. The current Board will announce the names of the new Board members to the DSRA BT membership immediately.
In accordance with this procedure, the Board is declaring that an election is not required since we have one nominee and one open position. Therefore, we are announcing that Lori is considered an elected Board Member. Lori will fill a three-year term, expiring April 1, 2021.
We appreciate Lori volunteering for one more term.
The Election CommitteeSharon Delezenne
If you utilized the IRS Advance Monthly Payment Process for the payment to BCBSM of your monthly health insurance premium, you need to read this update.
IRS Form 8885 has an omission that you need to understand.
Look at Form 8885. On the top half of the form, in Part I, the 2nd bullet is not correct. The statement should have included these words at the very end of the sentence- or the US Treasury- HCTC. Here is the entire corrected statement-
Therefore, Part I reads totally different with the inclusion of the US Treasury. This means retirees utilizing the AMP should check the box for each month they received the HCTC via the AMP.
The letter you received with your 1099-H from the IRS is correct. Please read it carefully. All AMP enrollees are required to complete the 8885 form and submit with your tax return. If you have already submitted your tax return and did not check the appropriate months boxes, you should file an amended return before the April 15 tax deadline.
In Part II line 2 of Form 8885, the statement is correct as printed. Do not confuse the change made for line 1 above with what this line is asking. For example, if all 12 months of your premium were paid through the AMP, lines 2-5 should all be ZERO.
You do not need to include the 1099-H form with your tax return.
Lastly, we are aware that Intuit’s Turbo Tax has a flaw and will not allow a zero entry for line 2. If you try to force the entry, we believe your form will not be included in the e-file return to the IRS. The IRS and Intuit are working to resolve the problem.
If you are a Turbo Tax user and you want to be notified by Turbo Tax when the bug is fixed, click on the link below and register with Intuit.
DSRA BT Board
The Advance Monthly Payment Program (AMP)
If you are currently enrolled in the AMP program you do not need to submit a new IRS Form 13441-A to the IRS. The IRS will work directly with BCBSM to update premiums. This is true whether you stay with your current plan or you want to change your plan (e.g. from Bronze to Gold).
If you are electing the HCTC AMP for the first time and are currently enrolled in a DSRA-BT healthcare plan, IRS Form 13441-A Monthly Health Coverage Tax Credit Group Registration is required along with a copy of your invoice from the last 60 days. Handwrite the 2018 premium on this invoice (i.e. 2018 Premium = $_______). It must be completely filled out and mailed to the IRS. (Visit our website at www.dsrabenefittrust.net or go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/hctc to obtain this form.) Once you receive your enrollment confirmation letter from the IRS, mail it and your DSRA-BT/BCBSM benefit enrollment form to BCBSM.
For those people who are not currently in our DSRA-BT plans and want to enroll in both the DSRA-BT healthcare with BCBSM and want to take advantage of the HCTC AMP program, you must first submit an enrollment form to BCBSM requesting the coverage tier you want (Gold, Silver, Bronze or Copper) with no mention of the HCTC. Wait a few days and then call BCBSM customer service and request a letter from them indicating you will have healthcare coverage with them effective January 1, 2018. Once you receive this letter, fill out IRS Form 13441-A Monthly Health Coverage Tax Credit Group Registration and attach the BCBSM letter. If all your paperwork is filled out correctly, the IRS will send you a confirmation letter indicating you have been approved for the HCTC AMP. Your final step is to fill out another BCBSM enrollment form indicating you want to enroll for the HCTC AMP and attach the confirmation letter from the IRS. Refer to the HCTC FAQs ==> November 2017 Enrollment section ==> FAQ #3 for more details. This document is posted at our website.
Sample of IRS Form13441-A for various situations can be found at the following link: www.dsrabenefittrust.net/dsrabene/index.php/document-center/Health-Coverage-Tax-Credit-(HCTC)/Sample-Documents/.
-----DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors
It appears that numerous people are confused by our instructions regarding what is required in 2018 for those currently enrolled in the HCTC AMP Program.
If you are currently in the HCTC AMP Program and you do not wish to change your plan (Gold, Silver, Bronze or Copper) and have no changes to covered dependents, NO ACTION is required on your part. Your existing coverage will carry over at BCBSM and BCBSM will work with the IRS to update premiums without your intervention.
If you are currently in the HCTC AMP program and would like to change your plan, i.e. from Bronze to Silver, but not your number of covered dependents, then you will need to submit a new enrollment form to BCBSM. However, you DO NOT have to submit a new 13441-A form to the IRS. BCBSM will work with the IRS to update your premiums.
If you are currently in the HCTC AMP Program and need to change your covered dependents, you will need to submit a BCBSM enrollment form. You will also have to submit a new 13441-A form to the IRS. Check box 6 on page 1. Refer to our Sample 13441-A Form for Coverage Changes for guidance here. Make sure you fill in the new premium amounts as well as the changes to your dependents.
You will not get a confirmation from the IRS of the changed rates. Make sure you print out new IRS 13973 Forms and input the new premium amount (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13973.pdf). These premiums can be found in the Guide to Benefits booklet on page 19 or on the BCBSM enrollment form in Section 7. The IRS must receive your January payment no later than January 10th but do not mail before December 24th.If you are not a current participant in the HCTC AMP program but are planning on signing up for 2018, please refer to our HCTC FAQs here for directions.