News/Eblast

EBLASTS     &

   NEWS

Subject: 

  • **URGENT** COVID-19 HCTC AMP Enrollee Payment Process

  • 24 Hour/7 Day Nurse Help Line - TeleHealth Services for Pre-65 BCBSM Medical Plan Participants during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Telehealth Service Information for Post-65 Medicare Participants during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Delivery Date:  03/25/2020

** URGENT COVID-19 Impact on HCTC AMP Enrollee Payment Process **

 

Due to the uncertainty of the IRS/HCTC maintaining an uninterrupted payment process for DSRA Benefit Trust HCTC AMP members during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has agreed to allow our members to make their May 2020 27.5% premium payment in advance.  This temporary policy will allow DSRA Benefit Trust participants to make ONE additional payment, on or before April 10, for their May 27.5% BCBSM premium.  Making the additional 27.5% HCTC AMP May premium payment will ensure you will not have to pay 100% of the May BCBSM premium in the event the IRS/HCTC department or US Bank that processes the payments is restricted from entering their offices which is necessary to process the 27.5% premium payments.  Below is an outline for making a second payment by April 10th.  DO NOT SEND TWO PAYMENTS AT THE SAME TIME AND DO NOT SEND ONE CHECK FOR TWO PAYMENTS!  THE TWO SEPARATE PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE AT LEAST 5 DAYS APART.

Payment Instructions:

 

  • The second 27.5% HCTC AMP premium payment for May must be mailed no sooner than 5 days after your first 27.5% HCTC AMP premium payment for April (e.g.- if you mailed your April payment on March 25th, you can mail the May payment on March 30th)

  • The second (May) 27.5% HCTC AMP premium payment must arrive to the IRS/HCTC by April 10th

  • If you have already mailed your April 27.5% HCTC AMP premium, you can send the second payment for May five days from the date you mailed your first payment.

  • If you have not mailed the April 27.5% HCTC AMP premium payment, you will need to do this immediately in order to have time to make the second (May) premium payment by April 10th.

  • If you make two payments at the same time or two payments within less than a five-day time, your second premium payment will be returned to you and you will not have made a premium payment for May.

  • Remember to include IRS #13973 Payment Coupon with both payments

  • After making the second (May) premium payment by April 10th, you will not have to make another premium payment until the June 10th deadline. 

 

 

** 24 Hour/7 Day Nurse Help Line – TeleHealth Services for Pre-65 BCBSM Medical Plan Participants during the COVID-19 Pandemic **

 

The 24 Hour/7 Day Nurse Help Line (TeleHealth) is available to Pre-65 BCBSM Medical plan participants.  This program continues to be available to Pre-65 BCBSM plan participants as it has been in the past however, you may not have used or needed this service before this time.  The 24 Hour/7 Day Nurse Help Line phone number can be found on the back of your BCBSM Medical Card.  If you have the need to speak with a trained medical expert and would prefer to talk to them over the phone, while at home, use the toll free number on the back of your BCBSM Medical Card for “24HR/7Day Nurse Help Line” to contact them.   This benefit is especially helpful during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

** TeleHealth Service Information for Post-65 Medicare Participants during the COVID-19 Pandemic **

 

As Medicare is the primary coverage, please refer to the Medicare website for information on coverage related to coronavirus  https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.  Any services approved by Medicare are covered by the Hartford retiree health plan the same as any other illness and based on the client’s specific plan. For some coronavirus services Medicare is covering 100% and there are no deductibles or copays.  TeleHealth services covered by original Medicare have been expanded.  Contact your Medicare physician or facility to understand their availability to the services they provide via phone, email or teleconference.  Please visit https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus#500 for more information. 

Subject: 

  • HCTC AMP Enrollees Pre-Filled Payment Coupon Issue

  • Benistar DSRA Benefit Trust Call Center Affected by COVID-19

Delivery Date:  03/22/2020

**HCTC AMP Enrollees Pre-Filled Payment Coupon Issue**

 

We have been informed by a handful of HCTC AMP enrollees that the packet of IRS form #13973 payment vouchers recently received from Benistar has information pertaining to someone other than the intended recipient.  Please review your payment voucher carefully before mailing them with your payment to the IRS/HCTC.  If you have received incorrect pre-filled payment vouchers from Benistar, please destroy them.  If you have received the wrong payment voucher in error, beginning with the April payment, print a blank #13973 payment voucher from the IRS website https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13973.pdf and complete as you have done in the past. 

 

The DSRA Benefit Trust Board sincerely apologizes for this error and any inconvenience it may cause.  Benistar has informed the Board that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many operational changes in their main office located in Connecticut.  The payment voucher print and mail functions were affected and had to be handed off to a different office.  Apparently, the normal verification process to ensure an accurate mailing was not followed. 

 

The Board has decided not to ask Benistar to make another attempt at issuing a 2020 packet of IRS #13973 payment vouchers.  We are directing each enrollee to print the required payment voucher for all remaining 2020 payments to the IRS/HCTC.  If you need assistance printing your vouchers, please contact Paul Beiter at pbieter@rochester.rr.com.  Again, please accept our apologies for this error. 

 

** Benistar DSRA Benefit Trust Call Center Affected by COVID-19**

 

The Benistar Retiree Service Center located in Avon, Connecticut has been affected by a statewide mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses.  Benistar employees, including Call Center operators, have been provided laptop computers for remote access to the Benistar database of customer information.  The Call Center has established a call forwarding protocol which will allow the Call Center to remain in operation.  You may experience longer hold times when calling.  Thank you for your understanding during this unusual time.

Delivery Date:  03/18/2020

Subject: 

  • COVID-19, Coronavirus Information for ALL DSRA Benefit Trust Members

The DSRA Benefit Trust Board along with Cone Retiree Healthcare Group and Benistar Retiree Services are in contact with insurance providers regarding COVID-19.  The Hartford has not issued an update at this time.  To stay up to date, follow the links below for the latest information regarding your insurance benefits and health and safety tips during the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

Please follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control to stay safe during this trying time.  We will continue to monitor updates from DSRA Benefit Trust insurance providers and Federal Government Agencies to bring you additional information.

Helpful Links:

 

 

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Delivery Date:  03/17/2020

 **NEW DENTAL OPTION** Effective May 1, 2020 DSRA-BT and BCBS of Michigan will offer 2 Dental Plan Options to choose from for Pre-65 Stand-alone, Post-65 Stand-alone and Post-65 Hartford participants.

*Participants in BCBSM Bundled plans (Pre-65 HCTC AMP, 100% HCTC payees and Pre-65 Non-HCTC with dental +/- vision) are already in the “High” Plan option and are not affected by this change. 

 Read more: - New Dental Plan Option Available for Pre-65 Stand-alone, Post-65 Stand-alone and Post-65 with...

Delivery Date:  03/14/2020

The election committee for the DSRA Benefit Trust is pleased to announce that we have three candidates that have submitted their name for a position on the Board of Directors of DSRA Benefit Trust. These people are Sharon Delezenne who is a current board member. Also, Steve Duca and Greg White.

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 three nominees and three open positions. Therefore, we are announcing that Sharon, Steve and Greg are considered elected Board Members. Sharon will continue in her role as DSRA-BT Board Secretary which is a three-year term. Greg White, Member-at-Large replaces Ken Garber with a remaining two-year term and Steve Duca, Member-at-Large replaces Tom Olney which is a three-year term.

We appreciate Sharon volunteering for one more term and Steve and Greg volunteering for one term.

The Election Committee

Lori Ostrander
Bob von Schwedler

Delivery Date:  03/12/2020

Effective January 1, 2020, Enrollees who turn 65 are no longer automatically enrolled in the Post-65 dental and vision plans and therefore are not required to opt out of the dental and vision plans if they decide to no longer retain their dental and vision coverage. All NEW Post-65 Dental and Vision enrollees including enrollees who turn 65 in the next 60 days, must complete an updated DSRA Benefit Trust Benefit Enrollment and Change of Status form, found on the DSRA Benefit Trust website www.DSRABenefitTrust.net, to enroll in the dental and vision plans offered.  DSRA Benefit Trust members turning 65 will receive an “Aging Up” packet 90-120 prior to turning 65.  There is a reduction in premium at age 65 with proof of Medicare eligibility. The changes and steps are listed below.

  • Pre-65 Dental and Vision enrollees must complete and submit the DSRA Benefit Trust Benefit Enrollment and Change of Status form two months prior to turning 65 to remain in the dental &/or vision plans. Another enrollment form is required if a participant wants to enroll in a Medicare supplement/prescription drug plan sponsored by DSRA-BT.   

  • Once enrolled, Benistar will invoice each participant for Dental +/- Vision premiums as well as any additional plans you are enrolled in through the DSRA Benefit Trust

  • ALL Post-65 premiums including Hartford Medical, Prescription Drug, BCBSM Dental, BCBSM Vision and Guardian Life Insurance will be paid to Benistar effective 01/01/2020. NO 2020 Insurance premiums will be paid directly to BCBSM

  • Any members who wish to continue to pay their insurance premium with Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) must complete an Electronic Funds Transfer form with Benistar

  • If you have already established a 2020 EFT with Benistar, you do not have to complete a new form

  • Any EFT that was established with BCBSM in 2019 should be cancelled by calling BCBSM

  • Members who have continued their Delphi provided MetLife Life and Accident Insurance benefits via the DSRA Benefit Trust, will continue to make their premium payments directly to MetLife as you did in 2019. No Change.

The completed DSRA Benefit Trust Benefit Enrollment and Change of Status form and EFT Enrolment form should be mailed, faxed or scanned & emailed to Benistar.  All Post-65 premium payments should be mailed to the Benistar Retiree Service Center:

Mail:  Benistar Retiree Service Center                                    Email: memelig@Benistar.com
          10 Tower Lane, Suite 100
          Avon, CT 06001

 Fax:  1-860-408-7025  

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**NEW DENTAL OPTION** Effective May 1, 2020 DSRA-BT and BCBS of Michigan will offer 2 Dental Plan Options to choose from for Pre-65 Stand-alone, Post-65 Stand-alone and Post-65 Hartford participants.

DSRA Benefit Trust members in the groups listed above with Dental +/- Vision insurance plans were set to receive a significant increase to the plans offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield for the 2020 plan year.  In an effort to reduce the cost for our DSRA Benefit Trust members, the Board worked with the Cone Retiree Healthcare Group (CRHG) and was able to move these groups to a less expensive plan option for 2020.  The current plan offers the same total maximum coverage of $3,000 per plan year utilizing the same BCBSM BlueDental network as in 2019.  While the total coverage amounts and dentist network remained the same, there were four changes to the benefits offered in this plan from the previous plan year that we did not adequately share with you. The four changes are listed below:

  • Crowns, Onlays, Inlays and Veneer Restoration for permanent teeth under the current 2020 plan are covered at 50% of approved amount after deductible once every 60 months per tooth vs. the 2019 coverage of 80% of approved amount after deductible once every 60 months per tooth.

  • Occlusal Biteguards, under the 2020 current plan are covered at 50% of the approved amount after deductible, once every 12 months vs. the 2019 coverage of 80% of the approved amount after deductible, once every 12 months.

  • Fluoride Treatments, under the current 2020 plan dependents are covered under the age of 19 vs. the 2019 plan covering Fluoride treatments for any age member.

  • Orthodontic Services for dependents under age 19 are not covered in the 2020 plan vs. a coverage of 50% of the approved amount for the 2019 plan.

DSRA Benefit Trust plan participants in the groups outlined above were transitioned to this plan effective January 1, 2020 creating a considerable monthly savings of 10-15%. This savings was primarily due to the efforts of the CRHG and is one of the many benefits we had anticipated were possible by working with the CRHG and Benistar.  If the four changes in coverage described above are not coverages you require, the Board recommends that you remain in the current plan for all of 2020.   If the four coverages would provide a monetary value to you, we are offering a solution, but you will have to act quickly.   In order to provide the best insurance options available to our members, the DSRA-BT Board has elected to also offer the same exact coverage level as you had in 2019 beginning May 1, 2020.  Therefore, we have secured what we label as a 2020 “High” Plan Dental option utilizing the same dentist network with BlueDental and the exact same coverage levels as members received in 2019.  The new “High” Plan option will cost more than the current plan (see premium rate chart below) but will still be 6+% less for Pre-65 Stand-alone enrollees and Post-65 enrollees than the original BCBSM price for 2020. If you wish to make a change back to the High Plan option, BCBSM is offering a one-month window, mid-year change, for dental plan only, with an effective date of MAY 1, 2020.  If you wish to remain in the current plan for 2020, which will now be referred to as the “Low” Plan option, you do not have to do anything.  To elect changing your coverage level to the High Plan for the remainder of 2020, please complete the DSRA Benefit Trust Benefit Enrollment and Change of Status form found at www.DSRABenefitTrust.net and submit this form to Benistar by March 23, 2020.  In addition, any dental benefits received through the BCBSM dental plan in 2020 will be paid according to the plan the member is enrolled in at the time service was provided.  Any dental services received thus far in 2020 will continue to carry forward throughout the year if changing to the “High” Plan option.

This new plan option DOES NOT impact Bundled plan participants in Pre-65 HCTC or Pre-65 Non-HCTC or Pre-65 Medicare Disabled plans.  These members remain in the High Plan option just as they were in 2019. 

For those desiring to make a change in their dental plan effective May 1, 2020, please mail, fax or email your signed and completed form to:

Mail:  Benistar Retiree Services                                                    Email: memelig@Benistar.com
          10 Tower Lane, Suite 100
          Avon, CT 06001

Fax:   1-860-408-7025

Just an FYI…for those enrolled in the Post-65 Hartford medical insurance plan, Benistar agreed to waive 2020 monthly administration fees associated with the dental plans for all of 2020.  This is an additional cost savings that began January 1, 2020 for many of our DSRA Benefit Trust participants. 

For more information on these updates, please call the DSRA Benefit Trust Call Center at 1-888-588-6682 or contact Cone Retiree Healthcare Group 713.446.3501, John@MyMedPlans.com

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Delivery Date:  03/02/2020

Subject: 

HCTC AMP Payment Coupons

Benistar Invoices

EFT Payments

HCTC Reimbursement(s)

HCTC AMP Payment Coupons

Benistar will be sending pre-filled HCTC AMP Payment Coupons, IRS form #13973, to each HCTC AMP participant.  These payment coupons must be included with the monthly premium payment to the IRS for each participant.  If you have not received the pre-filled payment coupons in time to make your March premium payment to the IRS, due by March 10th, you should have them in time to make your April premium payment.  For HCTC AMP participants who have not received the pre-filled payment coupons and have not made your March premium payment, please print form #13973 from www.IRS.gov and complete the payment coupon to include with your HCTC AMP premium payment.  HCTC AMP participants who have been re-enrolled and have received the HCTC Welcome letter must make their March premium payment by March 10th. 

 

Benistar Invoices

You may have received a second invoice from Benistar for the February premium payment.  If you were re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP program, have received the Welcome letter from the IRS/HCTC and have made the 27.5% February premium payment to the IRS, please disregard the Benistar invoice.  If you are not an HCTC AMP participant and received a second invoice from Benistar but have previously sent your 100% February premium payment to Benistar, please contact the Benistar Retiree Call Center 1-888-588-6682 to verify they have received your February premium payment. 

 

EFT Payments

Effective Monday, February 24, 2020 all EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) forms received by February 14th have been processed by Benistar.  DSRA Benefit Trust members who have chosen to use EFT for monthly premium payments should receive notification of their EFT enrollment and should expect to have those funds automatically drafted from their bank accounts between the 7th and 10th of each month apart from any Holiday delay.  If you see any irregularities in the EFT from your bank account, please call Benistar Retiree Call Center 1-888-588-6682. 

 

HCTC Reimbursement(s)

After you have been re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP and after you have made one month’s premium payment of 27.5%, you can use IRS form #14095 to request a timelier reimbursement of the 72.5% for the months you pay 100%.  If you would prefer to wait and request the reimbursement when filing your 2020 Federal Tax Return, you will use IRS form #8885.  Any participants who age up to Medicare before the ability to make a 27.5% premium payment in 2020, will have to wait to file form #8885 with their 2020 Federal Tax Return for the 72.5% reimbursement.  Benistar can provide a detailed invoice to assist with your 72.5% reimbursement when submitting form #14095 or form #8885.  Contact the Benistar Retiree Call Center 1-888-588-6682 to request the reimbursement invoice. 

 

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Delivery Date:  02/23/2020

Subject: 

Request for BOD Candidates

As previously communicated, the DSRA-BT BoD Election Committee will now accept nominations from those individuals interested in being considered as a candidate in the upcoming BoD election. We will accept nominations until March 13, 2020.
To be considered for one of these important positions, you must submit the required documentation that can be found in the “2020 Election Documentation” folder on the www.DSRABenefitTrust.net website by March 13, 2020. Submit your documents as attachments to an email at this address: elections@dsrabenefittrust.net. Immediately thereafter, the candidates will be announced, the resumes will be posted, and the candidates may use public media to promote their candidacy. If we should have fewer candidates than openings, per our Election Procedure, voting will not be held and all approved, eligible candidates will be appointed to the board without a formal election. Note that only one person per household can serve simultaneously.

Contents of the “2020 Candidate Election Materials” folder:

1) Candidate Instructions
2) Candidate Qualifications Requirements
3) Conflict of Interest Policy with Supplier List
4) Candidate Registration Form – must be submitted per instruction
5) Candidate Resume Form – must be submitted per instruction

Candidates that wish to communicate their operating philosophy, goals, objectives, etc. to the eligible voters may do so by adding that information to their resume.

There will be future communications provided concerning the detailed election timing, voter eligibility and instruction.

Thank you for your consideration,
DSRA BT Election Committee

Lori Ostrander
Robert von Schwedler

It is once again time to hold elections for our DSRA Benefit Trust Board of Directors (BoD). We have one board member, Sharon Delezenne whose term will expire. Sharon has decided to seek reelection.

If you are interested in being a candidate in the upcoming election, we will issue more specific information in a few days.  The following are a few “key dates” to be aware of:

Feb 20 to Mar 13, 2019 – Receive candidate nominations
Mar 14, 2019 – Official announcement of candidates
Mar 14 to Mar 28, 2019 – Polls open for eligible voters
Mar 30, 2019 – Announce election results

Thank you for your consideration,

DSRA BT Election Committee

Lori Ostrander
Robert von Schwedler

Delivery Date:  02/23/2020

Delivery Date:  02/05/2020

The IRS/HCTC department is currently processing 13441-A forms submitted after the extension of the HCTC program this year.  You may have recently received a letter from the IRS telling you to send your 13441-A form to them.  Please ignore this request. All DSRA HCTC Advanced Monthly Payment (AMP) members should have submitted a 13441-A form to Benistar in order to re-enroll in the HCTC AMP program for 2020.  Once your form has been reviewed by Benistar and processed by the HCTC department, you will receive the IRS/HCTC Welcome letter with payment instructions and your PIN.  When you receive the IRS letter or if you know your PIN from 2019, contact Benistar and provide your PIN to them.  Benistar will send prefilled IRS form #13973 Payment Coupons to each member once you have been re-enrolled in the AMP program.

If you have received the IRS/HCTC Welcome letter, you are re-enrolled and can now make your February 27.5% payment.  Do not wait to receive the prefilled coupons from Benistar for the February payment.  Print the IRS form #13973 HCTC Payment Coupon (available at www.IRS.gov) and complete for your February payment.  The deadline for the February enrollment notification and for sending your February payment by regular mail is February 7th.  Any participants who have not received the IRS/HCTC Welcome letter by this date should be prepared to make the 100% premium payment to Benistar for the month of February.  After you have been re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP and after you have made one month’s payment of 27.5%, you can use IRS form #14095 to request a timelier reimbursement of the 72.5% for the months you pay 100%.  If you would prefer to wait and request the reimbursement when filing your 2020 Federal Tax Return, you will use IRS form #8885.

If you are delayed in sending the February 27.5% payment to the IRS due to late notification, the HCTC department requests you overnight the payment, return receipt requested, no later than February 15th via the USPS to:

U.S. Treasury – HCTC
P.O. Box 970023
St. Louis, MO 63197-0023

FedEx and UPS are not accepted.  Due to the February 17th President’s Day Holiday, if you are unable to overnight the 27.5% February payment by February 15th, you will need to make the 100% payment to Benistar for the month of February even if you receive your HCTC Welcome letter after that date.  Do not make a payment to Benistar and a payment to the IRS/HCTC for February.  If you have already sent your February payment to Benistar, your premium will be paid, and you will start making 27.5% payments to the IRS/HCTC in March.

The IRS/HCTC will accept the HCTC Reimbursement Form #14095 for any months in 2020 you pay 100% of the monthly premium.  This form is in lieu of form #8885 filed with your 2020 Federal Tax Return.  By using form #14095, you will receive the 72.5% reimbursement for the months you have paid 100%, faster than waiting to file form #8885 with your 2020 Federal Tax Return in 2021.  To file form #14095:

  • You must be re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP program

  • You must have paid the 27.5% monthly premium for at least one month (e.g. if you are enrolled for February, you can submit form #14095 in March for the 72.5% premium reimbursement of your January 2020 100% premium payment). Please do not send your form #14095 form request in prior to the completion of your first month of paying 27.5% of the cost in order to allow the IRS/HCTC program to process your application in a timely manner.  Form #14095 should not be sent to Benistar.  This form and any required supporting documents should be mailed directly to the IRS.  

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Delivery Date:  01/27/2020

Benistar Retiree Services, our plan administrator, is here to assist DSRA Benefit Trust members participating in the HCTC Advanced Monthly Payment (AMP) program with the re-enrollment process.  Below are a few IMPORTANT items to ensure you have a smooth transition back into the HCTC AMP program.  Please contact Benistar with any questions at 1-888-588-6682.

  1. NEW! A newly completed IRS 13441-A form is required by all participants to re-enroll in the HCTC AMP program for 2020.  If you have been enrolled in the HCTC AMP in past years, please include the HCTC Participant Identification Number (PIN) you were assigned by the IRS/HCTC at that time on the top of the 13441-A form. 

  2. NEW! All completed 13441-A forms should be sent to Benistar by fax 1-860-408-7025 or email to memelig@benistar.com for review.  Benistar will then forward your 13441-A form along with proof of your BCBSM insurance enrollment to the IRS/HCTC department.  DO NOT SEND 13441-A FORMS DIRECTLY TO THE IRS.

  3. NEW! ALL DSRA Benefit Trust HCTC AMP participants must call Benistar to provide them with your HCTC PIN . If you were previously enrolled in the HCTC AMP program you already have a PIN, please call 1-888-588-6682 today and provide the PIN to Benistar if you have not already done so.  If you are enrolling in the HCTC AMP for the first time, please contact Benistar with your HCTC PIN once you receive the HCTC Welcome Letter.

  4. NEW! Benistar will send pre-filled HCTC payment vouchers to each DSRA Benefit Trust member enrolled in the HCTC AMP program once they have received your HCTC PIN. In the event you do not receive the pre-filled payment vouchers from Benistar in time to make your next monthly payment, print and complete the Form 13973 - HCTC Blank Payment Coupon available on the irs.gov website and follow the instructions on that form for mailing your monthly payment directly to the U.S. Treasury. 

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

 

The HCTC program has been reauthorized for 2020 and the HCTC AMP program will begin providing the MONTHY 72.5% subsidy to eligible participants that have returned a newly completed 13441-A form to Benistar, the DSRA-BT Plan Administrator.  The monthly program begins again on February 01, 2020, following a brief termination.  The recent reauthorization of the program by Congress is for 1 year and now set to expire December 31, 2020.  As the AMP program begins, the IRS/HCTC has informed us they will be requiring ALL HCTC AMP participants to complete a new 13441-A form.  This is a mandatory action each individual and each family must take, in order to participate in the AMP program for 2020.

     *  If you fail to complete and return a New 13441-A form to Benistar, the Plan Administrator, you will not be eligible to participate in the AMP program. 

     *  The Special Open Enrollment Period is now available and will run until January 31, 2020.  If you intend on making a change to your 2020 BCBSM plan level or if you terminated your BCBSM insurance at the end of 2019 and would like to re-enroll, please complete the DSRA Benefit Trust BCBSM Enrollment form and check “Change”, “Other” and write “Plan Level Change” or “Re-Enrollment”.  It would be helpful to also write “Plan Level Change” or “Re-Enrollment” on the top of the form.  It is not necessary to check any other boxes in Part I of the form.  If you do not wish to make any plan changes for 2020 during this Special Open Enrollment Period, you do not need to complete the DSRA-BT BCBSM Enrollment Form.

     *  Prior to receiving this email, if you have sent a re-enrollment 13441-A form to Benistar and do not need to update your 2020 plan selection or if you have sent the re-enrollment 13441-A form and have confirmed with Benistar of your plan change for 2020, you do not need to send another 13441-A form or BCBSM Enrollment form.  If you have sent the 13441-A form but would like to change your plan level for 2020, please complete the 13441-A form as an update and complete the BCBSM Enrollment form and send both to Benistar as quickly as possible.

     *  It is also important to remember, the IRS/HCTC will not accept 13441-A forms directly from DSRA Benefit Trust members, as they have in the past, you must send the completed 13441-A form to Benistar.  Benistar will review the forms for mistakes and will work with you to correct the information if necessary.  Benistar will forward your form to the IRS/HCTC on your behalf along with your updated insurance information.

     *  Once the IRS/HCTC AMP program receives and approves your enrollment/re-enrollment into the AMP program, they will send you a re-enrollment letter, welcoming you back into the program.  You will then be able to make your 27.5% monthly premium payment directly to the IRS.  You must include the voucher with your check when sending in your premium payment.

     *  To ensure you receive the HCTC AMP for February, Benistar should receive your 13441-A form by January 17th.  After January 17th, the IRS may not have time to process your form in time for a February AMP start.  It is recommended that you fax or email your forms to Benistar.  The updated 13441-A sample forms as well as the 13441-A form are available at www.DSRABenefitTrust.net.  If you have any questions, please call the Benistar DSRA Call Center at 1-888-588-6682.

Please remember, you must send your 13441-A form to Benistar.

 

By mail:                    Benistar DSRA-BT Client Service Center

                               10 Tower Lane, Suite 100

                               Avon, CT 06001

 

By fax:                     1-860-408-7025                 By email:          memelig@benistar.com 

 

The IRS/HCTC will accept the HCTC Reimbursement Form #14095 for any months in 2020 you pay 100% of the monthly premium.  This form is in lieu of form #8885 filed with your 2020 Federal Tax Return.  By using form #14095, you will receive the 72.5% reimbursement for the months you have paid 100%, faster than waiting to file form #8885 with your 2020 Federal Tax Return in 2021.  To file form #14095:

  • You must be re-enrolled in the HCTC AMP program

  • You must have paid the 27.5% monthly premium for at least one month (e.g. if you are enrolled for February, you can submit form #14095 in March for the 72.5% premium reimbursement of your January 2020 100% premium payment). Please do not send your #14095 form request in prior to the completion of your first month of paying 27.5% of the cost in order to allow the IRS/HCTC program to process your application in a timely manner.  Form #14095 should not be sent to Benistar.  This form and any required supporting documents should be mailed directly to the IRS.  

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Delivery Date:  01/14/2020

Delivery Date:  12/27/2019

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. 

1.) Each HCTC AMP participant must complete a new 13441-A form. The 13441-A form and 13441-A form Samples can be found on the DSRA-BT website.  If you were recently split from a two person contract to two singles, you must each complete separate 13441-A forms.  Please use the attached premiums when completing your 13441-A forms. 

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. 
 

3.) Mail, Fax or Email your completed 13441-A form (and proof of eligibility if you are a new HCTC AMP enrollee) to:

 Mail:        Benistar Retiree Services                                      Email: memelig@benistar.com
10 Tower Lane, Suite 100
Avon, CT 06001                                                 Fax: 1-860-408-7025

4.) Benistar will review and forward your 13441-A form along with proof of your BCBSM insurance premium to the HCTC department. Benistar will contact you if there are any corrections to be made to your 13441-A forms.  Do not mail your 13441-A forms directly to the IRS.  They will be rejected without the BCBSM spreadsheet being provided to the IRS/HCTC by Benistar.
 

5.) Once you have received the new Welcome Letter from the HCTC, you are enrolled and will start making the 27.5% premium payments to the IRS along with your voucher. Continue to pay 100% of the BCBSM monthly premium to Benistar until you receive the Welcome Letter.  It may take up to 6 weeks to receive the Welcome Letter so submit your 13441-A form to Benistar as soon as possible.
 

6.) Call Benistar 1-888-588-6682 with your HCTC PIN once you are re-enrolled. If you have not received new vouchers from Benistar with your PIN, print the voucher from the IRS website and include your PIN on the voucher.

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

Delivery Date:  12/17/2019

We have great news to share. The final fiscal year 2020 Congressional funding bill released today includes a short-term (1 year) extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit through the end of 2020. The bill still has to be signed by the President but it appears all parties have indicated support for the bill.

Much appreciation goes out to all who communicated the need for this extension with your Representatives. Please see the announcement from Senator Portman’s office. We will have to take up the battle again in 2020 but for now we can breathe a sigh of relief for the immediate future.

Information will be forthcoming shortly about a special Open Enrollment window to allow enrollees to make changes to their medical coverage.

 

DSRA BT Board

UNITED STATES SENATE

 

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Contact: Emily Benavides (Portman) 202-224-5190

Matthew Keyes (Brown) 202-224-3978

https://bit.ly/2sALNBL

 

Portman, Brown Announce Final FY 2020 Funding Bill Includes Extension of Health Coverage Tax Credit
Health Coverage Tax Credit is Critically Important for Thousands of Hardworking Retirees in Ohio

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the final FY 2020 funding bill released includes a short-term extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit through the end of 2020. This credit helps subsidize the cost of continued coverage for retirees and other individuals 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. Earlier this year, Portman and Brown introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend for five years the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). 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 the funding bill includes an extension of this credit, even if it is only for one year,” 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 will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to ensure the stability of health coverage for these individuals and their families. While this short-term extension is less than the five years I called for in my legislation with Senator Brown, I’m still pleased that we were able to prevent the expiration of this credit, providing certainty to thousands of Ohioans.”

 

“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.

Delivery Date:  11/13/2019

With the many changes occurring during the 2020 Open Enrollment period, the DSRA Benefit Trust would like to take this opportunity to communicate clarifications and updates to DSRA Benefit Trust members.  Please review the items of interest brought to the Board’s attention during open enrollment which are listed below in this email.  If you have questions regarding any of these issues or others not addressed here, the Benistar DSRA Benefit Trust Call Center is available at 1-888-588-6682.  You can also contact Cone Retiree Healthcare Group at 1-713-446-3501 for assistance.   

 

Pre-65 Open Enrollment

 

  • ALL Blue Cross Blue Shield two-person contracts will automatically be split into two single contracts. If you have received a BCBSM December invoice for a two-person contract, you will be receiving an updated invoice for two single premiums within the next week.  You will need to pay two single 2019 premiums for the month of December. Going forward into 2020 you will pay two single premiums at the 2020 rates.  All HCTC AMP participants in a two-person contract must complete and send to the IRS two 13441-A forms by November 15th.  Please call 713-446-3501 or email John@mymedplans.com for help completing the 13441-A forms. 

  • The HCTC program has not been extended past 12/31/2019 at this time. All 2020 Premium payments will be paid to Benistar at 100% of the premium amount beginning in January 2020.  Benistar’s accepted forms of payment are check, money order or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).  To establish an EFT payment with Benistar, look for the EFT information in your January 2020 invoice you will be receiving in December or call Benistar at 1-888-588-6682.

  • If the HCTC program is reauthorized, there will be a special Open Enrollment period to allow for re-enrollment or plan level changes in the BCBSM plans at that time.

  • Please ensure that if you are making a change, enrolling or requesting a subsidy for 2020 to sign the DSRA Benefit Trust Enrollment form when sending to Benistar. The form must be signed for Benistar to process. 

  • If you are not making any changes to your 2019 plan selections and not requesting a subsidy, your 2019 benefits will carry forward to 2020. You do not need to do anything. 

  • You will receive an invoice in mid to late December from Benistar for any plans you are enrolled in through the DSRA Benefit Trust’s providers. Please review the plans itemized on your invoice and contact Benistar with any discrepancies. 

  • The DSRA Benefit Trust provides a subsidy for members that were Salary workers, retired and receiving pensions prior to April 2, 2009. Only one member per household is eligible for the DSRA Benefit Trust subsidy unless both were Delphi retirees and meet the above criteria.  You must complete a 2020 Insurance Enrollment Form and include on the top of the form “Applying for DSRA-BT Subsidy” along with proof of your retirement date and send to Benistar for approval. 

  • The DSRA Benefit Trust was able to secure a more favorable premium for the StandAlone Dental and Vision plans for 2020; however, the Pre-65 Open Enrollment Benefits Guide was printed before these rates were secured. Therefore, the Dental and Vision rates in the Pre-65 Benefits Guide are not accurate.  The 2020 Dental and Vision Only Benefit Guide has the correct rates since it was printed after the more favorable rates were established.  The updated Pre-65 Benefits Guide is available on the DSRA Benefit Trust website dsrabenefittrust.net with the corrected Dental and Vision premiums. 

  • Those members enrolling in StandAlone Dental and Vision plans will use the DSRA Benefit Trust Enrollment Form available on the DSRA Benefit Trust website dsrabenefittrust.net . If you are already enrolled in StandAlone Dental and/or Vision plans and not making any changes to your 2019 plans, you do not have to do anything.  Your 2019 plans will carry forward to 2020. 

  • New medical cards will be arriving to plan participants between January 1st – 31st.  If your doctor is unable to process your insurance approval with your 2019 medical card and you have not received a new medical card yet, contact Benistar for assistance 1-888-588-6682. 

  • Benistar accepts three forms of payment, personal check, money order and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

  • If you have used auto payments such as EFT for your premiums in 2019, you must re-establish EFT payments for 2020 premiums with Benistar. The EFT enrollment information will be included in your January insurance premium invoice from Benistar or you can call Benistar for more information on establishing automatic EFT payments for 2020.  Autopay services such as EFT from 2019 with Mercer/BCBS will not carryover to 2020!

  • If you have not received the Pre-65 Open Enrollment materials by mail and would like to have them emailed to you, send an email requesting either the Pre-65 Benefits Guide or the Dental and Vision Benefits Guide to John@mymedplans.com or visit dsrabenefittrust.net where you can find all 2020 open enrollment materials.

 

Post-65 Open Enrollment

 

  • Benistar, our new plan administrator, will send itemized invoices each month outlining your insurance plan selections and their premiums.

  • Invoices for January 2020 will be sent by Benistar the third week of December. Please review the invoices for accuracy and call Benistar with any concerns 1-888-588-6682. 

  • Please ensure that you sign the Enrollment form whether you are enrolling or making a change for 2020. The form must be signed when returned to Benistar. 

  • If you are not making any changes to your 2019 plan selections, your 2019 benefits will carry forward to 2020. You do not need to do anything. 

  • The Dental and Vision Open Enrollment period is November 1st – December 7th. The Post-65 Health Matters Guide Cover Letter mistakenly said that the open enrollment period for Dental and Vision ended on November 15th.

  • Those members enrolling in StandAlone Dental and Vision plans will use the DSRA Benefit Trust Enrollment Form available on the DSRA Benefit Trust website dsrabenefittrust.net . If you are already enrolled in StandAlone Dental and/or Vision plans and not making any changes to your 2019 plans, you do not have to do anything.  Your 2019 plans will carry forward to 2020.    

  • New medical cards will be arriving to plan participants between January 1st – 31st.  If your doctor is unable to process your insurance approval with your 2019 medical card and you have not received a new medical card yet, contact Benistar for assistance 1-888-588-6682. 

  • Benistar accepts three forms of payment, personal check, money order and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

  • If you have used auto payments such as EFT for your premiums in 2019, you must re-establish EFT payments for 2020 premiums with Benistar. The EFT enrollment information will be included in your January insurance premium invoice from Benistar or you can call Benistar for more information on establishing automatic EFT payments for 2020.  Autopay services such as EFT from 2019 will not carryover to 2020!

  • If you have not received the Post-65 Open Enrollment materials by mail and would like to have them emailed to you, send an email requesting either the Post-65 Health Matters Guide or the Dental and Vision Benefits Guide to John@mymedplans.com or visit dsrabenefittrust.net where you can find all 2020 open enrollment materials.

 

The open enrollment period is as follows:

 

PRE-65 & PRE-65 MEDICARE DISABLED

November 1st – November 15th

**Please send your enrollment forms for 2020 open enrollment or updating to Benistar.

POST-65

November 1st – December 7th
(medical and dental & vision – the deadline aligns with the official Medicare open enrollment period)

 

By mail:                    Benistar DSRA-BT Client Service Center
                              10 Tower Lane, Suite 100
                              Avon, CT 06001

By fax:                     (860)408-7025

By email:                 memelig@benistar.com

For any questions regarding the plans offered in 2020 or other Open Enrollment matters, contact Benistar, our new plan administrator, 1-888-588-6682.

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

Plan Administrator and Insurance Broker change coming for DSRA-Benefit Trust Members

Last Updated: 27 September 2019

The DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors has entered into a three-year agreement with a new insurance broker, Cone Retiree Healthcare Group, LLC. (CRHG), to represent the DSRA-Benefit Trust eligible plan participants, current and future, with healthcare options for Pre-65 and Post-65.  CRHG will also represent the Trust regarding Life Insurance for eligible participants under the newly signed agreement.  Cone Retiree Healthcare Group has been actively supporting those American workers affected by corporate bankruptcy and foreign trade since 2009.  Their knowledge of both the Health Coverage Tax Credit and Medicare will benefit the DSRA-Benefit Trust members as we continue to offer the best insurance plans available to our participants. 

In addition to the insurance broker change, the DSRA-Benefit Trust will also be moving the Plan Administration and Call Center duties to Benistar Client Services and to the Benistar Retiree Service Center for Pre-65 and Post-65 plan participant’s healthcare benefits beginning January 2020.  Benistar Client Services has extensive experience with the Health Coverage Tax Credit and with Medicare.  This change will allow our members a more streamlined approach to navigating their insurance plans by providing a single point of contact for both Pre-65 and Post-65 with one toll free number for all participants answered by the DSRA-Benefit Trust Call Center at the Benistar Retiree Service Center.  The toll-free phone number will be sent to all members once the transition takes place. 

Please be on the lookout for additional details coming soon!

DSRA-Benefit Trust Board of Directors

 

DSRA Benefit Trust website  - 2020

Benistar DSRA Benefit Trust Customer Service/Call Center

1-888-588-6682