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HCTC INFORMATION AND ELIGIBILITY

The 13441A Form is used for both current and new enrollments

Complete a NEW 13441A form and return it to Benistar by January 15 to be re-enrolled into the Monthly HCTC Program.   

Special Open Enrollment for NEW plan elections or reentering the HCTC AMP Program.  Complete a new forms with desired plan.  A new enrollment form and a 13441A form is required.  Call Benistar NOW!

Print out the payment coupon (Form 13973) and include with your February payment to the IRS

Complete the 14095 Form to have the full out of pocket premiums paid during the time we were waiting on Congress to extend the HCTC Program.  If you submit the form to the IRS, you will be reimbursed within approximately 12 weeks.

HCTC HAS BEEN EXTENDED!!

Congress passed, and President Trump signed a spending package that extended the HCTC for one year. 

All eligible Trust members will benefit from the extension of the HCTC.  (Read more under your industry HCTC Information tab)

 

NECESSARY ACTION REQUIRED BY ALL CURRENT HCTC MONTHLY PLAN PARTICIPANTS

Pre-65 January Invoices Delayed, Read Carefully, the HCTC Re-authorization & Re-enrollment Process Below

 

Dear Airline, Auto and Steel Retiree and Eligible Dependent:

Last week Congress passed, and President Trump signed a spending package that extended the HCTC for one year, until December 31, 2020! The Trusts 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. There is no impact to plan participants enrolled in the plans through the Airline, Auto or Steel Trusts paying 100% of the cost, and not eligible for the HCTC program. They will continue to make their payments by the 1st of each month. 

 

HCTC Eligible Plan Participants Next Steps:

(1)   Your January premiums payments are now due by January 25th and will be paid directly to Benistar, at 100% of the cost of the insurance you have elected to enroll in effective January 01, 2020. 

(2)   The Monthly (AMP) program will not begin until the IRS/HCTC announces they will be accepting the 27.5% payments again. Until that time, you will make a 100% payment to Benistar directly and will take the 72.5% cost you paid for the months paying 100% off of your income tax next year.

(3)    We believe you will be paying 100% for at least 1 month and maybe 2 however, we cannot promise when the Monthly HCTC program will begin.

(4)    The IRS/HCTC program will not accept the Newly completed 13441-A forms sent to them from the plan administrator Benistar until they Re-Open the program department on January 15, 2020. Don’t send your forms directly to the IRS/HCTC Program, Benistar will be processing your newly completed 13441-A forms and sending them to the IRS/HCTC program for you. 

(5)    You must continue to pay Benistar 100% of the cost of your premium each month until you are notified by the IRS/HCTC program that you have been re-enrolled into the program and they have the correct rate and plan you are enrolled in on the 13441-A document, effective for your start date into the monthly program. 

(6)     You must complete and submit to Benistar ASAP, a Newly Completed 13441-A FORM for each individual enrolled as a “Single” in the plan. A “Family” will only need to complete (1) 13441-A form for their Family.

(7)     Keep in mind, the plan cost information you provide on the 13441-A form may be different from what you elected for a plan you chose to enroll in for the month of January, prior to the reauthorization of the HCTC program, at 100% cost of the premium for your January payment. 

(8)    Benistar will be providing all 13441-A forms and documentation required they have received from plan participants BEFORE January 15, 2020, to the IRS/HCTC program on January 15, 2020, once the program

is restarted. 

(9)     Once Benistar sends the necessary documents required and the IRS/HCTC program processes the documents,

this will trigger the IRS/HCTC program to then send you the necessary re-enrollment letter from the IRS/HCTC

program and Benistar to mail you your yearly voucher payment packet.

(10)    If you already have a HCTC PIN NUMBER from being enrolled in 2019, you will be using the same PIN Number in 2020. 

(11)    It is important to note that if you do not complete the 13441-A form and email or fax it to Benistar at the following contact info                 (fax) 1-860-408-7025 (email) memelig@benistar.com in a timely manner, your enrollment into the monthly program may be delayed and you may be required to continue paying 100% of the cost of your insurance plan until you have completed the steps required and received the letter from the IRS/HCTC program stating you have been re-entered into HCTC monthly program.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield will hold a “Special Enrollment Window” for BCBSM plan participants once the monthly program has been announced. Stay Tuned for the Dates for the "Special Open Enrollment Window".

For those HCTC eligible plan participants enrolled in a plan for the month of January, through one of the Trusts or another provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will give you the opportunity to change your current plan, during a “Special Open Enrollment Window” that will be announced soon. This means you will have the ability to enroll or change your election in the current Trust plan, during this “Special Enrollment Window” due to a “Life Event” triggered by the reinstatement of the HCTC program. You must contact your plan representative and notify them you have experienced a “Life Event” and would like to terminate your coverage through their plan. If you are enrolled in a plan through one of the Trusts we represent, you will need to complete a New Insurance Enrollment form in the Trust and also a New 13441-A form found on our website www.hctcplans.com and send them to Benistar, the plan administrator in a timely manner in order to get you enrolled into the monthly program. 

 

Thanks for helping us to get you enrolled into the Monthly HCTC program as soon as possible and for your Great Work in doing your part to help contact Elected Representatives and express your importance of this HCTC program!

 

Happy New Year!

 

Cone Retiree Healthcare Group,

Cathy Cone                                             John Cone                                              Lisa Andrews

cathy@mymedplans.com                    John@mymedplans.com                     Lisa@mymedplans.com

Posted Update 12/21/2019:

This week Congress passed, and President Trump signed a spending package that extended the HCTC for one year.  All eligible Trust members will benefit from extension of the HCTC.  There will be an extended open enrollment period. 

The HCTC program is currently shutdown since the reauthorization occurred after the department’s shutdown deadline and restarting the program will take at least one to two months.  Congress has made the HCTC subsidy retroactive for those participants paying 100% in a qualified plan.  (The Affordable Care Act Plan is NOT a qualified plan).  You will receive the 72.5% subsidy reimbursement, for the months in 2020 that you pay 100% of the premium (if enrolled in a qualified plan or stayed in one of the Trust plans offered in these Auto, Airline or Steel Industry VEBA's), by completing the necessary forms with your 2020 Federal Tax Return.  If you participated in the HCTC AMP program in 2019 and terminated your insurance through one of these plans offered by the VEBA Trust's 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 until the HCTC AMP program is back up and running but you will receive the 72.5% subsidy reimbursement with your 2020 Federal Tax Return. 

Once the HCTC program’s restart timeline has been determined along with any changes to the enrollment of participants, we will offer a special Open Enrollment period.  All qualified VEBA 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 and requirements for the restart of the HCTC AMP program will follow as soon as we have them. 

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 all of the VEBA Trust members. 

If you have any questions regarding your 2020 insurance plans both Pre-65 and Post-65, please call Benistar, the VEBA Trust administrator, at 1-888-588-6682. 

HCTC Program Information

We specialize in the establishment of the (3) Trusts that qualify for the “Health Coverage Tax Credit” Programs (HCTC) providing a 72.5% subsidy to Retirees between the ages of 55 and 65 (not yet eligible for Medicare) and their dependents that have had their pensions trusteed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) as well as Trade Adjustment Affected workers that have had their jobs outsourced to another country and qualify for the Trade Affected Assistance program.

WHAT IS HCTC?

Established by Congress as part of the 2002 Trade Act and is a federal program authorized to pay a 72.5% Subsidy for the health insurance premiums for Retirees and TAA-ATAA workers that meet the requirements established by Congress.

Congress created the HCTC Program as part of the 2002 Trade Act.  It was established to help cover the cost of health care for:

⇒  Workers who lost their jobs due to foreign trade

⇒  Retirees whose pensions have been trusteed/turned over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

In February of 2009, with the passage by Congress, of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Retirees of bankrupt companies were allowed to immediately establish Insurance programs providing access to healthcare, for workers that had lost or had their healthcare benefits greatly reduced, in the bankruptcy process .  The formation of these vehicles to provide access to healthcare are called a Voluntary Employee Benefit Associations (VEBA’s ).  The immediate access to the contact information of a company allowed the workers the ability to make the former employees aware of the group healthcare options available to them that included a subsidy to help offset the cost of their healthcare insurance.

Two Groups are eligible for the HCTC Program

You may be eligible to elect the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) if you are one of the following:

-   An eligible Trade Adjustment Assistance recipient, Alternative TAA recipient or Reemployment TAA recipient.

-  An eligible Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) payee between the ages of 55-65 and their dependents, or

-  The family member(s) of an eligible TAA, ATAA or RTAA recipient or family member of a divorced or deceased PBGC payee who meets the requirements.

Pension Benefit

Guaranty Corporation

TAA,

ATAA or RTAA

To qualify for the 72.5% HCTC benefit as a PBGC payee, recipients must have worked for a company whose defined-benefit pension plan was insured and then turned over to the PBGC.  The PBGC assumes control of the defined-benefit plans when it determines that the plans must be terminated to protect the interests of participants or when employers demonstrate they could not remain in business unless the plan were terminated.  The PBGC uses plan assets and its own insurance reserves to pay the pensions to the former workers and their survivors.  In the event of the recipients death, the dependent would either receive the benefit as the new recipient or would continue as a qualified family member and receive the benefit for 24 months after the recipients death.  If the deceased recipient had shared their pension with their surviving spouse, the surviving spouse would then take the place of the deceased recipient.  The new information and age of the recipient would be listed with the surviving spouses information.  Individuals who receive PBGC-paid pensions are eligible for the HCTC, provided they are between the ages of 55 and 64 years old  but not yet entitled to Medicare.

To qualify for the TAA, ATAA or RTAA, a group of workers who have lost their jobs due to plants closing or their jobs offshored due to international trade.  To qualify for TAA, a group or workers must petition the US Department of Labor to establish that their job loss was attributable to a qualified cause.  If a Department of Labor investigation confirms the workers' claim, the workers are certified as eligible for TAA benefits and services.

TAA-certified workers are eligible for the HCTC on the basis of receipt of certain TAA benefits.  They are eligible for the HCTC if the worker receives any of the following:  

1.)  Trade Re-adjustment Allowance

2.)  Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance

3.)  Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance

The worker must be receiving cash benefits to be eligible.  The worker qualifies for HCTC on the first day of a month if the worker received an eligible TAA benefit "for any day in that month or the prior month".

Click here for further details with the United States  Department of Labor Q&A forTAA, ATAA or RTAA groups.

Eligibility Limitations

You may be eligible under the two groups described above, but still not qualify for the tax credit if you are enrolled in:

-  a health plan maintained by the individual's employer or former employer

-  if the employer or former employer pays more than 50% of the total premium;

-  the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)

-  Medicare Part A and/or B

-  Medicaid; or

-  the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

You are also not eligible for the HCTC Program if you are incarcerated or if you may be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

 

Members and Qualifying Family Members

An eligible taxpayer may use the HCTC for health insurance that covers his or her spouse and any dependents who may be claimed on his or her tax return.  Children are considered dependents if under the age of 26.  A child with separated or divorced parents are considered dependents if the recipient is the custodial parent.

Family members or "dependents" are eligible as long as the retiree or TAA worker continues to meet the eligibility requirement to participate in the HCTC Program.   It is not necessary for the retiree or TAA worker to enroll in the HCTC Program in order for dependents to participate in the HCTC Program and receive a subsidy for their healthcare.  Each dependent is eligible to participate in the HCTC program as an individual if they choose (rules and qualifications of the member are kept with your file).

A qualified family member (QFM) is a dependent of a retiree that is limited to eligibility in the HCTC program for 24 months following a life event experience by the retiree or TAA worker, where the member loses eligibility for the HCTC program.