PRE-65 Retirement Health Insurance - HELP!

usa1

Veteran
Oct 6, 2008
1,205
308
Has anyone figured out our HCTC options?  
Are US Airways PBGC pre-65 retirees included in the airline (VEBA) benefit plan "voluntary employee beneficiary association" that was established through the bankruptcy?
 
https://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/HCTC
 
https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/HCTC-Health-Plans-Q-and-A
 
Is Blue Cross and Blue Shield offering a Nationwide plan? 
 
http://www.coneretireebenefits.com/airline-trust-pre-65-plans.html
 
The Medical Plans available to Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees Participants
Pre-65 HCTC Qualified Retirees and their Dependents
 
 
 
 
* Nationwide coverage in the United States

* Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans provide you with access to covered benefits through a network of health care providers and facilities. You are not required to have a referral from your primary care doctor before going  to a specialist.

Members who are ages 55 to 64 who qualify for HCTC can elect the following Nationwide program of health insurance options* offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Nationwide:
*Network Gold - Bundled with Dental and Vision Plan                 
*Network Silver- Bundled with Dental and Vision Plans
Network Bronze - Bundled with Dental and Vision Plan             Bronze Standalone Medical & Prescription Drug  Only Plan                              *Network Copper -  Bundled with Dental and Vision Plan             Copper Standalone Medical & Prescription Drug Only Plan​​
 
http://www.coneretireebenefits.com/airline-trust-pre-65-plans.html
 
 
Kiplinger Article 
 
In many employer bankruptcies, retiree health benefits quickly fall by the wayside. But a growing number of early retirees whose former employers have gone bankrupt are finding ways to take advantage of a generous tax credit that helps pay for health insurance. The Health Coverage Tax Credit covers 72.5% of insurance premiums for people age 55 to 64 who are in a qualifying health plan and receive pension benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that often takes over the pension plans of bankrupt companies.
Although the credit has been around since 2002, up until 2009 for many retirees the procedure to access it "was unbelievably complicated," often requiring an IRS private letter ruling, says Dean Gloster, a San Francisco lawyer who specializes in setting up plans that qualify for the credit. But Congress made the tax credit more accessible in 2009, in part by allowing bankruptcy courts to authorize special tax-exempt trusts known as Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs), whose benefits are eligible for the tax credit.
Several industry-wide VEBAs have been established in recent years that allow auto, steel and airline company retirees to get the tax credit. The retirees generally pay their 27.5% share of premiums each month, the IRS pays the remaining 72.5%, and an administrator collects the payments and forwards them to the insurers. The VEBAs typically provide dental and vision coverage as well as medical benefits.
The tax credit is a silver lining for retirees who lost much of their pension and health benefits. Bob Benham of Atlanta retired from Delta in 2004, the year before the airline filed for bankruptcy. He worked overseas as a pilot for several more years, in part to maintain his health coverage.
Now fully retired, Benham, 62, enrolled in the airline retirees' VEBA in early 2012. With the tax credit covering most of the premiums, he paid $377 a month for medical coverage for himself and his wife. Now that his wife is becoming eligible for Medicare, Benham will pay just $288 a month for his own medical, vision and dental coverage. Without the VEBA, he would have had to buy "a very, very high-deductible [plan] to get the premiums down," he says.
Tens of thousands of retirees who are eligible for the credit aren't enrolled to receive it—and they probably don't even know it exists, says Cathy Cone, managing partner at Cone Insurance Group, in Houston, which established the new industry-wide VEBAs. Retirees can go to www.conebenefits.com for more information.
http://www.coneretireebenefits.com/airline-trust-pre-65-plans.html
 
 
 

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,218
3,301
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
usa1 said:
http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_talk/2012/04/what-us-airways-has-promised-american-flight-attendants.html
 
Retiree Health Benefits: Implementation of Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA).
 
Did CWA/IBT get this?
I imagine not.  The VEBA exists today only because the bankruptcy judge (AA's bankruptcy, not any of US Airways) did not permit AA to terminate the retiree health plan for employees already retired.  There was a grievance filed to get our money back that we paid in, but we lost the grievance; so, the company gets to use everyone else's contributions to fund the benefits for those already retired.  But, that is LAA retirees only.  No active employees will be covered under the VEBA.  We're helping pay for the retirees' benefits, but we will get nothing when we retire.
 
As far as I know if you are retiring too young to get Medicare, you will have to shop the insurance companies to see if you can find some health insurance you can afford until you qualify for Medicare.  Start with the insurance companies that offer a Medicare Supplement.  They might give you a  price break in order to get your supplement business once you qualify for Medicare.
 
OP
U

usa1

Veteran
Oct 6, 2008
1,205
308
Here is where I'm at. I've shopped Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC's website directly for an Individual plan and they have some nice ones that would work if they qualify
 
I also went to the group AA is pushing, OneExchange. They gave me a login so I could see what was available. Two weeks ago my only choice was the same Blue Cross plans I had been looking at except they included some dental. Now, today I log in and they are only showing me two crummy plans offered by Humana?  It does say, "Additional plans are available by phone Speak with a OneExchange benefit advisor today to learn more about these options".
 
I really want to nail down what plan the IRS will accept? Here is what their instructions say.
 

Qualified Health Insurance Plan
 
A qualified health insurance plan is any of
the following.
 
1. Coverage under a group health
plan available through the employment of
your spouse, but see the instructions for
line 1.
 
2. Coverage under a non-group
(individual) health insurance plan.
 
For 2014 and 2015, this includes a qualified
health plan offered on HealthCare.gov or
through a State Marketplace. See
Participants in a Health Insurance
Marketplace, later, for special rules and
instructions for completing Form 8885 and
Form 8962.
 
Individual health insurance does not
include any insurance connected with a
group health plan or federal- or
state-based health insurance coverage.
 
3. Coverage under a COBRA
continuation provision (as defined in
section 9832(d)(1)).
 
4. Coverage under a state-qualified
health plan. State-qualified health plans
include the following.
 
a. Continuation coverage provided by
the state under a state law that requires
such coverage.
 
b. A qualified state high risk pool (as
defined in section 2744(c)(2) of the Public
Health Service Act).
c. A health insurance program offered
for state employees.
 
d. A state-based health insurance
program that is comparable to the health
insurance program offered for state
employees.
 
e. An arrangement entered into by a
state and (a) a group health plan
(including such a plan which is a
multiemployer plan as defined in section
3(37) of ERISA), ( B) an issuer of health
insurance coverage, (c) an administrator,
or (d) an employer.
 
f. A state arrangement with a private
sector health care coverage purchasing
pool.
 
g. A state-operated health plan that
does not receive any federal financial
participation.
 
5. A health plan purchased through a
Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary
Association (VEBA) that was established
through the bankruptcy of your former
employer. For more information, see the
TIP at the end of this section.
 
Exception. A qualified health insurance
plan does not include any of the following.
Any state-based coverage listed in
items 4a through 4g above unless it also
meets the requirements of section 35(e)
(2).arrangement.
 

Any insurance if substantially all of its
coverage is of excepted benefits
described in section 9832(c). For
example, if you purchase dental or vision
benefits separately, these benefits are not
part of a qualified health insurance plan for
the HCTC. But, if you purchase dental or
vision benefits as part of a comprehensive
package and these benefits do not
represent substantially all of its coverage,
these benefits may be part of a qualified
health insurance plan and the premiums
paid may be eligible for the HCTC.
For more information about
whether you have a qualified
health insurance plan, go to
www.irs.gov/HCTC.

 
 
 

 
I'm thinking any non-group (individual) health insurance plan will work. What do you think?
 
American Airlines and/or the Union should be more helpful, especially if they want employees to early out!!.   
 

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,218
3,301
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
I must say I find the level of your naivete about the company being helpful about anything quite refreshing.   :lol:
Wish I could  be more helpful, but as I am well past "retirement age" I qualify for Medicare the instant I retire.  In fact, I'm already Medicare Part A.
 
Aug 20, 2002
10,137
687
www.usaviation.com
jimntx said:
I must say I find the level of your naivete about the company being helpful about anything quite refreshing.   :lol:
Wish I could  be more helpful, but as I am well past "retirement age" I qualify for Medicare the instant I retire.  In fact, I'm already Medicare Part A.
 
 
Ah Jim, you're just an  OLD  *rick  !!  :rolleyes:
 
Seriously though, your answer to a question a few posts above,...FINALLY....'Learned me' about  why I've still got AA retiree ins.   (I retired in 2004 ).
 
So, once again, THANX....Old Timer   !!!
 

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,218
3,301
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
usa1 said:
 
Here is where I'm at. I've shopped Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC's website directly for an Individual plan and they have some nice ones that would work if they qualify
 
I also went to the group AA is pushing, OneExchange. They gave me a login so I could see what was available. Two weeks ago my only choice was the same Blue Cross plans I had been looking at except they included some dental. Now, today I log in and they are only showing me two crummy plans offered by Humana?  It does say, "Additional plans are available by phone Speak with a OneExchange benefit advisor today to learn more about these options".
 
I really want to nail down what plan the IRS will accept? Here is what their instructions say.
 

 
 

 
I'm thinking any non-group (individual) health insurance plan will work. What do you think?
 
American Airlines and/or the Union should be more helpful, especially if they want employees to early out!!.   
 
All you have to do is ask the insurance company.  They will tell you if they qualify.  If it's anything from BCBS, I would be willing to bet you that they qualify.  Qualification is nothing more than is this plan as good or better than Medicare.  We have BCBS as the PPO plan here in Texas.  It more than qualifies.  I just got a $42,000 hospital bill for my 4 days in the hospital in January for spinal surgery.  What BCBS didn't pay was written off.  I didn't have to pay a dime.  I can assure you that is better than Medicare.
 
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