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Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees
 
VOLUNTARY BENEFIT TRUST FOR AIRLINE RETIREES
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veba

Important Updates on Pre-65 HCTC Program for Retirees 55-64 and Dependents!
November 6, 2015

                                                                         

Dear Eligible Health Coverage Tax Credit Recipient(s),

 

As you have probably heard by now, the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) was reauthorized June 29, 2015 after a great deal of effort by many to contact their congressional representatives, and asked them to vote to support the reauthorization of the HCTC program for Retirees that have lost their Pensions to the PBGC as well those people affected by the offshoring of jobs through the TAA program.  The Good News is that this new reauthorization will include a 6 year period, from January 01, 2014 until at least December 31, 2019, not the usual, 1-2 year reauthorization as was done in the past!

 

Advanced Payment Program (APP) will be delayed until mid-2016

While that is Great News, there are some important interim steps that will be necessary as the IRS/HCTC re-establishes the "Monthly" Advanced Payment Program (APP).  The APP program allows you to pay 27.5% of you and/or your family's total healthcare cost each month instead of 100% of the cost and receiving the Tax Credits on your tax return in 2016.  This means that effective with the January 2016 enrollment and roll-out of the HCTC qualified healthcare program we are establishing, through the Auto Industry, Airline Industry and Steel Industry Trusts, it will be necessary to pay 100% of the total cost of your healthcare in 2016, until the monthly program begins.  The target date for the reinstatement of the monthly program is with the July payment to be 27.5%.  We have been working closely with the IRS/HCTC program leaders and they are working as quickly as possible to get the program reestablished, as they understand the hardship this will be for many, to pay 100% of the cost during the interim.

 

Receiving your 72.5% Tax Credit back

As you know, it is important to be enrolled in a "qualified" health plan and all three of these Trusts, Airline, Auto and Steel, are qualified plans for the purpose of the HCTC tax credit program.  During the period of time when the HCTC program was awaiting reauthorization, most people were enrolled in plans that were not considered credible coverage for the HCTC program however, the IRS/HCTC program, through the law that was passed on June 29, 2015 made allowances for those people that enrolled in "alternative" plans through the individual market, as well as the Affordable Care Act, to receive the tax credits during that period, by filling an amended tax return for 2014.  If you were enrolled and eligible for the HCTC program in 2014.  For people eligible for the HCTC in 2015, you will have the ability to file for your HCTC 72.5% tax credit on your 2015 Tax Return in early 2016.  There will be a new form created and we will be providing more information on the form you will need to complete once the information becomes available.

It is Important to be enrolled in a "Qualified HCTC plan" in 2016!

Effective January 01, 2016 and going forward, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be considered "HCTC qualified" coverage for the purposes of receiving the 72.5% subsidy.  This means that if you are currently enrolled in a health plan through the ACA today, you will not be able to continue in that plan effective January 01, 2016 and receive the 72/5% tax credit.  We have been working with the Pre-65 insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan(this will be a national plan) to allow people to enroll in plans that have lower plan coverage/cost levels until the monthly payment program gets re-established.  This will assist in keeping your cost down with lower premium levels while you are paying 100% of the cost of the insurance.   Once the monthly program begins, we will hold another "special enrollment window" to allow you to improve/increase your coverage if you choose to do so.   While it is understandable that paying for these healthcare premiums for the plans we are offering are high and will be difficult for some to manage, we do suggest that you consider some alternatives that would allow you to pay for the cost of your premiums during this period as you will be able to get the money back when you file your tax returns as opposed to enrolling in a plan that does not qualify for the HCTC program such as an employer plan or a plan through the Affordable Care Act since they will not be qualified plans in 2016.

 

Why are the Premiums for the Blue Cross Blue Shield HCTC Plans so Expensive?

I am sure that as you look at the cost of the plans we are offering for January 01, 2016 to Pre-65 HCTC eligible plan participants, you are just as surprised as the Boards of the three Trusts were when they saw the rates after 2 years without the HCTC program in effect.  The bottom line is, 2 predominant reasons, (1) we had no experience to rate the plans for 2016, therefore, we had to take a rate that was higher than it may have been if we could have been able to provide some experience to the provider.  Experience is necessary in order for the providers to understand their risk exposure when offering a plan for people in the pool of eligibility for the plans.  We have had no experience to provide since the plans were terminated more than 2 years ago and (2) it has been 3 years since we have had a price change in the program and as you know, much has happened in the Healthcare industry.  The main negative has been the Affordable Care Act and the impact it has had on plans, with the taxes and fees assessed in order to pay for those that qualify to pay nothing for their healthcare across the United States.  Just as with the people that are enrolled in Medicare Plans, everyone is feeling the impact of rising healthcare cost with no end in sight, unless the Affordable Care Act is changed drastically over the next few years.  At this point, the rising healthcare cost are just unsustainable for most families in the years to come.  While these cost are high in the plans we are offering, they are a much better option for most retirees that are eligible for plans through former employers even when those providers provide subsidies for retirees age 60 and over in some plans.  We were very fortunate to have the ability to offer the plans we will be offering in 2016 to Pre-65 Retirees eligible for the HCTC.  

Please watch for the Conference Call/Webinars we will be having in November and December to go over the plans we are offering through all 3 Trust programs!  Watch our website, www.coneretireebenefits.com    for the latest information on the Conference Call Details.

 

You will find the pricing and Summary Plan Designs for the Pre-65 Insurance Programs on the www.coneretireebenefits  website under Pre-65 Rates and Summary Plan Designs link at the top of the page!   

 

Thanks for your Support!

 

Cathy Cone

cathy@coneretireebenefits.com

Broker for The Trusts

veba


New Important Notice for Airline Retirees
November 10, 2015

Join Us for one of our Bi-Weekly 2016 Medicare Conference Call/Webinars

November and December 11 AM EST each Tuesday and Thursday

hosted by Cathy Cone

Join WebEx meeting

 

 

If you are looking for the Pre-65 HCTC Information, Please visit our website for the latest information on the HCTC program including cost and plan designs.  We will begin those Conference Calls in the near future!  This call will not cover the Pre-65 HCTC plans! 

 

The Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees along with the Auto Industry and Steel Industry Trusts will be holding a Conference Call on Thursday, November 10, 2015 at 11 am EST to go over the benefits available to Airline, Auto and Steel Industry Retirees in 2016.  If you would like to hear about the plans we offer through these Trusts, please join us for the call! 

 

                                       Join WebEx meeting

                               Meeting number:           642 556 884     

 

                                               Join by phone   

 

Participant Dial In Number: 877-834-4186 Conference ID: 74337406 

 

  We will have the same Conference Call ID numbers for each day we have a call scheduled.   There will be a Question and Answer period following the Presentation.

 

We will spend the first 15 minutes discussing Medicare and how it works; If you are already in Medicare and are only interested in the portion of the call that pertains to plans designs and cost, Please join us a 11:15 EST.  

 

We anticipate the call will last approximately 1 ½ hours.  You are welcome to join and drop off at any time.   We will begin holding our Bi-Weekly Webinar/Conference Calls Tuesday, November 10, each Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of November and the first 2 weeks in December, excluding the week of Thanksgiving.   

 

Beginning this week, you will have the ability to join both the Conference Call and the Webinar to follow along with the presentation it will be important to download the webex software prior to the start of the call so you will be ready to follow along when the call begins. 

  

We have Great News for Auto and Steel Industry Retirees!  They are NO Rate Increases in 2016 for your Flat rate, Plan F and Plan A options!  These plans are available in the States Aetna has been licensed to sell the Aetna Medicare Supplemental Plans through this Trust. That translates to Great Savings to You! (flat rates are not available in Florida and Washington)  

  

The Auto & Steel Trusts are now offering Flat rates for Supplemental Plans F $168.98+ $11.75 admin fee (excluding FL and Washington which have age and zip codes to determine rates)

  

The Plan F is now offered as a Flat Rate in the Airline Industry in most states $194.33+ admin fee of $8.75 excluding Florida & Washington (FL & WA. have age and zip code to determine their rates and FL. also offers Plan A) This rate for 2016 includes a 15% rate increase. 

  

 

For more information on these Plans along with other Great options for 3 Prescription Drug Plans, 2 Dental Plans and 2 Vision Plans in all 3 Trusts, please go to our website, www.coneretireebenefits.com  or call our Call Center,  Benistar @ 1-800-236-4782.  

  

We will be holding these Conference Call/Webinars beginning next week every Tuesday and Thursday for the months of November and the first 2 weeks in December excluding the weeks of Thanksgiving.  Mark your calendar and Join Us!

  

Thanks for your Support!

  

Cathy Cone

cathy@coneretireebenefits.com 

Broker for The Trusts 

veba

Important Notice for Medicare Eligible Airline Retirees
October 21, 2015


To All Airline Retirees on Medicare,  

 

Are you a Medicare Eligible Airline Retiree looking for Choice, Value and Options for your Healthcare Needs in 2016?  We have you covered, if you are Medicare Eligible regardless of your age, over or under the age of 65! 

 

The Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR) Board is pleased to announce the rollout of the VBTAR Trust plans for 2016 for Medicare Eligible Airline Retirees who have worked for an Airline for at least 5 years.  We also want to make you aware of our new website,  www.coneretireebenefits.com, to help you find the healthcare plans that best meet your needs in 2016.  We hope you will find our new website to be more user friendly and we would appreciate your feedback for any recommendations you might want to share to improve our new home! 

 

The VBTAR Trust continues to offer 2 Supplemental Plans for Airline Retirees in most States, a flat rate for Aetna Supplemental Plan F and Plan N (Florida & Washington will continue to use age bands and zip codes to determine their rates and Florida also offers a plan A). 

 

           2 Aetna Supplemental Standalone plans to choose from in most States:


   Aetna Supplemental Plan F will experience a 15% rate increase for the plans offered in 2016, due to the experience in the Plan F in 2015 and the Affordable Care Act taxes required for 2016.  The flat rate for Plan F is $194.33+ admin fee $8.75= $203.08.  This plan has a ZERO Deductible and Zero Out Of Pocket cost!  Once you pay your monthly premium each month, as long as your services are Medicare Approved, Aetna will cover the remainder of ALL cost after Medicare pays (up to 115% of Medicare approved cost, dependent on your doctors agreements with Medicare).  You can call our Call Center, Benistar at 1-800-236-4782 to request more information or go to our website, www.coneretireebenefits.com for complete details or to download the enrollment brochure and enrollment forms from the website.


   Aetna Supplemental Plan N will have no rate increase for 2016.  The flat rate for Plan N is $141.20+ admin fee $8.75=$149.95.

                     This plan requires you to pay the $147 Part B Deductible

                     Up to $20 for doctors' visits (excluding Preventative Care visits which are at no cost)

                     $50 for emergency room visits unless you are admitted 

                     All other cost that are Medicare approved are covered by Aetna after Medicare pays at 100%.  This is a great cost savings option for 2016!  While it does require some small fees, it is definitely a huge cost savings for those that may be currently enrolled in a plan that requires a $1,500 Out Of Pocket cost and requires a $300 deductible. 


   2 Medicare Advantage Plans- these plans are Medicare Advantage PPO plans that are bundled with a Prescription Drug Plan.  These plans offer an excellent value for Retirees and allow you to choose your own doctors and hospitals as long as they are in the Aetna Medicare Advantage Network and accept your Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan.  You are required to have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B in order to enroll in these plans.  


                     High Plan- $15 Plan that requires a $15 co-pay for services received, Preventative Care at no cost to the plan participant and Zero cost if you have to go to the hospital. This plan includes the High Prescription drug plan, no PDP deductible, with coverage in the gap with Preferred Brand Drugs. 

                     Low Plan- $25 Plan that requires a $25 co-pay for services received, Preventative Care at no cost to the plan participant and $250 total cost for each hospital stay if more than 60 days has passed since your last hospital stay.  This plan includes the Low Prescription Drug plan, no PDP deductible, with no coverage through the gap. 


   3 Prescription Drug Plans to choose from as Standalone plans or bundled with another option offered through the VBTAR Trust (Medical, Dental & Vision)


                     High Plan-The High Plan has NO Deductible and offers Preferred Brand coverage in coverage gap

                     Low Plan-the Low Plan has NO Deductible and offers excellent coverage up to the gap and 58% coverage for generics in the gap and 45% cost for Brand coverage in the gap.

                     Value Plan- the Value Plan requires a $240 deductible and then co-pays begin.  This plan offers excellent coverage up to the gap and 58% coverage for generics in the gap and 45% cost for Brand coverage in the Gap.  A great option for people that do not use Drugs but need to meet the Medicare requirement of being enrolled in a Part D plan.  


   2 Dental Plans- to choose from as Standalone plans or bundled with another option through the VBTAR Trust (Medical, Prescription Drug, and Vision plan)


                     The High Plan with a $2,500 benefit in and out of network and a $60 deductible for Class B & C services.  Preventative care is covered at 100%!

                     The Low plan with a $1,500 benefit in and out of network and a $60 deductible for Class B & C services.  Preventative care is covered at 100%


   2 Vision Plans- to choose from as Standalone plans or bundled with another option offered through the VBTAR Trust (Medical, Prescription Drug and Dental plans)


                     High Plan- this plan offers $10 co-pay for eye exam, frames every 24 months $130 or Contact lenses allowance of $130.  It also includes progressive lenses at a $40 copay

                     Low Plan- this plan offers $10 co-pay for eye exam, frames every 24 months $130 or Contact lenses allowance of $130 after a $25 copay. 

 

The VBTAR Trust offers the best plans at the most affordable rates in the Airline Industry and all of your cost are known when you enroll in our plans.  Unlike another plan some Retirees may be eligible to enroll in, that requires high out of pocket costs, high deductibles/co-pays for your medical plans and in 2016 they are now requiring a $100 deductible for the only Prescription drug plan they offer to their Trust members. 

 

Check out our plans and see if you don't agree, we have a plan that is right for you at a cost you can afford without requiring high out of pocket cost, no "extras" that cost you money, whether you use them or not,  and no surprises when you get your bills.  Our Board makes sure every dollar you spend for your healthcare premiums each month is money that was spent wisely and goes directly goes toward your own healthcare needs, in order to improve or maintain your own health!

 

For more information, please contact our Call Center Benistar at 1-800-236-4782 or go to our website www.coneretireebenefits.com.  We have the 2016 Enrollment Brochure and Enrollment Forms available on the website to download, print and fax if you would like to enroll in our plans.  

 

If you are already enrolled in our plans in 2015 and do not want to make any changes to your current plan options for 2016, you do not need to take any action, your plans will be rolled over to 2016 and a bill will be sent to you in January of 2016 for the cost of your January 01, 2016 payment.  Cathy Cone, the Insurance Broker for the VBTAR Trust, will be holding Conference Call/Webinars beginning in November, and the first 2 weeks of December, to go over the benefits available through the VBTAR Trust.  Please visit the website soon www.coneretireebenefits.com to get the details regarding the dial-in number and webinar information, necessary to participate in the Enrollment Seminars (it will be posted soon!).  

 

For Retirees that are receiving a check from the PBGC and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit Program(HCTC), that was recently reauthorized at a level of 72.5% until at least January 01, 2020,  If you or your dependents are between the ages of 55-64 or the eligible retiree is under the age of 67 or has been on Medicare for less than 24 months, you may be eligible for this program and we will be announcing a new HCTC program for Retirees that meet these eligibility requirements in the very near future, stay tuned or check our website for the latest information www.coneretireebenefits.com

Thanks for your continued support!

 

George Leatherbury     Mike Cox     Bob Benham     Tony Piacentino     Doc Hindman

 

veba

The Broker for the Airline, Auto and Steel Insurance Trusts, Cathy Cone, Invites you to join us for Medicare Enrollment Bi-Weekly Conference Call/Webinars beginning Nov 04th –Dec 31st
November 4, 2014

Dear Retirees,

The broker for the Airline, Auto and Steel Trusts invites you to join us for bi-weekly conference/webinars to explain the Medicare programs available to Retirees and their families through these Trusts.

The Webinars will be held for the next 8 weeks beginning November 04, 2014, each Tues. and Thurs at 11 AM Eastern Time. Dial in # 1-877-658-8148, passcode is 769 493 0833.

You can follow along with your computer by using the link https://aetnaonline.webex.com/aetnaonline/j.php?J=642991947. It is important to go online prior to the call to download the proper software from webex is you want to follow along with us viewing the slides we will be discussing.

Cathy Cone of Cone Retiree Healthcare Group, will be the moderator for the call, and will outline the Medicare options available through these Trust for Retirees and their dependents eligible for Medicare, over and under the age of 65. Following a general overview, there will be time available for Questions and Answers by Webinar participants. We anticipate the call to last about one hour.

General Highlights of the Trust Plans to be discussed

  • Standalone Aetna Medicare Supplemental Plan F--- $0 Deductible and $0 Out of Pocket Cost for Medicare approved services

  • Standalone Aetna Medicare Supplemental Plan N(available to Airline only)--- Saves you about $30 per month in premium cost of Plan F. A great option for those that don’t go to the doctor other than for preventative services. Must pay Part B deductible of $147 and $20 for each doctor’s visit for services not included as part of the preventative services, which are at no cost. You will also be required to pay for emergency room use of $50 per occurrence. Those are the major differences between the Plan F and Plan N. Neither plan comes close to requiring you to be exposed to a $1,500 out of pocket cost.

  • 3 Standalone Prescription Drug programs--- offering a 90 day supply at your local pharmacy for the same cost as mail order. A 90 day supply is 2 times the copay; High plan with Generic and Preferred Brand coverage in the gap( Airline only), Low plan with excellent formulary and low rates along with a Value plan tailored for those that do not use Prescription Drugs but need to meet the government requirement to be enrolled in a PDP, or get them at their local pharmacy through their program. The Value plan does require a $240 deductible however, it would not be necessary to pay it if you get your drugs at Wal-Mart or through another local provider that offers generic discounts. That means you never need to use your drug card!

  • 2 Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans, a $15 PPO Plan and a $25 PPO plan; both plans are excellent options for Retirees to consider at a very affordable cost. They are bundled together, medical and prescription drugs.

  • MetLife High (High plan $3,000 and Low Plan $1200 for Auto and Steel only) ($2,500 benefit) and Low Dental Plan ($1,500 benefit for Airline only)) have no deductible, unlike another plan you may be eligible to participate in.

  • High and Low Vision Plan through VSP Vision, the nation’s largest group provider, offering progressive lenses at $40 co-pay in all 3 Trusts

For more information about our plans you can call Benistar, the Plan Administrator for all 3 Trusts @ 1-800-236-4782 . We are currently moving to a new website that is being created. Until it is online, we will continue to post the enrollment brochures and enrollment forms and other pertinent information for 2015 on the current website, www.conebenefits.com .

Thanks for your interest in the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees!

Cathy Cone, Insurance Broker for Trust

Click here for 2015 VBTAR Health Benefits and Resource Guide Click here for 2015 Webinar Presentation

 

veba

Great News for ALL Delta Retirees Currently Enrolled in the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees!
October 1, 2014

The Board of the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR) is pleased to announce a Payment Holidays for All of the premiums for each healthcare program you are currently enrolled in through the VBTAR Trust (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision) for the months of November & December 2014.

Where will the money come from to pay for the premiums for the insurance programs I am enrolled in through this Trust for the months of November and December, if I do not pay my premiums?

As you may be aware, the Insurance Broker for the Trust, Cathy Cone, enrolled the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees in a program established by Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2010. The Early Retiree and Reinsurance Program (ERRP) was included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide financial assistance to employment-based health plan sponsors—including for-profit companies, schools and educational institutions, unions, State and local governments, religious organizations and other nonprofit plan sponsors (the VBTAR Trust qualifies as a nonprofit plan sponsor)—that made coverage available to millions of early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents. The HHS set aside 5 Billion dollars for this program, with a limited amount of time (December 31, 2014) for eligible employers, unions and non-profits to spend the ERRP funds received. To date, the money the VBTAR received from the program has been used to provide subsidies for Delta Retirees enrolled in VBTAR plans and provided subsidies for Retirees both 55-65 and Medicare eligible enrolled in the VBTAR Trust. In an effort to use all the money received by the VBTAR prior to December 31, 2014 as required, the Board of the Trust, has elected to use the money remaining to pay the premiums for November and December of 2014 only, for ALL Delta Retirees enrolled into the VBTAR plans by December 01, 2014.

Thanks for your support of the Trust,

George Leatherbury
Chairman of the VBTAR Trust

Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR) Payment Holidays Q & A

Will all plan participants enrolled in this Trust qualify for the Payment Holidays by the Trust?

No, because the ERRP funds received by the Trust were calculated using the claims data of Delta Retirees exclusively, prior to the expansion of the Trust to include all airlines in 2012.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding these Payment Holidays?

If you need more information regarding the Payment Holidays, you can contact Benistar, the Plan Administrator of the Trust @ 1-800-236-4782

Do I need to take any action in order to take advantage of the Payment Holidays?

No, Benistar the Plan Administrator is working with the broker, Cathy Cone and the VBTAR Trust Board to make sure the premiums you are normally responsible for paying each month will be paid in a timely manner for the months of November and December.

Today the Trust requires me to be enrolled in a Medical or Prescription Drug program in order to qualify for a subsidy; what if I am only enrolled in the Dental and Vision plans through the Trust, will the Trust still pay my premiums for November and December of 2014 if I am a Delta Retiree?

You are correct, up to now; you had to be enrolled in a Medical or Prescription Drug program in order to be eligible for a subsidy. The Trust Board has voted to expand eligibility to include ALL Delta Retirees/Spouses/Survivors and Domestic Partners regardless of what programs they are enrolled in, to receive Payment Holidays for both months; November and December 2014.

I am enrolled in a Medical Plan, a Prescription Drug Plan, a Vision Plan and a Dental Plan through this Trust. Will I receive a Payment Holiday for all the plans I am enrolled in?

Yes, the Trust Board has authorized Benistar, the Plan Administrator to make the premium payments Delta Retirees are responsible for through this Trust for the months of November and December of 2014. It does not matter how many plans you are enrolled in, the premiums for those plans you are required to pay through this Trust in November and December will paid by the Trust.

Will I receive a bill from Benistar for the months of November and December, if I qualify for the Payment Holidays for both months?

Yes, you will receive your normal bill, however, with a Zero balance owed for the month, indicating your premium payments have been paid.

Thanks for your continued support,

Voluntary Benefit Trust Board

veba

ACTION ALERT!
Attention Pre 65 Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Eligible Retirees
March 28, 2014

We need your help in contacting your Senators and Congressman and ask their support again today.

Action is expected to take place within the next week on passage of the Tax Extenders Bill and we need as many people as possible contacting their elected representatives and anyone else they can contact to stress the importance of including this provision in the Tax Extenders Bill that is set to move very soon. It is already in the Senate Version of the Tax Extenders Bill (S. 1859) and now needs to be included in the House version of that bill or it will not make the final cut before going to the floor for a vote.

Please see the proposed letter (in highlighred box below my signature) to send by fax, email and mail as well as calling the offices of the Finance Committee as soon and often as possible over the next week! You are welcome to modify of send your own version of this request. The letter below is just a sample of the information that needs to be provided!

Thanks Much for your help in helping to get this Bill pushed through!

Cathy and Amy Cone

To the Honorable members of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and the House Ways & Means Committee:

My name is ------------- and I am a Delta Air Lines Retiree. My family along with thousands of other families are being severly impacted by the elimination of the HCTC program for 2014 after losing our Pension from Delta Airlines. As I am sure you are aware, that was an earned benefit. It is now basically an unfunded promise we have had to deal with since 2007. While we have been greatly impacted by the loss of our earned pensions, we have managed to get by with the help of the Health Coverage Tax Credit program(HCTC) provided since 2002, and was and remains part of the Tax Code today. With the implementation of Obamacare in January 0f 2014, the Congress decided to terminate the HCTC program by eliminating the avenue to tie it to the Tax Code with the approval of Congress, thinking that Obamacare would take its place in assisting people like myself and thousands of others that lost their pensions to the PBGC over the past decade. While I am sure the intentions were admirable in that they thought they were providing the safety net greatly needed by so many today in this bad economy, unfortunately as many of 69% of the people affected by the lost of their pensions are not eligible for the subsidies available through Obamacare for one reason or another. In January my health-care insurance along with thousands of other Retirees healthcare cost increased more than 400% due to the loss of the HCTC benefit.

I understand the Tax Extender bill (S. 1859) is scheduled for discussion in your committee and I want you to be sure that the reinstatement of the HCTC benefit is included in that legislation. This VITAL, lifesaving benefit is more cost effective than the subsidies provided for in the Obamacare (ACA). Lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket expenses, more liquid capital for individuals and improved local economies are just a few of the many benefits that can be realized by reinstating the HCTC.

Please take action to make sure this tax benefit is included in the legislation that you and your committee are currently discussing.

Thank you for taking action to save the lives and security of thousands of Americans that have been adversely impacted by the loss of this benefit.

veba

Ohio Lawmakers Push Extension of Health Tax Credit Important to Delphi, USW Retirees
March 10, 2014

Portman, Brown, Turner, Ryan Lead Bipartisan Letter to Committee Chairmen

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), members of the Senate Committee on Finance, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) led a letter signed by 28 lawmakers to Congressional leaders pushing for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) to be extended, an issue of particular importance to retired United Steelworkers and Delphi salaried retirees struggling to maintain affordable healthcare.

Today’s letter was also signed by Ohio Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Steve Stivers (R-OH). It calls for the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee to attach the HCTC to any bill reported out of these committees. The HCTC, which assists struggling Americans with their health bills, expired on January 1, 2014.

“Without the HCTC, which expired on January 1, 2014, these salaried retirees face financial hardship with up to 50 percent of their remaining pension going to fund their health care premiums,” the lawmakers wrote. “Given the importance of the HCTC to these American families who have already lost so much, we urge that an extension of this valuable program be included in any bill reported out of your respective committees.”

This letter follows a December Finance Committee hearing where Portman and Brown introduced a bipartisan amendment to extend the HCTC for two years. After debate on the Portman-Brown amendment, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee committed to work toward extending the HCTC, which was the first such commitment from Senate leaders.

The HCTC is a vital tool for many Americans who have experienced job loss and receive Trade Adjustment Assistance or have had their defined benefit pension plans taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), such as thousands of Delphi salaried retirees in Ohio along with many retired United Steelworkers. Often the HCTC serves as an important bridge for Americans until they become eligible for Medicare benefits.

When Delphi’s defined benefit pension plan was terminated, 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees lost up to 70 percent in benefits, including 5,000 Ohioans. Of the 5,000 Delphi salaried retirees and their families in Ohio, about 1,500 are in the Mahoning Valley, 2,000 are in the Dayton area, and a majority of the remaining 1,500 are in Columbus and Sandusky.

The full text of the letter is below. Read a signed copy here.

Today’s letter:
March 10, 2014

Chairman Dave Camp
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Chairman Ron Wyden
Committee on Finance
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Representative Sander Levin
Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Senator Orrin Hatch
Ranking Member
Committee on Finance
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairmen Camp and Wyden and Ranking Members Levin and Hatch:

Thousands of families rely on the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which helps some struggling American families pay their health bills. These families include thousands of Delphi retirees whose pensions were terminated during the GM bankruptcy and subsequently turned over to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. While the benefits of many Delphi retirees were restored, the 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees lost up to 70 percent of their pensions. Without the HCTC, which expired on January 1, 2014, these salaried retirees face financial hardship with up to 50 percent of their remaining pension going to fund their health care premiums.

Given the importance of the HCTC to these American families who have already lost so much, we urge that an extension of this valuable program be included in any bill reported out of your respective committees.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

veba

Starting
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11am EDT


Reminder!
Medicare Open Enrollment for the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees Trust Plans Begins!

Medicare Eligible Retirees Airline Trust Program Enhancements for 2014
Limited Number of Subsidies still available for 2014 for Delta Retirees!

October 15, 2013- December 31, 2013


The Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR) will be hosting 2 calls per week at 11 am EDT, each Tuesday and Thursday, beginning Tuesday, October 14th throughout the remainder of October and November, in order to review the plans we have available for Medicare eligible Airline Retirees to consider. Please join us for the webinars/conference calls each Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am EDT. You can also log on to our website, www.conebenefits.com to review the plan designs and webinar login information so that you can follow along with live presentations. At the end of each presentation, we will be holding an open forum discussion to answer any questions you might have about the plans being offered through the VBTAR Trust.

We have a New Aetna Retiree Supplemental Plan N we will be offering in 2014, to join the current plans available today through the Trust. Your Trust recognizes the importance of offering options to Retirees, and also understands one size does not fit all. The Aetna Retiree Supplemental plans for 2014 will be Plan F, Plan N and Plan A (Florida only). The Supplemental Plans will be offered at a flat rate except for the states of Florida and Washington along with 2 Medicare Advantage Plans and 3 Prescription Drug plans.

You can call the plan administrator beginning October 15th Benistar @ 1-800-236-4782 for details for cost and plan designs.

Conference Call: Dial-in each Tuesday and Thursday will be:
1-517-623-4974 or 800-857-3005
(same dial-in number but different passcode for Tuesday and Thursday of each week)


Tuesday Participant Passcode: 9384757
Thursday Participant Passcode: 2126127

Conference number for webinar: RG9304800
https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=RG9304800&p=9384757&t=c

veba

Attention Pre 65 Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Eligible Retirees
Join Us for a Status Update regarding the HCTC Subsidy

[Updated October 9, 2013]

For All Retirees eligible for the HCTC program, currently receiving a pension check from the PBGC and enrolled in the Pre-65 Aetna insurance programs, please join us for a status update on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 11am EDT/10am CDT. After the information has been presented, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the next steps, what happens if the HCTC subsidy is not reauthorized as well as what actions can be taken to have your voices heard on the importance of the HCTC program in 2014 and beyond.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11am EDT/10AM CDT
Conference Call: Dial-in Call: 1-517-623-4974 or 800-857-3005
Participant Passcode: 2126127


Reminder! Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15, 2013- December 31, 2013

Starting on October 15th, we will be hosting will be hosting 2 calls per week at 11 am EDT each Tuesday and Thursday The calls will continue through the remainder of October and November, to review the plans we have available for Medicare eligible retirees to consider. Please join us for Medicare webinars/conference calls each Tuesday and Thursday at 11am EDT. You can also log on to our website, www.conebenefits.com to review the plan designs and webinar login information. We have a very attractive, lower cost options for Retirees to consider. For 2014 we will have the New Aetna Supplemental Retiree Medical Plan N as an options as well the excellent Plan F with Zero deductible, Zero out of pocket cost. Your Trust recognizes the importance of offering options to Retirees, and also understands one size does not fit all. The Aetna Supplemental Retiree Medical plans for 2014 will be Plan F, Plan N and Plan A (Florida only). The Supplemental Plans will be offered at a flat rate except for the states of Florida and Washington along with 2 Medicare Advantage Plans and 3 Prescription Drug plans in all states. Beginning October 15th please contact our Medicare /call center and plan administrator, Benistar @ 1-800-236-4782, for more information.

Conference Call Dial-in number each week is the same: 1-517-623-4974 or 800-857-3005
Tuesday's call Passcode: 9384757
Thursday's call Passcode: 2126127

veba

2013 Summary Annual Report
September 15, 2013

To view the 2013 Summary Annual Report, click this link: 2013 SUMMARY ANNUAL REPORT

board meeting

Minutes of Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees Quarterly Meeting
July 12, 2013

Location: Conference Call, all times EDT.

Board Members attending via conference call - Chairman George Leatherbury, Vice Chairman Mike Cox, Treasurer Tony Piacentino, Insurance Chairman Doc Hindman.

Board Members absent – Bob Benham.

Proxies: None.

Others Present via Conference Call: Cathy Cone & Amy Cone of Cone Insurance.

1103 Chairman’s Welcome: Chair Leatherbury welcomed the Trustees, Cathy Cone and Amy Cone to the meeting. 

1108 Cone Insurance presented the Pre 65 medical plans to the board. Discussion followed concerning cost increases and benefit changes that should be considered.

1125 Cone Insurance alerted the board on the consequences of the government Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the possibility that it may well not be in place for the 1/1/2014 deadline. Cathy Cone advised the board that Medicare costs have increased significantly for next year due to the ACA.

1142 Medicare Advantage plan costs will be significantly impacted by the ACA, as will the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and the Medicare Supplemental plan F. We will offer an additional plan which will cost less than plan F.

1150 Cone Insurance has recently returned from Washington, D.C. where they held discussions with 21 Congressional leaders concerning the possible extension of the HCTC.

1159 Cone Insurance is compiling a list of members of Congress who can be influential in possible legislation to extend the HCTC program. They are hopeful that the HCTC may be extended at least through 2014 due to the lack of progress in the proposed Federal healthcare changes that were to be in place before the end of 2013.  A discussion followed about how we may be able to influence any changes to come. We will be working with other groups to gather as much support as possible for the passage of a bill that will extend or remove the termination date of the HCTC program.

1210 A discussion was held of the current ERRP funds and the possibilities of their use prior to the ERRP timeline of 12/31/2014. The http://www.errp.gov website has much information about the plan, including a Q&A section that answers questions about the plans proper use.

1221 Motion to Adjourn:  Motion passed- unanimously. Meeting adjourned.

veba

Important Announcements regarding Subsidies and Healthcare Webinars
Posted June 27, 2013

Subsidies have been Extended!

The Board of the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR) has voted to extend the current Subsidies offered through the Trust to include all 12 months of 2013, not just for 6 months as previously communicated. This money was made available from participating in a program through the Health and Human Services Department. This means that ALL Delta Retirees enrolled in both a medical and prescription drug plan under our Medicare Program is eligible to receive a subsidy. This subsidy is available for current members or anyone who still enrolls in coverage for 2013. The subsidy amounts will remain the same as outlined below in detail. If you received a letter from our plan administrator, Benistar, please disregard the notice that your subsidy will end on June 30th since this has just recently changed. The Subsidies will continue until at least December 31, 2013, and hopefully even longer into 2014. We are projecting to have enough money to offer a subsidy, but the amount has not yet been determined.

You must be enrolled in the following plans to receive the subsidy:
$40 –Medicare Supplement (Plan F) and Prescription Drug Plan (choose 1 out of 3 plans)
$25 – Medicare Advantage Plans (choose 1 out of 2 plans)

Remember, because these are GROUP plans, you can move to the VBTAR Medicare plans at anytime during the year, not just during open enrollment! For more information on the Medicare plans, call Benistar at 1-800-236-4782. If you are not on Medicare yet but would like information on the Pre-65 plans, you can call Marsh at 1-877-928-VEBA (8322).

Changes to the Healthcare Webinars Sessions

For the past several months Cone Insurance Group has been hosting weekly Webinar sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help educate retirees about several important topics. The Tuesday calls provide a basic understanding about Medicare and what to expect when you first become eligible. The Thursday calls provide more specific information about the Trust, which includes details about the plans offered to both the Pre-65 and Medicare age groups (Medical, Prescription Drug, Dental and Vision). Going forward though, we will now have the calls on the first Tuesday and the first Thursday of each month. Due to the July 4th holiday though, for the month of July only we will have the calls on July 9th and 11th. Please see the full schedule below for the dates, times and details on how to participate in these calls. All calls will begin at 10am CST/ 11am EST.

These calls are conducted as Live Meetings or Webinar sessions, so if you are able to join the call using your computer then you will be able to view the presentation slides and follow along more easily. If not though, you are welcome to dial in and participate using the audio portion only and ask questions if you need a better explanation of a topic. It is recommended that you use an Internet Explorer Browser only, and we advise that you to test the link out beforehand. The links are only activated 1 hour prior to the start of the call, so please keep that in mind.

The Basics of Medicare
Dates: July 9th, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th, December 3rd
Time: 10am CST/ 11am EST
Join the Live Meeting with this link: Basics of Medicare
Conference number: RG9304800
Audio Dial-in #: 1-800-857-3005
Audience Passcode: 9384757

VBTAR Overview and Outline of Plan Designs
Dates: July 11th, August 8th, September 5th, October 3rd, November 7th, December 5th
Time: 10am CST/ 11am EST
Join the Live Meeting with this link: VBTAR Overview and Outline of Plan Designs
Conference number: RH9539670
Audio Dial-in #: 1-800-857-3005
Audience Passcode: 2126127

Thanks for your interest in the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees!
Cathy Cone, Cone Insurance Group
Insurance Broker for the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees

board meeting

Minutes of Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees Quarterly Meeting
March 13, 2013

Board Members attending: Chairman George Leatherbury, Treasurer Tony Piacentino, Doc Hindman.

Board Members attending via conference call - Bob Benham.

Board Members absent – Mike Cox.

Proxies: Cox to Leatherbury.

Others Present via Conference Call: Cathy Cone of Cone Insurance.

1106 Chairman’s Welcome: Chair Leatherbury welcomed all the Trustees and Cathy Cone to the meeting.

1108 Cathy Cone reviewed the current status of the Benefit Trust. She advised the board that Medicare costs may increase significantly over the next few years due to federal changes in the healthcare system. She is hopeful that the HCTC may be extended into 2014 due to the lack of progress in the proposed Federal healthcare changes that were to be in place before the end of 2013. A discussion followed about how we may be able to influence any changes to come.

1125 A lengthy discussion followed with Cone and the trustees concerning possible changes in the healthcare industry, how that may affect our members and what steps we can make to minimize the impact of any possible changes.

1140 Cone departed the meeting.

1142 New Business:

The trustees discussed at great length the possibility of increasing the subsidies that are offered with our plan. After much discussion a motion was presented by Piacentino and seconded by Benham to increase the subsidy to both groups of our members. Those members using the Medicare options who now are scheduled to receive subsidies for only 6 months would have those same monthly subsidies continue through December, 2013. Those members using our Non-Medicare options would receive a one-time subsidy of $200. Motion passed 5 for 0 against.

1155 A motion was made by Hindman, seconded by Piacentino to appoint the trustees to the following positions for 2013: Chairman – Leatherbury Vice Chairman – Cox Secretary – Benham Treasurer – Piacentino Insurance chairman - Hindman After discussion, the motion passed 5 for 0 against.

1210 Leatherbury mentioned the difficulty of dealing with HUB International to secure the renewal of the Directors and Officers liability insurance policy. Hindman will research the possibility of obtaining additional quotes from other Insurance firms that may be able to realize our needs in a more timely manner.

1215 Cone Insurance has been the Trust’s insurance broker since August 17, 2009. Our contract with Cone Insurance will expire later this year. The trustees appreciate the professionalism that Cone Insurance has exhibited in all relations with the board. We also appreciate their concern for our members, especially the few times where a member has had an issue with our healthcare providers. In those instances, Cone Insurance has immediately and actively resolved those issues to our member’s satisfaction. A motion was made by Leatherbury, seconded by Piacentino that we retain Cone Insurance as our Insurance Broker for an additional period not to exceed three years. Motion passed unanimously.

1222 Benham related that Kiplinger Magazine had interviewed him for an article about the HCTC. This article should be published in the near future. Bob suggested that this could raise awareness of the importance of what this program has meant to our members. As mentioned earlier, unless modified, the HCTC will end for nearly all of our members at the end of 2013.

1229 Motion to Adjourn: Motion passed- unanimously. Meeting adjourned.

veba

We Have Changed Our Name
October 1, 2012

The "DP3 VEBA Trust" has had a name change. We are now the "Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees". Nothing else has changed. Your trustees are still 5 Retirees of Delta and our Insurance broker remains Cone Insurance Group.

In an effort to maintain one central location keep the information as up to date as possible, we have moved all of the information to our insurance broker’s website. On this website is where you will find enrollment forms, plans designs, calendar of events, eligibility and many, many more things!

Go to: www.conebenefits.com/delta

If you are logging in for the first time as a Airline Retiree, use should use the following generic login:
Username: airline
Password: retiree

After you successfully login for the first time, you will be required to create your own username and password. At this point you will have the opportunity to provide additional contact information so that you can be included in all future announcements.

Please visit the new website and find out more about the health plan options we have for Airline Retirees!

Contact information for Cone Insurance: info@coneinsurance.com

Phone: 713.463.8575
Fax: 713.463.8574
Toll Free: 1.888.693.2572

Contact info for your trustees at the Voluntary Trust for Airline Retirees: Benefit Trust Board

Chairman George Leatherbury gleatherbury@peoplepc.com 404-358-5678

board meeting

Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from October 24, 2012
Posted November 9, 2012

Meeting by Teleconference
 

Attending via telephone – George Leatherbury Tony Piacentino, Cathy Cone, Dean Gloster and Mike Cox.

Absent – Dave Miller and Doc Hindman – both had provided proxies to George Leatherbury.

Discussion of changing the name of the trust to “Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees.” Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Board approved the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, that the Board hereby approves and authorizes the VEBA to change its name to “Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees”.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the restated and amended trust agreement shall be amended to reflect the new name, and the VEBA shall take such other actions in filings and changing account names to reflect its new name.

Discussion of expanding eligibility, to permit the trustees to allow eligible retirees from other airlines to enroll in the benefits plan and to participate as members in the VEBA.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Board approved the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, that the Board hereby amends the trust agreement of the VEBA to expand the definition of eligible members to permit expanded eligibility, in the Board’s discretion, for retirees of other airlines.

Cathy Cone led a discussion of authorizing not only beneficiaries retired from other airlines who were ender 65 and eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit, but also beneficiaries retired from other airlines and their dependents who were at least 65 or who were otherwise eligible for Medicare, as there are some categories of retirees (such as those on permanent disability) who are not yet 65 but are eligible for Medicare.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Board approved the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the Board also authorizes, as beneficiaries eligible to participate in the benefit plans as members, those who are at least 65 or who are otherwise eligible for Medicare.

Discussion of amending the trust agreement to reflect the amendments authorized by the Board, to reflect that the VEBA is managed by the Board (and DP3 is not active in management of the VEBA on a going forward basis) and to reflect various minor clean up changes in terminology (for example, changing “subscriber” to member.”)

Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Board approved the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the Board hereby amends and restates the trust agreement as attached as Exhibit A.

Discussion of opening a limited number of Board positions to TWA, USAir, American and other airlines’ retirees to participate.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Board approved the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the Board is willing to expand the number of Trustees serving on the Board to seven or nine, as appropriate, to permit participation by additional Board members, subject to selection of appropriate Trustees who would work well with the Trustees already on the Board in the interest of all participants in the plans.

Benistar is the new plan administrator. They had been the under 65 drug plan administrator in the past.

Cathy Cone also discussed the subsidies for the members. This is due to the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program and the subsidies will be for all members. Those in the under 65 plans will receive a one-time check for $150. The Medicare Advantage members will receive a discount of $25 for the first six months of 2013. The Medicare plan F members who select one of our drug plans will receive a $40 discount for the first six months of 2013. Our Medicare options will all be priced at a flat rate except in FL, WA and states where the plans cannot be offered.

Dave Miller has started a business and had requested that he be relieved of the duties as Chairman. A motion was made by Cox and seconded by Piacentino that “Miller and Leatherbury switch positions on the board. Miller will assume duties as Vice Chairman and Leatherbury will assume duties as Chairman.” The motion passed 5 for 0 against. The board appreciates the experience and leadership that Dave has given to the retired pilots, and guiding this board through the startup of the VEBA.

Motion to adjourn made by Cox, seconded by Leatherbury and unanimously passed.

board meeting

Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from September 5, 2012
Posted October 20, 2012

Meeting by Teleconference
1500 EST

Attending via telephone – Marion (Doc) Hindman, George Leatherbury and Mike Cox.

Absent – Tony Piacentino – Proxy to Leatherbury – also absent was Dave Miller – note the conference call was scheduled just 24 hours prior to the meeting.

Others on call – from Cone Insurance – Amy and Cathy Cone; Attorneys Dean Gloster and Nilima Patel

3:04pm - Discussion on changing the required number of Board members to allow the current 5 members but could operate with as few as 3 members. It was determined that we have some volunteers who will run for election to the board and so the change is not required.

3:12pm - The Board next discussed changing the name of the Trust from “DP3 VEBA Trust” to “Benefit Trust for Delta Retirees.” Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed by those directors present, the Board duly approved changing the name of the Trust to “Benefit Trust for Delta Retirees” and authorized the Directors and the Officers of the Trust to amend the Trust Agreement and take all other actions necessary to reflect such change.

3:18pm - There was discussion with the attorneys as to the possibility of a DP3 trustee (Leatherbury) being appointed chairman of the trust, since we are no longer directly associated with DP3. The attorneys have researched this issue and determined that it would not pose any problem as the trust agreement has no such restriction.

3:20pm – The legal discussion completed and the attorneys left the call. They will forward the new trust agreement for approval of the Board.

3:34pm - Cone Insurance began a lengthy description of the 2013 Benefit Trust for Delta Retirees health care plans, beginning with the Pre-65 plans:

Vision Plan – There will be no changes in the plan. The premium for the vision plan will remain unchanged.

Pre-65 Medical Plans – Three companies were asked to submit bids for the plans: Aetna, Blue Cross and United Healthcare.

Aetna’s bid provided for no increase in the 2012 rates for 2013. Blue Cross had a slightly lower bid, but had many restrictions on their plan. UHC declined to bid. It was decided that the Aetna bid was the most favorable. Also the fact that Aetna has provided our insurance for two years and we have generally been pleased with their service was taken into account. Discussion was held concerning the plans currently offered and if we should change the “bundling” of the Premium and Preferred plans with the dental and vision plans. It was decided not to change those plans or the Standard plan, which will remain “un-bundled”.

Dental Plans – Aetna again was the choice of the board to continue our dental plans. Other bidders for the plans were Blue Cross and Met Life, but their bids were not competitive. The Aetna plans will require a 10% increase for 2013 over the 2012 rate.

3:50pm – Cone Insurance began a description of the Medicare plans:

Vision/Dental Plans are the same as for the Pre-65 members.

Medicare Plan A – This is a requirement of the state of Florida and must be offered. In 2012 we had no participants in this plan.

Medicare Plan F – There will be an increase in the premium for this plan. Since the rates vary according to zip code and county of residence, the increases will vary, but could be significant. Note that Blue Cross would not offer plan F, and it is the plan that most of our Medicare eligible members have selected.

Medicare Advantage Plans – We will offer 3 plans. They will each be bundled with our 3 prescription plans described below. Medicare Prescription Plans – Note that Medicare participants must take a prescription plan or will be charged a penalty fee by Medicare. Many of our members do not realize this fact. We will offer 3 plans for 2013. The first will be a new plan that unlike our prior plans, will have a deductible, but will have very low-cost premium. We will also offer the same two plans that we offered in 2012.

4:05pm – We discussed the ERRP funds and how that we apply them. All of our members will benefit from these funds in 2013.

4:10pm – Cone Insurance is seeking means of extending the HCTC for our Pre-65 members. We discussed this effort.

4:15pm – the conference call was adjourned, by unanimous consent of the Board members present.

board meeting

Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from JUne 20, 2012
Posted October 20, 2012

Meeting by Teleconference
1200 EST

Attending – Marion (Doc) Hindman, George Leatherbury, Tony Piacentino and by telephone Mike Cox.

Absent – Dave Miller – on Cruise with family.

12:00pm - Discussion of this year’s election: It was decided to open the nominations for trustees on November 1, 2012 and close the nomination process on November 30, 2012. We will have the voting beginning December 1, 2012 and continuing for the next three weeks, closing on December 22, 2012. The hope is to encourage VEBA participants during the fall VEBA meetings to take part in the administration of their health plans. While we have several trustees involved in the over 65 plan, we have only one trustee enrolled in the pre-65 plans.

12:28pm - We discussed those fall meetings and agreed that the larger meetings should have a VEBA trustee in attendance.

12:36pm – A long discussion concerning the use of the ERRP benefit in the VEBA. It was determined to wait until Cone Insurance could advise us on that issue later in the call.

12:48pm – The insurance required by the VEBA was discussed. We will insure that the application for the required insurance is in place well before year end. Last year the application was made December 1st and yet was not completely approved until late February. Despite the fact that the insurance was effective 1/1/2012, we desire to prevent that occurrence in future years.

12:58 - The decision to analyze the costs of the trustees was postponed to a later meeting. We do not want to have to deal with expense reports for all the expenses incurred by trustees, including the required insurance. It was agreed that all but the major expenses should be borne by the trustee and a suitable compensation level, though minor would be determined at a future meeting. The present level may be too low to encourage participation of VEBA participants to join in the administration of the VEBA.

1:05pm - Cathy Cone of Cone Insurance joined the call. She agreed to supply a list of VEBA participants to the trustees in order that we may connect easily with the VEBA participants. Cathy discussed many subject including:

1. The possibility that the HCTC which is due to expire 1/1/2014 may be extended if the “Obama health bill” is defeated by the courts.

2. Many insurance companies will not participate in the VEBA insurance. Only two are actively involved in issuing VEBA insurance. This may be due to the “sunset” law which will end the VEBA upon total implementation of the new Obama health plans.

3. Frustration of all involved with the operational results of Boon Insurance when dealing with problems concerning the over 65 VEBA percipients. We anticipate changes in the administration of the plan next year. Until then we will encourage over 65 VEBA participants to call Cone Insurance with any problems.

4. Our over 65 “F” plan has no copays, unlike most competing plans.

5. Aetna has recommended a new administrator for our over 65 plans and we hope to decrease the cost of those plans and provide increased satisfaction with the administration of the plan.

6. There are many methods of implementation of the ERRP funds. The board and Cathy discussed them in detail.

7. In approximately 2 weeks, Cone Insurance will have in place a new website that will allow VEBA participants to access all required information relating to costs, benefits and FAQ’s for all the plans that the VEBA has. At that time our VEBA webpage will reference the Cone Insurance website as the prime location for any VEBA information, quotes, etc.

2:09pm - Cathy Cone left the call.

2:10pm - A motion was proposed by Doc Hindman, seconded by Mike Cox that:

1. We request that the VEBA attorney will change operational name of our VEBA to the “DP3 VEBA DBA as the ‘Benefit Trust for Delta Retirees’.”

2. We request that the VEBA attorney change our bylaws to allow the VEBA to operate with less than 5 trustees to a minimum of 3 trustees. This will allow us to function, should a trustee or two have any problem or injury or travel that would preclude his participation. This is similar to the DP3 bylaw change.

Discussion followed. A vote was taken. The results were 4 in favor, no opposed.

2:15pm - A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by G. Leatherbury, seconded by T. Piacentino and passed 4 in favor 0 opposed.

veba

Update on DP3 VEBA HCTC Medical Plans Subsidy Payments & VEBA Board Trustee Elections
December 19, 2011

Dear VEBA Participants:

In this post, we'll cover the following topics related to the DP3 VEBA Plan:

  • New VEBA Premiums for 2012
  • Need to Complete IRS Form 8885 for HCTC reimbursement
  • Changes to Qualified Family Members
  • Election for VEBA Board of Trustees
  • New Premiums for 2012

    You should have received notification from the HCTC of new premiums rates for 2012. There were two components that contributed to the 2012 premium change:

    1. The plan received an annual rate increase of 10% due to plan activity and claims experience.
    2. The HCTC subsidy level increased from 65% to 72.5% following the passage of the Trade Agreements in October 2011.

    Please note that the 72.5% subsidy level is retroactive to your March 2011 payment (for your April 2011 insurance premium payment). This increase in the subsidy was not reflected in the HCTC mailing you received recently. The most recent HCTC mailing calculated premiums at the 65% subsidy level because the IRS-HCTC was unable to re-program its invoicing system before year's end. Also note that the HCTC mailing was not your payment voucher, simply a notification of your premium rate for 2012.

    You should receive your payment vouchers shortly, which will also show your premium at the 65% subsidy level (rather than the 72.5% level) for the December payment that covers the January 2012 premium.

    The IRS-HCTC is working to make the necessary changes to its computer systems so your premiums are calculated to reflect the 72.5% subsidy level. In the interim, it's imperative that you continue to pay the amount you have been invoiced on the payment voucher you receive from the IRS-HCTC. This will be necessary until the IRS can successfully change the vouchers to reflect the proper rates. Failing to pay the amount on your voucher will result in the IRS-HCTC not making the appropriate payment to the insurance provider – meaning your insurance will be subject to termination.

    The IRS-HCTC has indicated that it hopes to have the re-programming process completed early in the first quarter of 2012. If you have not received your payment voucher from the HCTC, contact Marsh at 1-877-928-VEBA (8322).

    Need to Complete IRS Form 8885 for HCTC Reimbursement

    As we have noted above, you must pay the amount shown on your payment voucher at the 65% level until you begin to receive a monthly payment voucher that reflects the new subsidy level of 72.5%.

    To recover any overpayments you may have made when enrolled in the plan during the months of March 2011 (for the April 2011 payment) through November 2011 (for your December 2011 insurance premium), you'll need to complete IRS Form 8885 for the 2011 year once it becomes available from the IRS.

    You can obtain this form on the IRS web site or at www.coneinsurance.com (after logging in, click on "Resources and Tools" and look for the IRS-HCTC program support). Include this form when you file your 2011 IRS tax return to be reimbursed for your overpayment of 7.5% for up to nine months (April 2011 through December 2011).

    When making your payment in December 2011 for January 2012 coverage (or any other payment for 2012 coverage), note that you will have to wait until you file your 2012 tax return to claim the 7.5% overpayment. You cannot use the Reimbursement Request Form that was recently reauthorized as it is only available to new enrollees who are making a 100% payment when enrolling.

    Changes to Qualified Family Members

    Changes to the Qualified Family Members (QFM) guidelines affect retired Delta retirees eligible to participate in the HCTC program and have or will become Medicare eligible between 2/1/2008 and 12/31/2013.

    Congress has reinstated the QFM benefit (see attached summary of changes to the HCTC or scroll to end of this message). This is a benefit available to family members of HCTC qualified plan participants who have become ineligible for the HCTC, usually because the member has aged into Medicare.

    The QFM benefit will allow the eligible retiree's family to continue to receive the HCTC for up to 24 months after the retiree becomes 65 years old. However, the retiree must re-apply for the HCTC for his/her family by completing the necessary QFM forms if they have not already done so. These forms can be found on the www.coneinsurance.com web site under "Resources and Tools" where the IRS-HCTC information is located.

    To remain eligible for the HCTC, family members must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a healthcare plan that is eligible for the HCTC (such as the DP3 VEBA)
  • Have health coverage through the spouse's employer (and pay more than 50% of the cost), OR
  • Be enrolled in COBRA coverage through Delta or any other employer
  • The HCTC for Qualified Family Members will continue until:

  • The Retiree reaches age 67 and has been on Medicare for 24 months
  • If the Retiree is classified as Medically Disabled under the age of 65, the QFM will be eligible to participate in the program until the Retiree has been on Medicare for 24months
  • 24 months following the death of a Retiree eligible for the HCTC program
  • The QFM reaches Medicare age or chooses a healthcare plan that is not HCTC eligible
  • The IRS-HCTC program fails to reauthorize the QFM program after December 31, 2013
  • Note that Qualified Family Members can recoup the HCTC subsidy retroactive to March for April - December 2011 coverage if they meet the above criteria. Simply complete IRS Form 8885 when filing your 2011 federal income tax return.

    Elections for Two VEBA Board of Trustees Positions (December 16 - December 28)

    The five-member VEBA Board of Trustees will hold elections for the two members whose terms expire on December 31, 2011. While no one volunteered to run for an open position during the solicitation period, you may still submit your name via the write-in option on the election ballot.

    Voting will take place December 16-23, 2011. Absent other interested candidates stepping forward for the two positions via a write-in, the current members -- Mike Cox and Marion "Doc" Hindman – have agreed to serve another two-year term beginning January 1, 2012, and running through December 31, 2013.

    You will receive a ballot from third-party administrator Marsh in the near future. To cast a ballot in this election, please return your ballot to VEBA Trust Board member George Leatherbury at gleatherbury@peoplepc.com. Election results will be posted on the DP3 VEBA link on the DP3 web site and on the Cone Insurance web site prior to January 1, 2012.

    Sincerely,

    Dave Miller
    Chairman, VEBA Board of Trustees

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    DP3 VEBA Healthcare Conference Call
    on Monday, November 07, 2011 at 2 pm EST

    Posted: 11-6-11

    We will schedule a DP3 VEBA Healthcare Conference Call for Monday, November 07, 2011 at 2 pm EST (1Pm CST) hosted by Aetna. We will go over the Aetna Healthcare plans being offered to Delta Retirees Under 65 and also to Delta Retirees on Medicare. You are invited to join the call and ask any questions you might following the presentation of the plans available through the DP3 VEBA Trust.

    Please join us! Dial in information: Call 1-866-338-0145 Enter this code: 28253512#

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    HCTC Program Enhancements
    Posted 10-15-2011

    The DP3 VEBA Board is pleased to announce the passing of Enhancements to the HCTC program as part of the Free Trade agreements that were approved and will now provide for a 72.5% subsidy effective November 01, 2011 along with the reinstatement of the QFM program. The important highlights that will impact HCTC participants are:

  • The tax credit will be 72.5% retroactive to March 01, 2011- December 31, 2013 for all retirees and their dependents enrolled in the programs during that period of time.
  • HCTC program 65% rate that is included in the tax code will be removed, effective Jan 1, 2014
  • VEBAs will remain permanently eligible when created by and 1114 committee or through a bankruptcy court
  • Qualified Family Members (QFM) will be eligible to reenroll/enroll in the HCTC program if the retiree is between the ages of 65 to 67.
  • If the eligible QFM was in a qualified plan from March 01, 2011 until November 01, 2011, they are eligible for reimbursement of their 72% HCTC subsidy to be returned to them through filing their taxes for 2011. Beginning November 01, 2011, the IRS/HCTC rate will change to 72.5% automatically each month. This is the current plan but is subject to change if they don't have time to implement the program effective November 01, 2011 and have to wait until December 01, 2011. If that happens, they would also have to claim the November overpayment on their 2011 tax return as well.
  • Monthly reimbursement program for new enrollees will be reinstated, beginning November 01, 2011 which will allow new enrollees to apply the remainder of their first months full payment to future payments or they continue to have the option of waiting to claim the 72.5% overpayment on their income tax returns the following year.
  • Enrollment brochures will be arriving in the mail of all HCTC eligible retirees we have on record in the next 10 days. The brochures provide you with details about the program and includes the cost of each program at the rate of 65% therefore you will need to use the worksheet posted or recalculate the correct rate that will be in effect for 2012 of 72.5%. If you have moved or do not believe we have your contact information, please contact March, our plan administrator at 1-877-928-VEBA (8322) and provide them with your current contact information.

    The DP3 VEBA Trust will be holding road shows beginning October 19-October 27, to talk to Retirees about all the options available to them in both the Under 65 and Over 65 plans. The schedule is posted on the DP3 website and we would appreciate it if you are planning to attend one of the meeting in your area, if you would click on the link of the city and reserve a seat at the meeting, so we will know how many to plan for.

    Thanks for your support,

    DP3 VEBA Trust Board

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    Important Information re: Eligibility for Delta Subsidy of DPMP or DALRC Medicare Plans
    Posted September 19, 2011

    Retired Delta pilots have been receiving incorrect information regarding their eligibility for the "Delta" subsidy under the DPMP and DALRC Medicare plans. To be clear, pilots are eligible for the subsidy if they meet the following criteria (per the 1114 Pilot Retiree Term Sheet applicable sections are posted below):

    • Retired prior to January 1, 2006
    • Turned age 60 before January 1, 2007

    The monthly subsidy for those retired pilots who meet the above criteria and are enrolled in the DALRC or DPMP Medicare plans is approximately $65. To confirm your eligibility for the subsidy, contact DALRC plan administrator Marsh at 877- 325-7265.

    Please note that the DP3 VEBA healthcare plan offers excellent coverage for Delta retirees. For more information on the VEBA plan, contact Cone Insurance Group at 713-463-8575.

    From the 1114 Pilot Retiree Committee Term Sheet:

    "No Retired Pilot, spouse, or Survivor who is under age–60 as of January 1, 2007 shall receive a subsidy from Delta for medical or other health coverage once such person reaches age 65;"

    "Upon attaining age 65, Retired Pilots, spouses and Survivors age 60 and over as of January 1, 2007 shall be eligible for the applicable Age–65+ subsidy as described above in paragraph (D)(1) or (D)(3); otherwise, recipients eligible for the subsidies described above in paragraphs (D)(1) and (D)(3) are closed groups."

    Note the entire 1114 Pilot Retiree Committee Term sheet is posted on the VEBA website at 1114 Pilot Retiree Committee Agreement Term Sheet.

    board meeting

    Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from September 7, 2011
    Posted September 19, 2011

    Meeting by Teleconference
    1200-1400 EST

    Members Present: George Leatherbury, Dave Miller, Marion Hindman, Tony Piacentino, Michael Cox, Cathy Cone, Amy Cone

    Item 1. Amy discussed the results of the survey.

    Item 2. Cathy and Amy discussed the addition of plans that were determined to be needed from the survey and other feedback.

    Item 3. The contribution and its continuation to DALRC by Delta were discussed.

    Item 4. Incorrect information concerning eligibility for the healthcare subsidy provided by Delta has been identified. Tony volunteered to create a statement responding to the error.

    Item 5. There was a discussion of the need to enroll with Marsh to be eligible for the Delta subsidy.

    Item 6. Cathy discussed the creation of a preferred plan in addition to the premium and standard plans.

    Item 7. The unbundling of the standard (1500) plan was proposed. The proposal requires the premium and preferred plans to remain bundled.

    Item 8. Future rate changes and their dependence on plan history were discussed.

    Item 9. The post-65 maximum was discussed.

    Item 10. It was mentioned that the VEBA Admin fee is now being correctly assessed after submission of the proper documentation.

    Item 11. The future allocation and collection of the admin fee was discussed. It was suggested that a mechanism for returning excess funds to VEBA members should be explored. Future admin fees will be adjusted up or down to reflect current costs of operating the program.

    Item 12. There was a general discussion of survey results that suggested interest in additional plans that may be desirable to the VEBA members.

    Item 13. There was a discussion of a Plan S, Rx plan, and additional post 65 plans.

    Item 14. Amy will send full plan designs for all current and proposed plans to board members for review.

    Respectfully Submitted by Michael Cox
    VEBA Board Secretary
    10 September 2011

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    DP3 VEBA Trust Healthcare Road Show Schedule
    Posted 9-11-2011

    UNDER 65 HCTC Plan & Medicare Eligible Healthcare Options
    (ALL Delta Retirees are Eligible to participate in the programs offered)

    Please come learn about the numerous options available to you and will be presented in the cities and times listed below. Thanks in advance for your attendance! Agenda topics will include:

    • DP3 Updates (presented by the committee members when available):
    • Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)
    • Medical Plan Options (presented by the broker & vendors):
      • Under 65 Medical Plan
      • Several Medicare Eligible Medical Options
      • Dental and Vision plans available to both under and over 65
    click here for the Road Show Schedule

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    Health Care Survey for 2012 Health Care Open Enrollment
    August 15, 2011

    The DP3 VEBA Trust is pleased to extend an invitation to all Delta Retirees to participate in a survey regarding the health care plans and options that are available to retirees who are both over and under the age of 65. Please complete the survey based upon whether or not you are eligible for Medicare. You do not have to be currently enrolled in one of the DP3 VEBA Trust plans in order to provide your feedback, and the survey is open to both Pilots and Non-Pilots. We are trying to gather feedback from retirees that are interested in the health care options provided by the DP3 VEBA Trust.

    Non-Medicare Eligible Survey:

    http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e4ii56ivgqwsgh9p/start

    Medicare Eligible Survey:

    http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e4j0g3bmgqzkp8g9/start

    The survey opened today on August 15th and will close on August 26th at the close of business. Thank you in advance for your time and participation.

    The DP3 VEBA Trust Board

    board meeting

    Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from July 26, 2011
    posted August 10, 2011

    DP3 VEBA Board Conference Call of 7/26/2011 Minutes        Commenced at 1pm EDT

    Attending: Cathy Cone, Amy Cone, Dean Gloster, George Leatherbury, Doc Hindman, Tony Piacentino
    Absent: Dave Miller (en-route travel), Michael Cox (Job related training, proxy to George).

    TOPICS OF DISCUSSION
    1. Cathy and Amy began the discussion with the 2012 Program Options including
      1. New Medicare "Advantage" program for over 65
      2. "Cafeteria" style unbundled choices as well as current bundled choices.
      3. Rates to be established by Aetna by mid-August.
      4. Possible HCTC choice of higher deductible for lower rates.
    2. Membership "issues" with plan coverage and responses and administrative issues.
      1. Discussed two recent complaints, both in process of resolution. We have had very few problems recently and nearly none once the plan was fully implemented.
      2. Discussion of issues with monthly premiums to the VEBA Trust (Cone group to follow up).
    3. HCTC legislative issues
      1. Particular to termination in 2014.
      2. DP3, NLRN, and general membership need to contact representative concerning this issue.
    4. ERRP Program
      1. Amy updated the status of the ERRP application (if granted, this would allow for decreased premiums, lower deductibles or increased coverage for members).
    5. Survey
      1. It was agreed to request the assistance of DP3 to establish a "Survey" of member desires with respect to:
        1. Higher deductibles or lower premiums.
        2. 2011 VEBA annual meeting locations.
        3. Additional options for members.
        4. Plan performance issues.
    6. Discussion of 2012 Plan "Road Shows" and dates
      1. Agreed to "decide" at later date, after survey is completed.
    7. Motions:
      1. Motion to grant "honorarium" payment to board members of $200 each to cover some miscellaneous recurring expenses. Presented by George Leatherbury; Seconded by Tony Piacentino, Quorum present, unanimously passed. (Dean Gloster to write memorandum.)

    Conference call ended 2:25 pm EDT.

    board meeting

    Minutes of VEBA Board Meeting from April 14, 2011
    May 1, 2011

    By Conference Call
    04/14/2011 11:00 Eastern
    In attendance: George Leatherbury, Dave Miller, Tony Piacentino, Mike Cox. Also in attendance were Cathy Cone, Amy Cone, Dean Gloster, and Nick Krone from Marsh.

    AGENDA

    Enrollment Update – Nick
    Currently there are 281 active in the VEBA plan. Most are in the premium plan eligible for the HCTC. 5 are in dental and vision only. 1 medical enrollee is not HCTC.

    Life Event Qualification – Dean
    There was a discussion about Delta"s failure to recognize changes qualifying for life event status. Further discussion was made about how to get Delta to cooperate.

    Definition of Plans
    Amy discussed the post-65 definition of Medicare plans vs. non-Medicare plans.

    Spousal Coverage
    Cathy discussed coverage for spouses after the primary insured turns 65.

    Legislative Issues
    The issue of legislative status and how to get VEBA extension and expansion was discussed.
    The need to get a Republican member of Congress was addressed.

    IRS Status
    Dean gave a VEBA status report. The Application for VEBA 501(c)(9) status with the IRS is at the IRS awaiting approval. He expects no issues.

    VEBA Fee Administration
    Dave and Tony discussed how Marsh would pay VEBA for monthly administration fees.

    Attestation Letters
    Cathy discussed the need to have all enrollees fill out attestation letters. A discussion about how to communicate with enrollees via email followed. Dave directed that Marsh and CIG do all communication to enrollees.

    Future Member Possibilities
    Cathy discussed the need and method of contacting all people who may be able to use our VEBA in the future.
    The meeting was paused the continued with only VEBA board members and Dean Gloster in attendance.

    Bill Payment
    George led a discussion about how to pay bills due to DP3, Doc Hindman and Karen Miller. A procedure to compensate the Trustees for incidental expenses was also discussed. It was decided that Dean will craft the language to reflect the process and that language will be added to the minutes to reflect the method. A motion was made to approve the process. Motion passed (4 to 0).

    Communications
    There was a discussion about administrative communications procedures among board members.

    Adjournment
    12:30 Eastern

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Michael Cox
    Secretary, DP3 VEBA Board of Trustees

    dp3

    Update on HCTC Legislation
    Posted 2-16-2011

    We have received information from our Insurance Brokers, Cone Insurance Group about the ongoing efforts to have Congress extend the HCTC for VEBA members at the 80% level (if not extended, it will revert to 65%), and also extend and expand the Qualified Family Members (QFM) eligibility for the HCTC. Please note that unless the QFM eligibility is extended, any family member of those pilots who have aged into Medicare, died or divorced, will lose 100% of their current HCTC payment. Cone Insurance is proposing to expand the QFM language so they will be eligible for the HCTC until they reach Medicare age. Currently the QFM is only eligible for HCTC for a maximum of two years. This will significantly effect all VEBA members, and all pilots who have a QFM who is not yet Medicare age.

    Please read the Q&A concerning this issue at this link: DP3 VEBA Trust Plan Participants Q&A

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    HCTC Legislative Updates
    As of December 30, 2010

    Congress passed the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 extending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provisions which made changes to the HCTC. The following provisions will be effective until February 13, 2011 now that this bill is signed by the President:

    1. Tax Credit Percentage
    1. The tax credit will remain 80% for January and February payments.
    2. Qualified Family Members
    1. We will make payments in January and February for current monthly HCTC participants receiving the HCTC for qualified family members under the ARRA provision.
    2. Given the short term extension, new Family Member Registration Forms for the monthly HCTC cannot be processed at this time. If eligible, qualified family members can claim the tax credit on their 2011 Federal Income Tax Return.
    3. If Congress passes a long term extension to this provision, we will provide an update on this page with more information for any new monthly HCTC registrations.
    3. Reimbursement Requests
    1. We will process reimbursement requests for January 2011 and February 2011 payments. All reimbursement requests must be received by February 28.

    Submit Your Payment Online
    HCTC participants can submit payments online. Learn how to register for electronic payment, see answers to common questions, and view additional resources. NEW! Please see the user guide for step by step directions.

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    DP3 VEBA/HCTC Update and Aetna ID Cards
    December 21, 2010

    Retired pre-merger Delta pilots (pre-65) who have enrolled in the DP3 VEBA medical plan and who wish to drop their 2011 Delta medical coverage effective January 1, 2011 may do so by contacting the Employee Service Center at 800-MYDELTA by December 30, 2011. Representatives have been advised to accept this request over the phone.

    ...CLICK HERE TO READ FULL UPDATE AND INSTRUCTIONS...

    veba

    New UNDER-65 Enrollment Q&A for Posted
    December 14, 2010

    CIG and the DP3 VEBA Board have just posted two new Q&A documents for the UNDER-65 program on our web page. Click the FAQ link in the black menu bar above and select the Q&A you want to review. They are also posted below in the Under-65 Forms section.

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    DP3 VEBA Clarification
    VEBA is Approved and HCTC Eligible
    December 12, 2010

    There appears to be some confusion regarding the viability/eligibility of the DP3 VEBA. First and foremost, the VEBA is HCTC qualified for those members who are between the ages of 55-64 and meet the eligibility guidelines as defined by the HCTC Program.

    Medicare eligible members are not tied to the HCTC in any way. Our Medicare plans for the Over 65 are ready to go for a January 1st effective date.

    Beginning with the February payment, the under 65 VEBA plans are HCTC eligible at the 65% level unless these outstanding HCTC provisions are finalized by Congress:
    • The reauthorization of the current subsidy level of 80% (the original subsidy level was 65% until the ARRA legislation was passed.)
    • The reauthorization of the "qualified family member program" that permits spouses/dependents to remain eligible for the HCTC subsidy for an additional 24 months past a defined event date. The subsidy is offered for 24 months to the qualified family members after the death of a participant, divorce from the participant, or when a participant becomes eligible for Medicare. For the participants that become Medicare eligible upon turning 65, their qualified family members are eligible for 24 months, or until the participant turns 67, whichever comes first.
    • The ability to receive a reimbursement to your monthly HCTC account in the event you had to make a 100% payment for your health plan premium while initially enrolling in the HCTC program. This provision allows the participant to complete a reimbursement form and have the over payment of 80% credited to your monthly account instead of having to wait and claim it on your income tax return when you file it in April.

    Some of you may have already received your invoice and welcome letter from the HCTC Program for your January premium. You have been invoiced for 20% of the premium, which is the correct amount because the ARRA provisions do not expire until December 31, 2010. If the ARRA provisions are not extended, then your January invoice you receive will be for 35% of the premium and this will be for your February coverage. Remember to mail your payment directly to the HCTC so that they receive it by the due date. Don't wait; mail it now.

    Cone Insurance Group (CIG), our insurance broker, has been working closely with the IRS-HCTC representatives. They have passed along information regarding an attestation letter that may apply to some of our participants. Please read the CIG attestation cover letter for further explanation and instructions in the event you receive this letter.

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    DP3 VEBA Wins HCTC Approval
    November 25, 2010

    We are pleased to announce we have received word from the IRS-HCTC that the DP3 VEBA Trust benefits will be considered qualifying coverage eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) for the Delta retirees who are eligible for the HCTC.

    Over the past month, Cone Insurance Group and the DP3 VEBA Trust's lawyer, Dean Gloster, have been working closely with the IRS-HCTC staff to help them gain a better understanding of what was and was not offered to Delta pilots during the bankruptcy for continuing COBRA coverage. We believe that this was a key component to their decision to treat the DP3 VEBA Trust's benefits as a qualified health plan for the HCTC subsidy in the coming year. We will continue to work with the IRS-HCTC staff regarding notices to participants eligible for the HCTC.

    It is important to note, though, that even with this good news, it is still very important for Congress to pass legislation to reauthorize the provisions that are due to expire on December 31st, 2010. The provisions that are still in question will determine:

    1. If the HCTC subsidy remains at 80% or will instead revert back to the original 65% subsidy
    2. If Qualified Family Members will continue to receive the HCTC subsidy for an additional 24 months after the event date (event date is Medicare eligibility, death, or divorce)
    3. If there is still the option to receive your initial Monthly reimbursement payment as a credit to your HCTC account.
    This is great news - We wish a Happy Thanksgiving you and your families.

    Dave Miller
    DP3 VEBA Trust Chairman

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    DP3 VEBA Update: Enroll Options and Recommendations
    November 15, 2010

    The DP3 VEBA Board of Trustees is very pleased we can offer employees and retirees of Delta and its affiliates an excellent healthcare plan that qualifies for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). The HCTC presently covers 80% of insurance premiums for individuals who receive a check from the PBGC due to their pension plans being terminated. We are also offering a Plan F supplement to Medicare for those over 65 years old and will continue to pursue other Medicare supplemental plans.

    Last week, the VEBA Board finished a series of road shows around the country to explain the VEBA healthcare plan options in detail. These meetings were well attended and included presentations from the following groups involved in developing our VEBA:

    • DP3 Trustees
    • DP3 VEBA Board of Trustees
    • Cone Insurance Group (CIG), VEBA insurance broker
    • IRS HCTC expert
    • Aetna and VSP Vision, the VEBA insurance carriers
    • Marsh, the VEBA plan administrator

    We plan on posting a video of the road shows on the VEBA web site within the next week for those who couldn't attend.

    To be clear, there are still issues concerning the VEBA that must be resolved for it to continue to qualify for the HCTC. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allowed the court in charge of Delta's bankruptcy case to authorize the formation of our VEBA. The ARRA is due to expire December 31, 2010, unless Congress acts to reauthorize the bill.

    Should Congress not extend the ARRA, the VEBA would not be qualified for the HCTC on January 01, 2011. (If you'd like to contact Congress about this issue, the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) has set up a link at http://capwiz.com/abtr/home/ that allows you to email your representatives with just a few clicks). However, CIG and the DP3 VEBA attorneys are confident Congress will extend the ARRA since it's attached to the legislation that extends the "Bush" tax cuts also scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

    In the meantime, to ensure you have healthcare coverage in 2011, we recommend you do the following:

    1. Enroll in the DP3 VEBA plan by clicking on the "Under 65 Enrollment Form" here or in the document list below.
    2. AND Re-enroll in the healthcare plan you currently have (Delta's open enrollment period ends on Nov. 24).
    3. Drop one of the two plans depending on the actions of Congress taken before they adjourn for the Christmas Holidays. If/when the ARRA is extended, which will qualify the DP 3 VEBA for the HCTC for at least 2011, you will need to call your current healthcare provider or the Delta Employees Service Center (1-800-MY-DELTA) if you are enrolled in Delta's insurance programs to drop the insurance program you enrolled in. Delta has ensured the VEBA board that re-enrollment into its plan at any subsequent open enrollment period will be permitted (see Delta's Healthcare Benefits Handbook, pgs. 35/36). If the ARRA is not extended, you must call Marsh at 1-877-928-VEBA (8322) and cancel the DP 3 VEBA plan before the end of the year so that you will not be responsible for the premiums for two insurance programs at the same time.
    4. We fully expect our plan to become qualified for the HCTC benefit if not this year then by early next year. Should this occur (plan re-qualifies after Jan 1, 2011), we'll notify you immediately so you can re-enroll in the VEBA healthcare plan for the remainder of 2011.
    5. It is important to note that the DP 3 VEBA Plan will become effective January 1, 2011, even if it is not qualified for the HCTC on that date.
    6. To ensure that we have your correct mailing address in order to receive a complete enrollment package, Click Here to Provide Your Information.

    The VEBA Board is committed to providing cost effective healthcare to our members, and are pursuing a permanent solution that will enable our VEBA to remain HCTC qualified.

    Dave Miller
    DP3 VEBA Chairman

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    Update for Everyone Interested in the DP3 VEBA
    November 10, 2010

    Delta will not provide our insurance companies any contact data on over 65 retired pilots and the contact data they will provide for the retired pilots under 65 could be dated or inaccurate. If you want to be sure that you receive the latest data and forms from our insurance companies concerning our pre-65 VEBA plan or post-65 Medicare plan, use this link to list your contact information with our insurance broker.

    Click here to update your contact information

    Welcome to the DP3 VEBA Trust Home page

    The DP3 VEBA Trust offers a healthcare plan for any active or retired employee of Delta or a subsidiary of Delta. It was formed by Delta Retired pilots to offer some competition in the healthcare options available to all Delta people. You will see when you look at our healthcare plans that we have exceeded the offerings of any plan currently offered to Delta retirees/employees, in both the over 65 plans and the under 65 plans. It is our intent to provide the best coverage available to our subscribers. DP3 is a non-profit organization, as is the DP3 VEBA Trust.

    In early 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) became law. DP3 began investigating the possibility of forming a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA). This would offer hundreds of Delta people who have experienced a pension termination with Delta or a former airline a healthcare option that would qualify them for the IRS's Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). You can get a brief history of our formation with this PowerPoint presentation – (Link to PP on VEBA).

    One great advantage of the DP3 VEBA Trust is that it is an HCTC qualified plan. HCTC is available to anyone between the ages of 55 to 65 who receives a payment from the PBGC. This would include retired Delta pilots, active Delta pilots who have elected to take their PBGC benefit while still working, and any Delta employee who receives a PBGC benefit from an airline which terminated its pension plan. The HCTC currently pays 80% of the healthcare premiums those eligible.

    In order to see the DP3 VEBA Trust healthcare plans follow the links below.You will see the individual plans, the benefits provided by each plan and the cost of the plans. These benefits include lower deductibles, lower co-pays, and better overall coverage than are currently available.

    ©2012 VOLUNTARY BENEFIT TRUST FOR AIRLINE RETIREES
    *Some information on this site requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader ™. Click HERE to download Acrobat Reader.