Protection Against Surprise Medical Bills (Balance Billing) – Effective 1/1/2022

New federal legislation effective 1/1/2022 protects TAC GHB Plan participants against balance billing from an out-of-network provider or facility for emergency care.  This means you cannot be balanced billed (charged more than your in-network PPO rates) for emergency care provided by an out-of-network provider (ER doctor, anesthesiologist, surgeon, etc.) or by an out-of-network facility such as a hospital. 

In addition, you cannot be balance billed for non-emergency, elective services (for example, a non-emergency surgery, MRI or CT scan) at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center performed by out-of-network providers (such as assistant surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, etc.) that are contracted directly by the in-network facility

For further information, please see the notice titled “Your Rights and Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills” at the link above. 

Transparency in Coverage (Machine-Readable Files) – Effective 7/1/2022

Effective 7/1/2022, federal Transparency in Coverage Final Rules requires Boon-Chapman as the TAC Group Health Benefits (GHB) Plan Third-Party Administrator (TPA) to provide publicly available machine-readable files free of charge which display negotiated rates for all covered items and services between Aetna Signature Administrators PPO and in-network providers for the plans indicated by Boon-Chapman. 

Boon-Chapman in partnership with Healthcare Bluebook creates and publishes machine-readable files on behalf of the TAC GHB Plan. The files can be accessed at the following link:  Aetna Signature Admin - Machine Readable Files (MRFs)


Coverage of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Kits

On January 10, 2022, the federal government announced a requirement for over-the counter (OTC) COVID-19 Test Kits to be covered by health insurance plans.  In addition, the federal government is providing free COVID-19 OTC test kits to households in the United States. 

Effective 1/28/2022, TAC GHB Standard PPO and High Deductible PPO Plan participants can obtain OTC COVID-19 Test Kits up to the maximum limit at an in-network pharmacy using their insurance ID card at no cost ($0 copay) without needing to submit a reimbursement form. 

Effective 1/28/2022, OTC COVID-19 Test Kits purchased at an out-of-network pharmacy will require a claim form to be submitted to Express Scripts and will be limited to a $12 per test reimbursement. 

Please see the most recent information about OTC COVID-19 test kit benefits in the FAQ at the link above. 

As further details become available, please check back to the TAC Benefits website for updated COVID-19 test kit benefit information.   

2022 UMPIP Contribution Election Form

If you would like to change or begin making personal contributions by payroll deduction to your United Methodist Personal Investment Plan for 2022, you will need to complete and submit a new 2022 UMPIP Contribution Election Form (at the link above) directly to Wespath as indicated on the last page of the form.  You also need to submit a new form if you have an appointment change and/or will have a new salary-paying unit.  The TAC Benefits Office does not need a copy of this form. 

Upon receipt of the 2022 UMPIP Contribution Election Form, Wespath will invoice your church for your monthly UMPIP contribution amount, and your church needs to remit your UMPIP contribution directly to Wespath each month.  The TAC Benefits Office does not draft for clergy personal UMPIP contributions in our monthly church Pension drafts. 

If you are currently making personal UMPIP contributions and don’t want to make any changes to the amount or type of your contribution and you do not have a change of salary-paying unit, you do not need to submit a new 2022 UMPIP Contribution Election Form to Wespath. 

Clergy who make personal contributions to their UMPIP will receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to a maximum of 1% of their Total Pension Plan Compensation specified on their salary sheets. 

Questions?  For further information, contact:

Marianela Morales, Group Health Benefits Specialist / Wellness Program Coordinator:  

Click to email, or 713-533-3723

Patricia Goforth-Rakes, Senior Benefits Specialist, Pensions and Retiree Health Benefits / Walking Program Coordinator: 

Click to email

or 713-533-3702

Barbara Kilby, Manager, Group Health and Pension Benefits / HIPAA Privacy Officer:  

Click to email

or 713-533-3703

Mark Hellums, Controller, Pension and Health Benefits:  

Click to email or 713-533-3725