Retiree Medical Subsidy (Retiree Age 65+ and Medicare Primary)
(TAC Retiree Health Benefits Policy 130)
The Texas Annual Conference (TAC) has provided a Retiree Medical Subsidy to assist retired clergy and their spouses or surviving spouses who are Medicare Primary with the cost of their health care in retirement. The basic subsidy is $190 per person per month or $2,280 per year. Prior to January 1, 2018, the Retiree Medical Subsidy was used to reduce the amount charged to retirees each month for their coverage in the TAC Retiree Group Health Plans.
Effective January 1, 2018, the Retiree Medical Subsidy will be provided to eligible Medicare Primary retirees, spouses, and surviving spouses through a tax-free Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) administered through Via Benefits (previously named OneExchange). The HRA funds can be used to reimburse retirees for their qualified health care expenses such as premiums for Medigap or Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Part B premiums, prescription drug, dental or vision plan premiums, and other eligible out-of-pocket medical or prescription drug expenses such as deductibles and co-pays.
The full annual HRA funding will be available as of January 1 each year, and married retirees will share a joint account with their spouses. Any funds remaining in retiree HRA accounts at year-end will be carried forward to the next year and will be added to the next year’s annual funding amount. Retirees in the current year will receive a pro-rated amount based on their date of retirement.
I. Eligibility for TAC Retiree Medical Subsidy (Health Reimbursement Account [HRA] Funding)
To qualify for the Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding), retirees must meet the following criteria:
Retiree and enrolled spouse or surviving spouse must have participated in the TAC Group Health Benefits Plan for at least two years (24 consecutive months) immediately preceding retirement and must be enrolled at the time of retirement.
Retiree must receive or be eligible to receive a pension from Wespath (former General Board of Pensions) (excluding UMPIP).
Retiree’s date of birth must be prior to January 1, 1962 (had attained age 55 as of January 1, 2017).
Retiree and spouse or surviving spouse must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B (Medicare Primary).
Retiree and spouse or surviving spouse must be enrolled in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage Plan through Via Benefits.
Former TAC Taxable Stipend participants grandfathered as of 12-31-2017 may receive the Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding) without enrolling in coverage through Via Benefits.
There are additional criteria that must be met based on date of first TAC appointment and years of service at retirement for retirees whose first TAC appointment was on or after July 1, 2005. Please see the following charts for specific details regarding HRA funding amounts.
Please note: All clergy age 55 and younger as of January 1, 2017 (born on or after January 1, 1962) and all new hires on or after January 1, 2017 regardless of age will not be eligible for the TAC Retiree Medical Subsidy (Health Reimbursement Account funding).
II. Retirees Age 65+ (born prior to January 1, 1962) with first TAC appointment prior to July 1, 2005
Retired clergy age 65+ (born prior to January 1, 1962) who received their first appointment with the TAC prior to July 1, 2005, and their eligible age 65+ spouse or surviving spouse, would each receive the following contribution toward their Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding):
|HRA Monthly Amount||HRA Annual Total|
|Surviving Spouse Only||$190||$2,280|
|Retiree and Spouse||$380||$4,560|
III. Retirees Age 65+ (born prior to January 1, 1962) with first TAC appointment on or after July 1, 2005
Retired clergy age 65+ who received their first appointment with the TAC on or after July 1, 2005, and their eligible age 65+ spouse or surviving spouse, would each receive contributions toward their Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding) according to the following schedule:
|Years of Service||HRA Monthly Amount(% of $190)||HRA Annual Total|
|2 – 9||$0||$0|
|10 - 14||$ 95 (50%)||$1,140|
|15 - 19||$114 (60%)||$1,368|
|20 – 24||$133 (70%)||$1,596|
|25 – 29||$152 (80%)||$1,824|
|30 – 34||$171 (90%)||$2,052|
IV. Pre-1992 Additional Retiree Health Care Contribution
TAC clergy who retired prior to January 1, 1992 receive an additional $75 per month contribution to their Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding), and surviving spouses of such retirees receive an additional $55 per month contribution. Pre-1992 Spouses receive the basic $190/month only.
|HRA Monthly Amount||HRA Annual Total|
|Pre-1992 Retiree Only||$190 + $75 = $265||$3,180|
|Pre-1992 Surviving Spouse Only||$190 + $55 = $245||$2,940|
|Pre-1992 Retiree and Spouse||$265 + $190 = $455||$5,460|
TAC Retiree Dependent Coverage
V. Eligibility for TAC Retiree Dependent Health Benefits
Only dependents enrolled in the TAC Group Health Plan for at least two years (24 consecutive months) immediately preceding and at the time of the clergy’s retirement are eligible for retiree health benefits. Effective December 1, 2011, retirees will not be permitted to add any dependents to their retiree health benefits once they retire. Retiree coverage is considered to be a benefit provided based on the contributions of the clergy and spouse over the span of their active ministry. Thus, if a clergy remarries after retirement, the new spouse will not be eligible for TAC retiree health benefits (unless the new spouse is a surviving spouse of a retired TAC clergy as described in Section XIV).
All dependents enrolled in TAC Retiree Group Health coverage as of December 1, 2011 will be grandfathered and can remain on the plan until otherwise losing eligibility under plan rules: for example, when a dependent child loses eligibility due to age.
VI. Loss of Eligibility for TAC Retiree Group Health Dependent Coverage
An eligible under age 65 dependent who chooses not to enroll in (or to terminate coverage in) the TAC self-insured Group Health Plan, will lose eligibility and will not be allowed to re-enroll in either the TAC self-insured Group Health Plan or receive the TAC Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA funding) in the future.
TAC Surviving Spouse Group Health Coverage
VII. Eligibility for TAC Surviving Spouse Group Health Coverage
The surviving spouse of a TAC clergy who was enrolled in the plan at the time of the clergy’s death is eligible to continue participation in the plan until the surviving spouse’s death or remarriage (please see Section IX).
VIII. Health Care Contribution for TAC Surviving Spouse Age 65+
Surviving spouses age 65+ will receive a contribution toward their Retiree Medical Subsidy (HRA Funding) which is the same as the contribution previously received by their retired spouse (please see Sections I - III). Surviving spouses of retirees who retired prior to January 1, 1992 are eligible for an additional contribution amount (please see Section IV).
IX. Loss of Eligibility for TAC Surviving Spouse Group Health Coverage
In the event of remarriage, the surviving spouse’s eligibility to participate in the plan will terminate on the date of remarriage, unless the surviving spouse remarries a retired clergy of the TAC, in which case the surviving spouse will retain eligibility for benefits under the plan.
Note: The Group Health Benefits Plan is not a form of entitlement. The Group Health Benefits Committee under the direction of and subject to the approval of the Board of Pensions, with the concurrence of Annual Conference, reserves the right to amend or eliminate Group Health Benefits for both active and retired participants.