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Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds
Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds
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Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds

It’s Your Choice 2017 Kickoff Meeting
Recordings &
Questions and Answers

Employers

Click on the category/topic below to expand the questions.

View State Employer Kickoff Meeting Recording


Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

AD&D coverage under Zurich will be available to all employees eligible for health insurance coverage.
You can change plans each year, but unless there’s a life event you can’t make changes outside of the open enrollment time frame.
They will be lower than Hartford. Rates have been distributed to all payroll centers.
The process for enrolling in continuation or conversion with Zurich is the same as for other optional plans. The employee must submit an application to the employer. Please see the Optional Employee Pay-All Insurance Administrative Manual (ET-1158) for more guidance.
As long as the dual LTEs are eligible for health insurance, they are eligible to enroll in Zurich.

Website

E-Learnings are available under “member education,” found on the left side of the ETF home page. The IYC e-Learning is also available on the IYC landing page.

HDHP

Most individuals become eligible for Medicare when they turn age 65. Whether or not they are automatically enrolled in Medicare depends on if they are receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad retirement benefits.
To be eligible for the It’s Your Choice High Deductible Health Plan, an individual must participate in the Health Savings Account. In addition:

    • The individual cannot have any other health coverage that pays for out-of-pocket health care expenses before they meet their plan deductible, including Medicare Parts A and B.
    • The individual cannot be covered by TRICARE, or have accessed their Veterans Administration (VA) benefits in the past 90 days (to contribute to an HSA). Exceptions may apply, see the HSA Participant Guide, available online, for more information.
    • The individual cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (unless it’s their spouse).
    • The individual (and their spouse) cannot have a Health Care FSA in the same year.

Therefore, once an individual enrolls in any part of Medicare they can no longer contribute to an HSA, which means they are also no longer eligible for the IYC HDHP/HSA benefit option benefit option.
If an individual would like to continue enrollment in the IYC HDHP/HSA benefit option, they can delay both Medicare Parts A and Part B. Ultimately, the choice to enroll in or delay Medicare Parts A and B will depend on the individual’s specific situation, including their health care needs, costs and other coverage they may have available to them. The individual will need to determine whether or not delaying Medicare coverage is in their best interest. 

Resource from CMS.gov: Fact sheet - Deciding Whether to Enroll in Medicare A and Part B when you turn 65.

Important: The individual’s employer and/or ETF should not provide any advice to individuals on delaying their Medicare coverage.

The individual can delay both Medicare Part A and Part B. Ultimately, the choice to enroll in or delay Medicare Part A and B will depend on the individual’s specific situation, including their health care needs, costs and other coverage they may have available to them. The individual will need to determine whether or not delaying Medicare coverage is in their best interest.

Resource from CMS.gov: Fact sheet - Deciding Whether to Enroll in Medicare A and Part B when you turn 65.

Important: The individual’s employer and/or ETF should not provide any advice to individuals on delaying their Medicare coverage.

Once an active employee enrolls in Medicare or a disqualifying medical coverage, they are no longer eligible for the It’s Your Choice HDHP and HSA benefit option and should be moved to a non-HDHP option. This is not a full enrollment opportunity.

Generally, contributions to the HSA account are made on a month-to-month rule basis depending on what coverage the individual enrolled in under the It’s Your Choice High Deductible Health Plan on the first day of the month. For each month that the individual is enrolled in individual coverage, a total of $283.33 per month can be contributed. For each month that the individual is enrolled in family coverage, a total of $562.50 per month can be contributed. If the individual changes enrollment in the It’s Your Choice High Deductible Health Plan during the plan year, they can change their contributions based on the month-to-month rule.

For example, the individual enrolled in individual coverage for six months of the year and for the other six months they have family coverage. The individual’s total contributions are:
(6 months × $283.33) + (6 months × $562.50) or $1,700 + $3,375 = $5,075.00.

Exception: There is a limited exception to the month-to-month rule described above. This exception allows the individual to make the maximum annual contribution for the plan year based on their enrollment in the It’s Your Choice High Deductible Health Plan on December 1. Using the same six-month example above, assume the individual changed from individual to family coverage during the second half of the year. Under the month-to-month rule, the individual is limited to a maximum contribution of $5,075.00. Since the individual was enrolled in family coverage on December 1, they can use the limited exception and can contribute the full family contribution amount of $6,750.00.

Important note: In order to use this limited exception, the individual must stay enrolled in the It’s Your Choice High Deductible Health Plan at the same or higher level of coverage for the entire next plan year, called the “testing period.” If the individual does not maintain this coverage, such as if they terminate employment or switch to a non-High Deductible Health Plan the next plan year, then the excess funds contributed will be subject to a 10% excise tax.

 If an individual turning age 65 enrolls in Medicare Part(s) A and/or B during the initial Medicare enrollment period, their Medicare coverage will start the first day of the month they turn age 65, or the month before they turn age 65 if their birthday is the first of the month. If the individual updated their Coordination of Benefit information prior to their Medicare effective date, the individual’s IYC HDHP with HSA plan option will terminate the last day of the month prior to their Medicare coverage start date. Their non-HDHP plan will start on the first of the following month. If the individual is enrolled in Medicare, but does not update their Coordination of Benefit information until after their Medicare start date, the coverage change from HDHP to a non-HDHP plan will be effective the first of the month following the discovery/employee notification.

If the individual was contributing/receiving contributions to their HSA during the time they had both the IYC HDHP HSA and Medicare, the individual may be subject to tax penalties. If the employee has questions on tax penalties they should contact their tax consultant for more information.

It is recommended that ninety days prior to the individual turning age 65, the individual should be updating their Coordination of Benefit information to determine their continued eligibility to be enrolled and contributing in the IYC HDHP/HSA benefit option. Employers can generate an aging out report to record subscribers aging to 65, similar to the aging out reports for dependents over age 26.

If the individual was contributing/receiving contributions to their HSA during the time they had both the IYC HDHP HSA and Medicare, the individual may be subject to tax penalties. If the employee has questions on tax penalties they should contact their tax consultant for more information.

Dental

Yes. In most cases, the employee can elect optional dental coverage without electing Uniform Dental benefits. The exception is for Anthem Supplemental Dental, which requires the employee to have underlying dental coverage to be eligible.

It is the employee’s responsibility to understand the requirements for plans they elect. However, employers should assist employees in fully understanding their benefit options to avoid problems at a later date.

Continuation is available to those who have been enrolled in optional dental plans; whether or not the employee elects continuation would affect their circumstances. Premiums end if the employee does not elect continuation and there is no obligation to repay previously paid claims. An employee who elects continuation would continue to pay premium; however, if they had used the maximum benefit for the year, they would not be eligible for more benefits until the next coverage period started. Annuitants who drop coverage during the year would only be eligible to re-enroll during the next coverage period if the insurer has an open enrollment period.

Wellness / StayWell

No, they can complete the 2017 requirements at any time in 2017. For 2017, both requirements must be completed by October 20. The last date for onsite health screenings will be October 13. These deadlines are needed to process payment data for employer tax purposes.

This is an option being explored by ETF and StayWell, especially for locations outside of the Madison area. The StayWell survey for 2017 health screenings will include questions to help StayWell better identify which areas of the state are having difficulty providing onsite flu shot clinics.

The Well Wisconsin incentive is only available to the enrolled employee and spouse. New federal regulations prohibit offering incentives to dependents, even if they are adults. For 2017, the StayWell portal and services will only be available to enrollees of the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program and their enrolled spouse or domestic partner.

For participants who chose not to use the instant redemption feature in the StayWell portal, a Visa gift card option will be offered by mail.

It is the responsibility of the employer to distribute this information to employees once ETF distributes this information to employers. ETF distributed the data once in August of 2016 and will again in November of 2016. For 2017, we’ll explore if we can provide that quarterly. Data is sent to the employers for active employees; ETF handles annuitants. Retirees aren’t getting that data midyear. Those files were put out on the FTP server and should have been picked up.

Opt Out

Employees who previously opted out of health insurance coverage must submit a new application in order to re-enroll; they will not have health coverage until a new application is submitted. Employees who claimed the opt-out incentive for 2016 must submit a new application in 2017 to receive the opt-out incentive in 2017.

Anthem Blue

HSA

State HSA contributions in 2017 will be distributed evenly over 24 pay periods for employees who are paid biweekly and over 12 pay periods for employees paid on a monthly basis. The payroll center will determine the appropriate payment method for academic year or seasonal employees. If HDHP/HSA coverage is effective after January 1, 2017, the employee will receive a prorated annual HSA state contribution based on the coverage effective date. The employee will receive $62.50 per month for every month in which the employee has individual coverage and $125.00 per month for every month in which the employee has family coverage. If an employee terminates coverage during 2017, the employee will receive the state HSA contribution through the final month of coverage. IRS guidance indicates that an employee eligible for health insurance on the first of a month must receive the full HSA contribution for that month, so it may be necessary to process a Pay One-Time Transaction (POTT) for an employee that terminates early in a month, to ensure that the employee receives an amount equal to two biweekly HSA contributions for that month. If an employee changes their health insurance coverage level (individual to family or vice versa), the employee will receive the HSA employer contribution associated with the health insurance premium that is required for that coverage month ($62.50 for individual; $125.00 family). 

View Local Employer Kickoff Meeting Recording

The insurance file is for health insurance and Income Continuation Insurance (ICI). Life Insurance will send people to a secure portal with Securian (the parent company for Minnesota Life Insurance Company).

If someone is in a position that would be evaluated for WRS eligibility, we would need their information. We require that employers report payroll information on behalf of all employees who are evaluated for eligibility. This will help ensure that enrollments are not being missed. ETF understands that performing 12-month and rolling lookbacks is not always the easiest task, and myETF should serve as an aid in this capacity.

You can visit the member education section of the ETF website. Click the Video link and you’ll find a list of the videos. The IYC e-Learning is also available on the IYC landing page for each program option.

Yes, it has been extended through 2017.

Currently that list would be too long to effectively incorporate into a dropdown list. In the meantime, we’ve added language to help employees determine who they are on the IYC landing page. They can also reference their print IYC guides if they have them, or get this information from their employer.

It’s tied to their health plan selection, so if they select the same plan they don’t need to do anything during open enrollment. Employees should still review their coverage, and understand any changes, for 2017.

ETF sent out a required survey to all employers in May of 2016, which asked for employers’ payroll vendor contact information (when applicable). We will be using this information to reach out to some of the more common vendors. We will be posting a list of the vendors we have contacted in the near future. If you did not complete the survey, please encourage your vendor to learn about myETF by visiting the myETF Employer web pages accessible through the Employer tab of the ETF website. It should be noted, however, that it is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to contact its vendor if it wishes to submit its payroll information via files in myETF.

We’re just finishing up gathering the information to see what we’re looking at next year. We’re being very sensitive about the changes and will hopefully have more information later.

The board is still considering it; there’s another meeting later this year to determine more information. Please view the Self-Insurance in 5 Minutes e-Learning for more information; this can also be provided to your employees.

Yes. Within myETF there will be secure messaging between employers and ETF. This can be used to send secure messages to ETF. This will be available in January of 2018. Some member online forms will also be available within myETF. For up-to-date employer information on myETF, please see the myETF for Employers webpages.

ETF does not select the provider networks that are available. That negotiation and contracting occurs between the health plan and the provider networks and is subject to change annually. ETF does require a minimum number of providers and hospitals to be covered by the health plan, but does not specify which provider networks the health plan must use. Rates are primarily based on the bid submitted by the health plan and evaluated in consultation with ETF’s consulting actuary.

Currently, beneficiaries can be changed by submitting a completed paper beneficiary designation. myETF will allow members to update beneficiary information online in the future.