Health care tax benefit for Mass. rail members

December 27, 2011

UTU members in Massachusetts covered under the National Rail Contract and other UTU plans will not face a tax penalty for the 2011 state tax year for dependent child maternity benefits.

The Massachusetts state legislature had mandated coverage of dependent child maternity benefits. But because the collectively bargained National Rail Contract does not include this benefit, the coverage was deemed to be non-credible health care coverage under state tax law and subject to substantial state tax penalties for the 2011 tax year.

UnitedHealthcare, working with state officials, successfully gained a tax exemption for rail workers in Massachusetts covered under the National Rail Contract.

As a result, the State of Massachusetts has confirmed that the following plans are now credible for the 2011 tax year:

* The National Health and Welfare Plan

* The National Railway Carriers/UTU Health and Welfare Plan

* The GA-46000/ERMA (National Retirement Major Retirement Benefit Plan) in combination with the GA-23111 Plan E for early retirees

All Massachusetts residents covered under these plans will receive a written communication from the State of Massachusetts indicating that their coverage will be considered creditable for 2011, and the 1099HC forms that are sent to them in early January for inclusion with their state tax returns will indicate that their coverage in 2011 was creditable for the entire year.

United Healthcare advises that this certification is for the 2011 tax year only, and does not apply to 2012. UnitedHealthcare is working to resolve his issue on a s to resolve this issue on a permanent basis.