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FAQs
Flexible Spending Accounts > MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program

 


What is the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program?
How can I benefit by joining this program?
Who is eligible?
Who is NOT eligible?
When can I enroll?
What is a Qualifying Event?
What if I am enrolled for only a portion of the benefits period?
Once I enroll, can I reinstate my City of New York health benefits?

 

What is the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program?
The Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program allows City of New York employees to receive an annual incentive payment for waiving their City of New York health benefits when non-City of New York group health coverage is available to them.

Download FSA Program Forms and Brochures

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How can I benefit by joining this program?
An employee will receive $1,000 annually for waiving family health coverage or $500 annually for waiving individual health coverage. Payments are made semi-annually in June and December and will be taxable to the recipient.

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Who is eligible?
Any employee who is eligible to receive City of New York health benefits may participate. Employees may waive their health benefits if they are insured through:

  • A spouse's, domestic partner's or parent(s)' employer-provided non-City of New York group health plan; or
  • A group health plan available through other employment.

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Who is NOT eligible?
An employee is not eligible to waive City of New York health benefits if retired or if his or her spouse, domestic partner, or parent is an employee of the City of New York or a City of New York-related agency. An employee is also excluded if he/she is covered by an individual direct payment health plan, including enrollment in COBRA as a result of losing coverage through a non-City of New York group health plan; covered by Medicaid; covered by Medicare; on Worker's Compensation leave; or covered by New York State Health Care Exchange

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When can I enroll?
To enroll in the program, an employee must complete and submit the Health Benefits Application and the Medical Spending Conversion (MSC) Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form to his/her agency benefits officer or NYCAPS personnel/HRShare if applicable. Each year the Open Enrollment Period for the following calendar year will generally be held in October and November.

New employees may enroll within 30 days after becoming eligible to receive City of New York health benefits coverage. Enrollment during the Plan Year is possible only if a Qualifying Event occurs. After initial enrollment, annual re-enrollment is not required.

Download FSA Program Forms and Brochures 

Download the Health Benefits Application (PDF)

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What is a Qualifying Event?
A Qualifying Event is a change in family or employment status. Examples of family status changes are:

  • Marriage; or
  • Death; or
  • Divorce; or
  • A change in a spouse's, domestic partner's or parent's insurance coverage.
Examples of employment status changes are:
  • Termination of employment; or
  • A change in a spouse's, domestic partner's, or parent's employment status that results in a change in insurance coverage; or
  • A change in the employee's status from part-time to full-time, or vice versa.

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What if I am enrolled for only a portion of the benefits period?
For enrollment of less than six months, the incentive payment is pro-rated by the number of days of enrollment in the Buy-Out Waiver Program.

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Once I enroll, can I reinstate my City health benefits?
Yes. As an active employee, you may withdraw from the program during the annual Open Enrollment Period. To withdraw at any other time, you must experience a Qualifying Event and provide proof of loss of coverage within 30 days after that loss.

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Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
EAPs are staffed by professional counselors who can help employees and their eligible dependents handle problems in areas such as stress, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental health, and family difficulties.

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