The MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program allows eligible employees who have non-City group health benefits to waive their New York City health benefits in return for an annual cash incentive payment.
This incentive payment is considered ordinary income and, therefore, is taxable to the recipient.
The annual amount of the incentive payment is:
Plan Year 2018
Incentive Benefit Periods
There are two incentive benefit periods per calendar year:
Incentive payments will be made in June and December of each Plan Year. Therefore, if you are eligible to receive a $1,000/$500 incentive payment, you will receive two payments of $500/$250 each in your regular paycheck, with the first payment issued in June and the second payment issued in December. Incentive payments will not be retroactive to a prior Plan Year.
Welfare Fund/Union Benefits
Your Welfare Fund/Union benefits may be affected by waiving your health benefits. Contact your Welfare Fund/Union Administrator directly if you have questions concerning your benefits.
See what qualifies you to opt out of City health benefits.Read More
Employees eligible to participate in the Medical Spending Conversion (MSC) Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program are those covered by:
Employees of cultural institutions, libraries and DOE charter schools may be offered a Buy-Out Waiver Program through their individual institutions. Please contact your Agency Benefits Manager for additional information.
Employees Who Are Eligible to Waive Coverage
Employees can waive coverage if insured under:
You are ineligible for participation in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program if you are:
Learn how to enroll in the Buy-Out Waiver Program.Read More
You may enroll in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program during the annual Open Enrollment Period.
Once enrolled, you will remain in the program until you reinstate your City of New York health benefits. Therefore, you do not need to re-enroll every year.
To enroll, you must complete and submit a Health Benefits Application and an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form, which you can either download here or obtain from the FSA Program Administrative Office or your agency's benefits office. You must also submit a copy of your non-City health insurance card as proof of other coverage.
You must complete a Health Benefits Application to waive your City of New York health benefits and an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Form in order to receive the annual incentive payment.
The completed forms and supporting documentation should be returned to your agency's Human Resources Department, NYCAPS personnel or NYC H+H Shared Services who will complete the benefits section, sign the forms, and return them to the MSC Administrative Office for processing.
Newly eligible employees may participate as soon as they become eligible for City of New York health benefits. To participate, newly eligible employees must complete and submit both the Health Benefits Application and the MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form to their benefits or personnel officer for review and completion. In addition to these forms, employees must also submit a copy of their non-City group health insurance card as proof of other coverage. The two forms mentioned above and legal/supporting documentation, i.e. copy of the employee's non-City health insurance card, must be received by the MSC Administrative Office within 30 days after the employee becomes eligible for the program.
Enrollment after the initial 30-day period can only occur if you have a Qualifying Event. Any Qualifying Event that occurs in June will be effective after July 1st of that Plan Year. Any Qualifying Event that occurs in December will be effective after January 1st of the following Plan Year.
When covered for a portion of the benefit period, the amount of the incentive payment will be pro-rated by the number of days you have been enrolled in the MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.
Note: Before deciding to waive City of New York health benefits coverage, make sure that your other coverage alone will meet your needs. Should you require assistance in completing the MSC Enrollment/Change Form, please call the MSC Administrative Office at (212) 306-7760 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In-house counseling is by appointment only.
Certain Qualifying Events allow you to make changes to your Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program status mid-year.Read More
Your waiver will remain in effect unless you file an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Enrollment/Change Form indicating a Qualifying Event that permits you to withdraw from the Program.
Similarly, employees who have not enrolled in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program may waive City health benefits coverage mid-year only if they incur a Qualifying Event.
The events listed below qualify you for mid-year changes:
Note: Participants will not be allowed to make changes inconsistent with the Qualifying Event.
If you experience a Qualifying Event, contact your benefits or personnel officer within 30 days after the Qualifying Event to obtain the appropriate forms. Completed forms must be received by the MSC Administrative Office within that time period.
Find out what steps to take if you are currently enrolled in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program but want to be covered by the City Health Benefits Program.Read More
To reinstate health benefits mid-year, the employee must provide proof of a Qualifying Event. If proof is received within 30 days after the event, reinstatement into the City's Health Benefits Program will be retroactive to the date of the Qualifying Event.
Any change must be consistent with and on account of a valid Qualifying Event.
When covered for a portion of the benefit period, the amount of the incentive payment will be pro-rated for any period less than six months by the number of days the employee is enrolled in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.
The employee must complete a Health Benefits Application and an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form. Both forms must be submitted to his/her agency benefits officer, or NYCAPS Personnel/or H+H Shared Services if applicable.
Reinstatement at Retirement
Access to benefits at retirement will be unaffected by participation in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.
To reinstate City health benefits at retirement, the employee must complete a Health Benefits Application and an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form to withdraw from the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.
Find out how to proceed if you are currently waiving your City health benefits but have not yet enrolled in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.Read More
Employees who are currently waiving their City health coverage and who are not enrolled in the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program will need to apply for the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program by completing a Health Benefits Application and an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form and submit these forms to their agency benefits officer, NYCAPS personnel, or NYC H+H Shared Services, if applicable.
If you switch agencies or take a paid or unpaid leave of absence, find out how to continue or withdraw from the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program.Read More
Employees who transfer from one agency to another within the City must notify the FSA Administrative Office at least 30 days prior to the transfer.
Employees who take an approved unpaid leave of absence must complete the MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form to withdraw from the Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program. Returning employees who wish to be reinstated into the Program must re-enroll by completing an MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program Enrollment/Change Form and submitting it within 30 days after returning to work.