New Jersey exchange rates among most expensive

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS September 25, 2013 • Reprints TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A report out Wednesday from the federal government finds that health insurance prices on New Jersey’s exchange will be among the most expensive in the country for those without subsidies. The report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services comes less than a week before the launch of the state health exchanges that are a key element of President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul. The idea is that the exchange offers otherwise uninsured people a way to get their own insurance, in many cases with a federal subsidies. Residents will be able to sign up for coverage… Read More

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Introducing Aetna’s “Our Healthy”

Aetna is collaborating with plan sponsors, providers and producers to help rebuild the health care system Via Aetna: Earlier this year, on TV, online and in print, we started asking a simple question: What’s your healthy?SM Our Healthy is a call-to-action to transform the healthcare system in ways that favor patients over process, innovation over bureaucracy, and convenience and quality over complexity and chaos.   Click here for more information about “our healthy”  

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Total Benefit Solutions to offer Health Partners Plans

Total Benefit Solutions is proud to announce that we have teamed up with Health Partners Plans for the upcoming 2014 Medicare Open Enrollment. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding the plans, choices and benefits. We are excited about this opportunity to add another quality plan choice to further our commitment to our clients in the Medicare population. .

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Get health insurance for your employees from the SHOP

Get health insurance for your employees The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new way to buy high-quality health insurance for your employees. It opens for business October 1, 2013. Get ready now by answering a few quick questions to learn what you need to know. Remember, your independent brokers at Total Benefit Solutions can guide you through the process and help you make the best decision for your company AND your employees!

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Same-Sex Spouses: Updated FMLA and Tax Guidance

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. This opened the door for federal recognition of same-sex marriages in states that recognize such unions. The Obama administration has pledged a thorough and expedited review of federal laws, including federal benefit laws. We expect the agencies to release guidance soon with regard to various health and welfare compliance requirements associated with the tax guidance, potentially including, but not limited to, COBRA qualified beneficiary determinations, Form W-2 reporting changes, plan document, SPD and cafeteria plan document amendments, open enrollment and new hire packet language changes, etc. Click here to download… Read More

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Corbett to propose big Medicaid changes

HARRISBURG – Gov. Corbett will announce his plan Monday to expand health coverage for the poor by using public dollars to finance commercial insurance for 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians… Corbett, ending months of speculation about whether the state would take advantage of billions in Medicaid dollars, will seek approval from the federal government to provide private health coverage rather than expand the state’s Medicaid rolls, say several people who were briefed on the plan. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20130914_Corbett_to_propose_big_Medicaid_changes.html#iRGhs84yyBMXqMVm.99  

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Reminder to Distribute Creditable Coverage Notice

Employers who sponsor a group health plan with prescription drug benefits are required to notify their Medicare-eligible participants and beneficiaries whether the prescription drug coverage offered under their plan constitutes “creditable” or “non-creditable” coverage. This notification must be provided prior to October 15 each year. Click here to download the Medicare Part D Reminder

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Urgent Update on Exchange Notice Penalty

There have been many questions regarding whether employers can be penalized for failing to provide employees with the Exchange Notice, due by October 1, 2013. On September 11, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an FAQ regarding the Exchange Notice. The DOL has provided that while employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act should provide the Exchange Notice by October 1, there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice. Click here to download today’s exchange notice

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Total Benefit Solutions Inc. Partners with Zane Benefits for Defined Contribution- HRA offer to employers

What is a HRA / defined contribution plan? Total Benefit Solutions has partnered with Zane Benefits to offer our clients an affordable, state of the art, compliant HRA/Defined Contribution plan. With reform fast approaching, many employers large and small will consider this arrangement to offer their employees a quality, flexible, easy to use  and competitive benefit package. Click here to learn more.

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United Concordia Introduces Online Individual Dental Plans

  United Concordia has rolled out the iDental platform! With iDental individuals and families can enroll on a dental plan who do not have coverage through their employer. There are five plan options to choose from and annual maximum benefits as high as $1500 per family. Best of all, you can quote and enroll the coverage instantly online. Click here to get a free dental plan quote!

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Update on Exchange Notice Requirement for All Employers

Most employers must provide their employees with written notice that includes information regarding the Exchange (now called the Health Insurance Marketplace). The deadline to provide the notice is approaching; the notice must be provided to each employee not later than October 1, 2013. Employers are free to move forward with providing this notice, but may want to wait until closer to the deadline (perhaps early-mid September) in the event additional guidance is issued or the Exchanges are further delayed.  Click the link below to download the notice. Exchange Notice Reminder – 82113R

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New Tool Provides Guidance on Health Care Changes

A new interactive “wizard tool” is available online from BusinessUSA to help employers understand the changes that may affect their companies under Health Care Reform. The tool is simple to use. Business owners can input information regarding company size, location, and whether they currently offer insurance to their employees. Based on the employer’s responses, the tool generates guidance on Health Care Reform changes and other health care-related resources relevant to the employer’s business. Other useful information and services for business owners can be found on theBusinessUSA website.

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Free Series for Small Business Owners to Help Understand the Law

Free Series for Small Business Owners to Help Understand the Law   The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), together with the Small Business Majority (a national nonprofit advocacy organization), has launched theAffordable Care Act 101 Weekly Webinar Series. The webinars feature guidance on key pieces of the law for small business owners provided by SBA representatives, followed by a question and answer period.   Topics being discussed in the webinars include:   Small business tax credits—who is eligible and how to claim the credit; Shared responsibility (also known as “pay or play”); Cost containment; and Tools and resources available for small businesses to learn more about the law.   The… Read More

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Final Guidance on Contraceptive Coverage Released

The Affordable Care Act requires non-grandfathered group health plans to cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing. Effective for the first plan year that began on or after August 1, 2012, this requirement includes coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity, as prescribed by a health care provider. The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services issued a final rule addressing the contraceptives mandate for religious employers and nonprofit religious organizations, discussed briefly below. Generally speaking, the final rule follows the proposed rule, with a few modifications.   Click here to download the final details on Contraceptive… Read More

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Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law

WASHINGTON — In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care. The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014. The grace period has been outlined on the Labor Department’s Web site since February, but was obscured… Read More

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New Tool Provides Guidance on Health Care Changes

New Tool Provides Guidance on Health Care Changes   A new interactive “wizard tool” is available online from BusinessUSA to help employers understand the changes that may affect their companies under Health Care Reform.   The tool is simple to use. Business owners can input information regarding company size, location, and whether they currently offer insurance to their employees. Based on the employer’s responses, the tool generates guidance on Health Care Reform changes and other health care-related resources relevant to the employer’s business.   Other useful information and services for business owners can be found on the BusinessUSA website.

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What’s up with Medicare these days?

Let’s face it, even though Medicare provides health coverage for 49 million Americans, the program itself isn’t all that easy to understand. That’s why AARP Illinois State President Merri Dee and AARP Illinois staff member and Medicare expert Courtney Hedderman got together this week for a question-and-answer session with about 1,500 of our members through a tele-town hall. Here are some of the questions asked during the call and the answers. Q: I’ve heard that the new health care law makes changes to Medicare, can you explain those changes? Click here for the story on the AARP Medicare Blog

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New notice explains effect of employer mandate changes

The employer penalty provisions and two reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act have been delayed until 2015. Although Notice 2013-45 was released, it does little to expand on the earlier announcement of the delay. The Notice does provide further guidance on the transition relief that operates to delay these provisions. It is important to note that the employer penalties and applicable reporting requirements will be fully effective in 2015. The Notice confirms the following: Click to download and read

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How the ACA Helps Medicare’s Disabled Beneficiaries

  The Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, includes numerous provisions that impact people with disabilities through expansions of Medicaid, private health insurance reforms, new care coordination programs and efforts to transition elderly and disabled populations from institutional to home and community settings. The ACA: Click here for the story on Medicare News Group

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