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2023 RxDC Reporting Instructions Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently updated its Prescription Drugs Data Collection (“RxDC”) reporting instructions for 2023 data. There are some noticeable differences. As previously reported, group health plan sponsors (typically employers) are required to submit information to CMS on prescription drugs and health care spending on an annual basis (“RxDC reporting”). The first reporting deadline for calendar years 2020 and 2021 was December 27, 2022 (extended to January 31, 2023). The next deadline for reporting on calendar year 2023 is June 1, 2024, which, despite being a Saturday, is a firm date. It should be noted that carriers, pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”), and third-party administrators (“TPAs”)… Read More

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Cheapest Health Insurance in Pennsylvania (2024 Plans)

Premium costs on Pennsylvania’s health insurance marketplace, Pennie vary by Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver or Gold tier. In Pennsylvania, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the most affordable Bronze and Catastrophic plans, while UPMC Health Plan and Jefferson Health Plans provide the lowest-priced Gold and Silver plans in 2024, respectively. Of course, just because one plan costs less to buy does not make it the best plan to meet your needs. The health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc can shop the entire market for you, taking into account the healthcare needs of your family and guide you to the best plan for you. Contact us today at (215)355-2121.

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Medicare: Your Essential Guide

Understanding Medicare is crucial for making informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. Whether you choose Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage (Part C), knowing the basics empowers you to select the plan that best suits your needs. Original Medicare comprises Part A and Part B, covering hospital stays, doctor visits, and other essential services. Supplemental plans like Medicare Part D for prescription drugs and Medigap for additional coverage can enhance your benefits and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans offer a comprehensive alternative, bundling Parts A, B, and often D into a single package. These plans may extend coverage to dental, vision, and other services, providing a more holistic approach… Read More

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Navigating the Basics of Medicare: Understanding the Four Parts

Medicare, a vital healthcare program for seniors and certain disabled individuals, comprises four key parts. This post breaks down each part’s coverage, providing a concise overview for better understanding. Medicare Eligibility: Eligibility kicks in at age 65 or after receiving 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Unlike private insurance, Medicare doesn’t have family plans, allowing individuals to make independent coverage choices. The Four Parts of Medicare: Visit the website for a deeper dive into the intricacies and benefits of Medicare. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact… Read More

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Healthcare Update: Cigna’s Negotiations with Orlando Health

Cigna Healthcare Medicare is currently in negotiations with Orlando Health in Florida. The outcome of these talks will determine if Orlando Health remains in the Cigna network. If an agreement isn’t reached, Orlando Health will exit the network on March 1, 2024. Customers will receive letters soon, detailing the change and their new assigned Primary Care Provider (PCP). For inquiries or to choose a different in-network PCP, affected customers can call Cigna Healthcare Medicare at 1-800-668-3813. The company reassures customers that their team is ready to assist, and any updates will be communicated promptly. As a reminder, you can search the online provider directory to find the most recent provider… Read More

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ACA’s Contraceptive Coverage: New FAQs Guide

On January 22, 2024, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury released a fresh set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), shedding light on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s imperative for non-grandfathered medical plans to include specific preventive services, notably contraceptives, without imposing any cost-sharing on individuals. The aim of these FAQs is to address concerns from stakeholders, facilitating a better understanding of the contraceptive coverage mandate and encouraging compliance through an alternative method. For detailed insights and further information, download the PDF below. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at… Read More

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Special Election Period may be available to members affected by severe weather

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have declared a weather-related emergency or major disaster in your state. Medicare beneficiaries affected may be eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP).  For marketing materials that comply with CMS marketing requirements, please visit the UnitedHealthcare Toolkit.  Who is eligible?  Beneficiaries who do not live in the impacted areas but receive assistance making healthcare decisions from someone who lives in one of the affected areas are also eligible; and  What does this mean for beneficiaries?  Enrollment Overview If a consumer contacts you as a result of this SEP, you may help them enroll in one of our plans and may be eligible for a… Read More

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Horizon Members Get 15% Off YMCA Memberships!

Exciting news for Horizon members in New Jersey! We’re thrilled to share that you can now enjoy a 15 percent discount on monthly memberships at select New Jersey YMCAs. Plus, for new YMCA members, the initiation fee is completely waived when you present your Horizon member ID card. This fantastic offer is valid until December 31, 2024, providing you ample time to take advantage of the savings and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or looking to kickstart your wellness journey, this exclusive discount is designed to make your YMCA experience even more accessible. Remember, this exclusive discount is a limited-time offer, so make the most of… Read More

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Aetna: Small Business Updates

As the year wraps up, businesses with 2 – 50 employees enrolled in Aetna Funding AdvantageSM groups need to act quickly. We’re filing 1095-B tax forms on your behalf, but it’s crucial to ensure your information is accurate. Deadline: End of December The federal deadline for 1095-B tax forms is approaching. Both businesses and customers must verify and update their details by the end of December to avoid potential IRS rejections. Why It Matters Accurate information on these forms is vital for complying with tax regulations. 1095-B forms provide essential health coverage details, impacting Affordable Care Act compliance. Any discrepancies could lead to filing complications. Review and update your information… Read More

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DOL’s 2024 Penalty Adjustments

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its annual adjustments for 2024, impacting penalties for employee benefit plans. Here’s a quick guide for employers: Key Points: 1. Employee Notices: Private employers must ensure timely delivery of required notices (SBC, CHIP, SPD, etc.) to avoid civil penalties. 2. Form 5500 Filings: File Form 5500 accurately and on time to prevent penalties associated with non-compliance. 3. Document Requests from EBSA: Respond promptly to document requests from EBSA to avoid potential penalties. Annual Penalty Adjustments for 2024 The updated penalties listed below are applicable to ERISA-covered health and welfare plans. Compliance is essential in 2024—act now to secure your organization against penalties and… Read More

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Case Study: A Voluntary Benefits Strategy

The Issue One of our clients approached us during a pre-renewal meeting to ask how they can further control costs without drastically impacting the well-being of their employees. Our Solution They already had done most of the things we had recommended in past years, but there was one area left that could help…voluntary benefits. We suggested they offer a portfolio of programs that included life and disability coverage, allowing them to reduce the scope of their “rich” company paid plans and enabling anyone interested to supplement the reduced benefits by purchasing the coverage on their own. This, we felt, was a great way to save premium dollars without creating too… Read More

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2023 State Health Insurance Mandates: A Quick Overview

Five states—California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont—along with the District of Columbia have implemented individual health insurance mandates, each with unique obligations. It’s crucial to understand and comply with both federal and state mandates for comprehensive adherence to regulations. State Obligations: These states require the submission of information on health insurance coverage to residents, with filings made to specific state agencies. Importantly, state requirements may differ from federal obligations, necessitating compliance with both sets of regulations. Key Deadlines for 2023 State Reporting: Note that state reporting deadlines may change, and the information presented is current as of the publication date. Stay updated for any changes. For a deeper… Read More

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Wellcare: Suspension of MAPD Plans in FL & NC

We need to inform you of a critical development affecting MAPD plans in Florida and North Carolina. Starting January 12, 2024, all enrollment and marketing activities for plans under Florida MAPD PPO Contract (H5199) and North Carolina MAPD PPO Contract (H7175) are temporarily halted. These contracts will not be renewed for Plan Year 2025 and will conclude on December 31, 2024. Key Points: Current members of these contracts’ plans DO NOT need to be transferred to alternate plans until the Annual Enrollment Period begins in October 2024. Existing members will stay enrolled in their plans for the entire Plan Year 2024. Uninterrupted access to full plan benefits continues throughout Plan… Read More

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Empire BCBS Now Anthem BCBS!

In a momentous move, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has officially transformed into Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, marking a significant milestone for the renowned health insurance provider. The company is thrilled to announce the launch of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in both their downstate and upstate markets, reinforcing their commitment to enhancing the overall customer experience. The transition to the Anthem brand is not merely a change in name; it represents a strategic effort to simplify operations and reduce complexities in the market. Anthem is a nationally recognized name, offering a host of advantages for members residing out of state who are affiliated with New York-based companies. By… Read More

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IBC’s Latest Updates: Weight Loss Drug Policy

The International Benefits Consortium (IBC) has recently revamped its weight management medication coverage, responding to the FDA’s approval of Zepbound—a potent combination of GIP and GLP-1 receptors. This aligns Zepbound with existing options like Wegovy® and Saxenda® under IBC’s coverage criteria. Key Points: Weight Loss Drug Policy Update: IBC’s weight loss drug policy now includes Zepbound, showcasing their commitment to staying current with pharmaceutical advancements and ensuring robust coverage options for members. CAA Gag Clause Attestation: Addressing transparency concerns, IBC acknowledges the CAA’s impact on healthcare communication by eliminating “gag clauses” that restrict information exchange between providers and patients. Healthy You Program Options: IBC introduces new program options for self-funded… Read More

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Important Updates: Plan Changes for 2024

As we transition into 2024, it’s crucial for you to be aware of recent changes in your healthcare coverage. If you were auto-renewed for Plan Year 2024 after being enrolled in the Marketplace for Plan Year 2023, read on for key information. Auto-Reenrollment: Clients not actively selecting a Plan Year 2024 plan by December 15, 2023, were auto-renewed with coverage effective from January 1, 2024. This info was visible on HealthCare.gov and partner sites starting December 16, 2023. Exploring Options: Consider exploring other coverage options or adjusting your Plan Year 2024 selection. Changing plans or enrolling between December 16, 2023, and January 16, 2024, ensures an effective date of February… Read More

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Healthcare Compliance: 2023 Q4 Digest

Stay ahead in healthcare compliance with the 2023 Fourth Quarter Compliance Digest, a consolidated resource featuring all Q4 bulletins from October to December. This document is your one-stop-shop for the latest in health care reform, simplifying the complexities of compliance. Key Features: Up-to-Date Information: Get the latest developments in healthcare compliance from Q4 2023. Convenience in One Document: Access all relevant information in a single, downloadable PDF. Streamlined Access: Easily download the digest for quick and efficient access to essential updates. To explore further, download the PDF below: We’re committed to providing exceptional support, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists… Read More

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Cigna Healthcare and Tower Health Contract Updates

In a recent development, Tower Health is no longer part of the network as of January 1, 2024. Negotiations for a contract extension are ongoing, but Tower Health has not committed to continuing collaboration. The main point of contention is significant rate increases demanded by Tower Health, which could lead to higher healthcare costs for clients and their members. To assist affected customers, the healthcare provider assures support in finding alternative, in-network providers nearby. One Guide representatives are available 24/7 at the number on Cigna ID cards or (800) 244-6224. Online tools on myCigna.com and the myCigna mobile app help locate in-network hospitals and providers. Members have been proactively notified… Read More

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Alert: Chicago Employers, Brace for Paid Leave Shifts in 2024

In a recent development, the Chicago City Council has made significant changes to the Paid Leave, Paid Sick, and Safe Leave Ordinance, pushing the effective date from December 31, 2023, to July 1, 2024. This delay provides employers with additional time to adapt to the impending modifications. Key amendments include a redefined “Covered Employee,” now requiring a minimum of 80 hours worked within any 120-day period in the city. Employers must communicate their time-off policies in writing, emphasizing clarity in the primary language of each Covered Employee. Medium-sized employers benefit from a partial payout period extension until July 1, 2025, allowing more time for adjustment. Additionally, irrespective of Covered Employee… Read More

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Key Reminders for Individual Health Plan Payments

In the realm of health insurance, timely payments are non-negotiable. Whether it’s an on-exchange or off-exchange policy, paying your first monthly premium promptly is crucial to avoid termination for non-payment—a situation not considered a Qualifying Life Event. Reinstatement after termination may not always be possible, emphasizing the need for proactive payment. ID cards are issued only once payment is up to date. Understanding grace periods is key. Off-exchange policies typically have a 30-day grace period, while on-exchange policies with subsidies enjoy a 90-day window. Consult with your carrier to know your policy’s specifics. Stay informed to navigate the complexities and ensure uninterrupted coverage for you and your loved ones. We’re… Read More

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Ambetter Health Members: Ensure Coverage for January 2024!

As we approach the end of the year, we want to remind you of a crucial deadline to ensure uninterrupted coverage for the upcoming year. Payment Deadline: December 31, 2023: Ambetter Health members must make their January premium payment by December 31, 2023, to guarantee seamless coverage for the start of 2024. To make this process quick and convenient, we recommend using Quick Pay option for a fast, one-time payment. For Assistance: If you have any questions or require assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dedicated Ambetter Health Account Executive. You can contact them at 1-855-700-7985, selecting option 3. Alternatively, you can email ambettersales@centene.com. Ensuring your premium payment is processed… Read More

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Case Study: Achieving Success Through Broker Change

In the dynamic landscape of employee benefits, staying complacent can hinder progress and cost an organization significant financial resource. At Total Benefit Solutions, we take pride in our proactive approach to addressing complex employee benefit challenges. In this blog post, we highlight a case study that exemplifies our commitment to providing innovative solutions and delivering tangible results for our clients. Broker Change Leads to Better Results The Challenge: A mid-sized group prospect approached us with a pressing issue – dissatisfaction with their current benefits broker. Faced with a 17% health insurance renewal, the client felt that their existing broker was not adequately exploring cost containment strategies. Seeking guidance, they turned… Read More

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House Passes Health Care Transparency Law

In a significant move towards increased transparency and cost reduction in the healthcare sector, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 320-71 to pass the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act on December 11, 2023. The bipartisan legislation aims to address the pressing issue of rising healthcare costs by implementing crucial changes, particularly affecting employers sponsoring group health plans. Transparency in Coverage Regulations The bill codifies existing transparency in coverage regulations, requiring the posting of machine-readable files (MRF) and making certain cost information available. Notably, changes include specific timing for posting the MRF, scheduled for the 10th day of each month. If enacted, this provision would come into effect for the first… Read More

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