Independence Medicare Advantage plans receive 5 stars from CMS

  We are pleased to share that Independence Medicare Advantage health and prescription drug plans have been rated among the nation’s best by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)! Independence’s Keystone 65 HMO and Select Option Rx PDP plans earned a prestigious 5 out of 5 stars in the CMS 2022 Star Ratings. The organization’s Personal Choice 65SM PPO plan also received 4.5 stars, CMS’s second‑highest rating. Published annually, the CMS Star Ratings provide a scorecard on Medicare Advantage health and prescription drug plans’ quality and performance measures such as member compliance with preventative care and screening recommendations, chronic condition management, customer service, access to care, and more. Earning 5 stars is a significant accomplishment that reflects an… Read More

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HHS Issues Guidance Addressing HIPAA & COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued guidance in the form of questions and answers addressing how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies in regardto COVID-19 vaccinations. The guidance makes clear that HIPAA’s privacy rules are not an obstacle to an employer that would like to establish a vaccination requirement for itsemployees and customers. Click to Download HHS Issues Guidance Addressing HIPAA and COVID-19 Vaccinations As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists if you have any further questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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What is NY HCRA and who does it apply to?

  New York Health Care Reform Act (NY HCRA) became effective January 1, 1997. It collects public funds for Indigent Care and Graduate Medical Education (GME, also known as PEP) through a system of surcharges and regional assessments. The State of New York has contracted Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Central NY to administer this legislation as the Public Goods Pool. Click the link to download the detailed explanation What is NY HCRA and who does it apply to Questions about self funding health insurance? Contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121 

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Total Benefit Solutions Acquires Tower Group Associates

Total Benefit Solutions, Inc of Feasterville PA has acquired Tower Group Associates (www.Towerfp.com & 856-627-1126)  formerly of Voorhees , New Jersey effective October 2021 Tower Group Associates clients are asked to reach out to Total Benefit Solutions, Inc at (215)355-2121. “Tower Group Associates has a long standing reputation as one of the top health insurance servicing forms in the Philadelphia area. We are proud to have the opportunity to became one of the same team expressed Edward MacConnell, President of Total Benefit Solutions Inc..  We are looking forward to working with the Tower team of specialist, brokers and clients. For more information contact Total Benefit Solutions, Inc at (215)355-2121.

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Total Benefit Solutions Inc chosen as top health insurance agency in Philadelphia

We scored Philadelphia Health Insurance Agencies on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best. Total Benefit Solutions Inc chosen as top health insurance agency in Philadelphia by expertise.com

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Medicare Part D Notification Requirements

Employers sponsoring a group health plan with prescription drug benefits are required to notify their Medicare-eligible participants and beneficiaries as to whether the drugcoverage provided under the plan is “creditable” or “noncreditable.”This notification must be provided prior to October 15th each year. Also, following the plan’s annualrenewal, the employer must notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) of the creditable status of the drug plan. Employers should send these notices no later than October15, 2021 if they haven’t done so already. Have questions about this notice? Contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121. Click here to download Medicare Part D Notification Requirements  

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2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully Insured Plans

As a reminder, insurance carriers are required to satisfy certain medical loss ratio (“MLR”) thresholds. This generally means that for every dollar of premium a carriercollects with respect to a major medical plan; it should spend 85 cents in the large group market (80 cents in the small group market) on medical care and activitiesto improve health care quality. If these thresholds are not satisfied, rebates are available to employers in the form of a premium credit or check.If a rebate is available, carriers are required to distribute MLR checks to employers by September 30, 2021. Click here to download this bulletin: 2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully… Read More

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How is COBRA health insurance affected if I am disabled?

  In certain circumstances, if a disabled individual  and non-disabled family members are qualified beneficiaries, they are eligible for up to an 11-month extension of COBRA continuation coverage, for a total of 29 months.  The criteria for this 11-month disability extension is a complex area of COBRA law.  We provide general information below, but if you have any questions regarding your disability and public sector COBRA, we encourage you to email us at phig@cms.hhs.gov. In general, the COBRA qualifying event must be a termination of employment or a reduction of the covered employee’s employment hours.  Second, the covered employee must be determined under title II or title XVI of the… Read More

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CMS Extends Open Enrollment Period

On September 17, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a series of provisions that follow through on President Biden’s commitment to build on the Affordable Care Act, expand health coverage access for Americans and advance health equity. The provisions are the third installment of the payment notice for 2022.   There are several important policy updates that Marketplace agents and brokers should be aware of prior to the beginning of the plan year 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP). These provisions include: An extension of the OEP from November 1, 2021, to January 15, 2022, annually for Marketplaces on the federal platform. Clarification for Special Enrollment Period… Read More

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Dental & Vision Plans for Families

  Getting a quality dental plan when you are self employed or don’t have employer coverage can be a real challenge.  But don’t worry! The professionals at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc work for your benefit! We have provided this easy to use online portal to help you shop, compare and enroll on a great plan of your choice!  We can walk through the options with you or you can enroll on the portal on your own, whatever you choose! Questions about these dental benefits? Just give us a call (215)355-2121.  Click here to find and compare dental and vision plans!   

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What Are Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights?

Guaranteed Issue Rights (Also Called “Medigap Protections”)  are rights you have in certain situations when insurance companies must offer you certain Medigap policies. In these situations, an insurance company: Must sell you a Medigap policy Must cover all your pre-existing health conditions Can’t charge you more for a Medigap policy because of past or present health problems In most cases, you have a guaranteed issue right when you have other health coverage that changes in some way, like when you lose the other health care coverage. In other cases, you have a “trial right” to try a  Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)  and still buy a Medigap policy if you change… Read More

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When can I buy a Medigap plan?

    Buy a policy when you’re first eligible  The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. You generally will get better prices and more choices among policies. During that time you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the first month you have   Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)  and you’re 65 or older. It can’t be changed or repeated. After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more due to past or present health problems.… Read More

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Anthem Blue Cross: New agreement with Trinity Health System extends access through 2025

August 20, 2021 We notified you last month that the previous agreement with Trinity Health System ended August 1. They have reached a new agreement that will assure continued access to affordable healthcare at Trinity Health hospitals, physicians, and affiliated care providers through 2025. We will continue our collaborative work to serve the community and look for innovative ways to help solve challenges together. Questions? reach out to your Total Benefit Solutions group account manager at (215)355-2121 https://www.totalbenefits.net

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Medicare Supplement Plan F or G?

  Many of our clients ask what is the “best” Medicare supplement that they can buy. While there is no overall “best”, the Medicare Supplement Plan F is generally considered the most comprehensive coverage among Medicare supplements due to the fact that most services are covered without any member co-pay or cost sharing at all. Keep in mind that Medicare supplements, like Plan F do not cover prescriptions and that a beneficiary with Medicare supplement will need to have other coverage for prescription drug coverage.  A little known fact about Medicare supplements is that they do not have an annual “open enrollment” period so a beneficiary with a supplement can… Read More

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AmeriHealth New Jersey prepares to comply with new Transparency requirements

From Amerihealth NJ: Health care and health insurance are among the most regulated industries in the U.S., making compliance a crucial requirement for success. AmeriHealth New Jersey has a strong track record of compliance to local, state, and federal guidelines, and we are working to comply with the new Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and Transparency in Coverage Rule (TCR) requirements. We have been focused on transparency for our members for years, and we are now further sharpening our efforts related to transparency and accountability pertaining to the recent legislation for which we have developed an enterprise-wide implementation program to ensure requirements are met. We have a cross-functional team that is… Read More

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UHC: Watch – Understanding The No Surprises Act and 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act

Experts from UnitedHealthcare recently updated self-funded health plan sponsors and consultants on The No Surprises Act, and related compliance requirements, including: Consumer price transparency Mental health parity Implications and obligations for plans sponsors, including qualified payments, health plan ID cards, advanced EOBs and potential impact of out-of-network utilization and independent dispute resolution UHC: Understanding The No Surprises Act and 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act – Presentation & Materials

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HHS Extends Public Health Emergency until October 18, 2021

  On July 19, 2021, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), announced that the administration will renew the COVID-19 pandemic Public Health Emergency, scheduled to expire on July 20, 2021. This will once again extend the period for an additional 90 days and as a result, numerous temporary benefit plan changes will remain in effect. As previously noted, in a letter sent to state governors, HHS indicated that the agency expects that the Public Health Emergency will likely remain in place for all of 2021. While not formal agency action, it appears that HHS intends to continue to renew the Public Health Emergency through, at least, the end… Read More

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COBRA Subsidy Termination Notice Reminder

AEIs must be provided with a notice of expiration of the COBRA subsidy between August 16 and September 15, 2021. The notice must explain the date that the premium assistance will expire and that the individual may be eligible for coverage without any premium assistance through COBRA, a group health plan, the Marketplace, or Medicare/Medicaid.

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Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance Requirements – We’ve Got You Covered!

  Beginning August 1, 2021 and going through to December 31, 2021, Royal Caribbean Cruises departing from ports out of Florida will require unvaccinated passengers age 12 years and older to procure valid travel insurance prior to boarding. Coverage requirements include $25,000 per person in medical coverage and $50,000 per person for emergency medical evacuation with no COVID-19 exclusions. Don’t let this requirement halt your travel plans!  We have Trip Protection and global health insurance plans provide coverage that meet these requirements, as well as offering additional coverage like baggage loss/delay benefits and trip cancellation/interruption benefits. If you have any questions please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance… Read More

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MHPNJ : Important Plan Cancellation Status Information

Affiliated Physicians and Employers Master Trust (“APEMT”) and Members Health Plan New Jersey (“MHPNJ”) want to take the time to let you know they value the support that you have provided them over the years. APEMT/MHPNJ (the “Plan”) is ceasing to write business and is beginning an orderly wind down of the Plan. The financial deficiency the Plan has been facing for the past several months has not been sufficiently cured in the time period prescribed by New Jersey law. Therefore, the Board of Trustees on behalf of the Plan is implementing an orderly wind down of the plan. Please be advised that you must terminate their coverage with the Plan and seek new… Read More

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Group Business: Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth NJ COBRA and Mini-COBRA Premium Assistance

  COBRA Premium Assistance Available to Eligible Group Members Through September 2021 Under the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), eligible group members who elect COBRA (including state‑based “Mini‑COBRA”) continuation coverage due to an involuntary job loss or a reduction in hours within the past year may be eligible for 100 percent coverage of their monthly health insurance premiums. This temporary premium assistance will be provided at no cost to the employer or to the group member through September 30, 2021. Employers should consult the U.S. Department of Labor and IRS websites for more information. Obtaining Mini-COBRA Premium Assistance For groups subject to state continuation plans (referred to as Mini‑COBRA typically for those with 19 or fewer… Read More

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2021 Second Quarter Compliance Bulletins Compilation

This document is a valuable resource, putting all of the latest health care reform news and updates in one location! 

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Independence: Using the e-bill feature

From Independence Blue Cross: There’s an easy way to simplify your administration and reduce costs —make secure eBill payments through our employer portal at ibx.com, anytime and anywhere… Download ebill bulletin    

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