If companies could give employees tax free money to buy health insurance on their own, how many would do so?

If companies could give employees tax free money to buy health insurance on their own, how many would do so?

We’re about to find out

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Medicare vs. Medicaid: The Basics

We know everyone has heard of “Medicaid” and “Medicare” but most people don’t know exactly what these Government programs do, or confuse the two. Some even think they are the same thing, when they are both completely different types of programs. Each program is designed for specific populations, controlled by different areas of the Government (one on the State level and one in the Federal level) and both offer different “perks” for those enrolled. The short answer is that Medicare is designed usually for people over 65, while Medicaid is an incomes based insurance.. but it’s a little bit more than that and some people can be eligible for both.… Read More

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Quick Updates in the World of Insurance

Extension of Deadline for 2018 Forms 1095-C The IRS has issued Notice 2018-94, which provides a limited extension of time for employers to provide 2018 Forms 1095-C to individuals. It also extends good-faith transition relief from certain penalties for the 2018 reporting year. To find out more, please click here.   Wellness Program Considerations for 2019 Wellness programs have faced unique challenges and scrutiny in 2018. Click for an update on the status of wellness program incentives and the Department of Labor’s enforcement activity on wellness programs tied to group health plans. For more information on how the plans are changing, please click here.   New Jersey: Premiums in the… Read More

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Over Half of Americans Delay or Don’t Get Healthcare Because They Can’t Afford It

Over Half of Americans Delay or Don’t Get Healthcare Because They Can’t Afford It   With open enrollment for many medical plans in full swing, health care is top of mind for millions of Americans. But health care is still too expensive for most: A majority of U.S. adults have to delay getting the care they need, or put it off completely, because they can’t afford it, data from financial website Earnin shows. According to the research, which combined Earnin-user data with data from a Harris Poll survey of more than 2,000 adults, 54 percent of Americans say they’ve delayed care for themselves in the past year because of cost, and another 23 percent delayed care for more… Read More

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The Six Common Types of Health Plans

With the Marketplace making Health Insurance products more accessible and affordable than ever before, people have the opportunity to choose from MANY different policies, as opposed to before when most people just took whatever insurance an Employer may have offered them. While most people are familiar with or have heard of HMOs and PPOs, newer types of policies have become increasingly popular. So what are the main six kinds of Health Insurance Plans? Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) An HMO has all of your health services go through a network of healthcare providers and facilities. If your Doctor/facility is not in the HMO Network, then the Insurer will not cover your… Read More

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Trump Administration Issues New guidance on ACA Provisions

According to advice issued Thursday by federal health officials, states should be free to redefine the use of  subsidies, which began in 2014. They represent the first help the government ever has offered middle-class consumers to afford monthly premiums for private insurance. States could allow the subsidies to be used for health plans the administration has been promoting outside the ACA marketplaces that are less expensive because they provide skimpier benefits and fewer consumer protections. In an even more dramatic change, states could let residents with employer-based coverage set up accounts in which they mingle the federal subsidies with health-care funds from their job or personal tax-deferred savings funds to… Read More

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The Top 3 Reasons Employers Offer Supplemental Insurance Plans

Why Employers Offer Supplemental Insurance Plans Employers everywhere have become more and more interested in offering Supplemental Insurance Plans. These Voluntary Benefits are insurance products employees can elect to add to their plans to fill the gaps in their health insurance policy. These plans help with the costs associated with medical bills and missed time at work. So why are Employers offering these policies more and more? Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why Employers Offer Supplemental Insurance Plans:   Recruit New Employees and Up Morale More than ever, supplemental insurance plans are an important part of an attractive employee benefits offering. A LIMRA study finds that 7 in 10… Read More

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Friendly Reminder: Enrollment Periods End Soon!

Open Enrollment for Medicare ends on December 7th while the ACA Marketplace/ Obamacare Enrollment Period runs until December 15th. With all the hustle and bustle happening with the official beginning of the Holiday Season, these are important dates to know. If you have yet to choose a plan or have questions about plans available to you, now is a great time to get answers and get enrolled.  Please Click Here for information on how to Enroll in either of these plan types. For those that want to choose a Marketplace policy, CMS has put together a helpful list of things you should have readily available for your plan selection. Having all of… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions gave you $5.00 in Lyft credit towards your first ride in Philadelphia!

Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink & Drive this Thanksgiving Eve   “Thanksgiving Eve,” is associated with drinking and is a big night for bars. More than 800 Americans died in alcohol-impaired crashes during the days surrounding Thanksgiving over the past four years (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads. If you plan on drinking PLEASE plan a head. There’s no need for senseless tragedies. Lyft has issued coupon code “TotalBenefits” for $5 off their ride service this holiday for new users. Enjoy your holiday responsibly!! Click Here to be taken to the promo page. Or simply download the app and use… Read More

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Top Five Reasons for ER Trips on Thanksgiving

The Top 5 Reasons for ER Trips on Thanksgiving   Thanksgiving is almost here! It’s a wonderful day spent together with your family and loved ones. People across the Country will be spending hours and hours perfecting their feasts after weeks of careful planning. Family from near and far gather together to give Thanks for the little (and big) things in life. The meaning behind it all is beautiful. So what’s the worst thing that can happen as everyone prepares to enjoy the delicious food? Someone getting hurt. And not just a little hurt, hurt enough to have to go to the ER. Knowing what the top reasons are can… Read More

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How to Pick a Health Insurance Plan

Here at Total Benefit Solutions Inc, we pride ourselves on helping Individuals choose a Health Plan that works for their Family and their budget. Choosing a health insurance plan can be complicated, which is why we recommend calling a Broker to help you choose a plan and step-by-step through enrollment. However, knowing just a few things before you compare plans can make the process simpler. The 4 “metal” categories: There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These categories show how you and your plan share costs. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care. Your total costs for health care: You pay a monthly… Read More

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Change of Income? When and How to Notify the Marketplace.

One of the benefits of getting your Health Insurance through the Marketplace is the tax credit applied to your premium, which makes your costs much more affordable. However, when determining how much your tax credit will be, you use an estimate on your income for the following year. Life is always changing, so if your income changes, if your Family size changes or even being offered Healthcare in some other way it is IMPORTANT to alert the Marketplace of these changes or you may end up owing money back to the Government when you file your taxes at the end of the year. Here we will talk about which types… Read More

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How To Find a Doctor You Trust

How to Find a Doctor You Trust Get a list of in-network providers: Call your insurance company or look at their plan materials for a list of doctors in their network. You’ll usually pay less to see a doctor in your network than a doctor who’s out-of-network. You can also call your Broker and they can help assist you in getting the names of Doctors near you that accept your plan. Do your research: Ask friends and family if they recommend their doctors. You may even be able to read online reviews for doctors in your area. Online reviews are a great way to gauge things such as bedside manner and wait… Read More

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“I’m paying for Health Insurance I don’t even use!”

You hear it all the time: “I’m paying for Health Insurance I don’t even use!” But, Health insurance isn’t only for when you’re sick!  You can use it to maintain your healthy status, you can use it for Preventative Care and you can also use this time to learn how your coverage works before you get sick. Also, many Health Insurance Plans offer things such as discounted gym memberships and rewards for healthy lifestyle choices (such as quitting smoking). Some plans even offer vision or dental benefits, so you can take advantage of an eye screening or 6 month dental check-up. Take advantage of free insurance benefits anytime Get preventive services,… Read More

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There are two new HRA options to offer Employees!

The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) issued proposed guidance that, if finalized, creates a mechanism for employers to offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) in connection with individual health insurance coverage. The proposed regulations add two new HRA options for employers to consider: • HRA integrated with individual health insurance coverage. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2020, permit integration of an HRA with individual health insurance coverage provided certain conditions are met. • Excepted Benefit HRA. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2020, employers that offer traditional group health plan coverage may consider offering… Read More

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What is Medicare?

With Open Enrollment for Medicare in full swing, it’s important to know your benefits and how they work together. Here is an easy to understand article so you fully understand Medicare’s Parts  in order to customize coverage that works for you! Here at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc we have highly trained and certified Medicare Enrollment Specialists to help you each step along the way. If your Medicare options confuse you, or you just want the piece of mind of having a Broker review your needs prior to selecting a plan, feel free to reach out to us at 215-355-2121! You only have until December 7th to choose a plan for… Read More

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Quick Update: Retirement Plan Contribution Limits and ACA Reminders & Numbers

                                 Important Open Enrollment Information While we highly suggest those of you applying for Healthcare Coverage through the Marketplace speak with a Trained and Licensed Broker to make sure you are getting the right coverage for your particular situation, we know some of you prefer to apply directly. So with that in mind, we wanted to send out a reminder that every Sunday from 12am until 12pm during Open Enrollment (Except December 9th), scheduled maintenance will happen on the Healthcare.gov site. This means during those periods you may not be able to access the site to… Read More

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Ways to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

Prescriptions costs are skyrocketing. We all know that. But did you know that there are several ways for people to save money on their monthly medications? As health insurance plans are becoming more catastrophic in nature, that means that people will need to become better health care consumers. Sometimes that means using the tools that the insurance company offers at no charge. Sometimes it means using discounts and other resources that are available outside the health plan. Here are a few ways, some already widely known and others not so much, to help drop down your costs at the Pharmacy. While this is not a comprehensive list of money-saving ideas, it is… Read More

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Important Info! HSA Limits for 2019

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What is an HRA and How It May See A Major Change Soon..

Before we get into how rules for HRAs may be changing, we should discuss what an HRA is and how it works. A Health Reimbursement Account (sometimes referred to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement) is an employer-funded group health plan that reimburses employees, tax-free, for qualified medical expenses up to a certain amount per year. This type of policy does not replace Medical Insurance and is usually coupled with a High-Deductible policy. Unlike an Health Savings Account (HSA), the Employee can not help to fund the account.  Like HSAs though, there are maximum allowed contributions. In 2018, an Employer can fund an HRA up to $5,050 for a Single Employee and $10,250… Read More

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“Can I use my HSA for…….?”

Health Savings Accounts and You Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) aren’t new. They’ve been around since late 2003. Initially they were created along with the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act  to replace the Medical Saving Account System. Initially these plans were designed to help with Drug Costs under Medicare policies; However, as Insurance Premiums increased, more and more Employer and Individual Policies offered High-Deductible Plans to help curb costs. Due to that, HSAs were thrown into the spotlight as a way to use Pre-Tax Dollars to cover out-of-pocket Medical costs. In 2017, a reported 22million Americans have an HSA. Each year, that number continues to climb. Many people still have a… Read More

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Common Questions: Rules For Your HSA After Becoming Medicare Eligible

Medicare and Your HSA In 2017, over 22 million Americans have a Health Savings Account. Each year that number goes higher and higher as High Deductible Plans become more popular with Individuals and Employers. Once you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare, you can no longer open an HSA or deposit money into it, but what if you already had one with a balance? You don’t have to worry about a “Use It Or Lose It” clause. That money can still be used towards out-of-pocket costs! Here are some very common questions about how you can continue to benefit from your HSA and why keeping funds in it for your… Read More

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President Trump Signs Prescription Drug Gag Clause Legislation

President Trump Signs Prescription Drug Gag Clause Legislation On Wednesday, President Trump signed into law S. 2553, the Know the Lowest Price Act, and S. 2554, the Patient Right to Know Drug Price Act. The legislation was passed by the House and Senate last month with bipartisan support and will ban “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers when they can save money on their prescriptions by paying out of pocket for the retail price of the drug, rather than using their insurance and making the co-payment. These bills comprise portions of President Trump’s “America First” prescription drug initiative that were released as part of a blueprint to lower drug prices in May.… Read More

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