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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IBC 2019 Member Renewal Notices

October 25th: Independence Blue Cross Member Renewal Letter details Due to the subsidy disruption in some counties, Independence will be sending renewal notices in 2 waves. On October 25th 2018: • Members who do not receive a subsidy will receive their renewal notices for 2019. The notice will include benefit and premium updates for 2019 and provide a personalized URL for a website that enables them to renew plans as-is (EZ Button), or make a change to their current plan. • Members who have a subsidy will receive a letter advising that Independence is waiting for more information from the federal government regarding their subsidy dollars. Upon receipt of this information, the renewal notices will be sent.… Read More

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Health Care Reform: How should employers disburse medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates from insurance carriers?

Recently a number of clients have received notices and/or checks for their organizations’s Medical Loss Ratio, or MLR rebates. Below is some helpful information from SHRM for understanding how these rebates can be used or distributed. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Technical Release No. 2011-04, the employer’s responsibility for distributing the rebate to participants is dependent on who paid for the insurance coverage. If the employer paid the entire cost of the insurance coverage, then no part of the rebate would be attributable to participant contributions. However, if participants paid the entire cost of the insurance coverage, then the entire amount of the rebate would be attributable to participant… Read More

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5 Affordable Self-Employed Health Insurance Options When You’re on a Budget

5 Affordable Self-Employed Health Insurance Options When You’re on a Budget When you are self-employed, finding affordable health insurance options isn’t easy. There are more types of insurance policies now more than ever; However not all of those choices are affordable.  So, how can you find good coverage when you’re on a budget? Continue reading below for some great options to make sure you get the benefits you need at a price you can afford!   1. Telemedicine Services and Secure Doctor Consultations A budget-friendly health insurance alternative that’s gaining popularity are Telemedicine Services.  Telemedicine services are just like they sound, it’s a medical service that allows you to speak to… Read More

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The History of Medicare

  A brief history of Medicare in America Landmark social program now covers 58.5 million Americans By Steve Anderson Discussion about a national health insurance system for Americans goes all the way back to the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, whose platform included health insurance when he ran for president in 1912. But the idea for a national health plan didn’t gain steam until it was pushed by U.S. President Harry S Truman.On November 19, 1945, seven months into his presidency, Truman sent a message to Congress, calling for the creation of a national health insurance fund, open to all Americans. The plan Truman envisioned would provide health coverage to individuals, paying for such typical expenses… Read More

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Prevent Osteoporosis with Screenings

10 Facts About Osteoporosis By Kathleen Hall This silent disease significantly raises your risk for fractures and disability. 1. Losing bone density is a normal part of aging. We reach peak bone mass between ages 25 and 30, and then slowly lose begin to start losing bone mass at age 40. For women, reduced levels of estrogen after menopause accelerate bone density loss. “Women lose 1.5 to 2 percent of their bone density per year in the first 10 years after menopause,” says Laura Ryan, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. 2. You don’t lose… Read More

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Do You Qualify For A Special Enrollment Period?

Have you lost your health insurance coverage due to a change in employment, a move, or another life event? Since the 2018 Open Enrollment Period is over, you can only enroll in or change a Health Insurance Marketplace plan if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. Below are Life Events that can grant you a Special Enrollment Period. If you have any questions or would like to talk to someone here about a quote, give us a call at 215-355-2121 or click here. Life changes that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period -Changes in household- You may qualify for a Special Enrollment… Read More

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House Passes Legislation to Change HSAs

The House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that, among other things, purport to improve and “modernize” health savings accounts (“HSAs”). While the bills call for significant changes to the current rules affecting HSAs, the specific details are very different. Both pieces of legislation have been sent to the Senate for consideration. Whether the Senate will take up these bills, let alone approve them “as is,” remains uncertain. There appears to be some bi-partisan agreement to loosen the current HSA rules, which means it is possible that we may see changes to these arrangements, which could be effective as early as January 1, 2019. When more information is available, we will… Read More

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Introducing Xpress Healthcare with Aetna Dental Access!

Total Benefit Solutions offers Xpress Healthcare with a great dental discount & more for Individuals, Families and Seniors! Click Here to shop, compare & enroll!

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Trump Administration Expands Access To Short-Term Plans That Do Not Meet ACA Requirements

The New York Times  (8/4 Pear) reports that on Wednesday, the Trump Administration unveiled “a final rule…that clears the way for the sale of many more health insurance policies that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act and do not have to cover prescription drugs, maternity care or people with pre-existing conditions.” These new options “will help people struggling to afford coverage under the 2010 law, said James Parker, a senior adviser to” HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II.         On its front page, the Washington Post  (7/31, A1, Goldstein) reports that these policies, which are intended “to fill brief gaps in coverage, will be available for 12 months at… Read More

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New Jersey Out-of-Network Bill

On June 1, 2018, New Jersey Gov. Murphy passed the Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act (the “OON Act”). In general, the OON Act applies to emergency services and other care provided by out-of-network physicians in in-network settings (i.e. hospital-based physicians). It  takes effect on September 1, 2018. Click the link below to download the full story: Click to Download For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager at 215-355-2121    

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CMS Expands the Extension of Needed Relief for Marketplace Enrollees Who Missed Medicare Enrollment

CMS is offering assistance to certain individuals enrolled in both Medicare Part A (and/or Part C) and the Exchange for individuals and families to drop their Exchange coverage and enroll in Part B without penalty. Further, CMS is offering assistance to certain individuals who dropped or lost their coverage from the Exchange and are paying a Part B late enrollment penalty from their subsequent enrollment into Part B. These eligible individuals can have their penalty reduced. Individuals can apply for the special enrollment and reduction in late enrollment penalties during a limited time – it is available now and ends September 30, 2018 Read Blog Post from MedicareRights.org CMS SHIP… Read More

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New Association Health Plans

This is something that is happening right now, the rebirth of association health plans, but even better than before!  I have been asked about being able to do this for years. We are super excited about this and this should be better than what we were able to do before with previous association health plans.  Sole proprietors and small businesses will need to join an association in order to get these plans and they are going to be designed to be lower in cost than the current small group plans. Please review the bulletin by downloading below and call us at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions.   Click to… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions-now offering travel health insurance

Introducing GeoBlue Travel Health Insurance We are delighted to now  be able to offer our clients a unique set of international health insurance and trip protection plans through GeoBlue International Blue Cross . GeoBlue advantages include: Richer Benefits – rich coverage without the hidden surprises Better Service and Care – concierge-level access to an elite network of the most internationally-friendly medical providers around the world More Peace of Mind – you have the confidence associated with the most recognized health insurance brand in the U.S. GeoBlue plans offer unique benefits and services not available elsewhere. Each GeoBlue policy includes access to best-in-class doctors and hospitals in 190 countries. Members have the ability… Read More

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IRS reverses decision on 2018 HSA limits

The IRS reversed its March 5 decision to decrease the 2018 contribution limit for family coverage only. The new contribution limit is back to $6,900 (previously adjusted to $6,850). To review the official IRS announcement, visit the Internal Revenue Service press release (published April 26, 2018). This means individuals who have already contributed $6,900 are fine and do not need to return any money. And those individuals who have automatic contributions that would have exceeded the earlier $6,850 limit in 2018 are fine. No changes need to be made as long as they do not exceed the $6,900 family contribution maximum. If you have questions, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc.… Read More

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ThinkHR Webinar: How to Easily Build a Compliant Multistate Handbook

  May 22 and 24, 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time ThinkHR Webinar: How to Easily Build a Compliant Multistate Handbook Handbooks, not rule books: A new approach to an old requirement   Register Now Join Dan Riordan, President and COO at ThinkHR and Shannon Flanagan, Director of People Operations at ThinkHR, as they discuss some of 2018’s hot topics when it comes to employee handbooks. Dan and Shannon will share their insights on how employers can update their marijuana/drug testing and social media policies to reflect today’s environment while staying compliant with changing laws and providing a safe and supportive workplace. Then, stick around to get a preview demo of… Read More

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PCOR Fee Filing Reminder for Self-Insured Plans

The PCOR filing deadline is July 31, 2018 for all self-funded medical plans and HRAs for plan years ending in 2017. Please note: if your organization has an HRA, you are required to file and pay these fees. Click the link below to download the full bulletin.   PCOR Fee Filing Reminder for Self-Insured Plans – 051418R   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager  at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns regarding this notice.

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2019 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2019. Most limits increased from 2018 amounts.   2019 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs – 051418R   As always if you have any questions about this bulletin, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account mananger at (215)355-2121

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IBX Mobile App

Download the free IBX app for your iPhone or Android to help you make the most of your Independence Blue Cross health plan. With new and improved features, the IBX app gives you easy access to your health care coverage 24/7, wherever you are. Learn more: http://bit.ly/ibxmobil     Questions or concerns? Please call your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121.

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IBX Wire – A Powerful New Way to Communicate

IBX Wire – A Powerful New Way to Communicate   IBX Wire™ is IBC’s member messaging service that makes it easier to find support, stay informed, and get things done. It will let you know when you have important account updates, product offers, or health related items that need your attention, and gives you the tools to take action on them quickly and easily. Notifications will be sent via automated text message. Message and data rates may apply. Not required to purchase goods and services from Independence Blue Cross. Text STOP to stop and HELP for help. Terms and conditions at www.myhelpsite.net/ibx. RELAY® is a registered trademark and service mark,… Read More

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IRS cuts 2018 family HSA contribution limit

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 2018 contribution limit for family coverage in a health savings account will be $6,850—not $6,900, as previously announced by the IRS. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that the IRS has recalculated the limit because the tax law applies the so-called chained consumer price index to increases in HSA contribution limits, as well as to a few other employee benefit contribution limits. Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018–10, released March 5, clarifies not just that change but others as well. While the annual tax-deductible HSA contribution limit for tax year 2018 will remain at $3,450 for HSA account holders with self-only coverage through a high-deductible… Read More

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DOL Penalties Increase for 2018

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (the “Inflation Adjustment Act”) to direct federal agencies to adjust the civil monetary penalties for inflation every year. Civil penalties ensure compliance with federal regulation by incentivizing employers not to violate federal regulation and providing federal agencies the power to ensure compliance. However, when penalties are too low, or have failed to be increased for inflation, compliance with federal regulation remains stagnant. The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published the annual adjustments for 2018 that increase certain penalties applicable to employee benefit plans Click here to download the full bulletin   As always please contact your Total Benefit… Read More

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IRS Releases 2018 Inflation Adjustments to Tax Provisions

The Internal Revenue Service released the annual inflation adjustments that will apply to certain benefit plan tax provisions in 2018. Revenue Procedure 2017-58, which can be accessed by clicking here, identifies inflation-adjusted items for different provisions of the tax code. From an employee benefits standpoint, the following limits may be of interest to employers: The dollar limit on voluntary employee salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending accounts is increased to $2,650 for plan years beginning in 2018. The monthly exclusion amount for transportation and transit passes is increased to $260. The monthly limit for the qualified parking exclusion is increased to $260. The dollar amount used to determine the penalty… Read More

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Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill

    On December 20, 2017, the House and Senate sent President Trump the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for signature. The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill on November 16, 2017 while the Senate passed their version on December 2, 2017. Because the versions were not identical, a Tax-Bill Conference Committee was formed from members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to negotiate the text of the combined bill. After the finalized text was approved and released by the committee, the House and Senate each passed the combined bill (which happened on December 20th in the House and December 19th in the Senate) before… Read More

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