IBC to Reach Agreement with Providers in Our Area!

We are pleased to share that Mercy Health System, St. Mary Medical Center, Saint Francis Healthcare and Independence Blue Cross (Blue Cross) anticipate coming to an agreement on a new, long-term contract this week, meaning there should be no interruption to your care or coverage at the following facilities: Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Mercy Philadelphia Hospital Nazareth Hospital St. Mary Medical Center Saint Francis Healthcare in Delaware We thank you for your continued support and patience throughout this process, and apologize for any anxiety or inconvenience this negotiation may have caused you or your family – that was never our intention. We look forward to continuing to provide you the care… Read More

Continue Reading

New Jersey Small Employer Stop Loss Bill

A bill has been introduced in New Jersey in both the Senate and Assembly that, if passed, would prohibit insurance carriers or other insurers subject to the insurance laws of New Jersey or any other state from offering, issuing or renewing any stop loss insurance policy of any kind to small employers. Stop loss insurance provides reimbursement for catastrophic, excess or unexpected expenses and is used by small employers to self-insure part of the health insurance coverage they provide for employees. Under New Jersey law, in connection with a group health plan, a small employer means an employer with 2-50 eligible employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. If passed,… Read More

Continue Reading

Important News From Independence Blue Cross: Trinity Health termination

February 11th 2019: For the past several months, we have been negotiating the terms of our agreements with Trinity Health (Trinity), which includes the following entities, as well as their professional providers, subsidiaries, affiliates, and divisions: Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Mercy Fitzgerald, Mercy Philadelphia, and Nazareth hospitals St. Mary Medical Center, including St. Mary Rehabilitation Hospital, Saint Francis Healthcare, including Saint Francis Hospital, Wilmington, Delaware. We continue to engage in good‑faith negotiations, but we want to explain how customers and members could be affected if we are unable to reach a new agreement by March 31, 2019. How members would be affected If we are unable to reach a new agreement, Trinity will no longer be… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

“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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Important Info! HSA Limits for 2019

Continue Reading

How do you calculate the number of full time equivalent employees?

How do I calculate the number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees?” Employers ask us all the time how the go about figuring how many FTE’s or Full Time Equivalents they have for ACA compliance purposes. Because the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate (Employer Shared Responsibility Payments or the Play or Pay ) only applies to “applicable large employers,” defined as employing 50+ FTE employees. What if you don’t have 50 employees? So if you do not have 50 employees or anywhere close to it, you can rest assured, you don’t have to calculate.  The employers who typically have the biggest challenges are the employers who have a large number of part… Read More

Continue Reading

“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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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 drug coverage provided under the plan is “creditable” or “non-creditable” prior to October 15th, 2018. Please follow this link for more information:   Medicare Part D Notification Requirements       As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this notification or your specific policy, please contact us at 215-355-2121

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

The Four Stages of Medicare Part D (2018)

The Four Stages of Medicare Part D Coverage                          

Continue Reading

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    

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Four Stages of Medicare Part D

  It’s easy to see why Many people are confused by the Medicare part D plan coverage deductibles, limits and the donut hole. We have provided this graphic for you, our clients and friends to make it a little easier to see in a pie chart. Click the link below to download this graphic bulletin. 2018 Four Stages Of Medicare Part D   Want to compare part D plans in your area quickly? Click here   Have more questions? Call us today at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Your Medicare Card Is Changing!

  The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires that Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) be removed from Medicare cards by April 2019; this is in an effort to lessen the current risk of beneficiary medical identity theft. A unique Medicare number, called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI, will replace the current HICN. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin the process of mailing new Medicare cards and will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all cards by April 2019. Educational Resources:  CMS Transition to New Medicare Numbers and Cards – Fact Sheet CMS Website –… Read More

Continue Reading

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option for small groups

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. Ask us today if self funding could be a good fit for your organization! Call your Total Benefit Solutions Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information! Learn more here: AFA-Customer-Flyer New! Minute Clinic Benefit! $0 Copay Minute Clinic Visits Flyer More Documents for downloading: Springboard Marketplace Your Online Administration and Enrollment Portal AFA AppleWatch Wellness Flyer AFA Sample Usage Reports Aetna & Teledoc for AFA AETNA… Read More

Continue Reading