Turning 26: Your Guide to Health Insurance

Turning 26: Your Guide to Getting Your New Health Insurance:https://totalbenefits.net/turning-26-your-guide-to-health-insurance/

Continue Reading

CMS Updates Medicare Enrollment Rules for 2023

On April 22, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed implementation of parts of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) to simplify Medicare enrollment. According to Medicare.gov, these changes will go into effect January 1, 2023. Generally speaking, the new Medicare enrollment rules will allow for a more straightforward enrollment process that reduces potential gaps in coverage. They also allow for more Special Enrollment Periods and extend some Part B coverage to certain beneficiaries. But, what are the specifics? All facts and figures can be found in CMS’ fact sheet on the provisions, unless specifically linked elsewhere. Current Medicare Enrollment Rules Currently, when Medicare coverage actually starts after enrollment… Read More

Continue Reading

Additional Guidance on New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit informationannually about prescription drugs and health care spending to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on behalf of the Departments of Health and Human Services(“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022. CMS recently updated guidance related to this reporting requirement that provides some helpful clarification. Click the link below to download this bulletin. As always please contact your Total benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

Continue Reading

Celebrity Medicare Sales Pitches Are Toned Down After Scrutiny

Soaring complaints and aggressive sales efforts result in tighter rules from regulators From WSJ.COM: If it’s football season, you can count on seeing Joe Namath on television, along with William Shatner and Jimmie “J J” Walker. They are the most prominent pitchmen for what has become an annual fall selling frenzy for Medicare Advantage policies.  After a surge in consumer complaints, and stiffer government rules, the sales pitches will likely be tamer this year. If there is confusion, “we’ll change things so it satisfies everybody and eliminates the confusion,” said Mr. Shatner, best known for his role as Captain Kirk in the “Star Trek” franchise  The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services toughened its… Read More

Continue Reading

Medicare Advantage (MA) Quick Facts

What is it? A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company, such as Independence Blue Cross, that contracts with Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits. If enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Plan types offered: Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), for example. Independence offers Keystone 65 HMO as well as Personal Choice 65 PPO. Medical Coverage: If enrolled in a HMO, members must choose a PCP (which also will coordinate referrals) and must stay In-Network. PPO… Read More

Continue Reading

Medigap Quick Facts

What is it? A Medigap policy (also called “Medicare Supplement Insurance”) is private health insurance that’s designed to supplement Original Medicare. This means it helps pay some of the health care costs (“gaps”) that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Play types offered: Insurance companies can sell only a “standardized” policy identified in most states by letters. Independence Blue Cross offers Plans A, B, F, F-HD, G, G-HD, and N. Medical Coverage: No selection of a PCP is required; members are able to choose any doctor or hospital as long as they accept Original Medicare. This also allows for no referrals and no network. Prescription Drug Coverage:… Read More

Continue Reading

Important Notice Regarding United Healthcare and US Digestive Health

USDH has over 150 providers and 25 locations across Central Southeastern, and Southwestern Pennsylvania that remain at the forefront of treatment protocols, attracting the most accomplished specialists and brightest medical minds in the field, and utilizing cutting edge technologies so that our patients receive high-quality care and the best possible health outcomes. USDH is currently negotiating with United Healthcare for a new contract that covers the care we provide patients with United Healthcare employer-sponsored, Exchange, and Medicare Advantage health plans. If we do not reach a new agreement, our doctors and facilities will be forced out of United Healthcare’s network effective September 1, 2022. The contract that has governed our… Read More

Continue Reading
woman in blue suit jacket

Understanding the Coding of Health Plans from MEC to Metallic

Choosing the right insurance plan for you (and your family) is not an easy task. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced major changes to the way carriers traditionally marketed their health plans to the public and introduced a volume of new terms, requirements and complexities, many of which may sound confusing to the general public. From terms like “minimum essential coverage” to the various metallic plan categories of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, a solid foundation of knowledge is essential in order to find the coverage required at an affordable price. The health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions Inc are well versed on these terms so when you… Read More

Continue Reading

Independence Blue Cross and Amerihealth: Behind on your health insurance payments?

Please do not assume that your payment is on the way or has been made and that the insurance company will handle it. Our health insurance specialists can assist you with a conference call. Getting reinstated after a cancellation is a long and difficult process and is not always available! If your payments are behind we need to ask for termination suppression BEFORE you are cancelled. First, Please always contact the Billing Department at 215-567-3357 or 1-800-444-6301. When calling, please have your group name, billing account number and address for verification purposes. The Billing Department will not approve an account for termination suppression due to checks mailed, promise to pay… Read More

Continue Reading

Premium Formulary Adoption Swells Among Large Group Clients

The Premium formulary is an option for large group clients wanting access to a formulary that manages traditional, non-specialty drug costs without compromising clinical outcomes. In many cases it saved early adopters nearly 10% per member per month on their plan’s traditional drug spend. Overall, members saved on drug costs without rigorous additional step therapies, prior authorizations, or other invasive utilization management strategies. Members transitioning to the Premium formulary will receive communications about the change, potential disruptions to their drug therapies, and clinically appropriate and cost-effective alternatives. Blue KC will continue to make quarterly updates to the Premium formulary and will send subsequent member communications about those changes and appropriate… Read More

Continue Reading

Independence Blue Cross: Care Cost Estimator

Did you know that you can estimate your out-of-pocket costs before you schedule a doctor’s appointment or medical procedure? You can, with the new Care Cost Estimator tool. It also lets you compare providers by price, based on your specific health plan. The Care Cost Estimator tool will display: Provider details Quality information, such as reviews Your estimated out-of-pocket costs for a wide range of common procedures and office visits Click here to learn how to get started with the Care Cost Estimator. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

What is a Qualifying Life Event or QLE?

There are 4 basic types of health insurance qualifying life events. (The following are examples, not a full list.) Loss of health coverage Losing existing health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan Changes in household Getting married or divorced Having a baby or adopting a child Death in the family Changes in residence Moving to a different ZIP code or county A student moving to or from the place they attend school A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work Moving to or from a shelter or… Read More

Continue Reading

Case Study Library

We present a few case studies to illustrate how we have helped our clients solve their complicated employee benefit challenges. Click here to learn more!

Continue Reading

Aetna: Understanding the Evolution of Primary Care and What it Means for your Workforce

The evolutions of primary care has a great impact on employers and their workforce. As primary care looks to meet current consumer trends, employers and payers must think creatively to support their employees. Virtual, advanced, and multi-disciplinary sites are just the start. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

Horizon Grandmothering Extended into 2023 for Pre-ACA Plans

Horizon will once again enable Small Employer group customers that offer health plans that preceded the Affordable Care Act (“pre-ACA plans”) and renew between October 1 and December 31, 2022, to renew within those pre-ACA plans. Because we receive the highest volume of renewals during the fourth quarter, our decision to grandmother pre-ACA plans will ensure a smooth renewal process for our customers. As we near October 1, 2022, Horizon will communicate the details and dates for the renewal process. Until then, click here to learn more. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available for Young Children

A recent CDC announcement recommends that children six months through five years of age should get an age-appropriate dose of the Pfizer‑BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Independence covers the cost of administering vaccines and booster shots with no cost-share (such as co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance) for members regardless of where the vaccine is given. For Medicare Advantage members, the cost and administration of the vaccine and booster shots will be covered by Original Medicare so long as the health care provider administering the vaccine participates in the Medicare program. Please click here to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health… Read More

Continue Reading

Horizon BSBSNJ to Withdraw HMO Plans From Individual and Small Employer Markets

Horizon has announced a change to their product portfolio and have elected to withdraw their HMO plans from the Individual and Small Employer Health Benefits Plan (SEH) markets. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) has given its approval for Horizon to withdraw its HMO plans from the markets under the authority of N.J.S.A 17B:27A-6 and N.J.A.C. 11:20-18.5 (for Individual plans) and N.J.S.A. 17B:27A–23e and N.J.A.C. 11:21-16 (for small employer plans). This withdrawal will affect Individual members enrolled in the Horizon HMO Gold plan, and group clients and their employees who are enrolled in the Horizon HMO Platinum plan. Brokers with affected small group clients, and those affected… Read More

Continue Reading

Clarification of the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency

The memo clarified that the COVID-19 pandemic does not currently qualify for the SEP for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency (disaster SEP); however, it does qualify for the Exceptional Circumstances SEP. What you need to know: As a result of this guidance, do not submit enrollments for clients impacted by COVID-19 using the disaster SEP. Going forward, any new enrollments submitted for this reason will be declined.

Continue Reading

Health Insurance Broker Change Leads to Better Results

Watch Video The Issue A mid-sized group prospect was unhappy with their current broker and looking for a change. They thought more could be done to help control their employee benefit budget and were looking for guidance. They came to us with a 17% health insurance renewal. Our Solution Our team met with the business owner and Human Resource Director to review the following: The corporate goals and philosophy regarding employee benefits The benefit structure and costs of their present programs Options for cost containment strategies How to integrate wellness into their benefits portfolio Methods for better communication of the benefit programs to employees The Result The customer was pleased… Read More

Continue Reading

Horizon NJ: Covid-19 Resource Guide Update

Horizon has worked to address coverage matters and adjust business practices to help our members and customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Many of the accommodations we made are described in the COVID-19 Resource Guide. Recent key updates include the reinstatement of actively at work and waiting period requirements. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

Aetna: Transparency in Coverage Rule Update

The Transparency in Coverage rule requires health plans and insurers to disclose pricing information via MRF by July 1, 2022. Health plans must generate two MRFs that contain Negotiated rates for in-network providers Billed charges and allowed amounts paid for out-of-network providers  We’ll publish this information on Aetna.com on July 1, 2022 for fully insured (51-100) and small group Aetna Funding AdvantageSM (2-100) groups. By posting the MRFs for small small group Aetna Funding Advantage clients, we’re taking work off their plate. Aetna will update the files each month and this link will remain active with the most up-to-date information.

Continue Reading

2022 PCOR Fee Filing Reminder for Self-Insured Plans

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) fee filing deadline is August 1, 2022, for all self-funded medical plansand HRAs for plan years ending in 2021. The IRS issued Notice 2022-04 announcing the adjusted fee amount for this year. please download the bulleting below for more details and contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. health insurance specialist at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

6 Questions to ask your Benefits Broker

Continue Reading

Oxford/UHC: New Reward Program Encourages Pediatric Covid 19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines are an important step in helping to lessen the spread of the disease. While many adult New Yorkers have been vaccinated, vaccination rates among children remain relatively low. To encourage pediatric vaccination, we are offering New York-situs subscribers whose dependents are enrolled in a fully insured UnitedHealthcare or Oxford plan a $100 pre-paid Target Gift Card. The New York Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Reward program is in effect May 5, 2022 through October 1, 2022. Criteria for the New York UnitedHealthcare and Oxford Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Reward program Dependent child(ren) must be enrolled on an active subscriber’s New York UnitedHealthcare or Oxford fully insured plan. Dependent must be eligible for the… Read More

Continue Reading