What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and why is it important?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is different than the annual election period in the fall. The MA OEP happens annually from January 1st to March 31st. The OEP allows beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan to make a one-time change. Beneficiaries can use the Medicare OEP to: The Medicare OEP does not allow a beneficiary to change from one Part D plan to another Part D plan. The reason for the OEP is that Medicare beneficiaries are often confused about Medicare Advantage plans. They don’t understand how these plans work or they may not realize the plan has a network. Some Medicare beneficiaries try to make their… Read More

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Blue KC: Enhanced ACA Subsidies to Extend Through 2025

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has provided enhanced ACA premium subsidies for people who purchased a plan through the Marketplace. It did so by removing the income cap, which limited subsidies to households with incomes from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty line. With no income cap, premiums have been limited to just 8.5% of income – for everyone. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law on August 16, extends these subsidies for three years for millions of Americans who buy individual coverage under the ACA. This bill will “save millions of people an average of $800 a year on health insurance premiums,” said Chiquita… Read More

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Get connected with the IBX Smartphone 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. As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance professionals if you have any questions about this bulletin. Click here to read more.

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What Are Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights?

Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121 with any questions.

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Why Use Medicareful to Find Your Plan?

Medicare insurance can seem complex on your own. We’re here to help! Medicareful is an easy-to-use Medicare plan finder that compares some of the available plans in your area and connects you with a licensed sales agent who will guide you through enrollment. Whether it’s a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage Part C Plan, or a Medicare Part D drug plan, we’ve got you covered. https://medicareful.com/totalbenefitsolutions

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Get ready for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period with our centralized guide to AEP.

Every year, the AEP is your opportunity to enroll in or switch to a Medicare plan that fits your ever evolving health care needs. This special enrollment window only runs October 15 to December 7, so it’s important to be prepared to accomplish anything you’d like to during that time. If reviewing or changing your coverage seems a little daunting with all the different plans and benefits on the market and decisions to make, don’t worry! You don’t have to go it alone. Get Your Guide to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period and Get ready for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period with our centralized guide to AEP. Click here to… Read More

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3 Types of Medigap Rating Structure

Attained-Aged: Premium based on current age when policy is issued. Premium goes up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. All Medigap Freedom plans are Attained-Aged rated. Issued-Aged: Premium based on the age you are when you buy (are issued) the Medigap policy. Premium DOES NOT go up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. Community: Same premium is charged to everyone who has the Medigap policy, regardless of age. Premium DOES NOT go up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. Call your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc Medicare health insurance specialists… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions, Inc appoints with Lasso Medicare Medical Savings Accounts Plans for 2022-2023 Open Enrollment Season

What is a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan? – A Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that combines a high-deductible health plan with a medical savings account. Enrollees of Medicare MSA plans can initially use their savings account to help pay for health care, and then will have coverage through a high-deductible insurance plan once they reach their deductible. Medicare MSA plans can provide Medicare beneficiaries with more control over health care utilization, while still providing coverage against catastrophic health care expenses. Ask your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. Medicare health insurance specialist of a Medicare Medical Savings Account could be worth considering… Read More

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Blue KC: Members Can Soon Access Rx Savings Solutions and Find Care in One Place

In October, Rx Savings Solutions will integrate with the Find Care tool on MyBlueKC.com and the MyBlueKC mobile app. Rx Savings Solutions is a secure, online tool that helps eligible members find ways to save money on prescription drugs. Once integrated, the two tools will allow members to view medical and pharmacy in one place and better use both tools. The integration is one way we’re helping reduce the total cost of care for members, employers, and health plans. Eligible members can follow this path to Rx Savings Solutions: MyBlueKC.com Click Find Care in the left column Click Find Doctors, Specialists & Hospitals Click Medication Finder Have any questions regarding… Read More

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A new group health insurance offering for small businesses. Introducing CIGNA + Oscar

We’ve partnered with Cigna + Oscar to deliver small business health insurance that brings together Cigna’s most popular provider networks and Oscar’s tech-driven approach to customer service and care navigation. Cigna + Oscar plans are available in the Philadelphia 5 county area beginning with effective dates starting January 1 2023. Your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists are available to help you quote and compare plans. Call us today to get your quote and compare these newest plans to your current renewal. You might be surprised at the competitive cost and plan designs! (215)355-2121

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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/

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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