Alternatives to Health Insurance Benefits

 Sometimes clients offer other alternative benefits to their employees. The reasons for doing this are many but depending on the earnings of their workforce, offering a group medical plan will eliminate any health insurance subsidy. In those cases offering a group health insurance benefit can come off as a penalty for the employees. By offering alternative benefits our experts can help the employees enrolled on a subsidized health insurance plan and still get good if not great benefits from their employer!  ICHRA: with an ICHRA the employer can give the employees money towards their health insurance purchase.  The ICHRA allows the employer to do so with untaxed dollars and the… Read More

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Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Benefits Broker

Analyzing these ten critical questions in relation to your organization’s needs will help you make a more informed decision about your benefits broker

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What is Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)?

The figure used to determine eligibility for premium tax credits and other savings for Marketplace health insurance plans and for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MAGI is adjusted gross income (AGI) plus these, if any: untaxed foreign income, non-taxable Social Security benefits, and tax-exempt interest. Contact you Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialist for assistance with calculating your MAGI. For many people, MAGI is identical or very close to adjusted gross income. MAGI doesn’t include Supplemental Security Income (SSI). MAGI does not appear as a line on your tax return. 

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What is a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan?

Qualified HDHPs Enrollment in a qualified HDHP is a requirement for establishing and maintaining a health savings account. The chassis for a qualified HDHP is the same as described in Chapter 1, but it must also conform to certain federal guidelines: A qualified HDHP must specify both a minimum annual deductible and a maximum annual out-of-pocket (OOP) expense limit, as set every year by the IRS. The minimum annual deductible is just that—the minimum amount that the insured must pay before the plan pays any benefit. The maximum annual OOP expense limit is the cap on the sum of the annual deductible and all out-of-pocket expenses the insured must pay for covered expenses under the… Read More

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What Is a Health Savings Account?

A health savings account is a special purpose financial account that allows a consumer to save and pay for medical expenses on a tax-favored basis. Funds deposited into an HSA are not taxed; the funds in the account grow tax free; and the money accumulated in the account can be withdrawn tax free to pay for qualifying medical expenses. In effect, an HSA owner uses the account in a manner similar to a checking account to cover his or her (or his or her family’s) medical expenses. There are no income restrictions or requirements on who may or may not open and contribute to an HSA. The HSA—the account and its funds—belongs… Read More

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Aetna Small Group (2-100) Insured & Small Group Aetna Funding Advantage FAQ
Health Plan options for business owners during COVID-19 pandemic

Aetna is mindful of the many challenges our small business customers and their employees are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are experiencing slower sales, reductions in hours, layoffs and more. The attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) includes our current responses to questions we know are top of mind for many of Small Group Insured and Small Group Aetna Funding Advantage Self-Insured customers. These responses will remain in effect until June 30, 2021 unless otherwise specified. We will continue to evaluate and update our responses as the situation evolves. Downlaod FAQ: Commercial Small Group COVID-19 FAQ

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COVID-19 PPE Now a Qualified Medical Expense

On March 26, 2021, the IRS issued IRS Announcement 2021-7, which clarifies that amounts paid for certain personal protective equipment (“COVID-19 PPE”) used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes can be treated as amounts paid for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, because these amounts are expenses for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, these amounts can also be eligible expenses under a health flexible spending account (health FSA), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs). Note, that if the amount is paid or reimbursed under… Read More

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Heard of Reference Based Pricing Health Insurance?

Reference-based pricing is a payment system that replaces or enhances a health plan’s traditional “usual and customary” pricing for contracted claims. Rather than calculating the average charge of providers in a geographic area or a pre-contracted cost, a health plan utilizing reference-based pricing instead arbitrates its allowable amount for medical claims based on its chosen method (most commonly Medicare rates, or a certain percentage above those rates), which is a price that the payor deems reasonable. In other words the employer, the payor brings their rates with them into the health care agreement, not the other way around. This represents a much more independent framework for determining sensible health care… Read More

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Impact of Key Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 COVID-19 Relief on Marketplace Premiums

there are millions of uninsured people who could be getting subsidized coverage on the ACA Marketplaces, but have not taken advantage of this financial help. In many cases, it may be that the financial help available to them is not sufficient to make the premium or the deductible affordable

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ARPA Extends Open Enrollment for Individual Coverage in PA

Pennie (PA Individual Exchange) has communicated that they will be extending the open enrollment period from May 15 until August 15, 2021. This extension is to help consumers be able to take advantage of the benefits of the American Rescue Plan. Some of the key benefits of this plan are below: There is no longer a cap on who is eligible for Pennie’s income-based tax credits, which help reduce monthly premium costs. Previously only people whose household income was under 400% of federal poverty level (about $51,000 for an individual), could qualify for a tax credit. Now, anyone may be eligible for a tax credit. The size of the tax… Read More

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Health Insurance: What Do You Pay for?

What Is a Monthly Premium? Your monthly premium is the set amount you pay each month to have your plan. You pay it even if you don’t receive any medical care that month. Like other bills, this premium can rise when it’s time to renew your plan for the next year. For individual ACA compliant plans, premiums are based on a pre-approved age based grid.  When you enter a age on the grid, your premium will increase on your bill. What Are Out-of-Pocket Costs? Out-of-pocket costs are what you must pay when you get care. These costs depend on how much care you actually get and if you have a… Read More

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Departments Issue Guidance Re: FFCRA and CARES Act

On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) issued FAQ 44 addressing health coverage issues related to COVID-19. Briefly, the new FAQs focus on diagnostic testing and coverage for testing and clarify previous guidance in FAQs.Background Section 6001 of the FFCRA requires group health plans (including grandfathered health plans) and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for certain items and services related to testing or the diagnosis of COVID-19 without any cost-sharing requirements, prior authorization or othermedical requirements. Section 3201 of the CARES Act amended Section 6001 of the FFCRA to include a broader range of diagnostic items and services… Read More

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Are you an applicable large employer, or not? That’s the question!

Calculating Your FTE Count Are you an applicable large employer, or not? That’s the question! To answer this question you’ll need to add up your full-time employees plus the full-time equivalent of part-time employees. For some businesses, this may have been simple, but not for all. This is how you determine your FTE count. Full-Time Employees: Any employee who works an average of at least 30 hours per week in a given month. Or at least 130 hours of service in a given month. Full-Time Equivalent: The full-time equivalent of part-time employees is the number of hours worked by all your part-time employees in a given month divided by 120. For example: two employees… Read More

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What is a minimum essential coverage (MEC) plan?

The Affordable Care Act states that all individuals must have health benefits and all employers with 50 or more full-time employees must provide coverage to all eligible employees or they are subject to fines/penalties. This can be known as “pay or play” or employer shared responsibility. We offer Minimum Essential Coverage plans which both penalties are satisfied for the employee and the employer. MEC plans are substantially less expensive than traditional medical insurance and serve as a low-cost solution for most companies. To contain healthcare costs, many employers and other plan sponsors are considering Minimum Essential Coverage, or MEC, health insurance. MEC plans can keep your workforce healthier. Preventable diseases, gone… Read More

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Onboarding Employees with Total Benefit Solutions

This quick and simple video shows you how easy it is to enroll your employees onto your group health insurance and benefits when you are working with Total Benefit Solutions, Inc! Make it easier for you call us today at (215)355-2121  

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Review us on Google

 At Total Benefit Solutions we strive to provide our clients with the best service and support when shopping, enrolling and servicing their health insurance all year long. We appreciate having the opportunity and as always “We Work for Your Benefit”.  If you have worked with us, please help us get some feedback by  reviewing us on Google.  You’ll need to be logged in to your Google account to do so. Click here to rate us!

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How do Tiered Network plans like the Keystone HMO Proactive and Horizon Omnia plans work?

Tiered or Narrow Network Plans: Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance carriers have introduced “tiered network”, or narrowed network plans. Keystone Proactive HMO Plans from Independence Blue Cross  have a unique  ” 3 tiered” network of providers. Although each carrier has different types of networks and benefit levels, the plans have the same general concept, steering the members by giving them a choice of providers that offer medical services at a lower out of pocket expense. Choosing a more expensive provider or facility may cost the member more out of pocket costs. United Healthcare offers 2 tiers in their “Navigate” plans, and Aetna uses “Savings Plus” designated providers to split… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions is your Marketplace Navigator

What do you get with Total Benefit Solutions as your Marketplace Navigator? A broker who is Unbiased and objective  Trained Local Certified Licensed Insured Up to date Representing you Part of a team of dedicated professionals Click here for more information and to see our “Marketplace Navigator” brochure: Individual Enrollment Navigator Brochure  

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What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Why Critical Illness as a “wrap” plan Because: They’re more affordable than you might think. They’re available for employer  groups, individuals and seniors. They make selecting a health plan easier. They provide peace of mind against a catastrophic event and large out of pocket expenses. They’re person and portable, it doesn’t matter where you get your health insurance from, having your own critical illness plan makes it better. Many clients have asked how they can supplement their employees coverage when they get enrolled through the affordable care act healthcare.gov marketplace. Employers are permitted to offer wrap plans that consist of “excepted benefits”, meaning they are not regulated by the affordable… Read More

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Introducing the AFLAC Individual Dental Plans

  Introducing AFLAC Individual Dental     Ask us today for more informtion on an AFLAC Individual Dental plan. Just call our office at (215)355-2121 and a dedicated member of our client service team will be happy to answer your questions or send you detailed benefit information.

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What is Hospital Indemnity?

Hospital Indemnity Plans as a “wrap” Many clients have asked how they can supplement their employees coverage when they get enrolled through the affordable care act healthcare.gov marketplace. Employers are permitted to offer wrap plans that consist of “excepted benefits”. A group Hospital Indemnity plan can fit the bill and provide a comprehensive financial support plan for a family dealing with a medical crisis. It also allows the employee to make a more prudent health plan selection by giving them coverage for any large deductibles, co-pays or cost sharing scenarios. Hospital Indemnity plans are available to individuals too. Download more information on Shelterpoint’s Hospital Indemnity plan   Below is a… Read More

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