Medicare: Your Essential Guide

Understanding Medicare is crucial for making informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. Whether you choose Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage (Part C), knowing the basics empowers you to select the plan that best suits your needs. Original Medicare comprises Part A and Part B, covering hospital stays, doctor visits, and other essential services. Supplemental plans like Medicare Part D for prescription drugs and Medigap for additional coverage can enhance your benefits and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans offer a comprehensive alternative, bundling Parts A, B, and often D into a single package. These plans may extend coverage to dental, vision, and other services, providing a more holistic approach… Read More

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Navigating the Basics of Medicare: Understanding the Four Parts

Medicare, a vital healthcare program for seniors and certain disabled individuals, comprises four key parts. This post breaks down each part’s coverage, providing a concise overview for better understanding. Medicare Eligibility: Eligibility kicks in at age 65 or after receiving 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Unlike private insurance, Medicare doesn’t have family plans, allowing individuals to make independent coverage choices. The Four Parts of Medicare: Visit the website for a deeper dive into the intricacies and benefits of Medicare. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact… Read More

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Horizon Members Get 15% Off YMCA Memberships!

Exciting news for Horizon members in New Jersey! We’re thrilled to share that you can now enjoy a 15 percent discount on monthly memberships at select New Jersey YMCAs. Plus, for new YMCA members, the initiation fee is completely waived when you present your Horizon member ID card. This fantastic offer is valid until December 31, 2024, providing you ample time to take advantage of the savings and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or looking to kickstart your wellness journey, this exclusive discount is designed to make your YMCA experience even more accessible. Remember, this exclusive discount is a limited-time offer, so make the most of… Read More

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Aetna: Small Business Updates

As the year wraps up, businesses with 2 – 50 employees enrolled in Aetna Funding AdvantageSM groups need to act quickly. We’re filing 1095-B tax forms on your behalf, but it’s crucial to ensure your information is accurate. Deadline: End of December The federal deadline for 1095-B tax forms is approaching. Both businesses and customers must verify and update their details by the end of December to avoid potential IRS rejections. Why It Matters Accurate information on these forms is vital for complying with tax regulations. 1095-B forms provide essential health coverage details, impacting Affordable Care Act compliance. Any discrepancies could lead to filing complications. Review and update your information… Read More

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Case Study: A Voluntary Benefits Strategy

The Issue One of our clients approached us during a pre-renewal meeting to ask how they can further control costs without drastically impacting the well-being of their employees. Our Solution They already had done most of the things we had recommended in past years, but there was one area left that could help…voluntary benefits. We suggested they offer a portfolio of programs that included life and disability coverage, allowing them to reduce the scope of their “rich” company paid plans and enabling anyone interested to supplement the reduced benefits by purchasing the coverage on their own. This, we felt, was a great way to save premium dollars without creating too… Read More

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2023 State Health Insurance Mandates: A Quick Overview

Five states—California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont—along with the District of Columbia have implemented individual health insurance mandates, each with unique obligations. It’s crucial to understand and comply with both federal and state mandates for comprehensive adherence to regulations. State Obligations: These states require the submission of information on health insurance coverage to residents, with filings made to specific state agencies. Importantly, state requirements may differ from federal obligations, necessitating compliance with both sets of regulations. Key Deadlines for 2023 State Reporting: Note that state reporting deadlines may change, and the information presented is current as of the publication date. Stay updated for any changes. For a deeper… Read More

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Wellcare: Suspension of MAPD Plans in FL & NC

We need to inform you of a critical development affecting MAPD plans in Florida and North Carolina. Starting January 12, 2024, all enrollment and marketing activities for plans under Florida MAPD PPO Contract (H5199) and North Carolina MAPD PPO Contract (H7175) are temporarily halted. These contracts will not be renewed for Plan Year 2025 and will conclude on December 31, 2024. Key Points: Current members of these contracts’ plans DO NOT need to be transferred to alternate plans until the Annual Enrollment Period begins in October 2024. Existing members will stay enrolled in their plans for the entire Plan Year 2024. Uninterrupted access to full plan benefits continues throughout Plan… Read More

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Empire BCBS Now Anthem BCBS!

In a momentous move, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has officially transformed into Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, marking a significant milestone for the renowned health insurance provider. The company is thrilled to announce the launch of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in both their downstate and upstate markets, reinforcing their commitment to enhancing the overall customer experience. The transition to the Anthem brand is not merely a change in name; it represents a strategic effort to simplify operations and reduce complexities in the market. Anthem is a nationally recognized name, offering a host of advantages for members residing out of state who are affiliated with New York-based companies. By… Read More

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DOL Settlements Prompt Life Insurance Carriers to Adopt Claim Reforms

Recent settlements between the Department of Labor (DOL) and major life insurance carriers have brought attention to the denial of claims due to missing evidence of insurability (EOI). These agreements spotlight the potential liabilities faced by carriers and employers even after collecting employee premiums for coverage. Employers commonly offer basic life insurance coverage without charge, while employees can purchase additional coverage through payroll deductions. Approval for supplemental coverage often depends on carriers accepting evidence of insurability (EOI) submitted by the insured individual. DOL Investigations: The DOL’s investigations revealed that carriers, such as Prudential and United, consistently denied claims for missing EOIs despite collecting premiums. Employers, tasked with collecting EOIs and… Read More

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Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Updates for 2024

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has announced significant changes to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, effective January 1, 2024. These updates include adjustments to the contribution rate, State Average Weekly Wage, and maximum weekly benefit amount. Employees can also supplement their PFML benefits with accrued paid leave, beginning on November 1, 2023. Contribution Rate Changes In 2024, the contribution rate on eligible wages will increase from 0.63% in 2023 to 0.88%. Individual contributions are capped by the Social Security income limit, which is expected to rise significantly. Employer and Employee Contributions Employers with a minimum of 25 covered individuals in Massachusetts will… Read More

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Open Enrollment 2023: Key Reminders and Deadline

Are you ready for Open Enrollment? If not, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with all the key information you need to make the most of this opportunity to secure health coverage for you and your loved ones. Open Enrollment for 2023 is just around the corner, beginning on November 1. However, it’s crucial to mark your calendars with the DEADLINE REMINDER: December 15th is the last day to enroll for coverage that kicks in on January 1st. For current Pennie customers, here are some important reminders: For those who are potential Pennie customers, here’s what you need to know: Why choose Pennie for your health coverage? Pennie offers… Read More

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New Federal Rules: HHS 2023 Penalty Hike

In the world of healthcare compliance, staying up to date with federal regulations and guidelines is crucial to avoid costly penalties. One such regulation that affects healthcare providers and group health plans is the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, commonly known as the “Inflation Adjustment Act.” This act directs federal agencies to adjust civil monetary penalties to account for inflation. In a recent development, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules on October 6, 2023, updating the civil monetary penalties for inflation. Understanding the Updated Penalties The adjusted penalties are applicable to penalties assessed on or after October 6, 2023. It’s… Read More

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Affordable Dental Insurance: A Key Player in Oral Health

Dental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and a recent survey has shed light on the satisfaction levels of Americans with their dental insurance plans. The results, published in a press release by AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) on September 26, 2023, provide an insightful perspective on the state of dental insurance in the United States. The survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group (GSG) on behalf of AHIP, focused on individuals who have dental insurance and have visited dental specialists, including dentists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists, in the past year. The findings from the survey paint a positive picture of Americans’ experiences with their dental insurance plans. Key… Read More

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Financial Support Soars for Mental Health Integration

Mental health is an essential component of overall well-being, and every American deserves access to quality mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Access to mental health care can be a transformative step in managing and coping with mental health concerns, allowing individuals to lead more fulfilling lives. This article explores the importance of integrating mental health services into other care settings and highlights the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) as a promising approach to enhance access to mental health care. Expanding Access Through Integration Integrating mental health into broader healthcare settings is a pivotal strategy to increase accessibility and support for patients. The Collaborative Care Model, often abbreviated as CoCM,… Read More

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2023 Rule Alert: How Will It Affect Fixed Indemnity Plans?

In today’s world, the rising costs of healthcare have left many Americans grappling with the financial burden of medical expenses. While comprehensive health insurance is essential, fixed indemnity health insurance has emerged as a valuable supplemental resource, offering financial protection to individuals when they need it the most. This blog explores the concept of fixed indemnity health insurance and its importance in providing financial peace of mind to Americans. Fixed Indemnity Insurance: This supplemental insurance differs from major medical plans. It pays a fixed sum directly to you when specific medical events, like doctor visits or hospital stays, occur. While it doesn’t cover all the essential health benefits mandated by… Read More

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The Value of Employee Health Benefits

In today’s world, where healthcare costs can be a significant burden on individuals and families, employer-provided health coverage stands out as a vital resource. More than half of all Americans – over 180 million hardworking individuals and their families – rely on their jobs to secure access to healthcare. In this blog, we’ll explore the invaluable benefits of employer-provided coverage and how it offers affordable access to care, improved health, and peace of mind. Affordable Access to Care Healthcare expenses can quickly add up, and without insurance, it can be a daunting task to manage them. However, for millions of Americans, the path to affordable healthcare begins with their employers.… Read More

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2024 Healthcare Premiums Revealed: The Impact Factors

The American Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) Association is committed to ensuring that every American has access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage. With nearly 21 million Americans enrolled in the individual market for the 2023 plan year, it’s crucial to understand the factors that will influence individual market premiums in 2024 and beyond. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some of the key drivers shaping the future of individual market premiums. Factors Driving Premium Changes in 2024 As we look ahead to 2024, several key factors will influence individual market premiums: Increasing Provider Costs: The rising cost of medical services provided by doctors and hospitals contributes significantly to premium… Read More

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Benefits Notices: What Employers Need to Know

As an employer, it is important to be aware of the various benefits notices that you are required to provide to your employees. These notices are designed to inform employees of their rights and benefits under various laws and regulations. Failure to provide these notices can result in penalties and legal action. One of the notices that employers with 1-19 employees are required to provide is the Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice or Non-Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice. This notice is provided to Medicare-eligible individuals who are offered prescription drug coverage under the employer’s group health plan. It must be provided annually prior to October 15th, upon request, and at… Read More

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Elevate Your Productivity with Better BenAdmin

In a fast-paced world, time is of the essence. We’re all too familiar with the feeling of being buried under a mountain of administrative tasks, wishing for an extra set of hands or a few more hours in the day. Well, wish no more! Enter Better BenAdmin, the game-changer powered by EBM (Efficiency-Boosting Machine). Seamless Schedule Management Scheduling headaches? Not anymore. Better BenAdmin effortlessly handles your calendar, ensuring that appointments are well-organized and conflicts are a thing of the past. No more double-bookings or time wasted on manual scheduling. Effortless Email Handling Say goodbye to the endless email backlog. Better BenAdmin sorts, filters, and responds to emails with precision and… Read More

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Choosing the Right Health Insurance: HMO vs. PPO

When it comes to health insurance, understanding the differences between various plans is crucial for making an informed decision. Two common types of health insurance plans are Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). While both offer coverage for medical expenses, they have distinct features that can significantly impact your healthcare experience and costs. In this blog, we’ll explore three key differences between PPOs and HMOs to help you decide which one aligns better with your needs. 1. Network Flexibility: PPO: Preferred Provider Organizations are known for their expansive networks of healthcare providers. This includes a wide array of specialists and the option to seek care from out-of-network… Read More

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What’s New in the 2023 ACA Open Enrollment?

The 2023 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment period is upon us, marking a significant milestone as Health Insurance Marketplaces open their doors for the tenth year. From November 1, 2022, to January 15, 2023, individuals and families have the opportunity to secure comprehensive healthcare coverage. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key changes and updates for this year’s open enrollment, focusing on insights gathered from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s informative article titled “Nine Changes to Watch in Open Enrollment 2023” [source: www.kff.org/policy-watch/nine-changes-to-watch-in-open-enrollment-2023/]. As the ACA Open Enrollment enters its tenth year, changes abound, ensuring improved access, affordability, and assistance for individuals and families seeking healthcare coverage. Staying… Read More

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Unlock Your Best Health: 5 Must-Know Tips & Tools!

Five major tips and resources for maintaining overall health and wellness: Remember, it’s important to personalize these tips to your individual needs and consult with healthcare professionals before making significant changes to your lifestyle. We’re committed to providing exceptional support, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121. We’re here to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

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Top 10 Ways to Make Your Health Benefits Work for You

Unleash the Full Potential of Your Health Coverage!  Are you making the most of your health benefits? The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) administers crucial health benefit laws that cover employer-based health plans. These laws safeguard your rights to essential information about your health plan, guide you on qualifying for benefits and making claims, ensure continued health benefits during job transitions, and offer protections for special medical conditions. Start by exploring your health coverage options, delving into different plans, and matching them with your needs. Not sure if your plan covers mental health or substance use disorder services? We’ve got you covered with essential information on these benefits too! Your… Read More

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Increases in Premium Found in Health Benefits Survey

The latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) concerning employer-sponsored health benefits found modest increases in employers’ and employees’ costs in 2022. In its 24th Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS), KFF found the average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2022 were $7,911 for single coverage and $22,463 for family coverage. These amounts were up from $7,739 and $22,221 in the previous year, respectively – an increase of $172.00 for single coverage and $242.00 for family coverage. The average family coverage premium is up 20% over the past five years and up 43% during the past 10 years. Small vs. Large Employers In 2022, workers insured through their employers at both… Read More

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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

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