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2021 Second Quarter Compliance Bulletins Compilation

This document is a valuable resource, putting all of the latest health care reform news and updates in one location! 

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IRS Guidance Clarifies DCAP Relief

The IRS released Notice 2021-26 to address taxation of Dependent Care Assistance Programs (“DCAPs”) as it relates  to the relief afforded under Section 214 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) and the increased DCAP limit under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).

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CMS Announces Medicare Plan Finder Improvements

Source: medicare.gov   This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to improve and update the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) and the Health Plan Management System (HPMS). HPMS is the system that Medicare Advantage and Part D plans use to provide data about their plan offerings to Medicare, and the MPF is the online tool that allows beneficiaries to evaluate, compare, and enroll in those plans. The changes will be in place for the start of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period starting on October 15 for 2022 plans. Many of the forthcoming MPF changes reflect suggestions that Medicare Rights and other advocates have made over the years to increase the tool’s… Read More

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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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Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost Medicare has increased and simplified its payment rate for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to $40 per dose. This change may impact group health plans with respect to their payment rate to providers. Non-grandfathered group health plans are required to cover, without cost sharing, the COVID-19 vaccine. This obligation extended to coverage associated with administering the vaccine. The federal government continues to pay for the vaccine itself through funding authorized by the CARES Act.For vaccines administered in-network, plans will pay the rate negotiated with in-network providers, and that continues to be true. For vaccines administered out-of-network, however, group health plans must reimburse… Read More

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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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How Does Level Self Funded Health Insurance Work?

We have received a lot of questions regarding the new level funding health benefit programs so we prepared this video to make it a little easier to understand. Ask us today if Level Funding your group’s health insurance might be a good for for your health plan! Contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account manager at (215)355-2121.

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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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Enrollment Period at Get Covered New Jersey Extended

More information on the American Rescue Plan Act changes may be found on the Get Covered New Jersey website. Contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialist to get enrolled or if you have any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121

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What is Minimum Essential Coverage or MEC health insurance?

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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Copays vs Coinsurance: What is the employer impact?

In a recent study, the Employee Benefits Research Institute examined the differential effect of copayments and coinsurance on health care services. They found that coinsurance reduces inpatient care and specialist physician office visits, but copayments do not. Specifically: For inpatient health care, each 1 percent increase in coinsurance led to a 0.18 percent decrease in utilization. For specialty physician office visits, each 1 percent increase in coinsurance led to a 0.19 percent decrease in utilization. Those who were more likely to want a telehealth visit but did not receive one were more likely to have an unmet need for care because of the pandemic. There was no evidence that demand… 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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New COBRA Subsidy Begins April 1st under COVID Relief

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“the Act”) on March 10, 2021 and it was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The Act includes a 100% COBRA subsidy available to certain COBRA qualified beneficiaries who lose group health plan coverage as the result of an involuntary termination or reduction in hours. This is different from the original House legislation, which included an 85% subsidy (with the COBRA beneficiary responsible for 15% of the COBRA premiums). Employers will be able to claim a credit against payroll taxes to reimburse the cost of the subsidy. The COBRA subsidy begins April 1, 2021 (the first day of the month… Read More

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COBRA Subsidy in the works

          Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash A COBRA subsidy is included in early drafts of the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget reconciliation package. If finalized, the COBRA subsidy would apply to workers who have lost group coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic due to involuntary termination or reduction in hours of employment. Download this bulletin below for more information and as always contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialist with any questions at (215)355-2121. Download COBRA Subsidy in the Works

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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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DOL Penalties Increase for 2021

The Department of Labor (DOL) published the annual adjustments for 2021 that increase certain penalties applicable toemployee benefit plans. Private employers, including non-profits, should ensure employees receive required notices timely (SBC, CHIP, SPD, etc.)to prevent civil penalty assessments. In addition, employers should ensure Form 5500s are properly and timely filed, ifapplicable. Finally, employers facing document requests from EBSA should ensure documents are provided timely, asrequested. Download DOL Penalties Increase for 2021

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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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What is my Max Out of Pocket?

In health insurance, you may have heard of the “maximum out-of-pocket  or MOOP.” Here’s a quick overview of how it works, including which costs count towards it, and what happens after your maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP)  is met. Max Out of Pocket Presentation

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How Does Short Term Medical work?

Total Benefit Solutions, Inc works with many clients who are in between jobs, in good health or people who just want to pay less for their health plan insurance plan. As your impartial health insurance broker we can quote multiple carriers to find the best fit for our clients! .Ask us today of a short term medical plan could be a good solution for you! Just give us a call at 215-355-2121.

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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.

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