Reminder: PCORI Fees Due August 1

The annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORI) fee is due to the IRS August 1, 2016. The fee, charged to certain health insurance policies, is used to support the activities of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO) established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Fully- and self-insured group health plans ( Including HRA’s) are subject to PCORI fees.  A health insurer will pay the fee on behalf of the employer if the plan is fully insured. Click here to read the bulletin from Primepay As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Now Available from Total Benefit Solutions: Low Cost ERISA Wrap SPD Documents

Wrap Summary Plan Description (SPD) If you offer group health insurance you’re now required by ERISA law, enforced by the Department of Labor and now the Affordable Care Act, to distribute a Wrap SPD within 120 days of the Plan’s effective date. The ERISA and ACA required Group Health Insurance Wrap SPD document is now available for a $99 one-time fee. You only update your Wrap SPD document as your benefit options change. The low cost Wrap SPD document is limited to fully insured group health insurance plans only.     Here are the Wrap SPD document requirements by ERISA and the Affordable Care Act as succinctly as possible: If… Read More

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Departments issue new ACA FAQ’s

The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) have issued the 31st set of Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) frequently asked questions (“FAQs”). This time, the Departments address a wide range of topics including preventive services, disclosure obligations, coverage in connection with approved clinical trials, reference-based pricing, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. Below is a brief summary of the guidance issued on these topics. Click the link below to download the bulletin.   Download Departments Issue 31st set of FAQs

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2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2017.  Most limits remained the same as 2016 amounts. Click the link below to download the bulletin. 2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

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Form 1095-C Notification Reminder and Frequently Asked Questions

Form 1095-C Notification Reminder and Frequently Asked Questions 2015 Forms 1095-C must be furnished to individuals by March 31, 2016. Generally, if Forms 1094-C and/or 1095-C are incorrect and incomplete, a penalty may apply if not corrected by the due date and the employer cannot show reasonable cause. Briefly, the amount of penalties can range from $50/form with a $500,000 maximum penalty/year to $250/form with a maximum penalty of $3M/year. Click here to download Form 1095-C Notification Reminder and Frequently Asked Questions – 031516R As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns about this bulletin, or any other… Read More

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Now Available: Empower Me Benefits Private Exchange

Total Benefit Solutions has partnered with Empower Me Benefits to provide our clients with best in industry benefits technology that‘s customizable for even the smallest employer. The EmpowerMe Benefits Exchange allows you to remain complaint with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), easily manage benefits, and control health care costs with a single solution. The EmpowerMeBenefits Exchange is an online benefit marketplace and benefits administration platform designed specifically to meet the needs of small and mid-sized companies. The Exchange provides employers with an enrollment and administration platform that aids employers in ACA compliance. This web-based solution allows you to offer any medical coverage next to pre-selected ancillary, voluntary, and TPA products.… Read More

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Health Reform: Draft 2015 Form 1095-C and Instructions, Increased Penalties, and Electronic Filing Steps Issued

  On August 7, 2015, the IRS issued revised draft 2015 Form 1095-C with instructions. The forms and instructions are substantially the same as those applicable to the 2014 year, but the penalties have been revised. Click here to download this important update for all applicable large employers. As always if you have any questions or concerns about your organization’s health care reform compliance, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager at (215)355-2121

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New Law Clarifies Employer Mandate and HSA Eligibility for Veterans

  On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.S. 3236, Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015.  Notably, the law makes changes affecting the employer mandate and HSA eligibility as to individuals who are (or were formerly) service members. Click here to download the bulletin

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Health Reform: Is Your Company Ready for the New Reporting Requirements?

Health Reform: Is Your Company Ready for the New Reporting Requirements? In 2016, employers with at least 50 full-time employees (FTEs) must provide Forms 1095-C to their employees and to the IRS. This new requirement applies to both insured and self-insured medical plans. The forms require, in part, tracking per each month in 2015 per each FTE: the tier of health plan coverage offered (e.g., employee-only, employee+spouse, or no coverage offered); the self-only premium an employee must pay for the lowest-cost plan that provides minimum value; and the reason why an employer would not be subject to a penalty for a particular month (e.g., employee is in a waiting period or the affordability… Read More

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FAQs Further Clarify New Embedded Out-of-Pocket Requirement

As reported earlier, starting with the 2016 plan year, the self-only annual limitation on cost sharing for non-grandfathered plans ($6,850 for 2016) applies to each individual, even if the individual is enrolled in family coverage. On May 26, 2015, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued new FAQs further clarifying this new rule, confirming that it applies to all non-grandfathered group health plans, including self-insured plans, large group health plans, and high deductible health plans. Click the link below to download the bulletin for further guidance. FAQs Further Clarify New Embedded Out-of-Pocket Requirement – 060115R  

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Health Reform: Q+A: Are we able to give a bonus to employees to sign up for health insurance?

The following question came to us recently from a small group client. Send us your question and we may use yours in the future! Question: Are we able to give a signing up bonus to encourage employees to sign up for health insurance or will that be an issue with health care reform? Answer: An employer may provide bonuses at its discretion as long as the amount is reported as taxable compensation. Federal law prohibits employers from providing incentives to certain employees (such as Medicare-eligible persons) to discourage them from enrolling for group health coverage, but there is no prohibition against incentives to encourage enrollment. The bonus would be taxable compensation… Read More

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Health Care Reform: 2016 Cost-Sharing Limits, Reinsurance Fee,and Other Changes Related to the Exchange

On February 27, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) changed cost-sharing and transitional reinsurance program fee limits and released standards for health insurers and the Exchange (a.k.a. the Health Insurance Marketplace). This article identifies a few items of note for employers. 2016 Cost-Sharing Limits, Reinsurance Fee, and Other Changes Related to the Exchange – 040915R

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Group Health Plan Notices 2015 CALENDAR

Group Health Plan Notices 2015 CALENDAR From our partners at HR360: This calendar/checklist is designed to help companies review the key reporting and notice requirements that may apply to their employer-sponsored group health plans under ERISA , the Affordable cxare Act, Medicare and more. Please note that this list is for general reference purposes only and is not all-inclusive. Note: ERISA and benefit requirements are complex, and your plan’s responsibilities may vary depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your company’s plan. Employers who have questions are encouraged to consult with their plan administrators, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or a knowledgeable employment law attorney… Read More

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2014 Compliance Bulletin Compilation

Download our 2014 Compliance Bulletin Compilation, featuring all of our released compliance bulletins for the entire year!  Topics include, Health Savings Accounts, The Individual Mandate, Employer “pay or play” mandate, exemptions, FSA carryovers and much, much more. All of the bulletins are in an easy to search format for your convenience. 2014 Compliance Compilation – Download As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-02121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Health Reform: Healthcare.Gov Sneak Preview

Healthcare.Gov Sneak Preview Announced Yesterday, Affordable Care Act customers can peek at 2015 prices for the program’s health plans today after the government released a “window-shopping” feature overnight Here is a direct link to the 2015 “sneak preview”: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ If you have any questions or concerns about your 2015 enrollment, please contact Total Benefit Solutions at (215)355-2121

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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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2015 Health Reform: Prepare for Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Preparing for 2015 Open Enrollment Getting prepared for open enrollment 2015 has been a major challenge. Total Benefit Solutions is dedicated to serving all of our clients throughout this second annual open enrollment period. With that in mind our offices will be open on the weekend of November 15th 2014 to help you get enrolled. Open enrollment for individual plans begins November 15th, 2014 and ends February 15th 2015. Anyone who enrolls prior to the 15th of the month will be effective the 1st of the next month. This is important because you must enroll by December 15th in order for your plan to be effective on January 1st, 2015… Read More

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IRS Derails Use of MV Plans Without Hospitalization

As you may know, in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), large employers must offer their full-time employees coverage that is affordable and meets minimum value (“MV”). Some vendors exclude certain core benefits, such as in-patient hospitalization and/or physician services from their plans (referred to as “Narrow MVPs”) and use the MV Calculator to determine that the Narrow MVPs meet MV under the ACA. The vendors claim the Narrow MVPs insulate employers from penalty exposure and preclude employees from accessing subsidies in the Marketplace. There has been much controversy as to whether the Narrow MVPs do, in fact, satisfy the MV requirement. On November 4, 2014,… Read More

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Health Reform: What is a Special Enrollment Period?

Special Enrollment Periods Under certain circumstances, individuals may enroll in a QHP or change QHPs outside of the annual open enrollment period. These SEPs are based on certain triggering events or special circumstances. Events that permit an SEP include: Gaining or becoming a dependent through marriage, birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or placement in foster care Gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual Loss of coverage (e.g., loss of Medicaid eligibility, QHP no longer available), except if enrollment is terminated based on failure to pay premiums, fraud, or enrollee initiated termination Determination that an individual is newly eligible or ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax… Read More

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IRS: Further Guidance on Employer Payment Plans

New Guidance on Employer Payment Plans The IRS issued an FAQ addressing the potential consequences of an arrangement where an employer reimburses employees for the purchase of individual health insurance premiums on a tax-favored basis (referred to as an “employer payment plan”). For this purpose, individual health insurance premiums includes individual coverage purchased either inside or outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The FAQ follows up on earlier guidance describing these types of arrangements (Notice 2013-54). Click the link for more information: 060214_P_ERC_Employer_Payment_Plans (1)

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Total Benefit Solutions to partner with ThinkHR

        In another effort to enhance our client experience and bring value to our small business clients, Total Benefit Solutions is proud to announce that we have entered into an agreement to provide Think       HR. Soon our clients will get an introductory e-mail with instructions on how to access their complimentary ThinkHR account. We expect to have this resource available to our clients in September 2014, just in time for this year’s open enrollment period!   Think HR will help our clients: Stay up to date with the latest news and resources Remain compliant with best practices from HR professionals Build tools like job… Read More

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Health Care Reform Updates: Updated Model COBRA Election Notice

    Updated Model COBRA Election Notice Includes Information Regarding Health Insurance Exchanges Revised Notice Informs Individuals of New Coverage Alternatives A revised Model COBRA Election Notice  is now available for group health plans to inform eligible employees and dependents of the right to continuation of coverage under federal law and how to make an election when a qualifying event occurs. The updated model notice includes information regarding coverage alternatives that will be available through the new Health Insurance Exchanges (also known as Marketplaces).   COBRA Election Notice Requirement COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) generally applies to group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or employees (including both full-… Read More

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Comparative Effectiveness Fee Reminder

The Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee is now known as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act) imposes a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee, formerly the comparative effectiveness research fee, on plan sponsors and issuers of individual and group policies. The first year of the fee is $1 per covered life per year, the second year the fee adjusts to $2 per covered life and then it’s indexed to national health expenditures thereafter until it ends in 2019. Click here to download this bulleting regarding the timely payment of the fees.   Purpose of the Fee The assessed fees are to… Read More

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19th Set of FAQ’s Released on Affordable Care Act

Frequently asked questions (“FAQs”), prepared jointly by the Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”),were issued with respect to various Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requirements, including their effect on COBRA and CHIPRA notices…Topics Include:   Updated COBRA And CHIPRA Notices Out-Of-Pocket Maximum Requirements Generic Drugs Balance Billing Reference-Based Pricing Coverage Of Preventive Services Health FSA Carryover And Excepted Benefits Effect of Carryover on Excepted Benefits Determination Summary Of Benefits And Coverage   Click here to download the bulletin from our partners at Emerson Reid.  

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Informal Guidance Clarifies Rules HSA Eligibility and Health FSA Carryovers

Near the end of 2013, the IRS issued Notice 2013-47 that permits a cafeteria plan to provide for the use of up to $500 of any unused amount remaining in the health FSA in the immediately following plan year (the “carryover” provision). This provision is optional, requires a plan amendment, and cannot be offered if the cafeteria plan allows a grace period. One of the outstanding questions around the carryover provision is the effect it has on HSA eligibility. Recently, the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service issued a memorandum that informally addresses the interaction of the carryover on HSA eligibility and provides some solutions that may allow an individual retain… Read More

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