HHS Extends Public Health Emergency Until October 13

On July 15, 2022, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) renewed the COVID-19 pandemic Public Health Emergency, effective July 15, 2022. This will once again extend the Public Health Emergency period for an additional 90 days and as a result, numerous temporary benefit plan changes will remain in effect. Employers should continue to adhere to the national pandemic-related benefit changes and expanded timeframe for providing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations and other plan requirements. State and local emergency measures may expire at different times and could impact employee benefit plans (such as insured group health plans) and other state/or local programs (such as paid leave) differently than the timeframes… Read More

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HHS to Extend Public Health Emergency Once Again

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has repeatedly renewed the public health emergency since it was originally declared in January 2020. The most recent extension was set to expire July 15. However, it will now be extended again, commencing on Friday, July 15. The administration will give states 60 days’ notice before ending the emergency to allow sufficient time to prepare for changes to certain programs and regulatory authorities. HHS last extended the public health emergency in May of 2022. The designation of a public health emergency allows regulators to clear the way for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for use against the coronavirus. Should the designation expire, people… Read More

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COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available for Young Children

A recent CDC announcement recommends that children six months through five years of age should get an age-appropriate dose of the Pfizer‑BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Independence covers the cost of administering vaccines and booster shots with no cost-share (such as co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance) for members regardless of where the vaccine is given. For Medicare Advantage members, the cost and administration of the vaccine and booster shots will be covered by Original Medicare so long as the health care provider administering the vaccine participates in the Medicare program. Please click here to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health… Read More

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Clarification of the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency

The memo clarified that the COVID-19 pandemic does not currently qualify for the SEP for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency (disaster SEP); however, it does qualify for the Exceptional Circumstances SEP. What you need to know: As a result of this guidance, do not submit enrollments for clients impacted by COVID-19 using the disaster SEP. Going forward, any new enrollments submitted for this reason will be declined.

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Pennie: Losing Medical Assistance Coverage When The Public Health Emergency Comes to an End?

Under the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, Pennsylvania has maintained coverage for most Medical Assistance (MA) recipients unless they moved out-of-state, passed away, or requested to be disenrolled.   When the federal PHE comes to an end, anyone who is found to be no longer eligible during the renewal process for Medical Assistance or who fails to complete their MA renewal will be disenrolled from Medical Assistance coverage – that is where Pennie comes in!  Pennie and the Department of Human Services (DHS) are working to ensure that qualified Pennsylvanians can access coverage either through Medical Assistance (MA), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or affordable, high-quality coverage available… Read More

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Horizon NJ: Covid-19 Resource Guide Update

Horizon has worked to address coverage matters and adjust business practices to help our members and customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Many of the accommodations we made are described in the COVID-19 Resource Guide. Recent key updates include the reinstatement of actively at work and waiting period requirements. 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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Oxford/UHC: New Reward Program Encourages Pediatric Covid 19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines are an important step in helping to lessen the spread of the disease. While many adult New Yorkers have been vaccinated, vaccination rates among children remain relatively low. To encourage pediatric vaccination, we are offering New York-situs subscribers whose dependents are enrolled in a fully insured UnitedHealthcare or Oxford plan a $100 pre-paid Target Gift Card. The New York Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Reward program is in effect May 5, 2022 through October 1, 2022. Criteria for the New York UnitedHealthcare and Oxford Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Reward program Dependent child(ren) must be enrolled on an active subscriber’s New York UnitedHealthcare or Oxford fully insured plan. Dependent must be eligible for the… Read More

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Fully Insured vs Level Funding: What’s the Difference?

With fully insured plans, premiums are paid directly to the insurer. Claims accountA claims account is exactly what it sounds like. A portion of the monthly payment is used to pay for claims submitted by plan members. Stop-loss InsuranceStop-loss is an employer’s safety net. This protects the employer against higher-than-expected claims. With level-funding, employers will never have to pay more than the amount they are responsible for funding the claims account each year. After that, stop-loss insurance kicks in. Administrative costsAdministrative services are provided to the employer so they can spend their time focusing on their business while a third-party administrator handles plan management such as paying claims, customer service,… Read More

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2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully Insured Plans

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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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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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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

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Can Employers Ask for Proof of Vaccination?

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Return to Work Checklist

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HHS Extends Public Health Emergency until July 20, 2021

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Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost

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COVID-19 PPE Now a Qualified Medical Expense

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How Safe Is it to Return to Work Once You Are Vaccinated?

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PPE and Health FSA/HRA

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Does Medicare Cover Oral Surgery?

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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

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