Medicare Part D Notification Requirements

Employers sponsoring a group health plan with prescription drug benefits are required to notify their Medicare-eligible participants and beneficiaries as to whether the drugcoverage provided under the plan is “creditable” or “noncreditable.”This notification must be provided prior to October 15th each year. Also, following the plan’s annualrenewal, the employer must notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) of the creditable status of the drug plan. Employers should send these notices no later than October15, 2021 if they haven’t done so already. Have questions about this notice? Contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121. Click here to download Medicare Part D Notification Requirements  

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2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully Insured Plans

As a reminder, insurance carriers are required to satisfy certain medical loss ratio (“MLR”) thresholds. This generally means that for every dollar of premium a carriercollects with respect to a major medical plan; it should spend 85 cents in the large group market (80 cents in the small group market) on medical care and activitiesto improve health care quality. If these thresholds are not satisfied, rebates are available to employers in the form of a premium credit or check.If a rebate is available, carriers are required to distribute MLR checks to employers by September 30, 2021. Click here to download this bulletin: 2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully… Read More

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How is COBRA health insurance affected if I am disabled?

  In certain circumstances, if a disabled individual  and non-disabled family members are qualified beneficiaries, they are eligible for up to an 11-month extension of COBRA continuation coverage, for a total of 29 months.  The criteria for this 11-month disability extension is a complex area of COBRA law.  We provide general information below, but if you have any questions regarding your disability and public sector COBRA, we encourage you to email us at phig@cms.hhs.gov. In general, the COBRA qualifying event must be a termination of employment or a reduction of the covered employee’s employment hours.  Second, the covered employee must be determined under title II or title XVI of the… Read More

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What Are Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights?

Guaranteed Issue Rights (Also Called “Medigap Protections”)  are rights you have in certain situations when insurance companies must offer you certain Medigap policies. In these situations, an insurance company: Must sell you a Medigap policy Must cover all your pre-existing health conditions Can’t charge you more for a Medigap policy because of past or present health problems In most cases, you have a guaranteed issue right when you have other health coverage that changes in some way, like when you lose the other health care coverage. In other cases, you have a “trial right” to try a  Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)  and still buy a Medigap policy if you change… Read More

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Medicare Supplement Plan F or G?

  Many of our clients ask what is the “best” Medicare supplement that they can buy. While there is no overall “best”, the Medicare Supplement Plan F is generally considered the most comprehensive coverage among Medicare supplements due to the fact that most services are covered without any member co-pay or cost sharing at all. Keep in mind that Medicare supplements, like Plan F do not cover prescriptions and that a beneficiary with Medicare supplement will need to have other coverage for prescription drug coverage. For most beneficiaries becoming eligible, Plan G is the new F. A little known fact about Medicare supplements is that they do not have an… Read More

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AmeriHealth New Jersey prepares to comply with new Transparency requirements

From Amerihealth NJ: Health care and health insurance are among the most regulated industries in the U.S., making compliance a crucial requirement for success. AmeriHealth New Jersey has a strong track record of compliance to local, state, and federal guidelines, and we are working to comply with the new Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and Transparency in Coverage Rule (TCR) requirements. We have been focused on transparency for our members for years, and we are now further sharpening our efforts related to transparency and accountability pertaining to the recent legislation for which we have developed an enterprise-wide implementation program to ensure requirements are met. We have a cross-functional team that is… Read More

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MHPNJ : Important Plan Cancellation Status Information

Affiliated Physicians and Employers Master Trust (“APEMT”) and Members Health Plan New Jersey (“MHPNJ”) want to take the time to let you know they value the support that you have provided them over the years. APEMT/MHPNJ (the “Plan”) is ceasing to write business and is beginning an orderly wind down of the Plan. The financial deficiency the Plan has been facing for the past several months has not been sufficiently cured in the time period prescribed by New Jersey law. Therefore, the Board of Trustees on behalf of the Plan is implementing an orderly wind down of the plan. Please be advised that you must terminate their coverage with the Plan and seek new… Read More

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Group Business: Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth NJ COBRA and Mini-COBRA Premium Assistance

  COBRA Premium Assistance Available to Eligible Group Members Through September 2021 Under the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), eligible group members who elect COBRA (including state‑based “Mini‑COBRA”) continuation coverage due to an involuntary job loss or a reduction in hours within the past year may be eligible for 100 percent coverage of their monthly health insurance premiums. This temporary premium assistance will be provided at no cost to the employer or to the group member through September 30, 2021. Employers should consult the U.S. Department of Labor and IRS websites for more information. Obtaining Mini-COBRA Premium Assistance For groups subject to state continuation plans (referred to as Mini‑COBRA typically for those with 19 or fewer… Read More

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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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Achieve Well-being Rewards

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) offers a new way to help your employees achieve their health goals. Reward employees for completing activitiesNothing helps motivate action like the promise of rewards!*Achieve Well-being tools available on ibx.com and on the IBX mobile app create personalized action plans that make it easy for your employees to earn tokens and badges for completing their well-being goals.New for 2021, your employees can now receive a $150 gift card by completing the following required activities: Annual check-up with PCPFlu shotGet digitally engagedMember portal registrationMDLIVE.com registrationWell-being profileOpt-in to digital messaging at ibx.com Once your employees complete all six activities through the Achieve Well-being tool they can redeem a… Read More

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Supreme Court Dismisses Latest Challenge to the ACA

The “individual mandate” provision of the ACA as originally enacted in 2010 required most U.S. residents to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay a monetary penalty. The individual mandate penalty withstood a legal challenge in 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled itwas a valid exercise of Congress’ taxing power. However, Congress effectively eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to zero effective January 1, 2019. Download Supreme Court Dismisses Latest Challenge to the ACA

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What does the health insurance term “Play or Pay” mean?

Play or Pay is a two-prong test that applies to Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time-equivalents): First, does the employer offer basic health coverage to most full-time employees and their children? If not, the employer is at risk for a large penalty.For employers that pass the first prong without a penalty, the second test is whether the employer offers all full-time employees and their children affordable coverage providing minimum value. If not, the employer is at risk for a different (smaller) penalty. The two penalty types — called “A” and “B” for the sections in the law — are designed in tandem so that… Read More

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SCOTUS Upholds Affordable Care Act Ruling

  The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to ObamaCare, leaving the industry as is for employers and individuals. By a 7-2 vote on Thursday, the justices left the entire law intact in ruling that Texas and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court. The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments on November 10, 2020, as to the question of whether the Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate provision is constitutional. This case, California vs. Texas is the latest challenge against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the second time the Justices addressed the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate portion of that law.… Read More

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Tax Advantaged Benefit Documents

This site is dedicated to providing employers with the tools they need to successfully establish these written plans with SPDs at the lowest cost possible.

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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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What is Blue Card PPO?

Many clients ask us about Blue Card PPO and how it works. Blue Card PPO is typically attached to our clients policies who are enrolled on an IBC Personal Choice PPO or National Network PPO or a Horizon Blue Cross plan with National Access. You can tell if you have this on your plan if your card has the PPO Traveling Briefcase ppo logo.   It’s important to note that members who have a Keystone HMO, Amerihealth or Horizon HMO or local EPO do NOT have Blue Card PPO.  How Does the BlueCard Program Work? BlueCard® PPO Medical Plan The BlueCard Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) medical plan gives you the freedom to… 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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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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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 Balance Billing?

When a provider bills you for the difference between the provider’s charge and the allowed amount. For example, if the provider’s charge is $100 and the allowed amount is $70, the provider may bill you for the remaining $30. A preferred provider may not balance bill you for covered services. Ask your health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions today how to avoid balance billing charges!

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PEOPLE RISK MANAGEMENT

Employees are usually a business’s biggest asset. Conversely, those same employees are also the biggest risk. If you have employees,you have employee-centric exposures, also known as people risks. These risks are rapidly increasing and evolving, and what were onceconsidered minor problems are now potentially disastrous for businesses.  Download HR Solutions

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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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Health FSA Annual Limit & Changes

  Takes Effect: Each plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2013. Quick Facts: Salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending account (health FSA) are limited to a total dollar amount per plan year: For plan year beginning in 2013 or 2014: $2,500. For plan year beginning in 2015 or 2016: $2,550. For plan year beginning in 2017: $2,600. For plan year beginning in 2018: $2,650. For plan year beginning in 2019: $2,700. For plan year beginning in 2020 or 2021: $2,750. In case of a “short” plan year of fewer than 12 months, the limit is prorated. Details: The Affordable Care Act amends § 125 of the… Read More

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IRS Announces New Inflation Adjusted HSA and HRA numbers for 2022

These new rates will take effect for the calendar year 2022. Please reach out to your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns about this notice.

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