Final Rules Adopt Administrative Changes to the No Surprises Act

On August 26, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) published final rules on the No Surprises Act, making changes to the administrative duties of insurance carriers, HMOs, third-party administrators, out-of-network healthcare providers, and certain other entities responsible for the Act’s implementation. The new rules, which take effect on October 25, 2022, are narrow in scope, and include the following changes:• During processing of claims under the No Surprises Act, if “down-coding” occurs (i.e., the group medical plan alters or replaces the medical billing codes chosen by the out-of-network healthcare provider, resulting in a lower claim payment), then the final rules impose… Read More

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Additional Guidance on New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit informationannually about prescription drugs and health care spending to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on behalf of the Departments of Health and Human Services(“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022. CMS recently updated guidance related to this reporting requirement that provides some helpful clarification. Click the link below to download this bulletin. As always please contact your Total benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Further Guidance Issued on Contraceptive Coverage

On July 28, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (collectively, “the Departments”) issued FAQ Part to clarify protections for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). In January 2022, the Departments had issued guidance on the ACA Preventive Care Mandate, including contraception. The Departments issued FAQ Part 54: In response to reports that individuals continue to experience difficulty accessing contraceptive coverage without cost sharing; To clarify application of the contraceptive coverage requirements to fertility awareness-based methods and to emergency contraceptive; and To address federal preemption of state law. Employers sponsoring non-grandfathered group health plans should review the various preventive care requirements effective… Read More

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IRS Announces 2023 ACA Affordability Indexed Amount

The IRS recently announced in Revenue Procedure 2022-34 that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) affordability indexed amount under the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (“ESRP”) requirements will be 9.12% for plan years that begin in 2023. This is a notable decrease from the 2022 percentage amount (9.61%) and below the original 9.5% threshold. Rev. Proc. 2022-34 establishes the indexed “required contribution percentage” used to determine whether an individual is eligible for “affordable” employer-sponsored health coverage under Section 36B (related to qualification for premium tax credits when buying ACA Marketplace coverage). However, the IRS explained in IRS Notice 2015-87 that a percentage change under Section 36B will correspond to a similar change… Read More

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New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in December 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on behalf of the departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022. CMS recently updated guidance related to this reporting requirement that provides some helpful clarification. Employers with fully insured or self-funded (includes level funded) group health plans, including grandfathered plans, church plans subject to the Internal Revenue Code, and governmental plans. The term “group… Read More

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Understanding the Coding of Health Plans from MEC to Metallic

Choosing the right insurance plan for you (and your family) is not an easy task. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced major changes to the way carriers traditionally marketed their health plans to the public and introduced a volume of new terms, requirements and complexities, many of which may sound confusing to the general public. From terms like “minimum essential coverage” to the various metallic plan categories of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, a solid foundation of knowledge is essential in order to find the coverage required at an affordable price. The health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions Inc are well versed on these terms so when you… Read More

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Case Study Library

We present a few case studies to illustrate how we have helped our clients solve their complicated employee benefit challenges. Click here to learn more!

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Horizon BSBSNJ to Withdraw HMO Plans From Individual and Small Employer Markets

Horizon has announced a change to their product portfolio and have elected to withdraw their HMO plans from the Individual and Small Employer Health Benefits Plan (SEH) markets. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) has given its approval for Horizon to withdraw its HMO plans from the markets under the authority of N.J.S.A 17B:27A-6 and N.J.A.C. 11:20-18.5 (for Individual plans) and N.J.S.A. 17B:27A–23e and N.J.A.C. 11:21-16 (for small employer plans). This withdrawal will affect Individual members enrolled in the Horizon HMO Gold plan, and group clients and their employees who are enrolled in the Horizon HMO Platinum plan. Brokers with affected small group clients, and those affected… Read More

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Affordability of Health Coverage

Applicable Large Employers, those with 50 or more full-time employees in the prior year, must offer their full-time employees minimum essential coverage providing minimum value that is affordable. A plan is affordable if the premium for self-only coverage does not exceed a certain percentage of the employee’s household income. The IRS sets the percentage each year. The baseline percentage was 9.5%. In 2022, the affordability percentage is 9.61%. In 2021, it was 9.83%. A plan will be considered affordable if its premium for the lowest cost, single-only plan does not exceed the identified percentage of an employee’s household income. Since household income is not readily available, employers use one of… 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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ACA Employer Penalties Increased for 2022

The IRS penalty amounts for non-compliance of the ACA’s Employer Mandate are again increasing in 2022.  4980H(a) Penalty For the 2022 tax year, the 4980H(a) penalty amount is $229.17 a month or $2,750 annualized, per employee. The IRS issues the 4980H(a) penalty when: An employer doesn’t offer Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) to at least 95% of its full-time employees (and their dependents) for any month during the tax year, and  At least one full-time employee receives a Premium Tax Credit (PTC) for purchasing coverage through the Marketplace. Here’s an example of how the IRS calculates the penalty: If an organization in 2022has 300 full-time employees, and one of these employees receives a PTC for 12 months, the cost of this penalty would be $742,500.The per-employee penalty applies… Read More

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Aetna: Transparency in Coverage Rule Update

The Transparency in Coverage rule requires health plans and insurers to disclose pricing information via MRF by July 1, 2022. Health plans must generate two MRFs that contain Negotiated rates for in-network providers Billed charges and allowed amounts paid for out-of-network providers  We’ll publish this information on Aetna.com on July 1, 2022 for fully insured (51-100) and small group Aetna Funding AdvantageSM (2-100) groups. By posting the MRFs for small small group Aetna Funding Advantage clients, we’re taking work off their plate. Aetna will update the files each month and this link will remain active with the most up-to-date information.

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2022 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) Fees

  2022 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) Fees May 23, 2022     This Allied Update serves as a reminder that the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) fees are due by July 31, 2022. By way of background, at the end of 2019, the Federal Government reauthorized the annual payment of fees by health insurers and group health plans into the PCORTF until 2029. (Such payments were previously set to expire for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019, and beyond.) The fee is due by July 31 of the calendar year immediately following the last day of the plan year in which… Read More

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Notice Requirements for Group Health Plans

ERISA requires plan administrators to give plan participants in writing the most important facts they need to know about their group health plans, including plan rules, financial information, and documents on the operation and management of the plan. Some of these facts must be provided to participants regularly and automatically by the plan administrator. Others must be made available upon request, free-of-charge or for copying fees.

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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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Support for your emotional health

Virtual care visits from MDLIVE® IBC members pay $0 cost-share* You have access to care from therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists who can help with concerns likeanxiety, depression, and panic disorders. With telebehavioral health from MDLIVE, you pay $0 costshare* for a confidential visit in the comfort of yourhome, or wherever you are. Choose to have your virtual care visit by video chat, using the MDLIVE website or mobile app, or by phone.

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Proposed Regulations to Fix ACA’s Affordability “Family Glitch”

individuals are not eligible for premium tax credits in the Marketplace

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2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully Insured Plans

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AmeriHealth New Jersey prepares to comply with new Transparency requirements

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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

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SCOTUS Upholds Affordable Care Act Ruling

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Alternatives to Health Insurance Benefits

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