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The “individual mandate” provision of the ACA as originally enacted in 2010 required most U.S. residents to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay a monetary penalty.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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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New Jersey Small Employer Stop Loss Bill

A bill has been introduced in New Jersey in both the Senate and Assembly that, if passed, would prohibit insurance carriers or other insurers subject to the insurance laws of New Jersey or any other state from offering, issuing or renewing any stop loss insurance policy of any kind to small employers. Stop loss insurance provides reimbursement for catastrophic, excess or unexpected expenses and is used by small employers to self-insure part of the health insurance coverage they provide for employees. Under New Jersey law, in connection with a group health plan, a small employer means an employer with 2-50 eligible employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. If passed,… Read More

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Introducing Reference Based Pricing with ELAP Services

Total Benefit Solutions is proud to announce our partnership with ELAP services to provide our clients with the very best in reference based pricing benefit plans. Wondering if reference based pricing would be a good for your organization? Call us today to find out how it works at (215)355-2121!  

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Important Info! HSA Limits for 2019

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What is an HRA and How It May See A Major Change Soon..

Before we get into how rules for HRAs may be changing, we should discuss what an HRA is and how it works. A Health Reimbursement Account (sometimes referred to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement) is an employer-funded group health plan that reimburses employees, tax-free, for qualified medical expenses up to a certain amount per year. This type of policy does not replace Medical Insurance and is usually coupled with a High-Deductible policy. Unlike an Health Savings Account (HSA), the Employee can not help to fund the account.  Like HSAs though, there are maximum allowed contributions. In 2018, an Employer can fund an HRA up to $5,050 for a Single Employee and $10,250… Read More

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House Passes Legislation to Change HSAs

The House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that, among other things, purport to improve and “modernize” health savings accounts (“HSAs”). While the bills call for significant changes to the current rules affecting HSAs, the specific details are very different. Both pieces of legislation have been sent to the Senate for consideration. Whether the Senate will take up these bills, let alone approve them “as is,” remains uncertain. There appears to be some bi-partisan agreement to loosen the current HSA rules, which means it is possible that we may see changes to these arrangements, which could be effective as early as January 1, 2019. When more information is available, we will… Read More

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Trump Administration Expands Access To Short-Term Plans That Do Not Meet ACA Requirements

The New York Times  (8/4 Pear) reports that on Wednesday, the Trump Administration unveiled “a final rule…that clears the way for the sale of many more health insurance policies that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act and do not have to cover prescription drugs, maternity care or people with pre-existing conditions.” These new options “will help people struggling to afford coverage under the 2010 law, said James Parker, a senior adviser to” HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II.         On its front page, the Washington Post  (7/31, A1, Goldstein) reports that these policies, which are intended “to fill brief gaps in coverage, will be available for 12 months at… Read More

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An Update on Short Term Medical Plans

President Trump recently signed an executive order asking the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services to consider the expansion of availability of Short Term plans. These departments have 60 days to propose regulations or revise current guidance. We expect additional details to become available soon and will keep you updated as more information becomes available. While short term plans are not for everyone, they do meet an important need for consumers looking to avoid gaps in coverage. Of the short term plans available in the market, we encourage you to consider United Healthcare’s  short term plans as they represent a name you know, and they are… Read More

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Video: New Premium Saver Gap Coverage

  Want more information? Call your Total Benefit Solutions account manager today at (215)355-2121.

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Compliance Bulletin & Reform Center

Health Care Compliance and Reform Education Center A fundamental change in the way the United States handles health care has arrived. Benefit rules and coverage change faster today than they used to in ten years! Our Compliance and Health Reform Education Center is where we will keep a copy of our health care reform bulletins throughout the year, in an easy  to view format where you can download a brief summary or watch a short informative video. Click here to visit totalbenefitscomply.com Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions.  

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2016 Compliance Year In Review Digest

2016 Compliance Year In Review Digest A complete digest of all our compliance bulletins for the entire year of 2016 from our business partners at Emerson Reid. A handy guide to all of the year’s updates and changes all in one place. Download your copy now and keep it for future reference.   Click to Download Compliance Digest 2016 Year in Review     As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

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ACA: Important Implementations & Delays in 2016

As our third year of the ACA Open Enrollment Period arrived, it’s time to examine some of the new implementations in 2016. Some of the major components, especially those affecting businesses were delayed or deferred since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This year is considered to be a big year due to the “full implementation” of the employer mandate as well as a number of changes, repeals, and moratoriums on other sections of ACA. Some of the key changes are listed below: CHANGES AND IMPLEMENTATIONS Full implementation of the Employer Mandate Currently it is not mandated that employers provide health care to their employees. Moving forward, however, if… Read More

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FAQ Suggests Employers Include Marketplace Options with COBRA Notices

On June 21, 2016, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued the 32nd Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) FAQ describing information that may be appropriate to include with COBRA notices. Many wondered if it were appropriate to provide information and if so, what kind of information could be provided about the Health Insurance Marketplaces/Exchanges (“Marketplaces”) so that COBRA-eligible individuals could consider health coverage alternatives available through the Marketplaces and possibly investigate whether they may be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Click the link to download the entire bulletin

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Total Benefits & Healthiest You

Healthiest You is more than a typical Teledoc benefit. Whenever members have questions or they are simply not feeling well, they can effortlessly connect to a 24×7 telehealth hotline for the diagnosis and treatment of illness, second opinions and consultations. They have board-certified, licensed physicians in every state waiting to provide exceptional care. They can even prescribe medication and save a trip to the doctor’s office, whether members are at home or on the road. Want more information? Click here to see the site.  

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Think HR Comply: Small Business Support from Total Benefit Solutions

We are pleased to introduce to you a our sponsored client service—ThinkHR. If you are involved with employee issues, this will be a value-added benefit that will save you time and money. ThinkHR offers ThinkHR Live, a team of HR experts standing by to answer your questions or provide advice. This phone-based support service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central each business day. You also have access to ThinkHR Comply, an award-winning online resource center for all of your workforce issues. Download this brochure, it describes the scope of HR topics that are handled by the ThinkHR Live team. The service is provided to all Total Benefit… Read More

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