The History of Medicare

  A brief history of Medicare in America Landmark social program now covers 58.5 million Americans By Steve Anderson Discussion about a national health insurance system for Americans goes all the way back to the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, whose platform included health insurance when he ran for president in 1912. But the idea for a national health plan didn’t gain steam until it was pushed by U.S. President Harry S Truman.On November 19, 1945, seven months into his presidency, Truman sent a message to Congress, calling for the creation of a national health insurance fund, open to all Americans. The plan Truman envisioned would provide health coverage to individuals, paying for such typical expenses… Read More

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New Medicare Card Mailing Update!

Check the Status of Your New Card *Cards have finished mailing to American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and to people who get RRB benefits.   Three Things To Know Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your My Social Security. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. Your new Medicare Number is a unique combination of numbers and letters. Your new number uses numbers 0 thru 9. The letters S, L, O,… Read More

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Do You Qualify For A Special Enrollment Period?

Have you lost your health insurance coverage due to a change in employment, a move, or another life event? Since the 2018 Open Enrollment Period is over, you can only enroll in or change a Health Insurance Marketplace plan if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. Below are Life Events that can grant you a Special Enrollment Period. If you have any questions or would like to talk to someone here about a quote, give us a call at 215-355-2121 or click here. Life changes that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period -Changes in household- You may qualify for a Special Enrollment… 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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Introducing Xpress Healthcare with Aetna Dental Access!

Total Benefit Solutions offers Xpress Healthcare with a great dental discount & more for Individuals, Families and Seniors! Click Here to shop, compare & enroll!

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The Four Stages of Medicare Part D (2018)

The Four Stages of Medicare Part D Coverage                          

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Watch Out For Medicare Scams!

Your new Medicare card is on the way, so if someone calls and says you need to give them your personal information or money to get the new card, hang up! It’s a scam. Medicare will never call uninvited and ask for personal information or money for you to get your new Medicare Number and card.Learn what to do if you get a suspicious call like this. If you haven’t gotten your new Medicare card yet, don’t worry. Mailing cards to each group of states takes at least a month, so you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your area. In the meantime, keep… 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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New Jersey Out-of-Network Bill

On June 1, 2018, New Jersey Gov. Murphy passed the Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act (the “OON Act”). In general, the OON Act applies to emergency services and other care provided by out-of-network physicians in in-network settings (i.e. hospital-based physicians). It  takes effect on September 1, 2018. Click the link below to download the full story: Click to Download For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager at 215-355-2121    

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CMS Expands the Extension of Needed Relief for Marketplace Enrollees Who Missed Medicare Enrollment

CMS is offering assistance to certain individuals enrolled in both Medicare Part A (and/or Part C) and the Exchange for individuals and families to drop their Exchange coverage and enroll in Part B without penalty. Further, CMS is offering assistance to certain individuals who dropped or lost their coverage from the Exchange and are paying a Part B late enrollment penalty from their subsequent enrollment into Part B. These eligible individuals can have their penalty reduced. Individuals can apply for the special enrollment and reduction in late enrollment penalties during a limited time – it is available now and ends September 30, 2018 Read Blog Post from MedicareRights.org CMS SHIP… Read More

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New Association Health Plans

This is something that is happening right now, the rebirth of association health plans, but even better than before!  I have been asked about being able to do this for years. We are super excited about this and this should be better than what we were able to do before with previous association health plans.  Sole proprietors and small businesses will need to join an association in order to get these plans and they are going to be designed to be lower in cost than the current small group plans. Please review the bulletin by downloading below and call us at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions.   Click to… Read More

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ThinkHR Webinar: How to Easily Build a Compliant Multistate Handbook

  May 22 and 24, 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time ThinkHR Webinar: How to Easily Build a Compliant Multistate Handbook Handbooks, not rule books: A new approach to an old requirement   Register Now Join Dan Riordan, President and COO at ThinkHR and Shannon Flanagan, Director of People Operations at ThinkHR, as they discuss some of 2018’s hot topics when it comes to employee handbooks. Dan and Shannon will share their insights on how employers can update their marijuana/drug testing and social media policies to reflect today’s environment while staying compliant with changing laws and providing a safe and supportive workplace. Then, stick around to get a preview demo of… Read More

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IRS cuts 2018 family HSA contribution limit

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 2018 contribution limit for family coverage in a health savings account will be $6,850—not $6,900, as previously announced by the IRS. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that the IRS has recalculated the limit because the tax law applies the so-called chained consumer price index to increases in HSA contribution limits, as well as to a few other employee benefit contribution limits. Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018–10, released March 5, clarifies not just that change but others as well. While the annual tax-deductible HSA contribution limit for tax year 2018 will remain at $3,450 for HSA account holders with self-only coverage through a high-deductible… Read More

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Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option for small groups

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. Ask us today if self funding could be a good fit for your organization! Call your Total Benefit Solutions Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information! Learn more here: AFA-Customer-Flyer New! Minute Clinic Benefit! $0 Copay Minute Clinic Visits Flyer More Documents for downloading: Springboard Marketplace Your Online Administration and Enrollment Portal AFA AppleWatch Wellness Flyer AFA Sample Usage Reports Aetna & Teledoc for AFA AETNA… Read More

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IRS Releases 2018 Inflation Adjustments to Tax Provisions

The Internal Revenue Service released the annual inflation adjustments that will apply to certain benefit plan tax provisions in 2018. Revenue Procedure 2017-58, which can be accessed by clicking here, identifies inflation-adjusted items for different provisions of the tax code. From an employee benefits standpoint, the following limits may be of interest to employers: The dollar limit on voluntary employee salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending accounts is increased to $2,650 for plan years beginning in 2018. The monthly exclusion amount for transportation and transit passes is increased to $260. The monthly limit for the qualified parking exclusion is increased to $260. The dollar amount used to determine the penalty… Read More

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Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill

    On December 20, 2017, the House and Senate sent President Trump the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for signature. The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill on November 16, 2017 while the Senate passed their version on December 2, 2017. Because the versions were not identical, a Tax-Bill Conference Committee was formed from members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to negotiate the text of the combined bill. After the finalized text was approved and released by the committee, the House and Senate each passed the combined bill (which happened on December 20th in the House and December 19th in the Senate) before… Read More

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Extension of Deadline for 2017 Forms 1095-C

On December 22, 2017, the IRS issued Notice 2018-06, which provides a limited extension of time for employers to provide 2017 Forms 1095-C to individuals. It also extends good-faith transition relief from certain penalties for the 2017 reporting year. The deadlines to provide Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to the IRS was not extended. Should you have any questions, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121.   Click to Download Extension of Deadline for 2017 Forms 1095-C

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2017 Employer Reporting Requirements

2017 Employer Reporting Requirements The below document outlines sections 6055 & 6066, the “B” and “C” forms, and the employer reporting obligations to both employees and the IRS. Download 2017_Employer_Reporting_Requirements   Click here to watch a brainshark video that explains the forms and reporting requirements.  

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Searching for Keystone HMO Proactive Providers by Tier?

Please note you must select the proactive plans from the list. Go to this link:  Choose a health plan:             From the drop down select, Medical then Keystone Proactive:   Now your search will return physicians with Tier listings showing:  

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Aetna Funding Advantage for Small Businesses

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. The benefits of self-funding have traditionally been considered by larger companies. But Aetna Funding Advantage has changed that. It is specifically designed to be attractive and affordable for small businesses like yours. Watch this short video and download the documents below for some information. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions, concerns or would like to learn… Read More

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Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs

  Under the Affordable Care Act, a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) must be integrated with a group health plan (as it could not meet the market reform provisions on its own) and was not able to reimburse employees for individual premiums. However, on December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which established QSEHRAs (a special standalone HRA). Click to Download Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs This guidance is big news for small groups who would prefer to provide a reimbursement as opposed to a group health plan. Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.  

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The IRS Code has numerous provisions designed to help employers

Employer Strategies and Solutions to Substantially Reduce:   the high cost of Health Insurance; the cost for Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses; the cost for Dependent Day Care Expenses; the cost for Parking and Transit Expenses; cost of Self-Employed Healthcare Expenses; Employer Matching Payroll Taxes by 8%; Employee Income Taxes by 30%. The IRS Code has numerous provisions designed to help employers provide essential benefits to their employees tax-free. This saves the employee approximately 30% in income taxes on expenses they’re already paying for, and because the employees have reduced their taxable income, the employer realizes a reduced matching payroll tax liability of approximately 8%. Everybody saves money. To take advantage of… Read More

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New Indexed PCORI Fees Issued

Under the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) a fund for a new nonprofit corporation to assist in clinical effectiveness research was created. To aid in the financial support for this endeavor, certain health insurance carriers and health plan sponsors are required to pay fees based on the average number of lives covered by welfare benefits plans. These fees are referred to as either Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) or Clinical Effectiveness Research (CER) fees. The applicable fee was $2.26 for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017.  For plan years ending on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018, the fee… Read More

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2018 Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment: PA Independence Individual Consumer Plans and Rates

  Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment 2018! Don’t do it yourself! Our dedicated professionals are here to help you take the fits out of the benefit planning process!  One mistake and you could be stuck with a bad plan all year! We work with all available plans both on the healthcare.gov marketplace and off! Have your own expert help you! Our experts are trained to help you Choose between on and off exchange options Maximize any subsidy eligibility. Help you understand the cost sharing subsidies Help you choose the plan that is the best fit for you Explain the differences between the plan design and your out of pocket expectations Fill… Read More

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