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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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The “individual mandate” provision of the ACA as originally enacted in 2010 required most U.S. residents to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay a monetary penalty.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 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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Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost Medicare has increased and simplified its payment rate for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to $40 per dose. This change may impact group health plans with respect to their payment rate to providers. Non-grandfathered group health plans are required to cover, without cost sharing, the COVID-19 vaccine. This obligation extended to coverage associated with administering the vaccine. The federal government continues to pay for the vaccine itself through funding authorized by the CARES Act.For vaccines administered in-network, plans will pay the rate negotiated with in-network providers, and that continues to be true. For vaccines administered out-of-network, however, group health plans must reimburse… Read More

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COVID-19 PPE Now a Qualified Medical Expense

On March 26, 2021, the IRS issued IRS Announcement 2021-7, which clarifies that amounts paid for certain personal protective equipment (“COVID-19 PPE”) used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes can be treated as amounts paid for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, because these amounts are expenses for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, these amounts can also be eligible expenses under a health flexible spending account (health FSA), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs). Note, that if the amount is paid or reimbursed under… 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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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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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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Review us on Google

 At Total Benefit Solutions we strive to provide our clients with the best service and support when shopping, enrolling and servicing their health insurance all year long. We appreciate having the opportunity and as always “We Work for Your Benefit”.  If you have worked with us, please help us get some feedback by  reviewing us on Google.  You’ll need to be logged in to your Google account to do so. Click here to rate us!

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HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2020

On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit; The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs. These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.  The IRS limits for HSA contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The HDHP… Read More

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Court Strikes Down Association Health Plan Rules

On March 28th, 2019, a Federal District Court in the District of Columbia struck down significant portions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule. Specifically, the Court found the DOL “failed to reasonably interpret” ERISA when issuing these rules: • expanding the definition of “employers” to include disparate groups of employers with no other commonality of interest other than geographic location; and • bringing working owners without employees within ERISA’s framework. This ruling effectively eliminates the expansion of AHPs to certain employers and working owners who do not meet the original parameters to be a part of an AHP. Click below to download the complete… Read More

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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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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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Update on the Status of the ACA

Update on the Status of the ACA With the impending inauguration, recent actions by the Senate and some confusing media reports, we wanted to provide a short Q&A to help you understand current events and what to expect as we head down the health care reform road in 2017… What’s the latest news? Download the bulletin for an update: Download Update on the Status of the ACA   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

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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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Health Reform: Cost of Living Adjustments, Individual Penalty, HSA limits & more for 2017

    On October 25 and 27, 2016, the IRS released cost of living adjustments for 2017 under various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Some of these adjustments may affect your employee benefit plans. These adjustments include but are not limited to the following: Cafeteria Plans Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits Requirement To Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage (Individual Penalty) Highly Compensated Non-Grandfathered Plan Cost-Sharing Limits H.S.A. Annual contribution limitation, catch up contribution and minimum deductibles Key Employee   Click here to download the bulletin   As always if you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your dedicated Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121.

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Notice of Subsidies in the Federal Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires each Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”) to notify any employer whose employee was determined to be eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits (“APTC”) and Cost Sharing Reductions (“CSR”) because the employee attested that he or she was not: • enrolled in employer sponsored coverage, or • eligible for employer coverage that is affordable and meets minimum value requirements. In 2016, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (“FFM”) will begin issuing these notices to employers. State-based Marketplaces began this notification process in 2015. Click here to download the bulletin

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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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