DOL Penalties Increase for 2023

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has published the annual adjustments for 2023 that increase certain penalties applicable to employee benefit plans. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns today at (215)355-2121.

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Blue KC: 2023 member guides and handbooks now available

The 2023 commercial and ACA member guides and Medicare Advantage member handbook are now available. Clients will receive these documents through a variety of touchpoints. Please keep them handy as a quick reference to Blue KC plan benefits and features and to share them with clients as needed. Employer/Group Medicare Advantage ACA Individual and Family Plans Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Things to Know About the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Requirement

At the start of the pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which included a requirement that Medicaid programs keep people continuously enrolled through the end of the month in which the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, in exchange for enhanced federal funding. Primarily due to the continuous enrollment requirement, Medicaid enrollment has grown substantially compared to before the pandemic and the uninsured rate has dropped. But, when the PHE ends, millions of people could lose coverage that could reverse recent gains in coverage. The current PHE is in effect until January 11, 2023, and the Biden administration has said it will give states a 60-day… Read More

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Get connected with the IBX Smartphone App

Download the free IBX app for your iPhone or Android to help you make the most of your Independence Blue Cross health plan. With new and improved features, the IBX app gives you easy access to your health care coverage 24/7, wherever you are. As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance professionals if you have any questions about this bulletin. Click here to read more.

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Total Benefit Solutions, Inc appoints with Lasso Medicare Medical Savings Accounts Plans for 2022-2023 Open Enrollment Season

What is a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan? – A Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that combines a high-deductible health plan with a medical savings account. Enrollees of Medicare MSA plans can initially use their savings account to help pay for health care, and then will have coverage through a high-deductible insurance plan once they reach their deductible. Medicare MSA plans can provide Medicare beneficiaries with more control over health care utilization, while still providing coverage against catastrophic health care expenses. Ask your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. Medicare health insurance specialist of a Medicare Medical Savings Account could be worth considering… Read More

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Turning 26: Your Guide to Health Insurance

Turning 26: Your Guide to Getting Your New Health Insurance:https://totalbenefits.net/turning-26-your-guide-to-health-insurance/

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CMS Updates Medicare Enrollment Rules for 2023

On April 22, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed implementation of parts of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) to simplify Medicare enrollment. According to Medicare.gov, these changes will go into effect January 1, 2023. Generally speaking, the new Medicare enrollment rules will allow for a more straightforward enrollment process that reduces potential gaps in coverage. They also allow for more Special Enrollment Periods and extend some Part B coverage to certain beneficiaries. But, what are the specifics? All facts and figures can be found in CMS’ fact sheet on the provisions, unless specifically linked elsewhere. Current Medicare Enrollment Rules Currently, when Medicare coverage actually starts after enrollment… 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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Medigap 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 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 your mind.… Read More

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What are HDHPs & HSAs?

One way to manage your health care expenses is by enrolling in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in combination with opening a Health Savings Account (HSA). How High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts can reduce your costs: If you enroll in an HDHP, you may pay a lower monthly premium but have a higher deductible (meaning you pay for more of your health care items and services before the insurance plan pays). If you combine your HDHP with an HSA, you can pay that deductible, plus other qualified medical expenses, using money you set aside in your tax-free HSA. So if you have an HDHP and don’t… Read More

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What is a Qualifying Life Event or QLE?

There are 4 basic types of health insurance qualifying life events. (The following are examples, not a full list.) Loss of health coverage Losing existing health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan Changes in household Getting married or divorced Having a baby or adopting a child Death in the family Changes in residence Moving to a different ZIP code or county A student moving to or from the place they attend school A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work Moving to or from a shelter or… 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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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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Health Insurance Nondiscrimination Rules Small Business Owners Need to Know

Group health plans and tax-favored accounts—including health savings accounts (HSAs), health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)—are subject to numerous nondiscrimination provisions under federal law. The most common nondiscrimination provisions are described. Please download the entire bulletin for details. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc group account manager at (215)355-2121 with any questions or concerns. This bulletin covers the following topics: Overview General Rules Section 125 Nondiscrimination Rules for Cafeteria Plans Section 105 Nondiscrimination Rules for Self-Insured Plans HIPAA Nondiscrimination Rules Nondiscrimination Rules Related to Medicare-Eligible Individuals Other Nondiscrimination Rules Additional Information

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6 Questions to ask your Benefits Broker

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How Medicare Works Part A

How Medicare Works Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides health insurance for people 65 and older and individuals younger than 65 who may qualify due to certain disabilities. There are four different parts to Medicare — Part A, B, C, and D. Click the icons below to learn more about each part! Medicare Part A Medicare Part A can be thought of as your hospital insurance. It helps to pay for your stay at a health care facility, whether that be a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or nursing home, among others. If you’re admitted as an inpatient, Medicare Part A covers many services like meals, a semi-private room,… 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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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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What is a 5-Star Medicare Plan?

Did you know that Medicare plans come with a handy rating system and that the highest-rated of these plans have a Special Enrollment Period associated with them? Get ready to learn all about 5-star Medicare plans and what makes them special! Click here for more information! As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121 with any additional questions or concerns!

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Independence is covering OTC COVID‑19 test kits through pharmacy benefits

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