Healtcare Reform Law

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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Critically Important: Insurance for Serious Illness

Good news: You’ve got health insurance (at least, all Americans are required to or pay a penalty). Bad news: It doesn’t cover everything. Especially if something really bad happens, like a heart attack or stroke. Yes, a decent major medical plan will cover many of the health-related expenses related to a serious illness. But you’d likely still be left with significant out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and copayments. Medical insurance also doesn’t usually cover other related costs, such as travel to treatment centers, child care during absences or recovery, home modifications or rehabilitation charges. And if you lose income while you’re unable to work, you could have a tough time paying… Read More

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Limited Benefit Medical Plans

Why Consider a Limited Benefit Medical Plan? When it comes to medical benefits, employers used to face two choices — comprehensive employer-paid medical plans or no insurance at all. However, with the inception of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the option not to offer medical insurance no longer exists for some employers. Limited benefit medical plans can be powerful tools for recruiting and retaining employees in situations where traditional medical benefits are not offered or affordable. These plans can also be useful in increasing productivity through reduced absenteeism due to illness, improving employee morale and as a means to provide the level of coverage required by law.… Read More

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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due August 1

The annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORI) fee is due to the IRS August 1, 2016. The fee, charged to certain health insurance policies, is used to support the activities of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO) established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Fully- and self-insured group health plans ( Including HRA’s) are subject to PCORI fees.  A health insurer will pay the fee on behalf of the employer if the plan is fully insured. Click here to read the bulletin from Primepay As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Now Available from Total Benefit Solutions: Low Cost ERISA Wrap SPD Documents

Wrap Summary Plan Description (SPD) If you offer group health insurance you’re now required by ERISA law, enforced by the Department of Labor and now the Affordable Care Act, to distribute a Wrap SPD within 120 days of the Plan’s effective date. The ERISA and ACA required Group Health Insurance Wrap SPD document is now available for a $99 one-time fee. You only update your Wrap SPD document as your benefit options change. The low cost Wrap SPD document is limited to fully insured group health insurance plans only.     Here are the Wrap SPD document requirements by ERISA and the Affordable Care Act as succinctly as possible: If… Read More

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Mental Health Parity Triggers

  The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“MHPAEA”) requires a group health plan that offers mental health and substance use disorder benefits to be at parity with medical and surgical benefits. As such, financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health and/or substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the medical and/or surgical benefits offered. Click the link below to read the entire bulletin.   Click to read Mental Health Parity Non-Compliance Triggers

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Now Available: Health Advocate Member Advocacy

Total Benefit Solutions clients can now take advantage of enrolling on Health Advocate as a group or as an individual/ family! It’s part of our Benefit Aid packages and it’s so easy you can enroll today by clicking here or ask your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information. This video will tell you all about the benefits of Health Advocate!  

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New ACA Delays/Extensions/Eliminations Chart–Download Free

With so many different ACA provisions, HR360’s simple new chart provides you and your clients with a clear understanding of the key requirements that have been delayed, extended, or eliminated under the Affordable Care Act.  Our business partner, HR360’s simple chart features important ACA delays, extensions, and eliminations, including: Eliminated automatic enrollment provisions Delay of the “Cadillac” tax Extension of information reporting deadlines Download ACA_Delays_Extensions_and_Eliminations

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Checking Your Employee Handbook for Benefit Provisions

Handbooks are important for many reasons such as informing employees of their rights and duties, communicating available resources, and outlining paid time off policies. With respect to health and welfare benefits, here are a few things to consider:   Download Checking Your Employee Handbook for Benefit Provisions

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Employers: Tell Congress to Oppose Eliminating or Capping the Employer Exclusion

NAHU (The National Association of Health Underwriters)  is very concerned about current proposals in Congress that would undermine the employer-sponsored health insurance system by eliminating or placing a cap on the employer tax exclusion for health insurance. Eliminating the exclusion would also eliminate most of the advantages of employer-sponsored insurance while capping it would degrade the benefit and serve as a tax increase for middle-class Americans. Click here to take action

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Medicare and Employer Coverage

From the Medicare Rights Center download this excellent Q&A about Medicare Coverage, the guidelines and how it may or may not integrate with employer coverage. Part-2-QA-Current-Employer-Insurance Have more questions about Medicare and your employer coverage? Call your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager today at (215)355-2121.           Learn more on Medicare Interactive.

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Nondiscrimination regs cover TPAs, dental and more

  Nondiscrimination regs cover TPAs, dental and more The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has completed nondiscrimination regulations that might have a major effect on insurers that sell public exchange plans but might not have much of an effect on others. The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the HHS Office of the Secretary posted a 362-page preview version of the final regulations today. The official version of the final rule, which is based on a draft released in September, is set to appear Wednesday in the Federal Register. Read the story at Life & Health Pro

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8 things to know about Medigap policies

Medicare Supplements or Medigap Plans A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share. A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy… Read More

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2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2017.  Most limits remained the same as 2016 amounts. Click the link below to download the bulletin. 2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

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Health Care Reform: 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about the health care tax credit

  The Affordable Care Act’s small business health care tax credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Click the link below to download the whitepaper 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about this credit: 8 Things to Know About the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit For more information about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager at (215)355-2121 or visit your ThinkHR library at www.thinkhr.com and log in.     Watch a video below about the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

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How do Tiered Network plans like the Keystone HMO Proactive and Horizon Omnia plans work?

Tiered or Narrow Network Plans: Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance carriers have introduced “tiered network”, or narrowed network plans. Keystone Proactive HMO Plans from Independence Blue Cross  have a unique  ” 3 tiered” network of providers. Although each carrier has different types of networks and benefit levels, the plans have the same general concept, steering the members by giving them a choice of providers that offer medical services at a lower out of pocket expense. Choosing a more expensive provider or facility may cost the member more out of pocket costs. United Healthcare offers 2 tiers in their “Navigate” plans, and Aetna uses “Savings Plus” designated providers to split… Read More

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