What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and why is it important?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is different than the annual election period in the fall. The MA OEP happens annually from January 1st to March 31st. The OEP allows beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan to make a one-time change. Beneficiaries can use the Medicare OEP to: The Medicare OEP does not allow a beneficiary to change from one Part D plan to another Part D plan. The reason for the OEP is that Medicare beneficiaries are often confused about Medicare Advantage plans. They don’t understand how these plans work or they may not realize the plan has a network. Some Medicare beneficiaries try to make their… Read More

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How does Original Medicare work?

Original Medicare covers most, but not all of the costs for approved health care services and supplies. After you meet your deductible, you pay your share of costs for services and supplies as you get them. There’s no limit on what you’ll pay out-of-pocket in a year unless you have other coverage (like Medigap, Medicaid, or employee or union coverage). Services covered by Medicare must be medically necessary. Medicare also covers many preventive services, like shots and screenings. If you go to a doctor or other health care provider that accepts the Medicare-approved amount, your share of costs may be less. If you get a service that Medicare doesn’t cover,… Read More

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Four Key Changes in the Biden Administration’s Final Rule on Medicare Enrollment and Eligibility

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on October 28, 2022, to implement several changes in Medicare enrollment and eligibility that were included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). These changes are designed to minimize gaps in coverage for people who sign up for Medicare and improve access to care by shortening the gap between Medicare enrollment and coverage; creating new Special Enrollment Periods for individuals whose coverage would otherwise be delayed due to challenging circumstances, such as a natural disaster; and extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for certain beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who would otherwise lose coverage for these drugs… Read More

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What is Medicare Advantage??

What is Medicare Advantage> Watch this 3 minute video for a great explanation and then call Total Benefit Solutions, Inc at (215)355-2121 if you have any additional questions or concerns!

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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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What is the difference between Medicare Supplement and Advantage Plans?

Your independent professionals at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc are prepared to walk you through the process and answer all of your questions! Call us today at (215)355-2121

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Medicare Savings Programs

Get help from your state paying your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) premiums through a Medicare Savings Program. If you qualify, Medicare Savings Programs might also pay your Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You’ll apply for Medicare Savings Programs through your state. When you apply, your state determines which program(s) you qualify for. Even if you don’t think you qualify, you should still apply. For more information about the Medicare Savings Programs, click here. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Medicare Part D: A First Look at Medicare Drug Plans in 2023

During the Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 each year, beneficiaries can enroll in a plan that provides Part D prescription drug coverage, either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) for people in traditional Medicare, or a Medicare Advantage plan that covers all Medicare benefits, including prescription drugs (MA-PD). Highlights for 2023: For more information regarding Part D Plan Availability and Part D Premiums, click here. 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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What is a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan?

Medicare works with private insurance companies to offer you ways to get your health care coverage. These companies can choose to offer a consumer-directed Medicare Advantage Plan, called a Medicare MSA Plan. These plans are similar to Health Savings Accounts Plans available outside of Medicare. You can choose your health care services and providers (MSA plans usually don’t have a network of doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals). Medicare MSA Plans combine a high-deductible insurance plan with a medical savings account that you can use to pay for your health care costs. High-deductible health plan: The first part is a special type of high-deductible Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).… Read More

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What are Qualified Medical Expenses?

Qualified Medical Expenses are generally the same types of services and products that otherwise could be deducted as medical expenses on your yearly income tax return. Some Qualified Medical Expenses, like doctors’ visits, lab tests, and hospital stays, are also Medicare-covered services. Services like dental and vision care are Qualified Medical Expenses, but aren’t covered by Medicare. Qualified Medical Expenses could count toward your Medicare MSA Plan deductible only if the expenses are for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services. Each year, you should get a 1099-SA form from your bank that includes all of the withdrawals from your account. You’ll need to show that you’ve had Qualified Medical… Read More

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Prescription Drug Reporting Reminder

As previously reported, plan sponsors of group health plans must submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022, for reporting on calendar years 2020 and 2021. Additionally: To learn more, click here to download the document. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please call your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance experts today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Steps to Use a Medicare MSA Plan

Choose and join a high-deductible Medicare MSA Plan. You set up an MSA with a bank the plan selects. Medicare gives the plan an amount of money each year for your health care. The plan deposits some money into your account. You can use the money in your account to pay your health care costs, including health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare. When you use account money for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services, it counts towards your plan’s deductible. If you use all of the money in your account and you have additional health care costs, you’ll have to pay for your Medicare-covered services out0of-pocket until… 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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What Are Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights?

Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121 with any questions.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Expands Eligibility for Full Benefits Under the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program

The Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Program helps beneficiaries with their Part D premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing. Beneficiaries qualify for full or partial benefits depending on their income and resources. Current law: Beneficiaries qualify for full LIS benefits if they have income up to 135% of poverty and lower resources (up to $9,900 individual, $15,600 couple in 2022) Beneficiaries qualify for partial LIS benefits if they have income between 135-150% of poverty and higher resources (up to $15,510 individual, $30,950 couple in 2022) Inflation Reduction Act: Expands eligibility for full LIS benefits to individuals with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty and higher resources (at or below the… Read More

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Why Use Medicareful to Find Your Plan?

Medicare insurance can seem complex on your own. We’re here to help! Medicareful is an easy-to-use Medicare plan finder that compares some of the available plans in your area and connects you with a licensed sales agent who will guide you through enrollment. Whether it’s a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage Part C Plan, or a Medicare Part D drug plan, we’ve got you covered. https://medicareful.com/totalbenefitsolutions

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Inflation Reduction Act: Limits Monthly Copayments for Insulin in Medicare

Beginning in 2023, limits copayments to $35 per month per prescription for covered insulin products in Medicare Part D plans and for insulin furnished through durable medical equipment under Medicare Part B, with no deductible. For 2026 and beyond, limits monthly Part D copayments for insulin to the lesser of: $35 25% of the maximum fair price (in cases where the insulin product has been selected for negotiation) 25% of the negotiated price in Part D plans Please call your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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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 information annually 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 requirements that proves some helpful clarification. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Get ready for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period with our centralized guide to AEP.

Every year, the AEP is your opportunity to enroll in or switch to a Medicare plan that fits your ever evolving health care needs. This special enrollment window only runs October 15 to December 7, so it’s important to be prepared to accomplish anything you’d like to during that time. If reviewing or changing your coverage seems a little daunting with all the different plans and benefits on the market and decisions to make, don’t worry! You don’t have to go it alone. Get Your Guide to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period and Get ready for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period with our centralized guide to AEP. Click here to… Read More

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Does an MSA Health Insurance Plan (Medical Savings Account) cover prescription drugs?

Does an MSA health insurance plan cover drugs? No. You A Medicare MSA Plan cannot cover prescription drugs. To cover prescription drugs when you have an MSA you must enroll in a separate policy with prescription drug coverage. You can also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to help with your drug costs. As always please ask your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance expert about your Medicare prescription drug plan options at (215)355-2121 or you can shop and compare online by clicking here.

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3 Types of Medigap Rating Structure

Attained-Aged: Premium based on current age when policy is issued. Premium goes up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. All Medigap Freedom plans are Attained-Aged rated. Issued-Aged: Premium based on the age you are when you buy (are issued) the Medigap policy. Premium DOES NOT go up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. Community: Same premium is charged to everyone who has the Medigap policy, regardless of age. Premium DOES NOT go up as you get older AND may go up due to a rate increase. Call your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc Medicare health insurance specialists… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Requires Drug Manufacturers to Pay Rebates for Drug Price Increases Above Inflation

Requires drug manufacturers to pay a rebate if drug prices increase faster than the rate of inflation (CPI-U) for: Single-source drugs and biologicals covered under Medicare Part B All covered drugs under Medicare Part D except those where average annual cost is <$100 2021 is the base year for measuring cumulative price changes relative to inflation The rebate amount is based on units sold in Medicare multiplied by the amount that a drug’s price in a give year exceeds the inflation-adjusted price Price changes are measured based on the average sales price (for Part B drugs) or the average manufacturer price (for Part D); these measures include prices charged in… 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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Part D Senior Savings Model: Is there a cap on the number of units monthly to get the $35 copay?

Generally, the maximum $35.00 copayment under the Model applies to one month’s supply of insulin. This may be limited by a physician’s prescription or by plan rules on drug dosage to ensure patient safety. Please note that if an enrollee uses multiple types of insulin or has multiple prescriptions for select insulins covered under the Model, each prescription would have a copayment of a maximum $35.00 for a one month’s supply. Have any questions or concerns regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to call your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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