Can Employers Pay Medicare Premiums for Active Employees?

Companies with fewer than 20 employees that offer group health coverage that pays secondary to Medicare (those not subject to the MSP rules) may be able to pay for the Medicare Part B, Part D, and Medicare Supplement Insurance premiums for their active employees. This is known as a Medicare Premium Reimbursement Arrangement. However, this is not an option for companies with 20 or more workers that are subject to the Medicare Secondary Payer provisions. All companies, regardless of size, can pay the health insurance or Medicare premiums for their retired employees, but no company can payfor individual health insurance coverage for their active employees . Our best practice: A… Read More

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Important News From Independence Blue Cross: Trinity Health termination

February 11th 2019: For the past several months, we have been negotiating the terms of our agreements with Trinity Health (Trinity), which includes the following entities, as well as their professional providers, subsidiaries, affiliates, and divisions: Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Mercy Fitzgerald, Mercy Philadelphia, and Nazareth hospitals St. Mary Medical Center, including St. Mary Rehabilitation Hospital, Saint Francis Healthcare, including Saint Francis Hospital, Wilmington, Delaware. We continue to engage in good‑faith negotiations, but we want to explain how customers and members could be affected if we are unable to reach a new agreement by March 31, 2019. How members would be affected If we are unable to reach a new agreement, Trinity will no longer be… Read More

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What is Medicare?

With Open Enrollment for Medicare in full swing, it’s important to know your benefits and how they work together. Here is an easy to understand article so you fully understand Medicare’s Parts  in order to customize coverage that works for you! Here at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc we have highly trained and certified Medicare Enrollment Specialists to help you each step along the way. If your Medicare options confuse you, or you just want the piece of mind of having a Broker review your needs prior to selecting a plan, feel free to reach out to us at 215-355-2121! You only have until December 7th to choose a plan for… Read More

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Common Questions: Rules For Your HSA After Becoming Medicare Eligible

Medicare and Your HSA In 2017, over 22 million Americans have a Health Savings Account. Each year that number goes higher and higher as High Deductible Plans become more popular with Individuals and Employers. Once you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare, you can no longer open an HSA or deposit money into it, but what if you already had one with a balance? You don’t have to worry about a “Use It Or Lose It” clause. That money can still be used towards out-of-pocket costs! Here are some very common questions about how you can continue to benefit from your HSA and why keeping funds in it for your… Read More

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Medicare Part D Notification Requirements

Employers sponsoring a group health plan with prescription drug benefits are required to notify their Medicare-eligible participants and beneficiaries as to whether the drug coverage provided under the plan is “creditable” or “non-creditable” prior to October 15th, 2018. Please follow this link for more information:   Medicare Part D Notification Requirements       As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this notification or your specific policy, please contact us at 215-355-2121

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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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Prevent Osteoporosis with Screenings

10 Facts About Osteoporosis By Kathleen Hall This silent disease significantly raises your risk for fractures and disability. 1. Losing bone density is a normal part of aging. We reach peak bone mass between ages 25 and 30, and then slowly lose begin to start losing bone mass at age 40. For women, reduced levels of estrogen after menopause accelerate bone density loss. “Women lose 1.5 to 2 percent of their bone density per year in the first 10 years after menopause,” says Laura Ryan, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. 2. You don’t lose… 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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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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The Four Stages of Medicare Part D (2018)

The Four Stages of Medicare Part D Coverage                          

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Your New Medicare Card is on the way! Watch out for scams!

Watch out for 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.… Read More

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Medicare Part D Donut Hole Closing Sooner!

Did you know? The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 moved up the date for closing the so-called donut hole for brand name drugs to 2019. It was previously 2020. For 2019 and every year after, the beneficiary cost sharing for brand name drugs after the initial coverage limit is 25% — the same as after the deductible and before the initial coverage limit. In 2020, the beneficiary cost sharing for generic drugs will also be 25%. Ask your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager for more information at (215)355-2121. Total Benefit Solutions Inc. is your Medicare health insurance specialist! We work for your benefit!

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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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Four Stages of Medicare Part D

  It’s easy to see why Many people are confused by the Medicare part D plan coverage deductibles, limits and the donut hole. We have provided this graphic for you, our clients and friends to make it a little easier to see in a pie chart. Click the link below to download this graphic bulletin. 2018 Four Stages Of Medicare Part D   Want to compare part D plans in your area quickly? Click here   Have more questions? Call us today at (215)355-2121.

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Your Medicare Card Is Changing!

  The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires that Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) be removed from Medicare cards by April 2019; this is in an effort to lessen the current risk of beneficiary medical identity theft. A unique Medicare number, called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI, will replace the current HICN. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin the process of mailing new Medicare cards and will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all cards by April 2019. Educational Resources:  CMS Transition to New Medicare Numbers and Cards – Fact Sheet CMS Website –… Read More

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Medicare Part D CMS Notification Reminder

  Employers sponsoring a group health plan need to report information on the creditable status of the plan’s prescription drug coverage to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In order to provide this information, employers must access CMS’s online reporting system at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-coverage/CreditableCoverage/CCDisclosureForm.html   Click here to download the complete bulletin As always please contact you Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any additional questions or concerns.          

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CMS publishes updated 2018 Medicare cost-sharing amounts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published updated cost-sharing amounts for 2018 which are outlined below. 2018 Medicare Costs at a Glance Standard Part B Premium Most people pay $134 each month Medicare Part B deductible (Medical deductible) $183 per year Medicare Part A deductible (Hospital deductible) $1,340 for each benefit period Beneficiaries will pay $134 (or higher depending on income) if they: • Enroll in Part B for the first time in 2018, or • Are directly billed for their Part B premium, or • Are dually eligible for Medicaid and have their premium paid by state Medicaid agencies pay an income-related premium Some beneficiaries who were held… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions Recertifies with Humana Medicare

Once again Total Benefit Solutions will be offering Humana Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplements and Medicare Part D PDP Drug plans as we have recertified with Humana. Ask us today if a Medicare plan from Humana might be a good fit for you. Watch this short video to learn more about Humana PDP plans.  

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Can I Work and Have Medicare?

Some individuals, maybe even you, will still be actively employed upon becoming eligible for Medicare. Can you enroll in Medicare while you’re still in the work force, and if not, will you get a penalty? If the employer has fewer than 20 employees, you’ll probably want to enroll in Parts A, B, and D upon becoming eligible for them. In this situation, Medicare usually becomes your primary coverage. If the employer has 20 employees or more, you may want to delay Parts A, B, and/or D if you have sufficient group coverage and know you won’t incur late enrollment penalties. Medicare usually pays second to group coverage from larger employers.… Read More

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Compare Medicare Plans in Your Area in real time!

  With Medicareful you can search and compare Medicare health plans at your own convenience, but with an expert nearby at Total Benefit Solutions Inc to help guide you along the way. Log in today and see for yourself! http://www.medicareful.com/totalbenefitsolutions

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Humana and Tenet have reached a new network agreement

Humana and Tenet have reached a new network agreement Humana is pleased to announce we have signed a new agreement, effective June 1, 2017, that allows Humana commercial, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and individual exchange health plan members to receive in-network care at Tenet hospitals, hospital-affiliated outpatient centers, and with Tenet physicians. We are currently in the process of loading Tenet providers to all applicable systems. There may be a delay in providers appearing in Physician Finder even though they are participating. For the best possible member experience, as always, we advise the member to check Physician Finder before seeking non-emergent care from a provider in order to help avoid any… Read More

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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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MEDICARE PART D: CMS NOTIFICATION REMINDER

Employers sponsoring a group health plan need to report information on the creditable status of the plan’s prescription drug coverage to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Watch a video overview   Download a bulletin

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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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