Can employees now make mid year changes to their FSA benefits?

Is it true that we can allow our employees to make changes to their health and FSA benefits based on changes in circumstances due to COVID-19 related reasons? A.- Yes. The IRS relaxed its cafeteria plan mid-year change rules for 2020. Now, plan sponsors may allow participants to change their pre-tax elections of health coverage and flexible spending account coverage. The IRS does not require the change to be limited to a COVID-19 related reason. However, for administrative purposes employers may want to place restrictions on the reason for changing elections and the number of times elections may be changed. Have more F.S.A. questions? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions,… Read More

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National General: Telehealth Benefits Extended

Teladoc Updates & Telehealth Benefit Extended: As promised,  National General Benefits Solutions will continue to keep you updated on the latest plan adjustments for your clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that the COVID-19 crisis has created a need for your clients and their plan members to eliminate person-to-person contact. Because of that, we implemented plan enhancements to help plan members get the care they need. Teladoc® Allied HSA Groups with TeladocWhen the COVID-19 crisis hit, we waived the $49 Teladoc consultation fee for your clients’ group health plan members. This is a reminder that the waiver of that fee will end on June 30, 2020. As of July 1, 2020,… Read More

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How do I add supplemental benefits with my Medicare coverage?

Question: I have Medicare, and I’m interested in getting services like dental, transportation, and home-delivered meals. Do I need a Medicare Advantage Plan to get these supplemental benefits? Is there a way to get these services if I have Original Medicare?  -Xavier   Dear Xavier,  A supplemental benefit is an item or service covered by a Medicare Advantage Plan that is not covered by Original Medicare. These items or services do not need to be provided by Medicare providers or at Medicare-certified facilities. To receive them, you just need to follow your plan’s rules. Some commonly offered supplemental benefits are dental care, vision care, hearing aids, and gym memberships. Supplemental benefits must be primarily health-related, with some… Read More

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COVID-19 Crisis Management Resource Center

We’re here for your benefit. Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. has partnered with Think HR to provide our clients with a COVID-19 crisis management resource center. This resource provides you with a number of benefits including letter templates, documents and even short, easy to understand videos. Right now employers feel isolated. But, they’re not alone. Your Total Benefit Solutions Inc, team, ThinkHR and Mammoth have been fielding thousands of coronavirus-related questions from business owners. And, we’re jointly making our essential COVID-19 crisis management resources available for free to all employers in need. Think HR is provided complimentary to all business clients of Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. If you don’t have your subscription access please… Read More

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The Case for Workplace Reporting with Think HR

Employers can’t fix what they don’t know. Instances of sexual harassment, discrimination, fraud, and health and safety violations can go unnoticed if employees don’t have an effective way to report issues they witness or experience. Join us for our upcoming webinar on Thursday, June 25 as Don Phin, attorney and workplace consultant, discusses what safe workplace reporting is, how it mitigates risk, and why it bolsters a positive work culture. Click Here to Register. In this 60-minute webinar, we will also cover how brokers can support employers by offering an effective workplace reporting solution like ThinkHR’s newest release, Tell Us. Can’t make the live webinar? Register here, and we’ll send you a… Read More

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New to Medicare? There are several steps you’ll want to take…

Question: I will be eligible for Medicare soon and may need to enroll. What steps should I take to make sure that I have coverage that works for me?   -Thelma (Atlanta, GA)  Dear Thelma,  There are several steps you’ll want to take when you’re new to Medicare:  First, know when to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).  If you are already receiving retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board at the time you become eligible for Medicare, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. There are three times you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B… Read More

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2020 PCOR Fee Filing Reminder for Self-Insured Plans

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) fee filing deadline is July 31, 2020 for all self-funded medical plansand HRAs for plan years ending in 2019. Year-end federal legislation reinstated the PCOR fee through September 30,2029. The IRS issued Notice 2020-44 announcing the adjusted fee amount for this year as well as limited transition relief. Click the link below for the full notice including fees and dates: 2020 PCOR Fee Filing Reminder for Self-Insured Plans – 061220R

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RE-ENGAGE EMPLOYEES THROUGH LEARNING

Employees are disengaged COVID-19 has disrupted the workforce, forcing employers to consider remote work, layoffs, furloughs, and return-to-work scenarios quicker than expected. Unfortunately, these actions can have unintended, far-reaching consequences to employee engagement. Click the link below to read the story from our partners at Think HR: https://www.thinkhr.com/blog/re-engage-employees-through-learning/ Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. clients receive a complimentary subscription to Think HR. Ask us how to get yours today by calling your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc., Benefit Specialist at (215)355-2121.  

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The IRS offers three new tax credits for COVID-19 related issues.

The IRS offers three new tax credits for COVID-19 related issues. Employee Retention Credit The Employee Retention Credit is intended to help businesses keep employees on payroll. The tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer with a business financially impacted by COVID-19. The tax credit is refundable. Employers of any size may be eligible, excluding state and local governments and small businesses with SBA loans. Employers must meet one of the following requirements: (a) have a business fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter or (b) have gross receipts below 50% of the comparable quarter… Read More

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HSA limits for 2021 released

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2021. Most limits increased from 2020 amounts. Annual Contribution Limits For calendar year 2021, the limitation on deductions for an individual with self-only coverageunder a high deductible health plan is $3,600. For calendar year 2021, the limitation on deductionsfor an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan is $7,200.High Deductible Health Plans For calendar year 2021, a “high deductible health plan” is defined as a health plan with an annualdeductible that is not less than $1,400 for self-only coverage or $2,800 for family coverage(unchanged… Read More

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Proper Use of Premium Credits

Proper Use of Premium Credits In light of the current pandemic, some carriers are offering premium credits attributable to a portion of the premiums paid in months where COVID-19 limited the benefit available to participants. While this is good news, the availability of such premium credits creates fiduciary  issues with respect to plan assets under ERISA. This summary is intended to highlight possible issues and mitigate potential ERISA fiduciary exposure. Click the link below to download this important notice Proper Use of Premium Credits – 051820R      

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Maximum Out of Pocket Limits Announced for 2021

On May 8, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published its Annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021. This guidance is a final rule that addresses certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The final rule follows a proposed rule issued in January. Generally, these changes apply to plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2021.   Click to download this notice If you have any questions or concerns about this notice please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. Benefit Specialist at (215)355-2121.

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VSP Vision Extends current rates

So much has changed in our business environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VSP® Vision Care is committed to doing all we can to help our clients navigate through the uncertainty, as we move toward recovery. Effective immediately, VSP is automatically extending policies for all clients* with fewer than 1,000 enrolled that are scheduled to renew between August 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021. The extension will allow the client to keep their current rate for an additional 24 months, which helps to provide them with fiscal certainty and stability. It’s our way of helping ease the burden of the current business climate.  August 1, 2020 – September 1, 2020… Read More

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In Memoriam: Avraham S. MacConnell

  We are extremely sad to announce the sudden passing of our founder, Avraham Shlomo MacConnell Born Edward Andrew MacConnell on January 10th 1948, he passed away suddenly on Monday May 11 2020, Due to complications caused by Coronavirus. Founder: Avraham S MacConnell   Born at St Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Parents were Robert T MacConnell & Beatrice ( Patterson) MacConnell. Avraham had a diverse and enriched life. He was drafted and served in Vietnam for the US Army from 1967-1969. His first child, Edward was born while he was there. When he returned he joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1970 and served the citizens of Philadelphia until 1987… Read More

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IRS Issues Relief for Cafeteria Plans in Response to COVID-19

On May 12, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued two notices,Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33, providing welcome relief and guidance to employers sponsoring Section125 cafeteria plans (“Section 125 plans”), health flexible spending accounts (“health FSAs”), dependent careassistance programs (“DCAPs”), and qualified high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”).Click Here to Read IRS Issues Relief for Cafeteria Plans in Response to COVID-19 – 051520R

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SEP for individuals affected by a FEMA-Declared Weather Related Emergency or Major Disaster — Applicable for COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified yesterday that the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Individuals Affected by a FEMA-Declared Weather Related Emergency or Major Disaster is applicable and is available for beneficiaries who were eligible for — but unable to make — an election due to the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the terms of the SEP listed below. Who’s eligible for this SEP?  What you need to know This SEP is available nationwide to residents of all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia effective March 1, 2020. This declaration does not mean that all Medicare beneficiaries get an SEP. To be eligible, beneficiaries must meet… Read More

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New Guidance Offers Relief and Extends Deadlines for Benefit Plans

  New Guidance Offers Relief and Extends Deadlines for Benefit Plans The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), along with the TreasuryDepartment (collectively, “the Departments”), issued several pieces of guidance over the last week affectingemployer-sponsored benefit programs. Click Here for New Guidance Offers Relief and Extends Deadlines for Benefit Plans – 050520R As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions benefit specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any questons or concerns about this bulletin

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COVID-19 Returning to Work and Benefit Eligibility Considerations

Employers with employees returning to work after a leave of absence, reduction in hours (e.g., furlough) or termination of employment (e.g., layoff) may have questions about the implications for medical benefit eligibility and the effect on the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules. The answer to the benefit eligibility question will depend heavily on whether the employee was terminated fromemployment (a termination and rehire) or kept active as an employee (e.g., while on furlough) with continued benefit eligibility. Click here to download COVID_19_Returning_to_Work_and_Benefit_Eligibility_Considerations As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions benefit specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns about this bulletin. 

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Deferred Payment Plans For Groups Facing Hardship During COVId-19 Crisis

From IBC: We have been closely monitoring the situation with COVID‑19 (Coronavirus) and we understand the financial impact our customers and members may be experiencing. We are committed to working with our customers to help them get through the crisis and will be offering payment flexibility for the customers who are most in need. Instructions for Deferred Payment Plan for Customers with Fewer than 500 Employees As announced in a previous Edge article, while we encourage all customers who are able to pay their premiums on time to continue to do so, we understand the toll the COVID‑19 crisis is taking on many businesses. We want to help our mutual… Read More

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HIPAA compliance when employees are working from home

COVID-19 has more Americans working from home than ever, and this changes the way we do business. You are still required to be HIPAA compliant, even while working from home. Our HIPAA partners at Total HIPAA Compliance have created a checklist that all employers who work with HIPAA compliance should  review and share with their employees. Click here for the checklists. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Benefit specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns about this bulletin.  

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CARES Act Relaxes Requirements for OTC Drugs & Makes other Benefit Changes

Exciting news in the benefits world! The CARES Act, that was signed into law on March 27th, makes access to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs easier for FSA, HRA and HSA participants. Here’s what you need to know: Prescriptions are no longer required for OTC drugs to be considered an eligible expense. FSAs, HSAs and some HRAs can now reimburse OTC drugs without a prescription. Participants will no longer need to provide prescription for OTC drug reimbursements effective immediately. Menstrual care products such as a tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product are now eligible expenses. These changes are permanent and apply to OTC drugs and menstrual care products purchased on… Read More

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Special Enrollment Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Several insurance carriers are communicating their intent to open a “special enrollment period” in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. This special enrollment period would allow employees, who had previously failed to enroll in coverage for themselves, their spouses, and/or their children, to enroll in employer sponsored coverage. Carriers will permit employers to opt-in or opt-out of special enrollment periods. Download Special Enrollment Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic – 033020R   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc benefit specialist with questions or concerns regarding this notice at (215)355-2121.

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CDC launches Coronavirus Self Checker

The CDC launched an online bot called Clara to help people who think they may have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, decide whether to seek medical care. The Coronavirus Self-Checker asks questions to establish the user’s level of illness and their location, and recommendations for users may include calling 911 or staying at home and contacting their health care provider within 24 hours. Click here to open the Self Checker

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Refundable Tax Credits Would Finance Paid Leave

There are still many questions for small business owners about the economic help coming from Washington. The attached gives some guidance about the tax credits for paid leaves.  Download Refundable Tax Credits Would Finance Paid Leave As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions benefit specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns regarding this bulletin.

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Small Business Loans under the CARES act

We have received a lot of questions about these loans from our clients so we went ahead and asked our accounting firm to explain what is coming in plain language we can all understand.  We hope this can help some of our clients get a better understanding of at least one component of the new act. Here is his response: The following are going to be the two kinds of loans available to small business under the act.  It is one of the loans or the other, not both  We have very little information on the first one, as far as applying, but we now know the exact calculation of… Read More

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