health insurance choices

2021 Second Quarter Compliance Bulletins Compilation

This document is a valuable resource, putting all of the latest health care reform news and updates in one location! 

Continue Reading

Achieve Well-being Rewards

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) offers a new way to help your employees achieve their health goals. Reward employees for completing activitiesNothing helps motivate action like the promise of rewards!*Achieve Well-being tools available on ibx.com and on the IBX mobile app create personalized action plans that make it easy for your employees to earn tokens and badges for completing their well-being goals.New for 2021, your employees can now receive a $150 gift card by completing the following required activities: Annual check-up with PCPFlu shotGet digitally engagedMember portal registrationMDLIVE.com registrationWell-being profileOpt-in to digital messaging at ibx.com Once your employees complete all six activities through the Achieve Well-being tool they can redeem a… Read More

Continue Reading

Tax Advantaged Benefit Documents

This site is dedicated to providing employers with the tools they need to successfully establish these written plans with SPDs at the lowest cost possible.

Continue Reading

Alternatives to Health Insurance Benefits

 Sometimes clients offer other alternative benefits to their employees. The reasons for doing this are many but depending on the earnings of their workforce, offering a group medical plan will eliminate any health insurance subsidy. In those cases offering a group health insurance benefit can come off as a penalty for the employees. By offering alternative benefits our experts can help the employees enrolled on a subsidized health insurance plan and still get good if not great benefits from their employer!  ICHRA: with an ICHRA the employer can give the employees money towards their health insurance purchase.  The ICHRA allows the employer to do so with untaxed dollars and the… Read More

Continue Reading
health insurance meeting

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Benefits Broker

Analyzing these ten critical questions in relation to your organization’s needs will help you make a more informed decision about your benefits broker

Continue Reading

What is a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan?

Qualified HDHPs Enrollment in a qualified HDHP is a requirement for establishing and maintaining a health savings account. The chassis for a qualified HDHP is the same as described in Chapter 1, but it must also conform to certain federal guidelines: A qualified HDHP must specify both a minimum annual deductible and a maximum annual out-of-pocket (OOP) expense limit, as set every year by the IRS. The minimum annual deductible is just that—the minimum amount that the insured must pay before the plan pays any benefit. The maximum annual OOP expense limit is the cap on the sum of the annual deductible and all out-of-pocket expenses the insured must pay for covered expenses under the… Read More

Continue Reading

What Is a Health Savings Account?

A health savings account is a special purpose financial account that allows a consumer to save and pay for medical expenses on a tax-favored basis. Funds deposited into an HSA are not taxed; the funds in the account grow tax free; and the money accumulated in the account can be withdrawn tax free to pay for qualifying medical expenses. In effect, an HSA owner uses the account in a manner similar to a checking account to cover his or her (or his or her family’s) medical expenses. There are no income restrictions or requirements on who may or may not open and contribute to an HSA. The HSA—the account and its funds—belongs… Read More

Continue Reading
women friends in masks standing in subway passage

Aetna Small Group (2-100) Insured & Small Group Aetna Funding Advantage FAQ
Health Plan options for business owners during COVID-19 pandemic

Aetna is mindful of the many challenges our small business customers and their employees are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are experiencing slower sales, reductions in hours, layoffs and more. The attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) includes our current responses to questions we know are top of mind for many of Small Group Insured and Small Group Aetna Funding Advantage Self-Insured customers. These responses will remain in effect until June 30, 2021 unless otherwise specified. We will continue to evaluate and update our responses as the situation evolves. Downlaod FAQ: Commercial Small Group COVID-19 FAQ

Continue Reading

Health FSA Annual Limit & Changes

  Takes Effect: Each plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2013. Quick Facts: Salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending account (health FSA) are limited to a total dollar amount per plan year: For plan year beginning in 2013 or 2014: $2,500. For plan year beginning in 2015 or 2016: $2,550. For plan year beginning in 2017: $2,600. For plan year beginning in 2018: $2,650. For plan year beginning in 2019: $2,700. For plan year beginning in 2020 or 2021: $2,750. In case of a “short” plan year of fewer than 12 months, the limit is prorated. Details: The Affordable Care Act amends § 125 of the… Read More

Continue Reading

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost

Update on COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccine Administration Cost Medicare has increased and simplified its payment rate for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to $40 per dose. This change may impact group health plans with respect to their payment rate to providers. Non-grandfathered group health plans are required to cover, without cost sharing, the COVID-19 vaccine. This obligation extended to coverage associated with administering the vaccine. The federal government continues to pay for the vaccine itself through funding authorized by the CARES Act.For vaccines administered in-network, plans will pay the rate negotiated with in-network providers, and that continues to be true. For vaccines administered out-of-network, however, group health plans must reimburse… Read More

Continue Reading

COVID-19 PPE Now a Qualified Medical Expense

On March 26, 2021, the IRS issued IRS Announcement 2021-7, which clarifies that amounts paid for certain personal protective equipment (“COVID-19 PPE”) used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes can be treated as amounts paid for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, because these amounts are expenses for medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, these amounts can also be eligible expenses under a health flexible spending account (health FSA), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs). Note, that if the amount is paid or reimbursed under… Read More

Continue Reading

Heard of Reference Based Pricing Health Insurance?

Reference-based pricing is a payment system that replaces or enhances a health plan’s traditional “usual and customary” pricing for contracted claims. Rather than calculating the average charge of providers in a geographic area or a pre-contracted cost, a health plan utilizing reference-based pricing instead arbitrates its allowable amount for medical claims based on its chosen method (most commonly Medicare rates, or a certain percentage above those rates), which is a price that the payor deems reasonable. In other words the employer, the payor brings their rates with them into the health care agreement, not the other way around. This represents a much more independent framework for determining sensible health care… Read More

Continue Reading

What are Commuter or Transit Benefits (Section 132)?

Commuter or Transit Benefits (Section 132) Parking & mass transit expenses may be paid for with pre-tax dollars through a commuter plan. This plan is a straightforward way for participants to reduce their commuting costs and for employers to gain additional payroll tax reductions. Some states, like NY and NJ have mandated the inclusion of commuter benefit plans over the last few years. A commuter benefit plan is typically offered as one component of a Flexible Spending Account (Section 125) What expenses qualify as commuter/transit benefits? Commuter highway vehicle: A commuter vehicle is any highway vehicle that seats at least 6 adults (not including the driver). In addition, you must reasonably… Read More

Continue Reading

How Does Level Self Funded Health Insurance Work?

We have received a lot of questions regarding the new level funding health benefit programs so we prepared this video to make it a little easier to understand. Ask us today if Level Funding your group’s health insurance might be a good for for your health plan! Contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account manager at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

ARPA Extends Open Enrollment for Individual Coverage in PA

Pennie (PA Individual Exchange) has communicated that they will be extending the open enrollment period from May 15 until August 15, 2021. This extension is to help consumers be able to take advantage of the benefits of the American Rescue Plan. Some of the key benefits of this plan are below: There is no longer a cap on who is eligible for Pennie’s income-based tax credits, which help reduce monthly premium costs. Previously only people whose household income was under 400% of federal poverty level (about $51,000 for an individual), could qualify for a tax credit. Now, anyone may be eligible for a tax credit. The size of the tax… Read More

Continue Reading

What is a benefit Third Party Administrator (TPA)?

A Third-Party Administrator (TPA) is an organization that processes insurance claims or specific aspects of employee benefit plans for other organizations. Using a TPA is a generally a way to outsource claims processing. Employers that self-insure their health insurance benefits often outsource to a TPA. Using a TPA can be a smart business decision whether you want expertise in particular areas or avoid the costs and liabilities of doing it in house. But not always self insured employers need a TPA. Third party administrators also handle many aspects of other employee benefit plans such as the processing of retirement plans.  Most employers who provide health insurance plans use a TPA… Read More

Continue Reading

Why Offer an HRA to Your Employees?

Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement, typically referred to as an HRA, can be utilized by employers to reduce their overall healthcare costs without placing additional financial burden on their employees. An HRA allows the employer to pay for eligible expenses with pre-tax dollars. The employer decides what expenses are eligible, within the IRS guidelines, leaving a lot of flexibility in plan design. Typically an HRA is coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan and the HRA pays for either the entire deductible or a portion of the deductible. With this type of a plan the premium savings often outweigh the potential claims that the employer would have to pay if every employee… Read More

Continue Reading

New Jersey Small Employer Stop Loss Bill

A bill has been introduced in New Jersey in both the Senate and Assembly that, if passed, would prohibit insurance carriers or other insurers subject to the insurance laws of New Jersey or any other state from offering, issuing or renewing any stop loss insurance policy of any kind to small employers. Stop loss insurance provides reimbursement for catastrophic, excess or unexpected expenses and is used by small employers to self-insure part of the health insurance coverage they provide for employees. Under New Jersey law, in connection with a group health plan, a small employer means an employer with 2-50 eligible employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. If passed,… Read More

Continue Reading

There are two new HRA options to offer Employees!

The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) issued proposed guidance that, if finalized, creates a mechanism for employers to offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) in connection with individual health insurance coverage. The proposed regulations add two new HRA options for employers to consider: • HRA integrated with individual health insurance coverage. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2020, permit integration of an HRA with individual health insurance coverage provided certain conditions are met. • Excepted Benefit HRA. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2020, employers that offer traditional group health plan coverage may consider offering… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option for small groups

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. Ask us today if self funding could be a good fit for your organization! Call your Total Benefit Solutions Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information! Learn more here: AFA-Customer-Flyer New! Minute Clinic Benefit! $0 Copay Minute Clinic Visits Flyer More Documents for downloading: Springboard Marketplace Your Online Administration and Enrollment Portal AFA AppleWatch Wellness Flyer AFA Sample Usage Reports Aetna & Teledoc for AFA AETNA… Read More

Continue Reading

Aetna Funding Advantage for Small Businesses

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. The benefits of self-funding have traditionally been considered by larger companies. But Aetna Funding Advantage has changed that. It is specifically designed to be attractive and affordable for small businesses like yours. Watch this short video and download the documents below for some information. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions, concerns or would like to learn… Read More

Continue Reading

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.  

Continue Reading

HSA / FSA / HRA Comparison of Key Features for 2017

HR360: HSA / FSA / HRA  Comparison of Key Features for 2017 This guide brought to you by our partners at HR360. As us today how your organization can benefit from personalized HR services designed to fit your company’s legal compliance needs! Your Total Benefit Solutions Inc Account Manager is available at (215)355-2121. Click here to download the complimentary guide  

Continue Reading

Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back!

Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back! The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016, gave small employers a means of providing employees help with their individual insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses without violating the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Small employers can now provide a specific kind of Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to help employees with the costs of individual health coverage. According to the statutory language under “Title XVIII – Other Provisions” of the Act, qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs) are not considered “group health plans” and do not have to adhere to ACA market reforms,… Read More

Continue Reading