Tax Advantaged Benefit Documents

The IRS Code has numerous provisions designed to help employers provide essential benefits to their employees tax-free. This saves the employee approximately 30% in income taxes on expenses they’re already paying for, and because the employees have reduced their taxable income, the employer realizes a reduced matching payroll tax liability of approximately 8%. Everybody saves money.    To take advantage of these tax deductions the IRS requires that the employer have a written plan document and the Department of Labor and ERISA law require that every employee receive a summary plan description (SPD) explaining the new benefit in easy to understand language.   This site is dedicated to providing employers… Read More

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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  

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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

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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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Relief for Small Employers with HRAs

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which allows small employers without group medical plans to reimburse individual premiums and other medical expenses of employees under health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”), effective with the 2017 plan year, and provides relief from penalties to all small employers reimbursing individual premiums of employees for earlier plan years. In addition, the Cures Act provides a medical innovation package that funds medical research, accelerates cutting-edge treatments for rare diseases, and makes significant reforms to the mental health system. The Issue An employer cannot offer employees cash to reimburse the purchase of an individual policy, without regard to whether… Read More

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Health Reform: 4th Quarter 2016 Compliance Compilation

Download a digest of our fourth quarter compliance bulletins. This digest includes the following bulletins:  Transitional Reinsurance Fee Form Now Available 10/14/2016 Final 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C Available 10/25/2016 November 2017 Cost of Living Adjustments 11/01/2016 Relief Extended for Premium Reimbursement Programs for Student Employees 11/02/2016 Updates Regarding the NJ Small Employer Health Benefits Program 11/07/2016 Election Results and the ACA: Preliminary Thoughts 11/10/2016 16 Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C 11/21/2016 Adjusted PCOR Fee for Fifth Filing Year Released 11/22/2016 December Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as HIPAA Privacy Audit Letter 12/13/2016   Click here to download the 4th quarter compliance compilation

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Health Reform: IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C.

IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C. As applicable large employers and employers with self-funded health plans are working on their Affordable Care Act compliance preparations, the IRS announced an extension of a key ACA deadline. Notice 2016-70 extends the due date for furnishing Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.  The Notice also extends transition relief from penalties if an employer makes a “good faith effort” to comply with reporting requirements. This relief is welcome news for employers who are still working on their compliance approach. A copy of the notice can be downloaded here.

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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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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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