IRS Addresses Tax Treatment Of Work-Life Referral Services

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) clarified the tax treatment of several work-life referral (“WLR”) services offered by employers in a new Fact Sheet FAQ. According to the FAQ, the value of the WLR services may be deducted from employees’ salary as a de minimis fringe benefit in cases when they are included in employee assistance programs (“EAPs”) or are otherwise bundled with other services. WLR Programs WLR services are offered to qualified employees through the employer-funded WLR program. WLR services are informative and referral consultations that help staff members locate, engage, and bargain with life-management providers to find answers to personal, professional, or family problems. Generally speaking, unless a part… Read More

Continue Reading

Update on Legislation – EmblemHealth

President Joe Biden presented his budget proposal on March 11th, 2024, for the federal fiscal year that would start on October 1st. Along with raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000 annually, the budget would also help extend talks with pharmaceutical corporations to prolong the Medicare program’s financial viability. click HERE to read the whole article. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact form below. We are available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Continue Reading

United Healthcare and Mount Sinai Renew Relationship

In accordance with a new multi-year agreement between UnitedHealthcare and Mount Sinai Health System, individuals participating in employer-sponsored and individual plans, such as the Oxford Health Plan, will once again have network access to the system’s hospitals. Additionally, the agreement guarantees continuous, uninterrupted access to the doctors at Mount Sinai. for more information click HERE We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact form below. We are available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Continue Reading

UnitedHealthcare – RxDC Information Required by Deadline

Please assist us in answering the required questions in the CAA Pharmacy Data Collection request information that is located in the employer/broker portal. It will make sure that UnitedHealthcare can successfully submit the data report. In order for us to prepare the data for submission to CMS by June 1, 2024, we must get the information by April 10, 2024, thus your prompt answer is extremely important. To read more click HERE We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact form below. We are available to answer any questions… Read More

Continue Reading

Medicare: Your Essential Guide

Understanding Medicare is crucial for making informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. Whether you choose Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage (Part C), knowing the basics empowers you to select the plan that best suits your needs. Original Medicare comprises Part A and Part B, covering hospital stays, doctor visits, and other essential services. Supplemental plans like Medicare Part D for prescription drugs and Medigap for additional coverage can enhance your benefits and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans offer a comprehensive alternative, bundling Parts A, B, and often D into a single package. These plans may extend coverage to dental, vision, and other services, providing a more holistic approach… Read More

Continue Reading

Navigating the Basics of Medicare: Understanding the Four Parts

Medicare, a vital healthcare program for seniors and certain disabled individuals, comprises four key parts. This post breaks down each part’s coverage, providing a concise overview for better understanding. Medicare Eligibility: Eligibility kicks in at age 65 or after receiving 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Unlike private insurance, Medicare doesn’t have family plans, allowing individuals to make independent coverage choices. The Four Parts of Medicare: Visit the website for a deeper dive into the intricacies and benefits of Medicare. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service, so please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)-355-2121 or fill out the contact… Read More

Continue Reading

Special Election Period may be available to members affected by severe weather

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have declared a weather-related emergency or major disaster in your state. Medicare beneficiaries affected may be eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP).  For marketing materials that comply with CMS marketing requirements, please visit the UnitedHealthcare Toolkit.  Who is eligible?  Beneficiaries who do not live in the impacted areas but receive assistance making healthcare decisions from someone who lives in one of the affected areas are also eligible; and  What does this mean for beneficiaries?  Enrollment Overview If a consumer contacts you as a result of this SEP, you may help them enroll in one of our plans and may be eligible for a… Read More

Continue Reading

Horizon Members Get 15% Off YMCA Memberships!

Exciting news for Horizon members in New Jersey! We’re thrilled to share that you can now enjoy a 15 percent discount on monthly memberships at select New Jersey YMCAs. Plus, for new YMCA members, the initiation fee is completely waived when you present your Horizon member ID card. This fantastic offer is valid until December 31, 2024, providing you ample time to take advantage of the savings and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or looking to kickstart your wellness journey, this exclusive discount is designed to make your YMCA experience even more accessible. Remember, this exclusive discount is a limited-time offer, so make the most of… Read More

Continue Reading

Aetna: Small Business Updates

As the year wraps up, businesses with 2 – 50 employees enrolled in Aetna Funding AdvantageSM groups need to act quickly. We’re filing 1095-B tax forms on your behalf, but it’s crucial to ensure your information is accurate. Deadline: End of December The federal deadline for 1095-B tax forms is approaching. Both businesses and customers must verify and update their details by the end of December to avoid potential IRS rejections. Why It Matters Accurate information on these forms is vital for complying with tax regulations. 1095-B forms provide essential health coverage details, impacting Affordable Care Act compliance. Any discrepancies could lead to filing complications. Review and update your information… Read More

Continue Reading

DOL’s 2024 Penalty Adjustments

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its annual adjustments for 2024, impacting penalties for employee benefit plans. Here’s a quick guide for employers: Key Points: 1. Employee Notices: Private employers must ensure timely delivery of required notices (SBC, CHIP, SPD, etc.) to avoid civil penalties. 2. Form 5500 Filings: File Form 5500 accurately and on time to prevent penalties associated with non-compliance. 3. Document Requests from EBSA: Respond promptly to document requests from EBSA to avoid potential penalties. Annual Penalty Adjustments for 2024 The updated penalties listed below are applicable to ERISA-covered health and welfare plans. Compliance is essential in 2024—act now to secure your organization against penalties and… Read More

Continue Reading

Case Study: A Voluntary Benefits Strategy

The Issue One of our clients approached us during a pre-renewal meeting to ask how they can further control costs without drastically impacting the well-being of their employees. Our Solution They already had done most of the things we had recommended in past years, but there was one area left that could help…voluntary benefits. We suggested they offer a portfolio of programs that included life and disability coverage, allowing them to reduce the scope of their “rich” company paid plans and enabling anyone interested to supplement the reduced benefits by purchasing the coverage on their own. This, we felt, was a great way to save premium dollars without creating too… Read More

Continue Reading

2023 State Health Insurance Mandates: A Quick Overview

Five states—California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont—along with the District of Columbia have implemented individual health insurance mandates, each with unique obligations. It’s crucial to understand and comply with both federal and state mandates for comprehensive adherence to regulations. State Obligations: These states require the submission of information on health insurance coverage to residents, with filings made to specific state agencies. Importantly, state requirements may differ from federal obligations, necessitating compliance with both sets of regulations. Key Deadlines for 2023 State Reporting: Note that state reporting deadlines may change, and the information presented is current as of the publication date. Stay updated for any changes. For a deeper… Read More

Continue Reading

Empire BCBS Now Anthem BCBS!

In a momentous move, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has officially transformed into Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, marking a significant milestone for the renowned health insurance provider. The company is thrilled to announce the launch of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in both their downstate and upstate markets, reinforcing their commitment to enhancing the overall customer experience. The transition to the Anthem brand is not merely a change in name; it represents a strategic effort to simplify operations and reduce complexities in the market. Anthem is a nationally recognized name, offering a host of advantages for members residing out of state who are affiliated with New York-based companies. By… Read More

Continue Reading

IBC’s Latest Updates: Weight Loss Drug Policy

The International Benefits Consortium (IBC) has recently revamped its weight management medication coverage, responding to the FDA’s approval of Zepbound—a potent combination of GIP and GLP-1 receptors. This aligns Zepbound with existing options like Wegovy® and Saxenda® under IBC’s coverage criteria. Key Points: Weight Loss Drug Policy Update: IBC’s weight loss drug policy now includes Zepbound, showcasing their commitment to staying current with pharmaceutical advancements and ensuring robust coverage options for members. CAA Gag Clause Attestation: Addressing transparency concerns, IBC acknowledges the CAA’s impact on healthcare communication by eliminating “gag clauses” that restrict information exchange between providers and patients. Healthy You Program Options: IBC introduces new program options for self-funded… Read More

Continue Reading

Alert: Chicago Employers, Brace for Paid Leave Shifts in 2024

In a recent development, the Chicago City Council has made significant changes to the Paid Leave, Paid Sick, and Safe Leave Ordinance, pushing the effective date from December 31, 2023, to July 1, 2024. This delay provides employers with additional time to adapt to the impending modifications. Key amendments include a redefined “Covered Employee,” now requiring a minimum of 80 hours worked within any 120-day period in the city. Employers must communicate their time-off policies in writing, emphasizing clarity in the primary language of each Covered Employee. Medium-sized employers benefit from a partial payout period extension until July 1, 2025, allowing more time for adjustment. Additionally, irrespective of Covered Employee… Read More

Continue Reading

Key Reminders for Individual Health Plan Payments

In the realm of health insurance, timely payments are non-negotiable. Whether it’s an on-exchange or off-exchange policy, paying your first monthly premium promptly is crucial to avoid termination for non-payment—a situation not considered a Qualifying Life Event. Reinstatement after termination may not always be possible, emphasizing the need for proactive payment. ID cards are issued only once payment is up to date. Understanding grace periods is key. Off-exchange policies typically have a 30-day grace period, while on-exchange policies with subsidies enjoy a 90-day window. Consult with your carrier to know your policy’s specifics. Stay informed to navigate the complexities and ensure uninterrupted coverage for you and your loved ones. We’re… Read More

Continue Reading

Ambetter Health Members: Ensure Coverage for January 2024!

As we approach the end of the year, we want to remind you of a crucial deadline to ensure uninterrupted coverage for the upcoming year. Payment Deadline: December 31, 2023: Ambetter Health members must make their January premium payment by December 31, 2023, to guarantee seamless coverage for the start of 2024. To make this process quick and convenient, we recommend using Quick Pay option for a fast, one-time payment. For Assistance: If you have any questions or require assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dedicated Ambetter Health Account Executive. You can contact them at 1-855-700-7985, selecting option 3. Alternatively, you can email ambettersales@centene.com. Ensuring your premium payment is processed… Read More

Continue Reading

Case Study: Achieving Success Through Broker Change

In the dynamic landscape of employee benefits, staying complacent can hinder progress and cost an organization significant financial resource. At Total Benefit Solutions, we take pride in our proactive approach to addressing complex employee benefit challenges. In this blog post, we highlight a case study that exemplifies our commitment to providing innovative solutions and delivering tangible results for our clients. Broker Change Leads to Better Results The Challenge: A mid-sized group prospect approached us with a pressing issue – dissatisfaction with their current benefits broker. Faced with a 17% health insurance renewal, the client felt that their existing broker was not adequately exploring cost containment strategies. Seeking guidance, they turned… Read More

Continue Reading

House Passes Health Care Transparency Law

In a significant move towards increased transparency and cost reduction in the healthcare sector, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 320-71 to pass the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act on December 11, 2023. The bipartisan legislation aims to address the pressing issue of rising healthcare costs by implementing crucial changes, particularly affecting employers sponsoring group health plans. Transparency in Coverage Regulations The bill codifies existing transparency in coverage regulations, requiring the posting of machine-readable files (MRF) and making certain cost information available. Notably, changes include specific timing for posting the MRF, scheduled for the 10th day of each month. If enacted, this provision would come into effect for the first… Read More

Continue Reading

ACA Compliance: Key Calendars for 2024 Revealed!

Stay ahead of the compliance curve with crucial information on Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadlines for 2024. In our latest update, we’ve compiled comprehensive compliance calendars tailored for both small groups (less than 50 employees) and larger groups (50 or more employees). It’s your go-to resource for understanding and meeting important deadlines to ensure a seamless compliance journey. 2024 Small Group Compliance Deadlines: For fully and self-insured groups operating on a calendar year plan, we’ve outlined essential deadline dates for 2024. Please note that some reporting deadlines may vary for plans with a start date other than January 1st. Whether you have a small group or a larger organization, staying… Read More

Continue Reading

Updated No Surprises Act and IDR Guidance

Recent developments in healthcare legislation have brought changes to the No Surprises Act’s independent dispute resolution (IDR) process. Issued by the Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (HHS), FAQ Part 62 provides essential updates regarding the qualifying payment amount (QPA) calculation methodology and the disclosure requirements for out-of-network (OON) air ambulance services. Moreover, the federal IDR portal has reopened, streamlining the resolution of billing disputes. The No Surprises Act Overview The No Surprises Act, a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, aims to protect patients from surprise medical bills. It places limits on out-of-network cost-sharing and bans balance billing in various situations, such as emergency… Read More

Continue Reading

New Federal Rules: HHS 2023 Penalty Hike

In the world of healthcare compliance, staying up to date with federal regulations and guidelines is crucial to avoid costly penalties. One such regulation that affects healthcare providers and group health plans is the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, commonly known as the “Inflation Adjustment Act.” This act directs federal agencies to adjust civil monetary penalties to account for inflation. In a recent development, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules on October 6, 2023, updating the civil monetary penalties for inflation. Understanding the Updated Penalties The adjusted penalties are applicable to penalties assessed on or after October 6, 2023. It’s… Read More

Continue Reading

Court Vacates Coupon Cost-Sharing Rule

On September 29, 2023, a significant legal development occurred that could affect how health insurance carriers and group health plans handle manufacturer coupons for prescription drugs. The District Court for the District of Columbia vacated a rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that allowed, but did not mandate, the inclusion of manufacturer coupons in calculating the cost-sharing for health plans. In this blog post, we’ll explore the background of this issue, the 2019 HHS rule, and the subsequent legal decisions that have led to this recent development. HHS’s 2019 Rule In 2019, HHS issued a rule to clarify this matter. The rule stated that plans… Read More

Continue Reading

Affordable Dental Insurance: A Key Player in Oral Health

Dental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and a recent survey has shed light on the satisfaction levels of Americans with their dental insurance plans. The results, published in a press release by AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) on September 26, 2023, provide an insightful perspective on the state of dental insurance in the United States. The survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group (GSG) on behalf of AHIP, focused on individuals who have dental insurance and have visited dental specialists, including dentists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists, in the past year. The findings from the survey paint a positive picture of Americans’ experiences with their dental insurance plans. Key… Read More

Continue Reading