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

PPE and Health FSA/HRA

The IRS announced that amounts paid for personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are considered amounts paid for medical care under section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code. These items are now allowed to be reimbursed from a health FSA. The IRS notice recognizes all forms of PPE as expenses medical care and does not limit the PPE to just disposable or non-disposable items. Reimbursements are permitted for expenses incurred on or after 1/1/2020 and they must be properly documented for reimbursement. If plan terms do not allow the reimbursement of PPE but the plan… Read More

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

Departments Issue Guidance Re: FFCRA and CARES Act

On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) issued FAQ 44 addressing health coverage issues related to COVID-19. Briefly, the new FAQs focus on diagnostic testing and coverage for testing and clarify previous guidance in FAQs.Background Section 6001 of the FFCRA requires group health plans (including grandfathered health plans) and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for certain items and services related to testing or the diagnosis of COVID-19 without any cost-sharing requirements, prior authorization or othermedical requirements. Section 3201 of the CARES Act amended Section 6001 of the FFCRA to include a broader range of diagnostic items and services… Read More

Continue Reading

Pandemic Aid Package Includes Relief From High Premiums

  From KHN: As President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief package steams through Congress, Democrats have hitched a ride for a top health care priority: strengthening the Affordable Care Act with some of the most significant changes to insurance affordability in more than a decade. The bill would spend $34 billion to help Americans who buy insurance on the marketplaces created by the ACA through 2022, when the benefits would expire. The Senate sent its relief package, one of the largest in congressional history, back to the House where it could come up as early as Tuesday. It is expected to pass and then go to Biden for his signature. Highlights… Read More

Continue Reading

What is a minimum essential coverage (MEC) plan?

The Affordable Care Act states that all individuals must have health benefits and all employers with 50 or more full-time employees must provide coverage to all eligible employees or they are subject to fines/penalties. This can be known as “pay or play” or employer shared responsibility. We offer Minimum Essential Coverage plans which both penalties are satisfied for the employee and the employer. MEC plans are substantially less expensive than traditional medical insurance and serve as a low-cost solution for most companies. To contain healthcare costs, many employers and other plan sponsors are considering Minimum Essential Coverage, or MEC, health insurance. MEC plans can keep your workforce healthier. Preventable diseases, gone… Read More

Continue Reading

HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2020

On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit; The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs. These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.  The IRS limits for HSA contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The HDHP… Read More

Continue Reading

Court Strikes Down Association Health Plan Rules

On March 28th, 2019, a Federal District Court in the District of Columbia struck down significant portions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule. Specifically, the Court found the DOL “failed to reasonably interpret” ERISA when issuing these rules: • expanding the definition of “employers” to include disparate groups of employers with no other commonality of interest other than geographic location; and • bringing working owners without employees within ERISA’s framework. This ruling effectively eliminates the expansion of AHPs to certain employers and working owners who do not meet the original parameters to be a part of an AHP. Click below to download the complete… 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

Top Five Reasons for ER Trips on Thanksgiving

The Top 5 Reasons for ER Trips on Thanksgiving   Thanksgiving is almost here! It’s a wonderful day spent together with your family and loved ones. People across the Country will be spending hours and hours perfecting their feasts after weeks of careful planning. Family from near and far gather together to give Thanks for the little (and big) things in life. The meaning behind it all is beautiful. So what’s the worst thing that can happen as everyone prepares to enjoy the delicious food? Someone getting hurt. And not just a little hurt, hurt enough to have to go to the ER. Knowing what the top reasons are can… Read More

Continue Reading

Total Benefit Solutions featured in the Southampton Spirit

Total Benefit Solutions: A Committed Team Focused On ‘Clients First’ For Health Insurance by Tianna Grosch Looking for affordable health insurance but not sure where to start? Seeking the correct health insurance with benefits fit to your needs can be a daunting task, one that you should leave in the hands of caring and compassionate professionals. Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. (TBS) is the right place to get the advice and assistance you need in order to make the best enrollment decision whether you’re a family, senior or company. Ed and Kathleen MacConnell began this agency inspired by their own difficulties in receiving insurance coverage for their daughter Katelin, who was… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

New Jersey Out-of-Network Bill

On June 1, 2018, New Jersey Gov. Murphy passed the Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act (the “OON Act”). In general, the OON Act applies to emergency services and other care provided by out-of-network physicians in in-network settings (i.e. hospital-based physicians). It  takes effect on September 1, 2018. Click the link below to download the full story: Click to Download For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager at 215-355-2121    

Continue Reading

IRS cuts 2018 family HSA contribution limit

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 2018 contribution limit for family coverage in a health savings account will be $6,850—not $6,900, as previously announced by the IRS. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that the IRS has recalculated the limit because the tax law applies the so-called chained consumer price index to increases in HSA contribution limits, as well as to a few other employee benefit contribution limits. Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018–10, released March 5, clarifies not just that change but others as well. While the annual tax-deductible HSA contribution limit for tax year 2018 will remain at $3,450 for HSA account holders with self-only coverage through a high-deductible… Read More

Continue Reading

IRS Releases 2018 Inflation Adjustments to Tax Provisions

The Internal Revenue Service released the annual inflation adjustments that will apply to certain benefit plan tax provisions in 2018. Revenue Procedure 2017-58, which can be accessed by clicking here, identifies inflation-adjusted items for different provisions of the tax code. From an employee benefits standpoint, the following limits may be of interest to employers: The dollar limit on voluntary employee salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending accounts is increased to $2,650 for plan years beginning in 2018. The monthly exclusion amount for transportation and transit passes is increased to $260. The monthly limit for the qualified parking exclusion is increased to $260. The dollar amount used to determine the penalty… Read More

Continue Reading

Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill

    On December 20, 2017, the House and Senate sent President Trump the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for signature. The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill on November 16, 2017 while the Senate passed their version on December 2, 2017. Because the versions were not identical, a Tax-Bill Conference Committee was formed from members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to negotiate the text of the combined bill. After the finalized text was approved and released by the committee, the House and Senate each passed the combined bill (which happened on December 20th in the House and December 19th in the Senate) before… Read More

Continue Reading

Searching for Keystone HMO Proactive Providers by Tier?

Please note you must select the proactive plans from the list. Go to this link:  Choose a health plan:             From the drop down select, Medical then Keystone Proactive:   Now your search will return physicians with Tier listings showing:  

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

Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs

  Under the Affordable Care Act, a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) must be integrated with a group health plan (as it could not meet the market reform provisions on its own) and was not able to reimburse employees for individual premiums. However, on December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which established QSEHRAs (a special standalone HRA). Click to Download Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs This guidance is big news for small groups who would prefer to provide a reimbursement as opposed to a group health plan. Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.  

Continue Reading

2018 Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment: PA Independence Individual Consumer Plans and Rates

  Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment 2018! Don’t do it yourself! Our dedicated professionals are here to help you take the fits out of the benefit planning process!  One mistake and you could be stuck with a bad plan all year! We work with all available plans both on the healthcare.gov marketplace and off! Have your own expert help you! Our experts are trained to help you Choose between on and off exchange options Maximize any subsidy eligibility. Help you understand the cost sharing subsidies Help you choose the plan that is the best fit for you Explain the differences between the plan design and your out of pocket expectations Fill… Read More

Continue Reading

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) applies to employers with at least 51 employees offering a group health plan that includes any mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits. MHPAEA also applies to non-grandfathered insured plans in the small group market. Download the bulletin below for more information. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns. Download Mental Health Parity  

Continue Reading

2018 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2018. All limits increased from 2017 amounts. Click to download the bulletin below and as always contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121  if you have any questions or concerns regarding this notice.   Click Here to Download 2018 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

Continue Reading

Independence speaks out on PA Premium Tax, Treat No Transport, and recently introduced bills

Independence speaks out on PA Premium Tax, Treat No Transport, and recently introduced bills Updates from IBX Government Affairs including the proposed PA premium tax changes, Treat No Transport reimbursement, scope of practice for nurse practitioners, and proposed bills on drug transparency and prior authorization… Download the Bulletin See IBC’s breakdown of the proposed budget impact here. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

Continue Reading

Video: Our New Online Enrollment System

Watch this short video to get a quick overview of our new employee enrollment system with Ease Central!   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions about our new enrollment system with Ease Central!

Continue Reading