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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! 

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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

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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

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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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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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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

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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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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

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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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Think HR’s Employee Handbook Builder

Employee Handbooks. Each employer group should have one. The question is, if so, how current is it? With ThinkHR’s 50-State Handbook Builder, building handbooks and keeping them updated becomes a simple process. Use the Handbook Builder to: Minimize your clients’ risk of employment liability with clear, regulatory-compliant policies. Help clients ease the burden of compliance with pre-developed content, step-by-step instructions, expert commentary and online support. Reinforce your value as a partner and provider of essential HR resources. Differentiate your agency and deliver cost savings to your clients with a robust handbook builder at no additional cost. Employee Handbook Builder Features: Compiled in collaboration with one of the country’s leading employment… 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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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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Mental Health Parity Triggers

  The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“MHPAEA”) requires a group health plan that offers mental health and substance use disorder benefits to be at parity with medical and surgical benefits. As such, financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health and/or substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the medical and/or surgical benefits offered. Click the link below to read the entire bulletin.   Click to read Mental Health Parity Non-Compliance Triggers

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Now Available: Health Advocate Member Advocacy

Total Benefit Solutions clients can now take advantage of enrolling on Health Advocate as a group or as an individual/ family! It’s part of our Benefit Aid packages and it’s so easy you can enroll today by clicking here or ask your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information. This video will tell you all about the benefits of Health Advocate!  

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Checking Your Employee Handbook for Benefit Provisions

Handbooks are important for many reasons such as informing employees of their rights and duties, communicating available resources, and outlining paid time off policies. With respect to health and welfare benefits, here are a few things to consider:   Download Checking Your Employee Handbook for Benefit Provisions

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Now Available: Empower Me Benefits Private Exchange

Total Benefit Solutions has partnered with Empower Me Benefits to provide our clients with best in industry benefits technology that‘s customizable for even the smallest employer. The EmpowerMe Benefits Exchange allows you to remain complaint with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), easily manage benefits, and control health care costs with a single solution. The EmpowerMeBenefits Exchange is an online benefit marketplace and benefits administration platform designed specifically to meet the needs of small and mid-sized companies. The Exchange provides employers with an enrollment and administration platform that aids employers in ACA compliance. This web-based solution allows you to offer any medical coverage next to pre-selected ancillary, voluntary, and TPA products.… Read More

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Take Advantage of Medicare’s Free Preventive Services

  Many seniors are unaware that preventive tests, screenings and counseling sessions are now available for free, with no copays or deductibles, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. More than 60 million people took advantage of these services, at no cost to themselves, during the first three years after the services became free in 2011, according to government reports. Click the link below to download a list from Medicare for Dummies of Medicare preventative services. Medicares-preventive-services-chart13   Questions about Medicare eligibility, open enrollment, supplements, health plans or PDP drug cards? Total Benefit Solutions, Inc.  has a dedicated team of Medicare health plan professionals who are trained, annually re-certified, licensed and… Read More

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Health Advocate: Medical Health Advisor

Total Benefit Solutions, Inc now offers the Medical Health Advisor benefit! Watch this short video and ask us how your organization can benefit from offering this personal health advocate service to your employees!  

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