INFLATION NOW TOPPING LIST OF EMPLOYER’S PANDEMIC CHALLENGES

Employers have faced many challenges since the start of the pandemic, and now wage inflation may be at the top of the list. Using the law of supply and demand, as the supply of talent decreases, candidates can demand more money. The good news, according to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in October 2021, a new pandemic low. Click the link below to download the full bulletin. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc group account manager if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Aetna: Transparency in Coverage Rule Update

The Transparency in Coverage rule requires health plans and insurers to disclose pricing information via MRF by July 1, 2022. Health plans must generate two MRFs that contain Negotiated rates for in-network providers Billed charges and allowed amounts paid for out-of-network providers  We’ll publish this information on Aetna.com on July 1, 2022 for fully insured (51-100) and small group Aetna Funding AdvantageSM (2-100) groups. By posting the MRFs for small small group Aetna Funding Advantage clients, we’re taking work off their plate. Aetna will update the files each month and this link will remain active with the most up-to-date information.

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Fixed Funding: Innovative plan solutions now available for New Jersey employers

AmeriHealth New Jersey is excited and proud to announce that it is offering Fixed Funding benefit design options to New Jersey employers, powered by AmeriHealth Administrators. These plans are available now to quote for July 1, 2022 effective dates. Fixed Funding offers innovative benefit designs that are flexible, predictable, and cash‑flow friendly — while providing members access to high‑quality care from an extensive network of doctors and hospitals. These benefit designs allow the benefits and flexibility of a self‑funded health plan with a predictable monthly payment. How a Fixed Funding health plan works: Employers have a consistent monthly payment that covers the cost of administrative fees, stop‑loss insurance premiums1, and an estimated cost… Read More

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Notice Requirements for Group Health Plans

ERISA requires plan administrators to give plan participants in writing the most important facts they need to know about their group health plans, including plan rules, financial information, and documents on the operation and management of the plan. Some of these facts must be provided to participants regularly and automatically by the plan administrator. Others must be made available upon request, free-of-charge or for copying fees.

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Fully Insured vs Level Funding: What’s the Difference?

With fully insured plans, premiums are paid directly to the insurer. Claims accountA claims account is exactly what it sounds like. A portion of the monthly payment is used to pay for claims submitted by plan members. Stop-loss InsuranceStop-loss is an employer’s safety net. This protects the employer against higher-than-expected claims. With level-funding, employers will never have to pay more than the amount they are responsible for funding the claims account each year. After that, stop-loss insurance kicks in. Administrative costsAdministrative services are provided to the employer so they can spend their time focusing on their business while a third-party administrator handles plan management such as paying claims, customer service,… Read More

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2023 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (“HSAs”) and their accompanying high deductiblehealth plans (“HDHPs”) effective for calendar year 2023, and the maximum amount that may be made newly available forexcepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”). All limits have increased from the 2022 amounts, somesignificantly.

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Proposed Regulations to Fix ACA’s Affordability “Family Glitch”

individuals are not eligible for premium tax credits in the Marketplace

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HealthCare.gov Notices New Class of Individual Employer Policies

hCare.gov managers are signaling that they think individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements matter. The regulators in charge of the federal Affordable Care Act public exchange system today gave ICHRAs official attention, by adding an ICHRA use reporting requirements for the insurers that sell coverage through HealthCare.gov. Click here for the full story on Think Advisor.com

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Annual Out-Of-Pocket Maximum Adjustments Announced for 2023

On December 28, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published the “payment parameters” portion of its Annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2023 (“the Notice”). HHS historically publishes the Notice as a proposed rule and then finalizes the rule. The guidance clarifies that, beginning with the 2023 calendar year, the payment parameters portion of the Notice will be published by January of the year preceding the applicable calendar year. This guidance is considered a final rule that addresses certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). For more information contact your friends at Total Benefits Solutions! Reach out to us at (215)355-2121

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HHS Extends Public Health Emergency until July 15

On April 12, 2022, the Secretary of Health and Human Services renewed the COVID-19 pandemic Public Health Emergency, effective April 16, 2022. This will once again extend the Public Health Emergency period for an additional 90 days and as a result, numerous temporary benefit plan changes will remain in effect. Please download the bulletin below and contact your health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc at (215)355-2121 Download Bulletin

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Free or Nearly Free Health Coverage Through New Jersey’s Expanded Access”

The new Expanded Access Special Enrollment Period allows qualifying consumers with an annual household income of up to 200% of the federal poverty level to enroll in a health plan throughout the year. New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride have introduced a new “Expanded Access” initiative, which allows residents at certain income levels to continue to enroll in free or nearly free health coverage through Get Covered New Jersey.     The new Expanded Access Special Enrollment Period allows qualifying consumers with an annual household income of up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to enroll in a health plan throughout the year. This population will… Read More

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Employers in Philadelphia Are Required to Provide Paid COVID Relief  

Employers in Philadelphia, PA with 25 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of additional paid sick leave to eligible employees when they are unable to work for certain COVID-19 related reasons. The new measure became effective on March 9, 2022 and will extend through the end of 2023. It covers employees who are unable to work for the following reasons: To care for self or a family member showing symptoms of COVID-19 To care for self or a family member exposed to COVID-19, in order to self-isolate As a result of childcare or school closures To obtain a COVID-19 test or vaccine, or to recover from injury,… Read More

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IRS Raises ACA Mandate Penalties for 2022

The IRS penalty amounts for non-compliance of the ACA’s Employer Mandate are rising in 2022.  Below is a list of the new penalty amounts and how the IRS will assess them.  4980H(a) Penalty For the 2022 tax year, the 4980H(a) penalty amount is $229.17 a month or $2,750 annualized, per employee. The IRS issues the 4980H(a) penalty when: An employer doesn’t offer Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) to at least 95% of its full-time employees (and their dependents) for any month during the tax year, and  At least one full-time employee receives a Premium Tax Credit (PTC) for purchasing coverage through the Marketplace. Here’s an illustration of how the IRS calculates the penalty: If an organization in 2022has 300 full-time employees, and one of these employees receives a PTC for 12 months,… Read More

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Independence: Changes to the Value and Select formularies for April 1

Changes to the Value and Select formularies for April 1 Independence Blue Cross is making changes to the Value and Select Drug Program® (Select) formularies effective April 1, 2022. Updates are made to the Value and Select formularies quarterly.The updated lists for April 1 are available now on our website. Select the appropriate link to view the Value or Select formulary. The updated list can be found under “Formulary drug documents.” Changes that result in positive member experiences happen quarterly in January, April, July, and October. Examples of these changes include new drugs and generics being added to the formularies, tier changes that can result in lowering member cost‑share, and utilization management removal.Negative formulary changes… Read More

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HHS Adjusts Civil Monetary Penalties Again for HIPAA, MSP, and SBC Violations

HHS has announced adjustments of civil monetary penalties for statutes within its jurisdiction. The latest amounts are based on a cost-of-living increase of 1.06222%. These adjustments are effective for penalties assessed on or after March 17, 2022, for violations occurring on or after November 2, 2015. Here are highlights of the adjustments potentially affecting employer-sponsored health plans: HIPAA Administrative Simplification. HIPAA administrative simplification encompasses standards for privacy, security, breach notification, and electronic health care transactions. HIPAA has four tiers of violations that reflect increasing levels of culpability, with minimum and maximum penalty amounts within each tier and an annual cap on penalties for multiple violations of an identical provision. The indexed… Read More

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Additional Guidance Addresses ACA Preventive Care Mandate

As part of FAQ 51, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) issued guidance clarifying severalAffordable Care Act (“ACA”) preventive care coverage issues applicable to non-grandfathered group health plans. As background, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover certain in-network preventive care items and services without cost-sharing. Click the link below to download the bulletin. As always contact your health insurance specialists at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc if you have any additional questions or concerns (215)355-2121 https://www.totalbenefits.net

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Independence is covering OTC COVID‑19 test kits through pharmacy benefits

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