Open Enrollment Tips!

As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at today at (215)355-2121.

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The Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Estimator

The Taxpayer Advocate Service developed the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision (ESRP) Estimator to help employers understand how the provision works and learns how the provision may apply to them. The provision applies to applicable large employers – generally, that means employers that had an average of at least 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees-FTEs), during the preceding calendar year. If you are an employer, you can use the estimator to determine: The number of your full-time employees, including FTEs, Whether you might be an applicable large employers, and If you are an applicable large employer, an estimate of the maximum amount of the potential liability for the employer shared… Read More

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Further Guidance Issued on Contraceptive Coverage

On July 28, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (collectively, “the Departments”) issued FAQ Part to clarify protections for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). In January 2022, the Departments had issued guidance on the ACA Preventive Care Mandate, including contraception. The Departments issued FAQ Part 54: In response to reports that individuals continue to experience difficulty accessing contraceptive coverage without cost sharing; To clarify application of the contraceptive coverage requirements to fertility awareness-based methods and to emergency contraceptive; and To address federal preemption of state law. Employers sponsoring non-grandfathered group health plans should review the various preventive care requirements effective… Read More

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IRS Health Savings Account Adjusted Amounts for 2023

The IRS has released the 2023 cost-of-living adjustments for Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, HDHP deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. To read the official IRS release, click here. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121.

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Defined Contribution Plans

The Issue As one of our long-time group insurance customers grew over the years, their workforce became more diverse and the management team found it difficult to accommodate each employee’s unique insurance needs. As much as the team wanted to provide the necessary coverage for the employees, they also required some control over the employee benefits budget. They came to us for advice. The Solution We proposed that this employer consider a defined contribution strategy. Defined contribution plans build benefit portfolios around a specific dollar amount, rather than around a specific plan or plans. In this way, the management team could select an amount that the company would contribute toward… Read More

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IRS Announces 2023 ACA Affordability Indexed Amount

The IRS recently announced in Revenue Procedure 2022-34 that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) affordability indexed amount under the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (“ESRP”) requirements will be 9.12% for plan years that begin in 2023. This is a notable decrease from the 2022 percentage amount (9.61%) and below the original 9.5% threshold. Rev. Proc. 2022-34 establishes the indexed “required contribution percentage” used to determine whether an individual is eligible for “affordable” employer-sponsored health coverage under Section 36B (related to qualification for premium tax credits when buying ACA Marketplace coverage). However, the IRS explained in IRS Notice 2015-87 that a percentage change under Section 36B will correspond to a similar change… Read More

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New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in December 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on behalf of the departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022. CMS recently updated guidance related to this reporting requirement that provides some helpful clarification. Employers with fully insured or self-funded (includes level funded) group health plans, including grandfathered plans, church plans subject to the Internal Revenue Code, and governmental plans. The term “group… Read More

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New Mandatory Preventive Items and Services, 2022 Updates

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations have been updated and most plans will be required to cover new preventive items and services beginning later this year or in 2023 (depending on the plan year). These new items/services include ones related to condoms, double-electric breast pumps, suicide risk screening for adolescents, and diabetes screenings for certain populations. Non-grandfathered group health plans must provide coverage for in-network preventive items and services and may not impost any cost-sharing requirements (such as a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible) with respect to those items or services. Employers sponsoring non-grandfathered group health plans should review the various preventive care requirements effective for their upcoming plan… Read More

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Get The Most From Your Dental Benefits with Beam Benefit’s Carryover Policy

If you don’t use up your annual maximum, they don’t have to go to waste — you may be able to put them to use in the future! This means you’ll have more dollars at your disposal for dental procedures in the following years. Each year your benefits will cover a certain dollar amount in claims. When you use less than half of this maximum, a portion of it will “carry over” to the next year. This means it’s added to your annual maximum in future years. Have any questions or concerns about enrolling your group in Beam Benefit’s Dental Plan? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance… Read More

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Affordability of Health Coverage

Applicable Large Employers, those with 50 or more full-time employees in the prior year, must offer their full-time employees minimum essential coverage providing minimum value that is affordable. A plan is affordable if the premium for self-only coverage does not exceed a certain percentage of the employee’s household income. The IRS sets the percentage each year. The baseline percentage was 9.5%. In 2022, the affordability percentage is 9.61%. In 2021, it was 9.83%. A plan will be considered affordable if its premium for the lowest cost, single-only plan does not exceed the identified percentage of an employee’s household income. Since household income is not readily available, employers use one of… Read More

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Beam Dental Expands Benefits Portfolio, Rebrands to Beam Benefits

Beam Dental, a digitally-native employee benefits company, today announced the addition of voluntary life, accident and hospital indemnity products to its benefits portfolio. With these new products, Beam continues its evolution as a one-stop-shop for ancillary benefits and has rebranded to Beam Benefits. The change is accompanied by a refreshed brand identity and new website. Click here for more information. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists with questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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Beam Introduces Innovative, Prevention-Focused Brush Bucks Dental Plan

Beam Dental, one of the fastest-growing dental benefits providers in the country, has unveiled its new Brush Bucks plan designed to save employers and members money while providing fully covered preventative care. The plan gives employees 100% coverage for diagnostic and preventative services*, which can include routine dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and X-rays. Each member will also receive a $150 annual maximum — called Brush Bucks — to manage unexpected costs, such as fillings, implants, and other basic and major procedures. The plan does not include a deductible. Find out more about Beam’s Brush Bucks Dental Plan here. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialist… Read More

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6 Questions to ask your Benefits Broker

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Medicare Won’t Cover This Key Expense…

Dental costs can take a huge bite out of seniors’ finances, even if they have Medicare. And many Seniors have to tap into their Retirement Funds to cover treatment.

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The Future of Employee Benefit Offerings: Student Debt Repayment Assistance

When looking for a job, the benefits offered to an Employee are definitely a big factor in consideration of accepting an offer of employment. Most people are willing to choose a company with a slight pay decrease if the benefit package compensates for the lost wages. With unemployment the lowest it has been since 2000 in the United States, attracting new talent isn’t as easy as it used to be and Employers are looking for ways to snatch up qualified applicants. When you think of benefit packages, you usually think of the basics: Health Insurance (with possibly an HSA, HRA, or FSA included), Dental and Vision coverage. “Good” benefit packages… 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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