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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Premium Formulary Adoption Swells Among Large Group Clients

The Premium formulary is an option for large group clients wanting access to a formulary that manages traditional, non-specialty drug costs without compromising clinical outcomes. In many cases it saved early adopters nearly 10% per member per month on their plan’s traditional drug spend. Overall, members saved on drug costs without rigorous additional step therapies, prior authorizations, or other invasive utilization management strategies. Members transitioning to the Premium formulary will receive communications about the change, potential disruptions to their drug therapies, and clinically appropriate and cost-effective alternatives. Blue KC will continue to make quarterly updates to the Premium formulary and will send subsequent member communications about those changes and appropriate… 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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Delaware Enacts New Paid Family and Medical Leave Requirement

The Healthy Delaware Families Act was recently signed into law, which provides paid leave for three categories of leave: parental leave, medical leave and family caregiving leave. Employers with 10-24 employees are only subject to the parental leave provisions. Employers with 25 or more employees are subject to all leave provisions. Employers with fewer than 10 employees are not obligated to participate in the leave program, although an employer can opt-in for a 3-year participation period. Click here to download for more information. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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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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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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SCOTUS Upholds Affordable Care Act Ruling

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New Mandatory Preventive Items and Services

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Tax Advantaged Benefit Documents

This site is dedicated to providing employers with the tools they need to successfully establish these written plans with SPDs at the lowest cost possible.

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Alternatives to Health Insurance Benefits

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What is Blue Card PPO?

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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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IRS Guidance Clarifies DCAP Relief

The IRS released Notice 2021-26 to address taxation of Dependent Care Assistance Programs (“DCAPs”) as it relates  to the relief afforded under Section 214 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) and the increased DCAP limit under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).

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CMS Announces Medicare Plan Finder Improvements

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Can Employers Ask for Proof of Vaccination?

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Family Dental & Vision Plans

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