Final Rules Adopt Administrative Changes to the No Surprises Act

On August 26, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) published final rules on the No Surprises Act, making changes to the administrative duties of insurance carriers, HMOs, third-party administrators, out-of-network healthcare providers, and certain other entities responsible for the Act’s implementation. The new rules, which take effect on October 25, 2022, are narrow in scope, and include the following changes:• During processing of claims under the No Surprises Act, if “down-coding” occurs (i.e., the group medical plan alters or replaces the medical billing codes chosen by the out-of-network healthcare provider, resulting in a lower claim payment), then the final rules impose… Read More

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Turning 26: Your Guide to Health Insurance

Turning 26: Your Guide to Getting Your New Health Insurance:https://totalbenefits.net/turning-26-your-guide-to-health-insurance/

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2022 MLR Rebate Checks to Be Issued Soon to Fully Insured Plans

As a reminder, insurance carriers are required to satisfy certain medical loss ratio (“MLR”) thresholds. This generally means that for every dollar of premium a carrier collects with respect to a major medical plan; it should spend 85 cents in the large group market (80 cents in the small group market) on medical care and activities to improve health care quality. If these thresholds are not satisfied, rebates are available to employers in the form of a premium credit or check. If a rebate is available, carriers are required to distribute MLR checks to employers by September 30, 2022. Click the link below to download the full bulletin.

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Additional Guidance on New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit informationannually 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. Click the link below to download this bulletin. As always please contact your Total benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Additional Guidance Issued on Surprise Billing Protections

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 introduced numerous protections against surprise billing for plan participants that impact group health plans, health insurance issuers, & providers. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) introduced numerous protections against surprise billing for plan participants that impact group health plans, health insurance issuers, and providers. The federal Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury recently released a document discussing frequently asked questions (FAQs) about these surprise billing protections that provides clarity on a number of topics within the regulations. The key points from this guidance are outlined below. Application to Reference Based Pricing PlansIt has been unclear how the surprise billing rules apply to… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act – Health Care Considerations

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the “Inflation Reduction Act” into law. The legislation includes key health care, tax, and climate change components. Click the link below to download the bulletin which highlights the health care changes ! As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance expert with any additional questions, (215)355-3121.

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IBC: Understanding your network

The type of health plan you choose determines the network of providers you can visit. In-network providers are the doctors and hospitals in your plan’s network. You’ll save the most money by visiting network providers. Out-of-network providers are those not in your plan’s network. You may pay more for out-of-network services, and some services may not be covered at all. Know your options — before you need them When you need care and your primary care doctor isn’t available, remember you have other options that don’t involve a trip to the emergency room. Using virtual care, retail clinics, or urgent care centers can save you time and money. https://www.ibx.com/get-care/find-doctors-and-healthcare-providers/where-to-go-for-care Click here for links to your network and more… Read More

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What is an excepted benefit HRA?

Businesses that offer an employer-sponsored group health plan to workers now have another way to save money while designing a health benefit package with more choices for employees – the Excepted Benefit HRA. The new EBHRA is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement designed to pay premiums and related expenses for eligible excepted benefits like dental and vision coverage. And, while an employer is required to offer a traditional group health plan, an employee can participate in the EBHRA even if they decline participating in the employer’s group health plan. That’s going to open up a lot of premium savings for workers who are eligible for coverage under a spouse’s or parent’s… Read More

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Understanding the Coding of Health Plans from MEC to Metallic

Choosing the right insurance plan for you (and your family) is not an easy task. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced major changes to the way carriers traditionally marketed their health plans to the public and introduced a volume of new terms, requirements and complexities, many of which may sound confusing to the general public. From terms like “minimum essential coverage” to the various metallic plan categories of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, a solid foundation of knowledge is essential in order to find the coverage required at an affordable price. The health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions Inc are well versed on these terms so when you… Read More

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Case Study Library

We present a few case studies to illustrate how we have helped our clients solve their complicated employee benefit challenges. Click here to learn more!

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Health Insurance Broker Change Leads to Better Results

Watch Video The Issue A mid-sized group prospect was unhappy with their current broker and looking for a change. They thought more could be done to help control their employee benefit budget and were looking for guidance. They came to us with a 17% health insurance renewal. Our Solution Our team met with the business owner and Human Resource Director to review the following: The corporate goals and philosophy regarding employee benefits The benefit structure and costs of their present programs Options for cost containment strategies How to integrate wellness into their benefits portfolio Methods for better communication of the benefit programs to employees The Result The customer was pleased… Read More

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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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Turning 26: Your Guide to Health Insurance

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many young people choose to stay on their parent’s health insurance for as long as possible, and with good reason. The historic healthcare law, also known as Obamacare, allows young adults to stay on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26, no matter what. Download our free easy to read guide to getting your own health insurance here. Contact your health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions Inc with any additional questions (215)355-2121

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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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2022 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) Fees

  2022 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) Fees May 23, 2022     This Allied Update serves as a reminder that the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (“PCORTF”) fees are due by July 31, 2022. By way of background, at the end of 2019, the Federal Government reauthorized the annual payment of fees by health insurers and group health plans into the PCORTF until 2029. (Such payments were previously set to expire for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019, and beyond.) The fee is due by July 31 of the calendar year immediately following the last day of the plan year in which… Read More

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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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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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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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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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IBC Increasing Medigap Rates

Independence Blue Cross recently received approval from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to increase our monthly premium rates for MedigapSecurity plans A, B, C, D, F, F High-Deductible, G, G High-Deductible, and N. These rates will become effective April 1, 2022. MEDIGAPSECURITY PREMIUM UPDATED RATE SHEET   Monthly Premium If you have … Beginning April 1, 2022, you will pay … MedigapSecurity – Plan A $164.95 MedigapSecurity – Plan B $195.65 MedigapSecurity – Plan C $224.55 MedigapSecurity – Plan D $204.95 MedigapSecurity – Plan F $224.70 MedigapSecurity – Plan F High Deductible $109.00 MedigapSecurity – Plan G $205.10 MedigapSecurity – Plan G High Deductible $91.95 MedigapSecurity – Plan N $181.30 Questions… Read More

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