How To Find a Doctor You Trust

How to Find a Doctor You Trust Get a list of in-network providers: Call your insurance company or look at their plan materials for a list of doctors in their network. You’ll usually pay less to see a doctor in your network than a doctor who’s out-of-network. You can also call your Broker and they can help assist you in getting the names of Doctors near you that accept your plan. Do your research: Ask friends and family if they recommend their doctors. You may even be able to read online reviews for doctors in your area. Online reviews are a great way to gauge things such as bedside manner and wait… Read More

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“I’m paying for Health Insurance I don’t even use!”

You hear it all the time: “I’m paying for Health Insurance I don’t even use!” But, Health insurance isn’t only for when you’re sick!  You can use it to maintain your healthy status, you can use it for Preventative Care and you can also use this time to learn how your coverage works before you get sick. Also, many Health Insurance Plans offer things such as discounted gym memberships and rewards for healthy lifestyle choices (such as quitting smoking). Some plans even offer vision or dental benefits, so you can take advantage of an eye screening or 6 month dental check-up. Take advantage of free insurance benefits anytime Get preventive services,… Read More

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Important Info! HSA Limits for 2019

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IBC 2019 Member Renewal Notices

October 25th: Independence Blue Cross Member Renewal Letter details Due to the subsidy disruption in some counties, Independence will be sending renewal notices in 2 waves. On October 25th 2018: • Members who do not receive a subsidy will receive their renewal notices for 2019. The notice will include benefit and premium updates for 2019 and provide a personalized URL for a website that enables them to renew plans as-is (EZ Button), or make a change to their current plan. • Members who have a subsidy will receive a letter advising that Independence is waiting for more information from the federal government regarding their subsidy dollars. Upon receipt of this information, the renewal notices will be sent.… Read More

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End of Summer Social Media Drive 2018

Please help us get the word out on social media in August & September You Could Win a $25-$100 Amazon Gift Card!!! While everyone is getting ready for the End of Season BBQs, gearing up for Back-to-School, and trying to fit in as much adventure as possible the next few weeks, we here at Total Benefit Solutions are getting ready for our busiest time of year: Open Enrollments! Your friends and family members may not be concerned with the open enrollment period.. YET, but it is quickly approaching and we’d like to help them! As always, We appreciate all the referrals and recommendations that we get online from everyone, but we… Read More

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Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option for small groups

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. Ask us today if self funding could be a good fit for your organization! Call your Total Benefit Solutions Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information! Learn more here: AFA-Customer-Flyer New! Minute Clinic Benefit! $0 Copay Minute Clinic Visits Flyer More Documents for downloading: Springboard Marketplace Your Online Administration and Enrollment Portal AFA AppleWatch Wellness Flyer AFA Sample Usage Reports Aetna & Teledoc for AFA AETNA… Read More

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Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill

    On December 20, 2017, the House and Senate sent President Trump the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for signature. The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill on November 16, 2017 while the Senate passed their version on December 2, 2017. Because the versions were not identical, a Tax-Bill Conference Committee was formed from members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to negotiate the text of the combined bill. After the finalized text was approved and released by the committee, the House and Senate each passed the combined bill (which happened on December 20th in the House and December 19th in the Senate) before… Read More

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The IRS Code has numerous provisions designed to help employers

Employer Strategies and Solutions to Substantially Reduce:   the high cost of Health Insurance; the cost for Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses; the cost for Dependent Day Care Expenses; the cost for Parking and Transit Expenses; cost of Self-Employed Healthcare Expenses; Employer Matching Payroll Taxes by 8%; Employee Income Taxes by 30%. The IRS Code has numerous provisions designed to help employers provide essential benefits to their employees tax-free. This saves the employee approximately 30% in income taxes on expenses they’re already paying for, and because the employees have reduced their taxable income, the employer realizes a reduced matching payroll tax liability of approximately 8%. Everybody saves money. To take advantage of… 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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House Passes Bill to Repeal ACA

Just six weeks after the House leaders failed to muster the votes to pass an earlier version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republicans narrowly passed their health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare with a 217 to 213 vote on Thursday… Click the link below to download the bulletin with important points: Download House Passes Bill to Repeal Obamacare

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Breaking News: CMS Announces Open Enrollment Dates and More

CMS issued final rule to increase choices and encourage stability in health insurance markets for 2018 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final Market Stabilization rule to help lower premiums and stabilize individual and small group markets, and to increase choices for Americans. Individuals obtaining coverage in the Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act have faced double-digit premium increases, fewer plans to choose from, and a market that continues to be threatened by insurance issuer exits.*  The CMS rule is designed to provide some relief for patients and issuers now. “CMS is committed to ensuring access to high quality affordable healthcare for all Americans and… Read More

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Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back!

Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back! The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016, gave small employers a means of providing employees help with their individual insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses without violating the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Small employers can now provide a specific kind of Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to help employees with the costs of individual health coverage. According to the statutory language under “Title XVIII – Other Provisions” of the Act, qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs) are not considered “group health plans” and do not have to adhere to ACA market reforms,… Read More

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Trump’s First Executive Order Addresses the ACA

  Trump’s First Executive Order Addresses the ACA On January 20, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). This Order identifies the new administration’s policy for addressing and enforcing the ACA while Congressional Republicans craft legislation to repeal and replace it. The Order directs the agencies responsible for administration and enforcement of the ACA to exercise the authority and discretion available to them: Download Trump’s First Executive Order Addresses the ACA As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any additional questions or concerns.

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Trump Issues Executive Order To Curb Some Parts Of ACA.

Trump Issues Executive Order To Curb Some Parts Of ACA. The New York Times  (1/20, Davis, Pear, Subscription Publication) reported that on Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order  to government agencies directing them “to scale back as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama’s signature health care law.” According to the Times, the one-page order “has symbolic as well as substantive significance, allowing Mr. Trump to claim he acted immediately to do away with a health care law he has repeatedly called disastrous, even while it remains in place and he… Read More

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Update on the Status of the ACA

Update on the Status of the ACA With the impending inauguration, recent actions by the Senate and some confusing media reports, we wanted to provide a short Q&A to help you understand current events and what to expect as we head down the health care reform road in 2017… What’s the latest news? Download the bulletin for an update: Download Update on the Status of the ACA   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

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Health Reform: 4th Quarter 2016 Compliance Compilation

Download a digest of our fourth quarter compliance bulletins. This digest includes the following bulletins:  Transitional Reinsurance Fee Form Now Available 10/14/2016 Final 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C Available 10/25/2016 November 2017 Cost of Living Adjustments 11/01/2016 Relief Extended for Premium Reimbursement Programs for Student Employees 11/02/2016 Updates Regarding the NJ Small Employer Health Benefits Program 11/07/2016 Election Results and the ACA: Preliminary Thoughts 11/10/2016 16 Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C 11/21/2016 Adjusted PCOR Fee for Fifth Filing Year Released 11/22/2016 December Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as HIPAA Privacy Audit Letter 12/13/2016   Click here to download the 4th quarter compliance compilation

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IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C

  The IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C (and carriers to provide Forms 1095-B) to individuals (but NOT to the IRS). Rather than January 31, 2017, the new deadline will be March 2, 2017.  Download Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C

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Health Reform: IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C.

IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C. As applicable large employers and employers with self-funded health plans are working on their Affordable Care Act compliance preparations, the IRS announced an extension of a key ACA deadline. Notice 2016-70 extends the due date for furnishing Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.  The Notice also extends transition relief from penalties if an employer makes a “good faith effort” to comply with reporting requirements. This relief is welcome news for employers who are still working on their compliance approach. A copy of the notice can be downloaded here.

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Election Results and the ACA

With the outcome of the 2016 elections now official, the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of Congress and control of the White House beginning in 2017. Since President-elect Trump ran on a platform of “Replace and Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we anticipate that acting on this campaign promise will be one of the top priorities of the new Trump administration. We anticipate there will be significant disruption for individuals, employers, brokers and carriers across the country. Click here to read the latest bulletin

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IBC: Plans to remove exclusions for gender reassignment surgery coverage

  In a July Independence Edge article, we shared that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had issued a final rule for the nondiscrimination provision (section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the nondiscrimination provision itself is not new, the final rule provides expanded clarity on coverage for gender reassignment surgery and related services. In addition, it provides guidance on treating individuals consistent with their gender identity, and not denying or limiting health services usually only available to individuals of one gender. Beginning with renewals on or after January 1, 2017, the exclusion for gender reassignment surgery has been removed from all commercial plans. Members… Read More

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IBC: How to pay your health insurance bill

Click to watch this quick video on payment options for Independence Blue Cross individual health insurance plans.  As always if you have any questions please contact your dedicated Total Benefit Solutions individual account manager at (215)355-2121.  

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Notice of Subsidies in the Federal Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires each Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”) to notify any employer whose employee was determined to be eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits (“APTC”) and Cost Sharing Reductions (“CSR”) because the employee attested that he or she was not: • enrolled in employer sponsored coverage, or • eligible for employer coverage that is affordable and meets minimum value requirements. In 2016, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (“FFM”) will begin issuing these notices to employers. State-based Marketplaces began this notification process in 2015. Click here to download the bulletin

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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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Total Benefits & Healthiest You

Healthiest You is more than a typical Teledoc benefit. Whenever members have questions or they are simply not feeling well, they can effortlessly connect to a 24×7 telehealth hotline for the diagnosis and treatment of illness, second opinions and consultations. They have board-certified, licensed physicians in every state waiting to provide exceptional care. They can even prescribe medication and save a trip to the doctor’s office, whether members are at home or on the road. Want more information? Click here to see the site.  

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Critically Important: Insurance for Serious Illness

Good news: You’ve got health insurance (at least, all Americans are required to or pay a penalty). Bad news: It doesn’t cover everything. Especially if something really bad happens, like a heart attack or stroke. Yes, a decent major medical plan will cover many of the health-related expenses related to a serious illness. But you’d likely still be left with significant out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and copayments. Medical insurance also doesn’t usually cover other related costs, such as travel to treatment centers, child care during absences or recovery, home modifications or rehabilitation charges. And if you lose income while you’re unable to work, you could have a tough time paying… Read More

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