How does Original Medicare work?

Original Medicare covers most, but not all of the costs for approved health care services and supplies. After you meet your deductible, you pay your share of costs for services and supplies as you get them. There’s no limit on what you’ll pay out-of-pocket in a year unless you have other coverage (like Medigap, Medicaid, or employee or union coverage). Services covered by Medicare must be medically necessary. Medicare also covers many preventive services, like shots and screenings. If you go to a doctor or other health care provider that accepts the Medicare-approved amount, your share of costs may be less. If you get a service that Medicare doesn’t cover,… Read More

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Explore Blue KC Small Group Dental Plans and Rates for New Business

Oral health is a key component of overall health and dental coverage, starting with regular checkups, can help prevent health issues and medical costs down the road. Blue KC small employer group dental coverage offers a selection of plans – with no waiting period – an extensive local and national provider network, competitive rates, plus a rewards program. Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns today at (215)355-2121.

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Pennie: 1095-A Tax Form Available for Customers

The 1095-A tax form has been delivered to Pennie customers for their 2022 tax returns. The 2022 1095-A Form: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement has been delivered to customers’ Pennie Secure inboxes. Important: The 1095-A reflects a Pennie customer’s 2022 enrollment information. Click here to learn more about 1095-A forms. Have any questions regarding your Pennie account or the 1095-A tax form? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is vision coverage?

A health benefit that at least partially covers vision care, like eye exams and glasses. All the plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace include vision coverage for children. Only some plans include vision coverage for adults. If adult vision coverage is important to you, check the details of any plan you’re considering. If your plan doesn’t include adult vision coverage, you can buy a “stand-alone” vision plan to reduce your vision care expenses. The Marketplace doesn’t offer stand-alone vision plans. To shop for stand-alone vision plans, contact an insurance agent or broker, or search for plans online. You can also contact your state’s Department of Insurance. As always, don’t hesitate… Read More

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Dental coverage in the Marketplace

In the Marketplace, you can pick a health plan with or without dental benefits. If you pick a health plan without dental benefits, you can still get a separate dental plan. Important: You can’t buy a Marketplace dental plan unless you’re buying a health plan at the same time. Dental coverage is available in 2 ways: Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Things to Know About Medicaid Managed Care

Managed care plays a major role in the delivery of health care to Medicaid enrollees. With 69% of Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in comprehensive managed care plans nationally, plans have played a key role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the fiscal implications for states. This brief describes 10 themes related to the use of comprehensive, risk-based managed care in the Medicaid program and highlights significant data and trends. Understanding these trends provides important context for the role managed care organizations (MCOs) play in the Medicaid program overall as well as during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and in its expected unwinding. CMS released guidance for state… Read More

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What is a stand-alone dental plan?

A type of dental plan offered through the Marketplace that’s not included as part of a health plan. You may want this if the health coverage you choose doesn’t include dental, or if you want different dental coverage. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns today at (215)355-2121.

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Four Key Changes in the Biden Administration’s Final Rule on Medicare Enrollment and Eligibility

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on October 28, 2022, to implement several changes in Medicare enrollment and eligibility that were included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). These changes are designed to minimize gaps in coverage for people who sign up for Medicare and improve access to care by shortening the gap between Medicare enrollment and coverage; creating new Special Enrollment Periods for individuals whose coverage would otherwise be delayed due to challenging circumstances, such as a natural disaster; and extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for certain beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who would otherwise lose coverage for these drugs… Read More

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Blue KC: 2023 member guides and handbooks now available

The 2023 commercial and ACA member guides and Medicare Advantage member handbook are now available. Clients will receive these documents through a variety of touchpoints. Please keep them handy as a quick reference to Blue KC plan benefits and features and to share them with clients as needed. Employer/Group Medicare Advantage ACA Individual and Family Plans Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Final Rule on ACA Reporting and 2022 Forms and Instructions

On December 12, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released final regulations with respect the ACA reporting requirements. These rules are substantially similar to the proposed rule issues in November last year. The final rule: Applicable large employers (“ALEs”) have until March 2, 2023 (rather than January 31, 2023) to furnish Forms 1095-C for calendar year 2022 to full-time employees and other individuals. The final rule does not extend the deadline to file completed Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) with the IRS. The due date remains March 31, 2023 (or February 28, 2023 for paper filing if filing fewer than 250 forms). On December 15, 2022,… Read More

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How ACA Marketplace Premiums are Changing by County in 2023

Premiums for ACA Marketplace benchmark silver plans are increasing on average across the U.S. in 2023 after four years of slight declines. However, premiums changes vary by location and by metal level, with premiums decreasing in some cases. As most enrollees receive significant premium subsidies on the ACA Marketplaces, the net premium amount an exchange enrollee pays depends on their income and the difference in the cost between the benchmark plan (second-lowest-cost silver plan) and the premium for the plan they choose. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) increased and expanded subsidies temporarily in 2021 and 2022 and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) extends those enhanced and expanded subsidies through… Read More

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What is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)?

A type of health plan that contracts with medical providers, such as hospitals and doctors, to create a network of participating providers. You pay less if you use providers that belong to the plan’s network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network for an additional cost. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Things to Know About the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Requirement

At the start of the pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which included a requirement that Medicaid programs keep people continuously enrolled through the end of the month in which the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, in exchange for enhanced federal funding. Primarily due to the continuous enrollment requirement, Medicaid enrollment has grown substantially compared to before the pandemic and the uninsured rate has dropped. But, when the PHE ends, millions of people could lose coverage that could reverse recent gains in coverage. The current PHE is in effect until January 11, 2023, and the Biden administration has said it will give states a 60-day… Read More

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What is a Family Premium?

Under the Affordability for Employer Coverage for Family Members of Employees IRS rule, “family members” are individuals who will be on the same federal income tax return — so, an individual, plus their spouse if married and filing jointly, plus any dependents that they (and their spouse, if applicable) claim. The “family premium” is the premium for the lowest-cost employer plan that would cover all members of the tax household who are offered coverage by the employer. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Medicare Savings Programs

Get help from your state paying your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) premiums through a Medicare Savings Program. If you qualify, Medicare Savings Programs might also pay your Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You’ll apply for Medicare Savings Programs through your state. When you apply, your state determines which program(s) you qualify for. Even if you don’t think you qualify, you should still apply. For more information about the Medicare Savings Programs, click here. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)?

The figure used to determine eligibility for premium tax credits and other savings for Marketplace health insurance plans and for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MAGI is adjusted gross income (AGI) plus these, if any: untaxed foreign income, non-taxable Social Security benefits, and tax-exempt interest. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions today at (215)355-2121.

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What is Medicaid?

Insurance program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Many states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. Whether you qualify for Medicaid coverage depends partly on whether your state has expanded its program. Medicaid benefits, and program names, vary somewhat between states. You can apply anytime. If you qualify, your coverage can begin immediately, any time of year. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions today at (215)355-2121.

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Using your health insurance coverage & getting emergency care

In an emergency, you should get care from the closest hospital that can help you. That hospital will treat you regardless of whether you have insurance. Your insurance company can’t charge you more for getting emergency room services at an out-of-network hospital. I’m having an emergency. Should I go straight to the hospital or do I need to call my insurer first? In a true emergency, go straight to the hospital. Insurers can’t require you to get prior approval before getting emergency room services from a provider or hospital outside your plan’s network. What does it mean that insurance companies can’t charge me more? Insurance plans can’t make you pay… Read More

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What Marketplace health insurance plans cover

All plans offered in the Marketplace cover these 10 essential health benefits: Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)?

An easy-to-read summary that lets you make apples-to-apples comparisons of costs and coverage between health plans. You can compare options based on price, benefits, and other features that may be important to you. You’ll get the “Summary of Benefits and Coverage” (SBC) when you shop for coverage on your own or through your job, renew or change coverage, or request an SBC from the health insurance company. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Medicare Part D: A First Look at Medicare Drug Plans in 2023

During the Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 each year, beneficiaries can enroll in a plan that provides Part D prescription drug coverage, either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) for people in traditional Medicare, or a Medicare Advantage plan that covers all Medicare benefits, including prescription drugs (MA-PD). Highlights for 2023: For more information regarding Part D Plan Availability and Part D Premiums, click here. Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Blue KC: Three hospitals added to BlueSelect Plus, BlueSelect networks

The BlueSelect Plus and BlueSelect networks have expanded their footprints. On November 15, three hospitals – Providence Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center, and St. Mary’s Medical Center – joined the networks, increasing the number of hospitals to 16 in BlueSelect Plus and 14 in BlueSelect. The addition of these hospitals applies to: Hospitals in BlueSelect Plus network The BlueSelect Plus network includes: AdventHealth College Boulevard; AdventHealth Shawnee Mission; AdventHealth South Overland Park; Cameron Regional Medical Center; Children’s Mercy Hospital; Children’s Mercy Hospital – South; Liberty Hospital; North Kansas City Hospital; Olathe Medical Center; Providence Medical Center; St. Joseph Medical Center; St. Mary’s Medical Center; University Health Truman Medical Center;… Read More

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What is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)?

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are employer-funded group health plans from which employees are reimbursed tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a fixed dollar amount per year. Unused amounts may be rolled over to be used in subsequent years. The employer funds and owns the arrangement. Health Reimbursement Arrangements are sometimes called Health Reimbursement Accounts. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?

Insurance program that provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance. In some states, CHIP covers pregnant women. Each state offers CHIP coverage and works closely with its state Medicaid program. You can apply any time. If you qualify, your coverage can begin immediately, any time of year. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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