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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What is a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan?

Medicare works with private insurance companies to offer you ways to get your health care coverage. These companies can choose to offer a consumer-directed Medicare Advantage Plan, called a Medicare MSA Plan. These plans are similar to Health Savings Accounts Plans available outside of Medicare. You can choose your health care services and providers (MSA plans usually don’t have a network of doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals). Medicare MSA Plans combine a high-deductible insurance plan with a medical savings account that you can use to pay for your health care costs. High-deductible health plan: The first part is a special type of high-deductible Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).… Read More

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Blue KC: Enhanced ACA Subsidies to Extend Through 2025

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has provided enhanced ACA premium subsidies for people who purchased a plan through the Marketplace. It did so by removing the income cap, which limited subsidies to households with incomes from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty line. With no income cap, premiums have been limited to just 8.5% of income – for everyone. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law on August 16, extends these subsidies for three years for millions of Americans who buy individual coverage under the ACA. This bill will “save millions of people an average of $800 a year on health insurance premiums,” said Chiquita… Read More

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What are Qualified Medical Expenses?

Qualified Medical Expenses are generally the same types of services and products that otherwise could be deducted as medical expenses on your yearly income tax return. Some Qualified Medical Expenses, like doctors’ visits, lab tests, and hospital stays, are also Medicare-covered services. Services like dental and vision care are Qualified Medical Expenses, but aren’t covered by Medicare. Qualified Medical Expenses could count toward your Medicare MSA Plan deductible only if the expenses are for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services. Each year, you should get a 1099-SA form from your bank that includes all of the withdrawals from your account. You’ll need to show that you’ve had Qualified Medical… Read More

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What is the total cost estimate for health coverage?

The total amount you may have to pay for health plan coverage, which is estimated before you actually have the coverage and have health expenses under the coverage. Generally, your total cost is your premium + deductible + out-of-pocket costs + any copayments/coinsurance. When you preview plans at Healthcare.gov, you’ll see an estimate of your total costs, but your actual expenses will likely vary. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121.

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Prescription Drug Reporting Reminder

As previously reported, plan sponsors of group health plans must submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022, for reporting on calendar years 2020 and 2021. Additionally: To learn more, click here to download the document. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please call your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance experts today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Steps to Use a Medicare MSA Plan

Choose and join a high-deductible Medicare MSA Plan. You set up an MSA with a bank the plan selects. Medicare gives the plan an amount of money each year for your health care. The plan deposits some money into your account. You can use the money in your account to pay your health care costs, including health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare. When you use account money for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services, it counts towards your plan’s deductible. If you use all of the money in your account and you have additional health care costs, you’ll have to pay for your Medicare-covered services out0of-pocket until… Read More

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What is a Qualified Health Plan?

An insurance plan that’s certified by the Health Insurance Marketplace®, provides essential health benefits, follows established limits on cost-sharing (like deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts), and meets other requirements under the Affordable Care Act. All qualified health plans meet the Affordable Care Act requirement for having health coverage, known as “minimum essential coverage.” As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is cost sharing?

The share of costs covered by your insurance that you out of your own pocket. This term generally includes deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, or similar charges, but it doesn’t include premiums, balance billing amounts for non-network providers, or the cost of non-covered services. Cost sharing in Medicaid and CHIP also includes premiums. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and what qualifies a consumer for an SEP?

A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is a time outside the annual Open Enrollment period when individuals may enroll in or change qualified health plans (QHPs). Individuals qualify for SEPs based on certain life events. Note that consumers can also qualify for an SEP during Open Enrollment; in certain situations, such as an SEP due to the birth of a child, an SEP during Open Enrollment can allow qualifying consumers’ coverage to start sooner than it would have if they had enrolled during Open Enrollment without the SEP. Events that permit an SEP include: Loss of qualifying health coverage (Note: This SEP does not include loss of coverage due to nonpayment… Read More

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Beam Teams with Angle Health to Deliver Dynamic Employee Benefits

Beam Dental is partnered with Angle Health, a digital-first healthcare benefits providers for the modern employee. Through the partnership with Beam, Angle can now attach best-in-class dental benefits to their innovative healthcare products, creating a more comprehensive and robust benefits package for employers. “There is tremendous activity and innovation in the small group health space right now. Angle is an exciting addition to this space,” said Andy Hutter, Beam’s Director of Digital Distribution. “Angle’s vision for modernizing healthcare aligns well with Beam’s own vision, and we are very excited to deliver a powerful combination of innovative coverage to the market.” Beam is changing and modernizing the dental insurance industry by… Read More

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How does the Marketplace verify immigration status?

The Marketplace verifies the citizenship and immigration statuses of consumers applying for Marketplace coverage using several electronic systems. Citizenship and immigration information submitted in the Marketplace eligibility application will be checked against the Marketplace’s trusted data sources, including the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Internal Revenue Service. If a consumer’s citizenship or immigration status cannot be verified, the Marketplace will notify the consumer of an inconsistency or data matching issue on their initial eligibility notice and ask them to submit additional information to resolve the inconsistency. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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What is medical underwriting?

A process used by insurance companies to try to figure out your health status when you’re applying for health insurance coverage to determine whether to offer you coverage, at what price, and with what exclusions or limits. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Can consumers who qualify for COBRA continuation coverage opt out of it and get coverage through the Marketplace instead?

Consumers who qualify for COBRA coverage can opt out of it and enroll in Marketplace coverage. However, voluntarily terminating COBRA continuation coverage does not make a consumer eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) based on loss of the COBRA continuation coverage. Note that all qualified enrollees eligible for COBRA continuation coverage can get the Marketplace subsidy, not just the employee who qualifies for the COBRA benefit, as long as they are not actually enrolled in the COBRA continuation coverage. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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Open Enrollment Tips from Total Benefit Solutions!

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

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Inflation Reduction Act: Eliminates Cost Sharing for Adult Vaccines in Medicare Part D and Improves Access to Adult Vaccines in Medicaid & CHIP

Medicare Part D: Eliminates cost sharing for adult vaccines covered under Medicare Part D that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), such as for shingles Medicaid and CHIP: Requires state Medicaid and CHIP programs to cover all approved vaccines recommended by ACIP and vaccine administration, without cost sharing 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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What is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)?

A type of health insurance plan that usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It generally won’t cover out-of-network care except in an emergency. An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage. HMOs often provide integrated care and focus on prevention and wellness. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Pennie’s Open Enrollment Period for 2023 Coverage is Around the Corner  

 Pennie’s Open Enrollment Period for 2023 Coverage is Around the Corner: Pennie’s Open Enrollment Period will run from November 1, 2022, to January 15, 2023.  As a reminder, existing Pennie customers will be receiving auto-renewal notices this week with information on their 2023 plans.  Great news! Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, enhanced savings continue to be available for Pennie customers and those enrolling in coverage through Pennie! As always if you have any questions or concerns please contact your Pennie health insurance experts at Total Benefit Solutions Inc (215)355-2121  

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What Are Medicare Guaranteed Issue Rights?

Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121 with any questions.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Expands Eligibility for Full Benefits Under the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program

The Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Program helps beneficiaries with their Part D premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing. Beneficiaries qualify for full or partial benefits depending on their income and resources. Current law: Beneficiaries qualify for full LIS benefits if they have income up to 135% of poverty and lower resources (up to $9,900 individual, $15,600 couple in 2022) Beneficiaries qualify for partial LIS benefits if they have income between 135-150% of poverty and higher resources (up to $15,510 individual, $30,950 couple in 2022) Inflation Reduction Act: Expands eligibility for full LIS benefits to individuals with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty and higher resources (at or below the… Read More

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