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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Independence: New drugs added to precertification list for 2023

Effective January 1, 2023, from Independence Blue Cross: (Independence) IBC will add 12 drugs to the list of specialty drugs that require precertification under the medical benefit. With these additions, Independence now requires precertification for a total of 271 drugs before members can receive coverage for them. The drugs being added include several gene replacement therapies and cancer/antineoplastic agents in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pipeline, as well as several biosimilars that recently received FDA approval. The newly added drugs are: beremagene geperpavec* – gene replacement/gene editing therapiesCimerliTM (ranibizumab‑eqrn) – ophthalmic agentsElahereTM (mirvetuximab soravtansine) – antineoplastic agentsFylnetra® (pegfilgrastim‑pbbk)† – neutropeniaHemgenix® (etranacogene dezaparvovec) – gene replacement/gene editing therapies mosunetuzumab* – antineoplastic agents Skysona® (elivaldogene autotemcel) – gene replacement/gene editing therapiesStimufend® (pegfilgrastim‑fpgk)† – neutropeniatofersen* – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis agents tremelimumab* – antineoplastic agentsVegzelma® (bevacizumab‑adcd)† – antineoplastic agentsZynteglo® (betibeglogene autotemcel) – gene replacement/gene editing therapies We often add drugs… 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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Did you know that Total Benefit Solutions, Inc does Travel Health Insurance?

A record number of Americans traveled abroad in 2016 for leisure, business, study abroad and missionary work- to the tune of 67 million. Given recent epidemics, natural disasters and security threats around the world- coupled with your run-of-the-mill medical issues- travelers have more reason than ever to ensure their health and safety are fully insured prior to embarking on their trips. Americans are dedicating more and more time to preparing for their trips and researching the coverage options available to them, and with good reason. What Will a Good Travel Medical Policy Do for You? Travel medical insurance policies are designed to pick up where your primary domestic health plan… 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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Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum Adjustments Announced for 2024

On December 13, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published the “payment parameters” portion of its Annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2024 (“the Notice”). For purposes of employer-sponsored health plans, the guidance includes the caps on out-of-pocket dollar limits for non-grandfathered group health plans with plan years that begin in 2024. 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 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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Prescription drug list updates effective January 1, 2023

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) Medical and Pharmacy Management Committee has reviewed the Prescription Drug Lists (PDLs) and other pharmacy programs for drug safety, effectiveness, clinical outcomes, and cost. As a result, ACA small employer groups, non-ACA small employer groups (including level funded ASO) large employer groups, and ACA individual and family plan members will see the following formulary updates, effective January 1, 2023. Click here to read for more information. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today with any questions 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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What is COBRA?

A federal law that may allow you to temporarily keep health coverage after your employment ends, you lose coverage as a dependent of the covered employee, or another qualifying event. If you elect COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage, you pay 100% of the premiums, including the share the employer used to pay, plus a small administrative fee. 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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Oscar no longer accepting new members in Florida

Today, Oscar announced that it is no longer accepting new membership in the state of Florida, beginning December 13 at midnight. We’re committed to building a great business that continues to provide innovative, affordable coverage for many years to come. To do that, we need to grow responsibly so that we can ensure our members receive the same level of care and service that we hold ourselves accountable for providing

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