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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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 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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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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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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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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Blue KC: Employer/Group Open Enrollment Dates – Mark Your Calendar

Blue KC is pleased to offer two open enrollment deadlines – one for physical ID cards and one for digital ID cards – to provide flexibility to new and renewing groups. Benefit information and open enrollment files/eligibility updates must be submitted to Blue KC based on the following schedule to ensure new ID cards are available to members by January 1, 2023: November 1, 2022 – Paperwork Deadline November 21, 2022 – Eligibility File – Physical ID Card December 16, 2022 – Eligibility File – Digital ID Card Please note: Small groups that make plan changes after this timeframe will receive updated ID cards once their plan changes have been… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Limits Monthly Copayments for Insulin in Medicare

Beginning in 2023, limits copayments to $35 per month per prescription for covered insulin products in Medicare Part D plans and for insulin furnished through durable medical equipment under Medicare Part B, with no deductible. For 2026 and beyond, limits monthly Part D copayments for insulin to the lesser of: $35 25% of the maximum fair price (in cases where the insulin product has been selected for negotiation) 25% of the negotiated price in Part D plans Please call your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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What is the Marketplace?

Shorthand for the “Health Insurance Marketplace®,” a shopping and enrollment service for medical insurance created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In most states, the federal government runs the Marketplace (sometimes know as the “exchange”) for individuals and families. On the web, it’s found at HealthCare.gov. Some states run their own Marketplace at different websites. Fill out a Marketplace application and you’ll find out if you qualify for lower monthly premiums or savings on out-of-pocket costs based on your income. You may find out if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can shop for and enroll in affordable medical insurance online, by phone,… Read More

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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 information annually 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 requirements that proves some helpful clarification. 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 a premium?

The amount you pay for your health insurance every month. In addition to your premium, you usually have to pay other costs for your health care, including a deductible, copayments, and coinsurance. If you have a Marketplace health plan, you may be able to lower your costs with a premium tax credit. When shopping for a plan, keep in mind that the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not be the best match for you. If you need much health care, a plan with slightly higher premium but a lower deductible may save you a lot of money. After you enroll in a plan, you must pay your first… Read More

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Reminder: New Cost-Sharing Disclosure in 2023

Another compliance deadline is quickly approaching. For plan years that begin on or after January 1, 2023, group health plans must provide for advance disclosure of cost-sharing information to enrollees seeking health services, upon request and to the extent practicable. The format of the disclosure is through an internet-based self-service tool, telephone, or paper format (upon request). The tool allows the enrollee to compare the amount of cost-sharing that he or she would be responsible for with respect to a discrete covered item or service by billing code or descriptive term. The required information relates to geographic region and in-network and out-of-network providers and initially addresses 500 items and services.… Read More

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New Jersey New Poster Requirements

On August 1, 2022, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) finalized regulations to increase the visibility and effectiveness of posters required by the State of New Jersey. Among other things, these regulations require employers to display posters informing people of their rights under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) and Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”). The regulations went into effect immediately. The NJLAD protects New Jersey employees from discrimination in the workplace. It prohibits all employers in the State of New Jersey from discriminating against and harassing employees (and prospective employees) based on their protected status (including, but not limited to, race, national origin, age, sex, gender identification, sexual… Read More

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What is coinsurance?

Coinsurance is usually a percentage of the cost for a service that you would pay. For example, if your coinsurance is 20% for covered services, your plan would pay 80% of the covered charges, and you would pay the coinsurance of 20%. Call your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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“Can I use my HSA for…….?”

Health Savings Accounts and You Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) aren’t new. They’ve been around since late 2003. Initially they were created along with the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act  to replace the Medical Saving Account System. Initially these plans were designed to help with Drug Costs under Medicare policies; However, as Insurance Premiums increased, more and more Employer and Individual Policies offered High-Deductible Plans to help curb costs. Due to that, HSAs were thrown into the spotlight as a way to use Pre-Tax Dollars to cover out-of-pocket Medical costs. In 2017, a reported 22million Americans have an HSA. Each year, that number continues to climb. Many people still have a… Read More

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President Trump Signs Prescription Drug Gag Clause Legislation

President Trump Signs Prescription Drug Gag Clause Legislation On Wednesday, President Trump signed into law S. 2553, the Know the Lowest Price Act, and S. 2554, the Patient Right to Know Drug Price Act. The legislation was passed by the House and Senate last month with bipartisan support and will ban “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers when they can save money on their prescriptions by paying out of pocket for the retail price of the drug, rather than using their insurance and making the co-payment. These bills comprise portions of President Trump’s “America First” prescription drug initiative that were released as part of a blueprint to lower drug prices in May.… Read More

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Social Media Drive Winner Announcement!

  Back in August we announced an End of Summer Social Media Drive Contest. The rules were very simple: If you left us a review, you were eligible to be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card valued from $25-$100… For each review you left us on one of our platforms (Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Linkedin, etc) you earned $25 towards that giftcard (up to four review max per person). The contest ran from August 1st, 2018 until September 30th, 2018, but today we finally got our winner. Our Front Office Coordinator, Samantha, joined me for the  random drawing. Please watch the short video below to find… Read More

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