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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Prescription Drug Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act

For the first time, requires the federal government to negotiate prices for some top-selling drugs covered under Medicare Requires drug companies to pay rebates if prices rise faster than inflation for drugs used by Medicare beneficiaries Eliminates 5% coinsurance for catastrophic coverage in Medicare Part D in 2024, adds a $2,000 cap on Part D out-of-pocket spending in 2025, and limits annual increases in Part D premiums for 2024-2030 Limits monthly cost sharing for insulin products to $35 for people with Medicare Expands eligibility for Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy full benefits Eliminates cost sharing for adult vaccines covered under Medicare Part D and improves access to adult vaccines under… Read More

Continue Reading

When is the Part D Senior Saving Model expected to end? How many years is the model?

Since CMS is testing the Part D Senior Savings Model to lower costs and improve health care quality, it has a set period for when it’s available. Part D plans participating in the Model first became available on January 1, 2021. The Model extends until December 31, 2025, but the plans participating in the Model may change each year. Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121, if you have any questions or concerns.

Continue Reading

What plans are part of the Part D Senior Savings Model?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (also known as CMS, the federal agency that approves Medicare plans) announced Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) and Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) that are participating in the Model for Calendar Year (CY) 2022 in September 2021. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE to ask questions about enrollment, eligibility, and the Model, or visit Medicare Plan Finder at https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/ to search for coverage in your area and compare Part D plan options with the lowest prices for your prescriptions. You can also find a list of participating plans on the Model website at https://innovation.cms.gov/media/document/pdss-2022-model-landscape-file. If you have any questions, please contact… Read More

Continue Reading

New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in December 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 requirement that provides some helpful clarification. Employers with fully insured or self-funded (includes level funded) group health plans, including grandfathered plans, church plans subject to the Internal Revenue Code, and governmental plans. The term “group… Read More

Continue Reading

Clarification of the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency

The memo clarified that the COVID-19 pandemic does not currently qualify for the SEP for Government Entity-Declared Disaster or Other Emergency (disaster SEP); however, it does qualify for the Exceptional Circumstances SEP. What you need to know: As a result of this guidance, do not submit enrollments for clients impacted by COVID-19 using the disaster SEP. Going forward, any new enrollments submitted for this reason will be declined.

Continue Reading