Inflation Reduction Act: Establishing the Negotiated “Maximum Fair Price” for Medicare

The upper limit for the negotiated price of a drug (the “maximum fair price”) is equal to the lower of: The drug’s enrollment-weighted negotiated price (net of all price concessions) for a Part D drug; The average sales price for a Part B drug; or A percentage of the non-federal average manufacturer price (i.e., the average price wholesalers pay manufactures for drugs distributed to non-federal purchasers), depending on FDA approval date: 75% for small-molecule drugs more than 9 years but less than 12 years beyond FDA approval; 65% for drugs between 12 and 16 years beyond FDA approval; and 40% for drugs more than 16 years beyond FDA approval Financial… Read More

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How to File a Medicare Appeal

Medicare beneficiaries have the right to file an appeal when they or their physicians disagree with a treatment or claim denial. Luckily Medicare provides a step by step instruction guide to filing those appeals. Please click the link below to downlead the Medicare appeals guide. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Inc Medicare health insurance specialist at (215)355-2121 if you have any additional questions or concerns.

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Part D Senior Savings Model: Will step therapy apply with insulin drugs?

Step therapy is when a Part D plan requires enrollees to first try certain drugs to treat a medical condition before the plan will cover another drug for that condition. The Model doesn’t change Part D sponsors’ formulary requirements. Enrollees can find out if the insulin or insulins they use have any additional step therapy requirements or limits by looking at the Part D plan’s formulary. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121.

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What Insulin Drugs are Covered Under the Part D Senior Savings Model?

Part D sponsors are required to include at least one vial and pen dosage form for each of the different types of Model insulins, where available – rapid acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting and long-acting – at a maximum $35 copay for a one-month supply through the deductible, initial coverage, and coverage gap phases of the benefit. Part D sponsors are encouraged to include additional insulin formulations, such as concentrated insulins, at the same $35 copay for a one-month supply. The Model doesn’t affect the cost sharing of insulin covered under Part B. For a full list of the insulin drugs covered by each plan, as well as which drugs are covered… Read More

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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

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Understanding the Health Care Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act includes several landmark health care provisions that would lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare, reduce Medicare drug spending and extend enhanced subsidies for Affordable Care Act marketplace coverage. On Thursday, August 11, a panel of KFF experts held a web briefing to explain these provisions and how they would affect people and federal health spending, followed by a Question and Answer session. Click here to open article and view Web Event video. The legislation for the first time would require the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers over the price of some high-cost drugs in the Medicare… Read More

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CMS Updates Medicare Enrollment Rules for 2023

On April 22, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed implementation of parts of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) to simplify Medicare enrollment. According to Medicare.gov, these changes will go into effect January 1, 2023. Generally speaking, the new Medicare enrollment rules will allow for a more straightforward enrollment process that reduces potential gaps in coverage. They also allow for more Special Enrollment Periods and extend some Part B coverage to certain beneficiaries. But, what are the specifics? All facts and figures can be found in CMS’ fact sheet on the provisions, unless specifically linked elsewhere. Current Medicare Enrollment Rules Currently, when Medicare coverage actually starts after enrollment… Read More

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What is a Medicare Coverage Gap?

Most plans with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) have a coverage gap (called a “donut hole”). This means that after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit. Once you have spent up to the yearly limit, your coverage gap ends and your drug plan helps pay for covered drugs again. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Did you know? Aetna Medicare Supplement Members can pay their premiums now at CVS stores?

Members with Aetna Medicare Supplement policies can now pay their monthly premiums at their local CVS store. Their billing statements (for premiums less than $999) will have a unique barcode, which they can take to their local CVS store. The cashier will scan it just like they do any other CVS merchandise. Members can then pay their premiums by cash, debit card, or credit card. NOTE: The pay in store option is not available at CVS in Target stores at this time. If you have any questions, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc Medicare supplement specialists at (215)355-2121

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How Medicare Works Part A

How Medicare Works Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides health insurance for people 65 and older and individuals younger than 65 who may qualify due to certain disabilities. There are four different parts to Medicare — Part A, B, C, and D. Click the icons below to learn more about each part! Medicare Part A Medicare Part A can be thought of as your hospital insurance. It helps to pay for your stay at a health care facility, whether that be a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or nursing home, among others. If you’re admitted as an inpatient, Medicare Part A covers many services like meals, a semi-private room,… Read More

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SHOP Rules Finalized, Enrollment Forms Simplified

The Small Business Health Options Program’s (SHOP) place along the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) timeline. It’s now being packaged for mass consumption and soon will be stocked on store shelves across all 50 states. Click here to read more…

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New York Health Exchanges Offer 50% Drop in Premiums

Empire State approves plans to be sold by 17 insurers and lower expected premiums may ease fears that next year’s implementation of the biggest parts of the Affordable Care Act would send prices soaring… Click here to read the story

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IBC: Important change to claims processing for PPO plans

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will begin notifying customers later this week regarding a change in how claims for certain out-of-network providers will be processed under their IBC Personal Choice® PPO health plan. This change impacts fully insured, self-funded, and Individual commercial Personal Choice® PPO plans only. There is no impact to Medicare plans. Effective November 1, 2013, members who have claims submitted by providers who participate in the Highmark Blue Shield (Highmark) professional provider network inside IBC’s five-county service area will be subject to higher out-of-pocket costs and may also be subject to balance billing. Currently, claims submitted by a participating Highmark professional provider are processed as out of network and applied… Read More

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Health Reform: Research Filing Fees Due July 31

The Research Fee filing deadline is July 31, 2013 for self-funded medical plans and HRAs  Insurance carriers will report and pay the Fee for fully insured plans.  If an employer has several self-insured arrangements with the same plan year, they are subject to a single fee.  An HRA integrated with a self-funded plan providing major medical coverage will not incur a separate fee specific to the HRA if the HRA and plan are established or maintained by the same plan sponsor.  Click below to download the bulletin   Research Fees Due    Interested in our free Health Care Reform Checklist? send an email  

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Health Reform: Aetna to distribute MLR rebates

By August 1st, Aetna is scheduled to mail rebate notices and checks to policyholders and subscribers whose plans are due a rebate under the Minimum Medical Loss Ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act. For group plans, rebate checks will be sent to the policyholder, with few exceptions. Please click the link below to download the bulletin. Click to download

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NJDOBI Issues Amendments to Rating Rules under PPACA

NJDOBI Issues Amendments to IHC and SEH Rating Rules under PPACA For rates applicable to all rating periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014, carriers are directed to: Formulate rates in the IHC market to achieve a required 300 percent maximum ratio between premiums for the highest rated individual policyholder and the lowest rated individual policyholder in the State. Age factor categories should be in the following increments: children ages 0 through 20, one-year age bands for adults ages 21 through 63, and a single age band for adults ages 64 and over; Formulate rates in the SEH market without regard to gender. Age factor categories should be in… Read More

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Healtcare Reform Law

Health Insurance Marketplaces (Exchanges): Informational Video

Beginning in 2014, individuals and small businesses with up to 50 employees can purchase insurance through online exchanges, also called “health insurance marketplaces.” Each exchange will offer a choice of health plans that meet certain benefit and cost standards. In 2016, businesses with up to 100 employees will be able to participate. Coventry Health/Aetna recently released this easy to understand video that may help you understand the new exchange or” marketplace” system of buying health insurance. Click here to watch the six minute long video.

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Medicare: What Will Happen to Doctors’ Fees and Income Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

Q:What Will Happen to Doctors’ Fees and Income Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? A: Business income has increased for doctors because many people on Medicare are now using free screenings and an annual “wellness visit” provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through Oct. 6, 2011, the government said, 20.5 million people enrolled in Medicare had received the free screenings or the annual visit, which is also free. Medicare is now offering a 10 percent bonus payment on the fees charged for primary care services, and a 10 percent bonus payment to surgeons who work in areas where there are shortages of doctors. For 2013 and 2014, Medicaid payments… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions Newest Brochure

  Download our latest brochure to read all about the valuable services we provide for our clients! Download our latest employee benefits brochure

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PPACA employer mandate delayed until 2015

PPACA employer mandate delayed until 2015 The Obama administration unexpectedly announced Tuesday it is delaying the employer mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until 2015. The mandate — which requires mid-sized and large employers to offer health insurance coverage to their workers — was one of the main requirements of the health care overhaul that was set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. But the Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would delay its enforcement an entire year after hearing numerous concerns from employers about the challenges of its implementation. “We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement… Read More

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Prodigy Learning Center’s Executive Director is a Happy Client

Hi Ed, I just wanted to let you know how great (our account manager) has been with our insurance issues. She has been so helpful to me. I don’t know if people take the time to tell you when your staff is doing a great job, but I wanted to let you know. She is great!!   Thanks. Christine Viteo, R.N. Executive Director Prodigy Learning Center Philadelphia, Pa.19132

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EMA Group to become Total Benefit Solutions Inc!

The health insurance industry is on its way to a major overhaul by the end of this year. With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), nearly every American will be affected by the new law and many already have.  With this in mind, we have decided to refocus our efforts to better serve our clients in alignment with the new world of health benefits. We are proud to announce that beginning August 1, 2013; EMA Group Inc. will be known as Total Benefit Solutions Inc.  Although our name is changing; our commitment to provide top notch guidance and support to our clients will never change.… Read More

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IBC Requesting tobacco data

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and effective January 1, 2014, insurers are permitted to use the following four categories to determine premiums:   Age Family Size Geography Tobacco   To comply with this provision, IBC will be implementing a new process to collect tobacco usage as part of their rating methodology for groups with 2-50 employees and sole proprietors.   Over the next several days, IBC will send letters to employers with January 1, 2014 renewal dates to gather this information. In the mailing, there will be a letter and a Tobacco Use Form, that must be completed for each of their employees and dependents age 21 and over… Read More

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Healtcare Reform Law

First PCORI Fees Due by July 31, 2013

Revised IRS Form 720 Now Available for Employers Sponsoring HRAs and Other Self-Insured Plans to Report and Pay PCORI Fees   First PCORI Fees Due by July 31, 2013 The IRS has revised Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, for employers sponsoring certain self-insured health plans to report and pay new fees imposed under Health Care Reform to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The fees, which must be reported annually on the second quarter Form 720 and paid by its due date, July 31st, are based on the average number of lives covered under a plan. Affected Self-Insured Plans PCORI fees are imposed on plan sponsors of… Read More

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