Ways to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

Prescriptions costs are skyrocketing. We all know that. But did you know that there are several ways for people to save money on their monthly medications? As health insurance plans are becoming more catastrophic in nature, that means that people will need to become better health care consumers. Sometimes that means using the tools that the insurance company offers at no charge. Sometimes it means using discounts and other resources that are available outside the health plan. Here are a few ways, some already widely known and others not so much, to help drop down your costs at the Pharmacy. While this is not a comprehensive list of money-saving ideas, it is… Read More

Continue Reading

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option for small groups

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. Ask us today if self funding could be a good fit for your organization! Call your Total Benefit Solutions Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information! Learn more here: AFA-Customer-Flyer New! Minute Clinic Benefit! $0 Copay Minute Clinic Visits Flyer More Documents for downloading: Springboard Marketplace Your Online Administration and Enrollment Portal AFA AppleWatch Wellness Flyer AFA Sample Usage Reports Aetna & Teledoc for AFA AETNA… Read More

Continue Reading

Aetna Funding Advantage for Small Businesses

Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) is a new self-funded option that provides all of the financial and plan design flexibility of a traditional arrangement with special features designed to help companies with as few as 2 employees achieve even greater savings on their health insurance. The benefits of self-funding have traditionally been considered by larger companies. But Aetna Funding Advantage has changed that. It is specifically designed to be attractive and affordable for small businesses like yours. Watch this short video and download the documents below for some information. As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions, concerns or would like to learn… Read More

Continue Reading

Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs

  Under the Affordable Care Act, a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) must be integrated with a group health plan (as it could not meet the market reform provisions on its own) and was not able to reimburse employees for individual premiums. However, on December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which established QSEHRAs (a special standalone HRA). Click to Download Guidance Issued on QSEHRAs This guidance is big news for small groups who would prefer to provide a reimbursement as opposed to a group health plan. Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.  

Continue Reading

2018 Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment: PA Independence Individual Consumer Plans and Rates

  Individual Health Insurance Open Enrollment 2018! Don’t do it yourself! Our dedicated professionals are here to help you take the fits out of the benefit planning process!  One mistake and you could be stuck with a bad plan all year! We work with all available plans both on the healthcare.gov marketplace and off! Have your own expert help you! Our experts are trained to help you Choose between on and off exchange options Maximize any subsidy eligibility. Help you understand the cost sharing subsidies Help you choose the plan that is the best fit for you Explain the differences between the plan design and your out of pocket expectations Fill… Read More

Continue Reading

BREAKING: Aetna to withdraw from New Jersey Small Employer ACA market in 2018

Aetna to withdraw from New Jersey Small Employer ACA market in 2018  Due to mounting financial losses and an uncertain marketplace outlook, Aetna has made the decision to leave the Individual market in New Jersey. Regrettably, this decision also impacts our New Jersey small employer ACA insured medical products. New Jersey law requires a carrier to withdraw from the insured small employer market if it is withdrawing from the individual market.  As such, Aetna will withdraw all of its commercial (fully insured) medical plans offered in the small employer health insurance market. What this means Health insurance coverage for New Jersey small employer clients will end at midnight on the… Read More

Continue Reading

House Passes Bill to Repeal ACA

Just six weeks after the House leaders failed to muster the votes to pass an earlier version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republicans narrowly passed their health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare with a 217 to 213 vote on Thursday… Click the link below to download the bulletin with important points: Download House Passes Bill to Repeal Obamacare

Continue Reading

Video: Our New Online Enrollment System

Watch this short video to get a quick overview of our new employee enrollment system with Ease Central!   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions about our new enrollment system with Ease Central!

Continue Reading

Breaking News: CMS Announces Open Enrollment Dates and More

CMS issued final rule to increase choices and encourage stability in health insurance markets for 2018 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final Market Stabilization rule to help lower premiums and stabilize individual and small group markets, and to increase choices for Americans. Individuals obtaining coverage in the Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act have faced double-digit premium increases, fewer plans to choose from, and a market that continues to be threatened by insurance issuer exits.*  The CMS rule is designed to provide some relief for patients and issuers now. “CMS is committed to ensuring access to high quality affordable healthcare for all Americans and… Read More

Continue Reading

GOP Pulls AHCA Before Vote

On Friday, March 24, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives pulled the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) from consideration after not receiving enough Republican support to pass the bill. The AHCA was President Trump’s first attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). The AHCA, among other things, would have eradicated the penalties associated with the individual and employer mandates, and replaced the ACA subsidies with refundable tax credits. Download GOP Pulls AHCA Before Vote

Continue Reading

Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through Calendar Year 2018

Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through Calendar Year 2018   A previously extended transitional policy which allows health insurance issuers, at their option, to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled has been extended further—to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2018, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2018. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Extended Transitional Policy At the option of the states, issuers that have renewed policies under the transitional policy continually since 2014 may be permitted to… Read More

Continue Reading

Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back!

Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers are Back! The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016, gave small employers a means of providing employees help with their individual insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses without violating the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Small employers can now provide a specific kind of Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to help employees with the costs of individual health coverage. According to the statutory language under “Title XVIII – Other Provisions” of the Act, qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs) are not considered “group health plans” and do not have to adhere to ACA market reforms,… Read More

Continue Reading

Trump Issues Executive Order To Curb Some Parts Of ACA.

Trump Issues Executive Order To Curb Some Parts Of ACA. The New York Times  (1/20, Davis, Pear, Subscription Publication) reported that on Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order  to government agencies directing them “to scale back as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama’s signature health care law.” According to the Times, the one-page order “has symbolic as well as substantive significance, allowing Mr. Trump to claim he acted immediately to do away with a health care law he has repeatedly called disastrous, even while it remains in place and he… Read More

Continue Reading

Relief for Small Employers with HRAs

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which allows small employers without group medical plans to reimburse individual premiums and other medical expenses of employees under health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”), effective with the 2017 plan year, and provides relief from penalties to all small employers reimbursing individual premiums of employees for earlier plan years. In addition, the Cures Act provides a medical innovation package that funds medical research, accelerates cutting-edge treatments for rare diseases, and makes significant reforms to the mental health system. The Issue An employer cannot offer employees cash to reimburse the purchase of an individual policy, without regard to whether… Read More

Continue Reading

Health Reform: 4th Quarter 2016 Compliance Compilation

Download a digest of our fourth quarter compliance bulletins. This digest includes the following bulletins:  Transitional Reinsurance Fee Form Now Available 10/14/2016 Final 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C Available 10/25/2016 November 2017 Cost of Living Adjustments 11/01/2016 Relief Extended for Premium Reimbursement Programs for Student Employees 11/02/2016 Updates Regarding the NJ Small Employer Health Benefits Program 11/07/2016 Election Results and the ACA: Preliminary Thoughts 11/10/2016 16 Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C 11/21/2016 Adjusted PCOR Fee for Fifth Filing Year Released 11/22/2016 December Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as HIPAA Privacy Audit Letter 12/13/2016   Click here to download the 4th quarter compliance compilation

Continue Reading

New Law Exempts Certain Small Employer HRAs From ACA Market Reforms

New Law Exempts Certain Small Employer HRAs From ACA Market Reforms Gaddiel Gonzalez-Brown & Brown Consulting President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other things, allows small employers to offer new “qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements” to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. Small employers are defined as those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan.   Background Under prior agency guidance, stand-alone HRAs (except for retiree-only HRAs and HRAs consisting solely of excepted benefits) and HRAs used to purchase coverage on the individual… Read More

Continue Reading

IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C

  The IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C (and carriers to provide Forms 1095-B) to individuals (but NOT to the IRS). Rather than January 31, 2017, the new deadline will be March 2, 2017.  Download Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C

Continue Reading

Health Reform: Cost of Living Adjustments, Individual Penalty, HSA limits & more for 2017

    On October 25 and 27, 2016, the IRS released cost of living adjustments for 2017 under various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Some of these adjustments may affect your employee benefit plans. These adjustments include but are not limited to the following: Cafeteria Plans Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits Requirement To Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage (Individual Penalty) Highly Compensated Non-Grandfathered Plan Cost-Sharing Limits H.S.A. Annual contribution limitation, catch up contribution and minimum deductibles Key Employee   Click here to download the bulletin   As always if you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your dedicated Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121.

Continue Reading

Health Reform: IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C.

IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C. As applicable large employers and employers with self-funded health plans are working on their Affordable Care Act compliance preparations, the IRS announced an extension of a key ACA deadline. Notice 2016-70 extends the due date for furnishing Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.  The Notice also extends transition relief from penalties if an employer makes a “good faith effort” to comply with reporting requirements. This relief is welcome news for employers who are still working on their compliance approach. A copy of the notice can be downloaded here.

Continue Reading

Election Results and the ACA

With the outcome of the 2016 elections now official, the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of Congress and control of the White House beginning in 2017. Since President-elect Trump ran on a platform of “Replace and Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we anticipate that acting on this campaign promise will be one of the top priorities of the new Trump administration. We anticipate there will be significant disruption for individuals, employers, brokers and carriers across the country. Click here to read the latest bulletin

Continue Reading

IBC: Plans to remove exclusions for gender reassignment surgery coverage

  In a July Independence Edge article, we shared that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had issued a final rule for the nondiscrimination provision (section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the nondiscrimination provision itself is not new, the final rule provides expanded clarity on coverage for gender reassignment surgery and related services. In addition, it provides guidance on treating individuals consistent with their gender identity, and not denying or limiting health services usually only available to individuals of one gender. Beginning with renewals on or after January 1, 2017, the exclusion for gender reassignment surgery has been removed from all commercial plans. Members… Read More

Continue Reading

Individual and Family Open Enrollment-2017 Important Updates

As many people know by now there are many big changes with individual and family plans for open enrollment 2017. For anyone who is currently enrolled on one of the following your plan will NOT be renewed for 2017 and you will have to pick a new plan and/or a new insurer: Aetna: all plans cancelling  in PA/NJ/NC/FL  Aetna plans only remain in Delaware in our service area United Healthcare: All ACA plans cancelling. Short term plans are still available Oscar: All plans in NJ cancelling Health Republic: All plans in NJ cancelling Highmark and Capitol Blue Cross: No longer paying broker compensation Geisinger: No longer paying broker compensation Independence Blue… Read More

Continue Reading

ACA Individual 2017 Open Enrollment Important Update

2017 ACA ” Obamacare” plans open enrollment important update. The annual open enrollment period opens on November 1st 2016 and ends January 31st 2017. Independence Blue Cross will be the only insurer available in 2017 in the Philadelphia 5 County Area. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act changes come annually or even more often. Unfortunately not all of those changes are benefiting the consumer. This year here are some major changes that our clients on Individual Non Medicare plans need to be aware of… If you are a enrolled on an ACA compliant plan with Aetna or United Healthcare your plan is going away. Neither Aetna or United… Read More

Continue Reading

Opt-Out Bonuses May Affect Affordability

The IRS recently issued proposed regulations that (among other things) address affordability determinations for individuals who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage. Building on earlier guidance, the proposed rules describe the effect an opt-out waiver has on affordability. Should you have any questions, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager directly at (215)355-2121. Click here to download this bulletin

Continue Reading

HR 360:Most Common Summary Plan Description (SPD) Mistakes

One of the most important documents participants must receive automatically when becoming covered under a health benefit plan that is subject to ERISA (the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a summary of the plan, called the Summary Plan Description or SPD. The fact is, many employers are confused about this very important ERISA-required disclosure, which can put them at risk. Click this link to download the publication

Continue Reading