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

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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

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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

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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

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Health Care Reform: 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about the health care tax credit

  The Affordable Care Act’s small business health care tax credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Click the link below to download the whitepaper 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about this credit: 8 Things to Know About the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit For more information about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager at (215)355-2121 or visit your ThinkHR library at www.thinkhr.com and log in.     Watch a video below about the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

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How do I appeal a Marketplace decision?

  You can request an appeal of any Marketplace decision, including decisions about Your eligibility to buy coverage in the Marketplace Your eligibility for, or the amount of, premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions Your eligibility for an exemption from the penalty for not having health insurance Untimely (late) notice from the Marketplace about a decision To make your appeal, start by reviewing the Marketplace’s decision. You will have received the decision (called a determination notice) online if you initially applied online, or in the mail if you submitted a paper application. So far, in the federal Marketplace, the notice will not provide much detail to explain the reasons… Read More

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Now Available: Empower Me Benefits Private Exchange

Total Benefit Solutions has partnered with Empower Me Benefits to provide our clients with best in industry benefits technology that‘s customizable for even the smallest employer. The EmpowerMe Benefits Exchange allows you to remain complaint with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), easily manage benefits, and control health care costs with a single solution. The EmpowerMeBenefits Exchange is an online benefit marketplace and benefits administration platform designed specifically to meet the needs of small and mid-sized companies. The Exchange provides employers with an enrollment and administration platform that aids employers in ACA compliance. This web-based solution allows you to offer any medical coverage next to pre-selected ancillary, voluntary, and TPA products.… Read More

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Video: Are you eligible for a special enrollment period?

You might think that you have to wait for the annual open enrollment period to get enrolled. Think again! You may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Watch this short video to learn more, and then call us at  (215)355-2121!    

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IRS Webinar Series Offered on ACA Provisions

  The IRS is hosting a series of educational webinars to help you understand the Affordable Care Act’s employer provisions and related requirements. The IRS designed these webinars for business owners, tax managers, employee benefits managers, and health coverage providers.   Employer Shared Responsibility and Information Reporting Learn about the ACA’s employer shared responsibility provisions and information reporting requirements for employers and providers of minimum essential coverage. August 20, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. September 16, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Information Reporting Requirements for Applicable Large Employers Learn about employer-sponsored health coverage information reporting requirements for applicable large employers, including who is required to report, what information the… Read More

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IBC: 2015 SHOP Updates

For 2015, the Small business Health Options Program (SHOP) platform manages more processes and information. As a result, the involvement of insurance carriers has been reduced. Understanding how it will work this year will help you work with employers to decide if they should purchase coverage through SHOP or directly from Independence Blue Cross (Independence). Like last year, groups may still only offer one plan option to all employees. However, the application and setup processes are now managed entirely through SHOP instead of by insurance carriers. This means certain Independence benefits are no longer available. Independence will continue to provide member identification cards, process member claims, and provide member services to answer questions. Click the link below to download… Read More

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Health reform: CMS releases SHOP HOW-TO video for employees

 CMS releases SHOP video for employees   The SHOP enrollment for employees video has been posted by CMS. Please keep in mind that the employer group needs to be set up on the SHOP first. Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager if you have any questions about setting your organization up as a SHOP employer. Total Benefit Solutions, Inc is a certified SHOP independent broker. Click the video below to watch the video.      

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Lost your health coverage?

  Losing other health coverage, including losing a job-based plan, aging off a parent’s coverage at 26, losing coverage through divorce, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar events. Coverage can take effect: The first day of the month after you enroll and after the loss of coverage Enrollment window: From 60 days before to 60 days after losing your other coverage Important: If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based health coverage, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. But you don’t get an SEP if you voluntarily drop: a job-based plan without leaving your job; an individual insurance plan; unexpired COBRA coverage; or… Read More

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Lost your health coverage?

  Losing other health coverage, including losing a job-based plan, aging off a parent’s coverage at 26, losing coverage through divorce, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar events. Coverage can take effect: The first day of the month after you enroll and after the loss of coverage Enrollment window: From 60 days before to 60 days after losing your other coverage Important: If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based health coverage, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. But you don’t get an SEP if you voluntarily drop: a job-based plan without leaving your job; an individual insurance plan; unexpired COBRA coverage; or… Read More

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Small business tax concerns with SHOP

Initially created with the goal of helping small businesses comply with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has not been meeting expectations. Click here to read the full story on Benefits Pro As always your Total Benefit Solution team is available to answer YOUR questions about the Small Business SHOP at (215)355-2121.

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Group Health Plan Notices 2015 CALENDAR

Group Health Plan Notices 2015 CALENDAR From our partners at HR360: This calendar/checklist is designed to help companies review the key reporting and notice requirements that may apply to their employer-sponsored group health plans under ERISA , the Affordable cxare Act, Medicare and more. Please note that this list is for general reference purposes only and is not all-inclusive. Note: ERISA and benefit requirements are complex, and your plan’s responsibilities may vary depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your company’s plan. Employers who have questions are encouraged to consult with their plan administrators, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or a knowledgeable employment law attorney… Read More

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Is your small business eligible for the health care tax credit? Find Out-Health Care Tax Credit Estimator

Does your small business: Have 25 employees or less? Pay at lest 50% of the employee’s health insurance premium? Have average employee earnings of under $50,000 annually?   Then you may be eligible for the health care tax credit! Click here for the CMS HCTC estimator tool. As always contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions about the SHOP Marketplace of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.

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New tax form for individuals with coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace

Beginning in January 2015, the Health Insurance Marketplace Health and Human Services will be issuing a new 1095-A tax form to individuals who purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you or anyone in your household enrolled in a health plan through http://www.healthcare.gov you should receive the new tax form in the mail. You should use this form when filing your 2014 federal income tax return. For more information visit www.IRS.gov/ACA or www.healthcare.gov/taxes or contact your tax advisor. The following publications are also available: Health Care Law: What’s New for Individuals & Families  This is a large publication with many details. 3 Tips: The Marketplace and taxes Regarding your tax forms and… Read More

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Updated Healthcare Reform Calculators

Total Benefit Solutions Inc. has updated our healthcare reform calculators on our website, https://www.totalbenefits.net Calculators include: How much tax credit is my small group eligible for? What are the conditions required to get the tax credit? Pay or Play Mandate penalty-What is my risk as a group? Individual Subsidy Calculator Click here to get to our healthcare reform calculators.

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2014 Compliance Bulletin Compilation

Download our 2014 Compliance Bulletin Compilation, featuring all of our released compliance bulletins for the entire year!  Topics include, Health Savings Accounts, The Individual Mandate, Employer “pay or play” mandate, exemptions, FSA carryovers and much, much more. All of the bulletins are in an easy to search format for your convenience. 2014 Compliance Compilation – Download As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-02121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Plan cost inaccuracies found on HealthCare.gov

Consumers who have complex medical diagnoses that require specialty drugs should carefully examine the health insurance plans offered through the public exchange system to avoid incurring high costs for those drugs. But that task will be complicated by inaccuracies on the public exchange website. That’s the conclusion of an analysis of public exchange plans by Avalere Health. The study, in which researchers went through all available plans looking for “hidden” drug costs, found that silver plans in particular tend to place such drugs in specialty tiers in their 2015 formularies. Avalere said that 17 percent of silver plans contain two or more specialty drug tiers that will drive up out-of-pocket… Read More

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IBC: Effective January 1, 2015, HIPAA Certificates of Creditable Coverage are no longer required

On February 24, 2014, the United States Departments of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that addressed the requirement to provide HIPAA Certificates of Creditable Coverage (HIPAA Certificates) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the ACA prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions, the new rule eliminates the requirement to provide HIPAA Certificates beginning December 31, 2014. What does this mean for members?  Previously, when coverage was terminated for a member or his/her dependents, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) issued a HIPAA Certificate. Because the ACA prohibits the application of pre-existing condition exclusions, which applies to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered health plans, these certificates are no longer required. Effective January, 1,… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions is your Marketplace Navigator

What do you get with Total Benefit Solutions as your Marketplace Navigator? A broker who is Unbiased and objective  Trained Local Certified Licensed Insured Up to date Representing you Part of a team of dedicated professionals Click here for more information and to see our “Marketplace Navigator” brochure: Individual Enrollment Navigator Brochure  

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Health Reform: CMS finalizes auto-enrollment process for current Marketplace consumers

CMS finalizes auto-enrollment process for current Marketplace consumers CMS finalized its policy regarding how current Health Insurance Marketplace individual customers will renew their plans in 2015. Individuals who do not make an active 2015 plan selection will be auto-enrolled in the same plan with the same premium tax credit and other financial assistance, if applicable, as the 2014 plan year. Individuals are encouraged to return to the Marketplace to determine their current and accurate 2015 premium tax credit or cost-share reduction financial assistance.   Click here to read the entire release.   As always if you have any questions, concerns or need assistance enrolling, contact your Total Benefit Solutions ACA… Read More

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Health Reform: Eligibility for the SHOP Marketplace

Eligibility Requirements for the SHOP Marketplaces In 2015, small businesses that offer coverage through the Federally-facilitated SHOP (FF-SHOP) may be able to offer employees a choice of QHPs and qualified dental plans (QDP) within a given metal level or issuer, or a single QHP or QDP. To qualify for an FF-SHOP, a business must: Be located in an FF-SHOP’s service area (generally a state) Have at least one eligible employee on payroll Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees on payroll This methodology includes part-time employees, but not seasonal employees (those working fewer than 120 days per year). While the FF-SHOP must determine eligibility using the definitions above, State-based SHOP… Read More

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Health Reform: Guaranteed Renewability

Guaranteed Issue and Guaranteed Renewability The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance issuers to offer all of their individual market and group market plans to any applicant in the state. It also requires health insurance issuers to accept any individual who applies for those policies, as long as the applicant agrees to the terms and conditions of the policy, including the payment of premiums. This provision is called “guaranteed issue.” Coverage offered through and outside the Marketplaces may restrict guaranteed issue coverage to certain enrollment periods. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance issuers to offer to renew or continue in force coverage at the option of the policyholder. This… Read More

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