United Healthcare Members can now get up to eight COVID-19 at home tests at no cost

Members can now get up to eight COVID-19 at home tests at no cost to them On Jan. 10, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services released guidance to support the Administration’s directive that health insurers and group health plans cover, subject to certain criteria, the cost of FDA-authorized or approved over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 at home tests beginning on Jan. 15, 2022.  On Jan. 15, 2022, UnitedHealthcare began covering most commercial individual and group health plan members’ FDA-authorized or approved OTC COVID-19 at home tests without a doctor’s prescription or clinical assessment. This COVID-19 at home test benefit includes up to 8 tests per member per… Read More

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Expanding Coverage for COVID-19 Testing

On January 10, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (together, the “Departments”) issued FAQ Part 51 requiring group healthplans to cover, without cost-sharing, over-the-counter (“OTC”) COVID-19 diagnostic tests obtained without the involvement of a health care provider. This provision iseffective for OTC COVID-19 tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022, and continues for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (currently set to expire January16, 2022 – however another 90-day extension is expected). Group health insurance plans (and health insurance carriers) must cover diagnostic OTC COVID-19 tests obtained without the involvement of a health care provider without cost-sharing, prior authorization, or other medical… Read More

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What is a missing tooth clause?

It’s estimated that 69% of adults from 35 to 44 years old have lost at least one permanent tooth. When a person loses a tooth — whether because of a severe cavity, mouth injury, or another issue — a dentist can replace it with a dental implant, bridge, crown, or dentures. These procedures are considered “major” by most dental insurance companies, meaning they’re more costly (both for them and the member) than a routine cleaning or even a filling.  Under a dental plan with a missing tooth clause, insurance won’t cover the cost of the replacement procedure if the tooth was extracted or fell out before the current coverage began for… Read More

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Additional Medicare Tax for High Earners

Employers are required to withhold an Additional Medicare Tax at a rate of 0.9% on wages or compensation paid to anemployee above the following threshold amounts for the employee’s filing status:   Filing Status Threshold Amount Married Filing Jointly $250,000 Married Filing Separately  $125,000 Head of Household (with qualifying person)Single  $200,000 Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child $200,000              Click below to read the rest of the details including Employer notices. As always if you have any questions please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance specialists at (215)355-2121 Download Additional Medicare Tax for High Earners

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Build Back Better Legislation Includes Benefit Provisions

During the last week of October 2021, the Biden administration announced a new framework for the budget reconciliation package, known as the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Subsequently, the U.S. House of Representatives released the legislative text and a section-by-section summary of the new framework. The legislation is still being negotiated, and the timing for when a vote is expected is uncertain. If the proposed legislation is enacted into law in its current form, the following provisions would have notable impacts on employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit programs. Increased employer contributions to avoid penalties under the ACA employer mandate The 9.61% affordability percentage for 2022 would be reduced to 8.5% (with… Read More

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Total Benefit Solutions Inc chosen as top health insurance agency in Philadelphia

We scored Philadelphia Health Insurance Agencies on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best. Total Benefit Solutions Inc chosen as top health insurance agency in Philadelphia by expertise.com

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2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully Insured Plans

As a reminder, insurance carriers are required to satisfy certain medical loss ratio (“MLR”) thresholds. This generally means that for every dollar of premium a carriercollects with respect to a major medical plan; it should spend 85 cents in the large group market (80 cents in the small group market) on medical care and activitiesto improve health care quality. If these thresholds are not satisfied, rebates are available to employers in the form of a premium credit or check.If a rebate is available, carriers are required to distribute MLR checks to employers by September 30, 2021. Click here to download this bulletin: 2021 MLR Rebate Checks Recently Issued to Fully… Read More

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How is COBRA health insurance affected if I am disabled?

  In certain circumstances, if a disabled individual  and non-disabled family members are qualified beneficiaries, they are eligible for up to an 11-month extension of COBRA continuation coverage, for a total of 29 months.  The criteria for this 11-month disability extension is a complex area of COBRA law.  We provide general information below, but if you have any questions regarding your disability and public sector COBRA, we encourage you to email us at phig@cms.hhs.gov. In general, the COBRA qualifying event must be a termination of employment or a reduction of the covered employee’s employment hours.  Second, the covered employee must be determined under title II or title XVI of the… Read More

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CMS Extends Open Enrollment Period

On September 17, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a series of provisions that follow through on President Biden’s commitment to build on the Affordable Care Act, expand health coverage access for Americans and advance health equity. The provisions are the third installment of the payment notice for 2022.   There are several important policy updates that Marketplace agents and brokers should be aware of prior to the beginning of the plan year 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP). These provisions include: An extension of the OEP from November 1, 2021, to January 15, 2022, annually for Marketplaces on the federal platform. Clarification for Special Enrollment Period… Read More

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Dental & Vision Plans for Families

  Getting a quality dental plan when you are self employed or don’t have employer coverage can be a real challenge.  But don’t worry! The professionals at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc work for your benefit! We have provided this easy to use online portal to help you shop, compare and enroll on a great plan of your choice!  We can walk through the options with you or you can enroll on the portal on your own, whatever you choose! Questions about these dental benefits? Just give us a call (215)355-2121.  Click here to find and compare dental and vision plans!   

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Anthem Blue Cross: New agreement with Trinity Health System extends access through 2025

August 20, 2021 We notified you last month that the previous agreement with Trinity Health System ended August 1. They have reached a new agreement that will assure continued access to affordable healthcare at Trinity Health hospitals, physicians, and affiliated care providers through 2025. We will continue our collaborative work to serve the community and look for innovative ways to help solve challenges together. Questions? reach out to your Total Benefit Solutions group account manager at (215)355-2121 https://www.totalbenefits.net

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Medicare Supplement Plan F or G?

  Many of our clients ask what is the “best” Medicare supplement that they can buy. While there is no overall “best”, the Medicare Supplement Plan F is generally considered the most comprehensive coverage among Medicare supplements due to the fact that most services are covered without any member co-pay or cost sharing at all. Keep in mind that Medicare supplements, like Plan F do not cover prescriptions and that a beneficiary with Medicare supplement will need to have other coverage for prescription drug coverage.  A little known fact about Medicare supplements is that they do not have an annual “open enrollment” period so a beneficiary with a supplement can… Read More

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AmeriHealth New Jersey prepares to comply with new Transparency requirements

From Amerihealth NJ: Health care and health insurance are among the most regulated industries in the U.S., making compliance a crucial requirement for success. AmeriHealth New Jersey has a strong track record of compliance to local, state, and federal guidelines, and we are working to comply with the new Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and Transparency in Coverage Rule (TCR) requirements. We have been focused on transparency for our members for years, and we are now further sharpening our efforts related to transparency and accountability pertaining to the recent legislation for which we have developed an enterprise-wide implementation program to ensure requirements are met. We have a cross-functional team that is… Read More

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HHS Extends Public Health Emergency until October 18, 2021

  On July 19, 2021, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), announced that the administration will renew the COVID-19 pandemic Public Health Emergency, scheduled to expire on July 20, 2021. This will once again extend the period for an additional 90 days and as a result, numerous temporary benefit plan changes will remain in effect. As previously noted, in a letter sent to state governors, HHS indicated that the agency expects that the Public Health Emergency will likely remain in place for all of 2021. While not formal agency action, it appears that HHS intends to continue to renew the Public Health Emergency through, at least, the end… Read More

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Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance Requirements – We’ve Got You Covered!

  Beginning August 1, 2021 and going through to December 31, 2021, Royal Caribbean Cruises departing from ports out of Florida will require unvaccinated passengers age 12 years and older to procure valid travel insurance prior to boarding. Coverage requirements include $25,000 per person in medical coverage and $50,000 per person for emergency medical evacuation with no COVID-19 exclusions. Don’t let this requirement halt your travel plans!  We have Trip Protection and global health insurance plans provide coverage that meet these requirements, as well as offering additional coverage like baggage loss/delay benefits and trip cancellation/interruption benefits. If you have any questions please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc health insurance… Read More

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How To Find a Doctor You Trust

How to Find a Doctor You Trust Get a list of in-network providers: Call your insurance company or look at their plan materials for a list of doctors in their network. You’ll usually pay less to see a doctor in your network than a doctor who’s out-of-network. You can also call your Broker and they can help assist you in getting the names of Doctors near you that accept your plan. Do your research: Ask friends and family if they recommend their doctors. You may even be able to read online reviews for doctors in your area. Online reviews are a great way to gauge things such as bedside manner and wait… Read More

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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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End of Summer Social Media Drive 2018

Please help us get the word out on social media in August & September You Could Win a $25-$100 Amazon Gift Card!!! While everyone is getting ready for the End of Season BBQs, gearing up for Back-to-School, and trying to fit in as much adventure as possible the next few weeks, we here at Total Benefit Solutions are getting ready for our busiest time of year: Open Enrollments! Your friends and family members may not be concerned with the open enrollment period.. YET, but it is quickly approaching and we’d like to help them! As always, We appreciate all the referrals and recommendations that we get online from everyone, but we… Read More

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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

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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

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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

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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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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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