Pennie: 1095-A Tax Form Available for Customers

The 1095-A tax form has been delivered to Pennie customers for their 2022 tax returns. The 2022 1095-A Form: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement has been delivered to customers’ Pennie Secure inboxes. Important: The 1095-A reflects a Pennie customer’s 2022 enrollment information. Click here to learn more about 1095-A forms. Have any questions regarding your Pennie account or the 1095-A tax form? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is a stand-alone dental plan?

A type of dental plan offered through the Marketplace that’s not included as part of a health plan. You may want this if the health coverage you choose doesn’t include dental, or if you want different dental coverage. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns today at (215)355-2121.

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Blue KC: 2023 member guides and handbooks now available

The 2023 commercial and ACA member guides and Medicare Advantage member handbook are now available. Clients will receive these documents through a variety of touchpoints. Please keep them handy as a quick reference to Blue KC plan benefits and features and to share them with clients as needed. Employer/Group Medicare Advantage ACA Individual and Family Plans Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Final Rule on ACA Reporting and 2022 Forms and Instructions

On December 12, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released final regulations with respect the ACA reporting requirements. These rules are substantially similar to the proposed rule issues in November last year. The final rule: Applicable large employers (“ALEs”) have until March 2, 2023 (rather than January 31, 2023) to furnish Forms 1095-C for calendar year 2022 to full-time employees and other individuals. The final rule does not extend the deadline to file completed Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) with the IRS. The due date remains March 31, 2023 (or February 28, 2023 for paper filing if filing fewer than 250 forms). On December 15, 2022,… Read More

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Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum Adjustments Announced for 2024

On December 13, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published the “payment parameters” portion of its Annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2024 (“the Notice”). For purposes of employer-sponsored health plans, the guidance includes the caps on out-of-pocket dollar limits for non-grandfathered group health plans with plan years that begin in 2024. Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)?

A type of health plan that contracts with medical providers, such as hospitals and doctors, to create a network of participating providers. You pay less if you use providers that belong to the plan’s network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network for an additional cost. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions today at (215)355-2121.

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Prescription drug list updates effective January 1, 2023

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) Medical and Pharmacy Management Committee has reviewed the Prescription Drug Lists (PDLs) and other pharmacy programs for drug safety, effectiveness, clinical outcomes, and cost. As a result, ACA small employer groups, non-ACA small employer groups (including level funded ASO) large employer groups, and ACA individual and family plan members will see the following formulary updates, effective January 1, 2023. Click here to read for more information. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today with any questions at (215)355-2121.

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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

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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.

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Using your health insurance coverage & getting emergency care

In an emergency, you should get care from the closest hospital that can help you. That hospital will treat you regardless of whether you have insurance. Your insurance company can’t charge you more for getting emergency room services at an out-of-network hospital. I’m having an emergency. Should I go straight to the hospital or do I need to call my insurer first? In a true emergency, go straight to the hospital. Insurers can’t require you to get prior approval before getting emergency room services from a provider or hospital outside your plan’s network. What does it mean that insurance companies can’t charge me more? Insurance plans can’t make you pay… Read More

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What is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)?

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are employer-funded group health plans from which employees are reimbursed tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a fixed dollar amount per year. Unused amounts may be rolled over to be used in subsequent years. The employer funds and owns the arrangement. Health Reimbursement Arrangements are sometimes called Health Reimbursement Accounts. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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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.

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Blue KC: Enhanced ACA Subsidies to Extend Through 2025

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has provided enhanced ACA premium subsidies for people who purchased a plan through the Marketplace. It did so by removing the income cap, which limited subsidies to households with incomes from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty line. With no income cap, premiums have been limited to just 8.5% of income – for everyone. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law on August 16, extends these subsidies for three years for millions of Americans who buy individual coverage under the ACA. This bill will “save millions of people an average of $800 a year on health insurance premiums,” said Chiquita… Read More

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What are Qualified Medical Expenses?

Qualified Medical Expenses are generally the same types of services and products that otherwise could be deducted as medical expenses on your yearly income tax return. Some Qualified Medical Expenses, like doctors’ visits, lab tests, and hospital stays, are also Medicare-covered services. Services like dental and vision care are Qualified Medical Expenses, but aren’t covered by Medicare. Qualified Medical Expenses could count toward your Medicare MSA Plan deductible only if the expenses are for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services. Each year, you should get a 1099-SA form from your bank that includes all of the withdrawals from your account. You’ll need to show that you’ve had Qualified Medical… Read More

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10 Steps to Use a Medicare MSA Plan

Choose and join a high-deductible Medicare MSA Plan. You set up an MSA with a bank the plan selects. Medicare gives the plan an amount of money each year for your health care. The plan deposits some money into your account. You can use the money in your account to pay your health care costs, including health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare. When you use account money for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services, it counts towards your plan’s deductible. If you use all of the money in your account and you have additional health care costs, you’ll have to pay for your Medicare-covered services out0of-pocket until… Read More

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What is a Qualified Health Plan?

An insurance plan that’s certified by the Health Insurance Marketplace®, provides essential health benefits, follows established limits on cost-sharing (like deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts), and meets other requirements under the Affordable Care Act. All qualified health plans meet the Affordable Care Act requirement for having health coverage, known as “minimum essential coverage.” As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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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.

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Beam Teams with Angle Health to Deliver Dynamic Employee Benefits

Beam Dental is partnered with Angle Health, a digital-first healthcare benefits providers for the modern employee. Through the partnership with Beam, Angle can now attach best-in-class dental benefits to their innovative healthcare products, creating a more comprehensive and robust benefits package for employers. “There is tremendous activity and innovation in the small group health space right now. Angle is an exciting addition to this space,” said Andy Hutter, Beam’s Director of Digital Distribution. “Angle’s vision for modernizing healthcare aligns well with Beam’s own vision, and we are very excited to deliver a powerful combination of innovative coverage to the market.” Beam is changing and modernizing the dental insurance industry by… Read More

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How does the Marketplace verify immigration status?

The Marketplace verifies the citizenship and immigration statuses of consumers applying for Marketplace coverage using several electronic systems. Citizenship and immigration information submitted in the Marketplace eligibility application will be checked against the Marketplace’s trusted data sources, including the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Internal Revenue Service. If a consumer’s citizenship or immigration status cannot be verified, the Marketplace will notify the consumer of an inconsistency or data matching issue on their initial eligibility notice and ask them to submit additional information to resolve the inconsistency. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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What is medical underwriting?

A process used by insurance companies to try to figure out your health status when you’re applying for health insurance coverage to determine whether to offer you coverage, at what price, and with what exclusions or limits. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Can consumers who qualify for COBRA continuation coverage opt out of it and get coverage through the Marketplace instead?

Consumers who qualify for COBRA coverage can opt out of it and enroll in Marketplace coverage. However, voluntarily terminating COBRA continuation coverage does not make a consumer eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) based on loss of the COBRA continuation coverage. Note that all qualified enrollees eligible for COBRA continuation coverage can get the Marketplace subsidy, not just the employee who qualifies for the COBRA benefit, as long as they are not actually enrolled in the COBRA continuation coverage. As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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Open Enrollment Tips from Total Benefit Solutions!

As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Eliminates Cost Sharing for Adult Vaccines in Medicare Part D and Improves Access to Adult Vaccines in Medicaid & CHIP

Medicare Part D: Eliminates cost sharing for adult vaccines covered under Medicare Part D that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), such as for shingles Medicaid and CHIP: Requires state Medicaid and CHIP programs to cover all approved vaccines recommended by ACIP and vaccine administration, without cost sharing Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Expands Eligibility for Full Benefits Under the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program

The Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Program helps beneficiaries with their Part D premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing. Beneficiaries qualify for full or partial benefits depending on their income and resources. Current law: Beneficiaries qualify for full LIS benefits if they have income up to 135% of poverty and lower resources (up to $9,900 individual, $15,600 couple in 2022) Beneficiaries qualify for partial LIS benefits if they have income between 135-150% of poverty and higher resources (up to $15,510 individual, $30,950 couple in 2022) Inflation Reduction Act: Expands eligibility for full LIS benefits to individuals with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty and higher resources (at or below the… Read More

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Blue KC: Employer/Group Open Enrollment Dates – Mark Your Calendar

Blue KC is pleased to offer two open enrollment deadlines – one for physical ID cards and one for digital ID cards – to provide flexibility to new and renewing groups. Benefit information and open enrollment files/eligibility updates must be submitted to Blue KC based on the following schedule to ensure new ID cards are available to members by January 1, 2023: November 1, 2022 – Paperwork Deadline November 21, 2022 – Eligibility File – Physical ID Card December 16, 2022 – Eligibility File – Digital ID Card Please note: Small groups that make plan changes after this timeframe will receive updated ID cards once their plan changes have been… Read More

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