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Showing posts from March, 2023

Prescription Drug Reporting

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 enacted the No Surprises Act with the aim of bringing transparency to the healthcare industry. The NSA includes several provisions, including prescription drug data collection (RxDC report). The requirement applies to group health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual and group markets. The NSA requires health insurance issuers and group health plans to report information on prescription drugs and healthcare spending to the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury. This means that insurers and group health plans must provide information such as the total spending on prescription drugs, the number of individuals enrolled in the plan or issuer, and the total cost-sharing amounts paid by enrollees. Check out our Compliance Overview to discover all the requirements and deadlines for prescription drug reporting. For more information about  employee benefits, our services and products,  contact HANYS Benefit S

Prepare for new retirement plan reporting and audit methodology changes

The U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation released changes to the 2023 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF on Feb. 23. The revisions incorporate statutory amendments to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code enacted as part of the SECURE Act for multiple-employer plans and groups of plans. They also made changes that are “intended to improve reporting of certain plan financial information regarding audits and plan expenses and enhance the reporting of certain tax qualification and other compliance information by retirement plans.” Of particular note is a change in the participant-counting methodology for determining eligibility for simplified reporting alternatives available to “small plans” (generally plans with fewer than 100 participants).  Under the current methodology, an audit is required for all plans whose total number of participants with plan accounts as of the beginning of the plan year,  combined  with the number of participants who

Navigating the rising tide of drug costs: Effective strategies for employers

The increasing cost of prescription drugs in the United States is a major burden on employers and employees alike. With expenditures expected to reach $355 billion by 2022 and the relentless upward trend showing no signs of abating, now is the time for employers to critically assess their drug cost-saving options.   The Benefits Toolkit, Lowering Drug Costs offers insight into generic drugs, cost-saving programs, saving on specialty drugs and more. Dive in to learn how your organization can mitigate the impact of escalating pharmaceutical expenses on its bottom line and help employees save. For more information about employee benefits,our services and products , contact HANYS Benefit Services by  email  or call 800.388.1963. This Benefits Toolkit is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2017, 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Benefits Insights - Prescription Drug Pricing Trends

As prescription drug costs continue to increase, it’s important that employers understand the trends behind that rise and how they can better manage their expenses. Prescription drug cost drivers According to CMS, the U.S. spent over $348 billion on prescription drugs in 2020. Although prescription drug spending has historically been a small proportion of national healthcare costs compared to hospital and physician services, it’s grown rapidly in recent years. Let’s explore some of the key factors that have led to this steady rise in prescription drug costs and examine cost-cutting solutions for employers. Influx of specialty drugs Specialty medications account for a smaller portion of U.S. prescriptions than nonspecialty drugs; yet they now command over half of the pharmaceutical market — 53% of prescription drug spending in 2021 was for specialty drugs, according to a report by The Segal Group. Specialty medications often require special handling and administration and can be more co

Benefits Buzz - March 2023

  White House announces end of COVID-19 emergency On Jan. 30, the Biden administration announced it plans to end the COVID-19 public health emergency and national emergency on May 11 . The COVID-19 PHE and national emergency were declared in early 2020 and have been extended numerous times. The Biden administration plans to extend the emergency periods one last time until May 11. According to the White House, this timeline supports an orderly wind-down of emergency measures and aligns with its commitment to give at least 60 days’ notice before the termination of the PHE. The end of the COVID-19 emergency triggers the end of many emergency measures related to the federal government’s pandemic response, including some requirements for employer-sponsored health plans. When the PHE ends, health plans will no longer be required to cover COVID-19 diagnostic tests and related services without cost sharing. Non-grandfathered health plans will still be required to cover recommended preventive

What is telemedicine and what are its advantages?

Technology has advanced to overcome the traditional communication barriers of time and distance. The practice of telemedicine is a step forward in healthcare, using telecommunication to bridge the gap of time, distance and affordability to reach patients who need medical attention. What is telemedicine? Telemedicine uses technology to facilitate communication, whether real-time or delayed, between a doctor and patient who are not in the same physical location, for the purpose of medical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Advances in telecommunication allow the exchange of medical information from one site to another to serve patients in a clinical setting. Telemedicine advantages Telemedicine offers numerous benefits for both doctors and patients. Advantages of using telemedicine include: Remote access Communicating remotely with a doctor is a primary function of telemedicine. With this technology, doctors can reach patients in remote, rural and underserved areas where there might no