Tag Archives: 2018

Blue Choice SC Formulary Changes

This is an announcement from Blue Choice:

BlueChoice HealthPlan continually evaluates our prescription drug formularies and drug management programs to ensure effective management of quality and costs. We work with a group of independent doctors and pharmacists to assess our pharmacy programs and get recommendations.

Based on the group’s feedback, BlueChoice® will make minimal changes to theformularies, Prior Authorization and Quantity Management programs. All changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, unless noted otherwise. These changes apply to the BlueChoice Tiered Prescription Drug List for our large group and CarolinaADVANTAGE plans. We will send this communication to our group administrators to notify them of the changes.

Changes to Oxford Group Plans for 2018

For 2018, Oxford, while eliminating some plans, has increased the number of options to 46.  Increases for this year look to be around 5.2%.  Liberty advantage is new, with 2 referral-required plans.  Most of the plans have changed to a $20 Lab copay (from 100%), and the ER copay increasing to $700.  Rx deductibles on some plans are increasing from $100 to $200.

The pharmacy network on the Metro plan is the Value network (no CVS or Target).  The Metro network still does not include Northwell, Stonybrook, NYU or Maimonides.

From an underwriting standpoint, parental waivers will now be accepted as valid – critical on younger groups.

HSA and FSA Limits for 2018 announced

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ARRANGEMENTS (FSAs)
Salary Reduction Annual Limit
Employee contributions to employer-sponsored health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) will increase to $2,650 (up $50 from 2017).

2015 2016 2017 2018
Salary Reduction Annual Limit $2,550 $2,550 $2,600 $2,650

 
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSAs)
Annual Contribution Limitation
Self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan is $3,450 (up $50 from 2017). Family coverage under a high-deductible health plan is $6,900 (up $150 from 2017).

Deductibles 
For calendar year 2018, a “high-deductible health plan” is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage, and annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) that do not exceed $6,650 for self-only coverage (up $100 from 2017) or $13,300 (up $200 from 2017) for family coverage.

2015 2016 2017 2018
Minimum deductible amounts for the qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP)
Individual coverage $1,300 $1,300 $1,300 $1,350
Family coverage $2,600 $2,600 $2,600 $2,700
Maximum contribution levels
Individual coverage $3,350 $3,350 $3,400 $3,450
Family coverage $6,650 $6,750 $6,750 $6,900
Catch up allowed for those 55 and over $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Maximums for HDHP out-of-pocket expenses
Individual coverage $6,450 $6,550 $6,550 $6,650
Family coverage $12,900 $13,100 $13,100 $13,300


QUALIFIED SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ARRANGEMENTS (QSEHRAs) 
For tax year 2018, to qualify as a QSEHRA, the total amount of payments and reimbursements cannot exceed $5,050 per employee (up from $4,950 for 2017) or $10,250 per family (up from $10,000 for 2017).
 

2016 2017 2018
Individual coverage $4,950 $4,950 $5,050
Family coverage $10,000 $10,050 $10,250

IRS Announces 2018 Contribution Limits

Participant limits- 401(k), 403(b) plans-                                      $18,500 (from $18,000)

Catch up for these plans, over age 50                                              $ 6,000 (no change)

SIMPLE Participant Limit                                                                 $12,500 (no change)

Annual Benefit Limit                                                                           $220,000

Defined Contribution Limit                                                                $55,000 (from $54,000)

TopHeavy Key Employee                                                                    $175,000

Highly Compensated Employee                                                          $120,000

IRA Limit                                                                                                 $5,500 (unchanged)

IRA Catchup                                                                                             $1,000

 

 

Emblem Health increases small group network

emblem health logo

Beginning January 1, Emblem will change small group plans to its new, larger PRIME network. 

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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