Group Benefits Industry News

January 2018
A Note from The FILCO Executive Team:
There are many things in life that we just need to accept and plan the best we can to manage.  In addition to death and taxes, employee benefit brokers know this also means annual regulatory changes from state and federal policies that will effect how we educate and protect our clients businesses.  Businesses, today, more and more have employers operating across state lines on a national and world economy so this impacts the types of questions we are receiving each day.  The are 5 states that have mandated disability benefits ranging from $170 a week to $1,173 a week benefit with 26 to 52 week duration periods.  With employers having locations in many of these states the benefits broker needs to understand how each of these mandated benefit programs work.  Please read the chart of how each state program compares on each category that Guardian created and if you have any questions please call our specialty department.   Guardian Chart

In This Issue
Carrier Highlights 
Empire BC/BS
Delta Dental
 Senior Care
PEO Update 

Do you have clients looking to save money on their rising healthcare costs and want a different option? Are you trying to find groups a richer plan?
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Contact Colleen Visconti, FILCO's PEO specialist at or 732-704-5079
Stay up to date with carrier deadlines and events!
 Be on the lookout for an upcoming  FILCO webinar that will discuss Idilus Cost+ platform in depth!  This is going to be a viable offering in the marketplace this year. You and your clients will want to know more !
FILCO Online Resources

Check out FILCO's  redesigned state of the art website!   
Plus much more
New York 
2018 Small Group Medical Plan Overview

Carrier Highlights 

Empire BC/BS: 
With the New Year, many people have New Years resolutions; make your clients aware of the different gym benefits, with Empire BC/BS each subscriber can earn an $200 gym reimbursement reward every 6 months.  Spouse can earn $100 every 6 months, with an average of 3-4 days per week at the gym over a 6 month period of time.  Click here for details and forms on Empire's gym reimbursement.
Useful Information and forms on line:
Empire Broker Tool Kit 

Did you know Oscar offers out-of-area options for for clients whom may need national coverage.  Get your questions answered here about Oscar's out-of-area network, pricing plus much more

Please note CVS pharmacy will no longer be a participating pharmacy with EmblemHealth in small group and individual lines of business (please note CVS will remain in Large Group plans Rx network)  

UnitedHealthcare and Oxford:
Helpful guide comparing the plan changes due to AV calculations from 2017 to 2018:  Oxford New York Small Group 2017 vs 2018

Specialty Department Update 
Awesome News from Delta Dental of New York and New Jersey!

  • Rate pass for 2018: Rates are being held from 2017 in both New York and New Jersey
  • Removal of waiting period on Employer Sponsored Plans: Prior to this change, a 6 month waiting period on all major services was in place for groups under 25 lives.  Waiting Periods still apply to the MPB and Voluntary plans.  Please review both the NY and NJ UW Brochures for full details
Contact FILCO specialty to discuss best options for your clients.  Below you will find sheet rates and Underwriting guidelines for both NY and NJ
New York:
New Jersey

 Contact FILCO's specialty team to discuss opportunities and strategies for your clients and prospects 
New Business: Andrew Guarini, direct line (732)-704-5073
Existing Business: Christa Wilson, direct line (732)-704-5074

NAHU Update

  • On 1/4/18 the Department of Labor released a proposed rule regarding the expansion of association health plans. President Trump issued an executive order in October allowing for association plans. The proposal suggests a revision to ERISA to redefine "employer" in order to allow for more groups to qualify as associations. NAHU has concerns with any plan to sell insurance across state lines and plans to submit detailed comments prior to the March 6 deadline
  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on 1/9 on Alex Azar's nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. If advanced by the committee, he will need at least 50 votes to be confirmed by the Senate
  • Health Care Reform Important Information: The IRS pushed back the deadline for employers to send 1095-B and C forms to employees.  ALE's can now furnish the required notices as late as March 2, 2018

 In present day ever changing complex landscape it has never been more critical to become and active member today! Join NYSAHU!

Senior Care Update


Senior Care Update
Medicare Cost Changes for 2018
While the good news is that the standard Medicare Part B premium is not increasing from the current 2017 rate of $134 monthly, there are still some changes to the Medicare program in general that may impact your clients enrolled in Medicare.  For instance, the Part A deductible is rising from $1,316 to $1,340 in 2018.  Also, changes to the income level thresholds set by the government to determin e Part B and D premium may result in your clients paying more for their Part B and/or Part D premiums in 2018.  Click here to see further details on our 2018 Medicare Costs at a Glance flyer
Senior Care in the news:
Have an HSA, and considering Medicare or Social Security? Think Again!
When an individual chooses to receive Social Security benefits six months past the full retirement age of 66, Social Security gives six months of benefits in "back pay." As enrollment in Medicare Part A is associated with Social Security benefit payments, the employee will be enrolled in Medicare Part A retroactively, six months before the request to receive Social Security benefits. The retroactive enrollment in Medicare Part A disqualifies employees from contributing to or receiving contributions to an HSA, and subjects them to six months of tax penalties. To avoid penalties, older workers should be advise d to stop contributing to their HSA account six months before applying for their Social Security benefits

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period
Don't forget that your Medicare Advantage clients can drop their plan and return to original Medicare and a standalone Part D Rx plan now through February 14th. When sold a Medicare Supplement at this time your client will have access to any doctor and hospital that accepts Medicare. This is a great time for agents to be able to help their clients who are having issues with their current advantage plan's benefits or network limitations

FILCO Senior Care Team
Cheryl Dickscheid:(646) 658-6921 |Michael Friedman:(347) 738-6846 | Howard Roth:(646) 658-6915


FILCO Technology

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Multi carrier small group quoting
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Agency Management System CRM
Carrier Forms
Underwriting Guidelines
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