Don’t Miss the Deadline to Submit Client Referrals!

The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare plans runs from October 15 to December 7, 2019, and the Open Enrollment season for ACA plans runs from November 1 to December 15, 2019.

We can help you! As a Cornerstone broker, you have exclusive access to the Agency Services Program, which enables you to refer clients that are outside your scope to ARC Benefit Solutions. The best part? You still get paid while we do the heavy lifting.

Referral Deadlines and Processes for the 2019 Enrollment Season

Through the busy season, we will continually provide the highest quality of service and support to your referred clients. However, due to the high volume of client referrals during the enrollment seasons, priority will be given to referrals received on or before November 30, 2019.

It is easy to refer to us! You can use the hyperlink below or the client can call us directly at our toll-free # 1-877-432-8803. A full process document is laid out in the link below for your reference.

Here are a couple things to consider during the busy enrollment season:

  • Referrals are managed first in/first out
  • A minimum of three client outreach attempts will be made, which will be a combination of phone calls and emails.
  • Priority is given to referrals received on or before November 30, 2019. Every effort is made to ensure outreach to the client occurs within 48 hours. Turnaround time may be delayed during peak periods as we get closer to December 15.

Incomplete submissions will be returned requesting missing information.

Review the referral process

Submit a referral

About the Cornerstone Agency Services Program

LAST CALL for Anthem SOCA MEWA Training in 2019!

Anthem and Cornerstone are offering group agents one last chance this year to get trained on the very competitive SOCA MEWA plans.

This is open to agents who wish to get appointed with Anthem SOCA MEWA and existing SOCA MEWA agents who want a refresher or update.

DATE: Wednesday, October 16

TIME: 10:00 am

WHY:   

  • One of the most competitive products for healthy small groups!
  • If you aren’t certified to sell it, it won’t be offered to your renewing groups if they qualify.

Please click below to REGISTER.

Once you register, you will receive the meeting details

Click here to register.

EMPLOYER ACTION REQUIRED: Distribute Medicare Part D Notices by October 15

Group health plan sponsors must provide Medicare Part D “creditable coverage” notices prior to October 15, 2019, the start date of the Medicare annual enrollment period for Part D, Prescription Drug coverage (open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7, 2019).

Most plan sponsors use the Model Medicare Part D Notices provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to notify affected plan participants. Links to all the model letters (in English and Spanish) are available here in .pdf format. Cornerstone has provided versions of the notice in Word Document format for your convenience.

Creditable Coverage Notice

Non-Creditable Coverage Notice

The carriers plan listings and/or links to their creditable coverage site are available below:

Aetna: Please contact your Broker Advisor for more information.

Anthem: Click here.

Humana: Click here.

UnitedHealthcare: Click here.

Medical Mutual: COSE requested. All other plans, click here.

The October 15 deadline applies for all group health plan sponsors, regardless of plan year, plan size, employer size, grandfather status, or whether the plan is insured or self-funded.

Employers who send out Open Enrollment packets prior to October 15 often include the Medicare Part D notices in the Open Enrollment packets to avoid the extra cost and administrative burden of sending them separately.

Because these notices have not changed since 2018, employers who provided these notices earlier this year are not required to provide them again.

Employers are also required to notify CMS online annually that they have sent out these Part D notices. The notice to CMS is due within 60 days after the start of the plan year. See the last paragraph of this article for details.

When Is the Medicare Part D Notice Required?

Medicare Part D notices must be provided at least once annually, prior to October 15th, which is the beginning of the Part D annual enrollment period. Additional notices must be provided if the employer-provided coverage changes (from creditable to non-creditable, or vice-versa), if the individual requests a copy of the notice, and when an individual first enrolls in the employer plan.

Why is the Part D Notice Required?

The reason plan sponsors are required to provide Part D Notices is because a penalty will be imposed on an individual if he/she, after becoming eligible for Medicare Part D coverage, has a lapse of “creditable” prescription drug coverage for a period of at least 63 days. Additionally, such individuals may have to wait until the following October to join. An individual can elect either Medicare prescription drug coverage or other “creditable coverage” to avoid having a lapse in coverage. Thus, Medicare-eligible participants in employer group health plans must know whether or not the employer group coverage is “creditable” so they do not unwittingly incur a late enrollment penalty.

Additional Details on the Disclosure Requirements

  • Group health plan sponsors to whom this disclosure requirement applies include employers and Unions; multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs); federal, state and local government employers; and churches.
  • The Part D Notice must be provided not only to Medicare-eligible active working employees and their dependents, but also to participants who are retired, on COBRA, or disabled and covered under the employer’s prescription drug plan.
  • Although the requirement is only that “Medicare-eligible” individuals be provided this notice, employers often provide it to all plan participants and dependents, because of the practical difficulty of knowing who is Medicare-eligible.

Annual Notice to CMS Also required, though not by October 15th

Additionally, plan sponsors are required to notify CMS annually, via the CMS website (Online Disclosure to CMS form). This notice must be made within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year (or contract renewal date, for small plans that do not file Form 5500s so do not specify a plan year), and it pertains to the creditable coverage status for the prior plan year. For calendar year plans, this notice must be provided to CMS no later than March 1.  Sponsors of non-calendar year plans should mark their calendars to make sure the disclosure to CMS is made within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year. (E.g., for an April 1 plan year, the CMS online disclosure should be made no later than May 30.)

Additionally, if applicable, plan sponsors must complete the Online Disclosure to CMS Form within 30 days after termination of a prescription drug plan or within 30 days after any change in creditable coverage status.

For additional information, click here for the main CMS webpage that provides guidance on “creditable coverage.” Or you can visit the web page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/CreditableCoverage/

Reserve Your Place Today: 2020 Small Group Carrier Updates via Webinar

Join us for these brief, informative sessions focused on small group to get up to speed on 2020 plans, what to expect with renewals, and more!

Not able to make a session?

No problem! We are recording sessions for our agents who aren’t able to attend. Please contact your Cornerstone representative for a link to the recording and materials.

*Sessions are for active Cornerstone Employee Benefit agents.


UnitedHealthcare Updates

September 16, 2019

9:00 am–10:30 am

UnitedHealthcare will review renewals and what to expect, changes to ACA plans, their enhancements to Ancillary products and package deals. The final hour will review All Savers (level-funding) and the NEW Ohio Chamber MEWA available for 10.1.2019 effective dates*.

*pending state approval of rates

Click here to register for UHC updates.

September 4 (In-person UHC Ohio Chamber MEWA meeting)

UHC is hosting a training on this date in Toledo. Click below for details and to register. You can choose to attend this in person session or join us via webinar on September 16.

Click here to register for UHC Chamber Plan training.


AFA and Humana Ancillary Updates

September 23, 2019

9:00 am–10:30 am

AFA, the Aetna Funding Advantage, is Aetna’s level-funded solution for groups of 2-99. Yes! AFA will now be available for groups of TWO or more. Join us for an overview of AFA, 2020 plan changes, what to expect with renewals, how their blocks are running, and a discussion on what the proposed merger between CVS and Aetna mean for the insurance business.

10:00 am–10:30 am

Humana will present updates on their ancillary products: Dental, Vision, and Life. Humana has taken the lead on their dental plans, unique in Ohio, with unlimited reimbursement of expenses beyond the annual limit as well as higher annual maxes.

Click here to register for AFA/Humana updates.


Anthem Updates

September 30

9:00 am–10:00 am

Anthem will present what to expect with renewals, updates on ACA, their grandmothered block and the Anthem SOCA MEWA. They will also have folks from their ancillary side discuss enhancements to those lines and package deals available.

Click here to register for Anthem updates.

REGISTER: UnitedHealthcare Announces New Option for Ohio Small Business

Brokers in Northwest Ohio are invited to attend a training on UHC’s new Chamber plan on September 4.

Wednesday, September 4

TIME: Registration 9:30 a.m.

Meeting start time 10 a.m.

LOCATION: Hilton Garden Inn

6165 Levis Commons Blvd. | Perrysburg, OH

Click here to register.

If you are unable to attend, Cornerstone will also have a webinar on September 16 for all UHC updates on 2020 (more information to follow soon).

Don’t Miss Out on the Cornerstone/Anthem 2020 Broker Roadshow!

Don’t miss out on the Cornerstone/Anthem 2020 Broker Roadshow!

Join Cornerstone and Anthem to review updates in individual, small group, and key accounts in Dayton.

DATE: September 20, 2019

TIME: 9:00 am–11:00 am

LOCATION: Yankee Trace

10000 Yankee St. | Centerville, OH | 45458

Click here to RSVP.

CE Available: GCAHU Presents Ethical Habits in Health Insurance

Annual Ethics with Carl: Ethical Habits in Health Insurance 2019

CE is refiled each year, so you can gain 3 hours of CE even if you don’t need to fulfill your ethics requirement

3 hours CE pending in OH and KY

DATE: Thursday, July 18, 2019

TIME: 7:30 am (registration) | CE starts at 8:00 am

LOCATION: Cornerstone Cincinnati Office | 2101 Florence Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45206

MEETING CHARGE: GCAHU Member: $25 | Non-members: $45

Click here to register.

PCORI Fees Due to IRS No Later Than July 31

Fees to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) are due to the IRS no later than July 31, 2019 from employers who sponsor certain self-insured health plans, which includes all level funded as well as health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that are not treated as excepted benefits.

How to Pay PCORI Fees

Employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans (Level Funded) must report and pay the required PCORI fees via IRS Form 720 along with HRA plans, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Complete Part II, line 133. Employers should note “2nd Quarter” on the 720 form.

The fee applies to each Plan year that ends after October 1, 2012, and before October 1, 2019. “Plan year” refers to the plan year for your Level Funded Medical Plans or an HRA plan. Generally the plan year and the coverage period are the same. As an example, if your HRA benefit resets each January 1, your HRA plan year and your coverage period are generally a calendar year and end December 31.

Plan Year Ending Date Fee
October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018 $2.39
October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 $2.45

There are three available methods that can be used to determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for the policy year. For an HRA plan it is acceptable to use the number of subscribers only. The most commonly used method is the Snapshot Method.

  1. Actual Count Method: A plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for a plan year by adding the totals of lives covered for each day of the play year and dividing that total by the total number of days in the plan year.
  2. Snapshot Method: A plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under an applicable self-insured health plan for a plan year based on the total number of lives covered on one date (or more dates if an equal number of dates is used in each quarter) during the first, second or third month of each quarter, and dividing that total by the number of dates on which a count was made.
  3. Form 5500 Method: An eligible plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for a plan year based on the number of participants reported on the Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, or the Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan.

Payments should be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent by July 31, 2019 to the applicable address on the attached instructions.

Tools to Assist you by Carrier:

All Savers

All Savers posts the employer group’s membership information to the employer website. The employer group is required to complete and file the IRS Form 720. For general questions please contact All Savers Broker Services at 1-866-405-7174.

Humana Level Funded

Click here.

Aetna Funding Advantage

This link takes you to your Producer World login and will assist in determining the fee due by your group.

LIVE TRAINING: Aetna’s AFA Springboard System

Cornerstone invites you to attend training on Aetna’s AFA Springboard System at the Cincinnati office!

Please join us for an overview of the Aetna Springboard process for new business submissions, presented by Aetna’s Jordan Finley and Lauren Horley.

DATE: Monday June 24, 2019

TIME: 2:00–3:30 pm

LOCATION: Cornerstone’s Cincinnati Office

2101 Florence Ave Cincinnati, OH 45206

Click here to RSVP.

Cornerstone is a Top Workplace for the Fifth Year in a Row!

We did it again!

For the fifth year in a row, Cornerstone has been named a Top Workplace by The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Top Workplace honors are awarded based solely on employee feedback gathered through an administered third-party survey. We continue to keep our top-ten standing, ranking #8 out of the 60 small businesses on the list this year.

Our exceptional employees are the driving force behind this accomplishment. Cornerstone fosters a culture of empowering our employees and creating pathways to success. Everyday we diligently work to satisfy our mission to be your trusted partner in solving complex benefit challenges.

“Every Cornerstone team member is committed to our culture. Each day, together, we determine the best solution for our partners who deserve to have their high expectations fulfilled. Every empowered member of our team of A+ players demonstrate examples of ‘perfect service’. Thank you to all who contribute to our continued success!”

Jennifer Agnello, President of Cornerstone