United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Leadership, Now with More Humility

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 19, 2018 1:02:09 PM

More and more, we are learning that scientists, marketers, programmers, and other kinds of knowledge workers lead office lives very similar to famous innovators like Watson, Crick, and Franklin, who discovered the structure of DNA. How so? All of these people live work lives structured around progress in meaningful work. And when this progress occurs, it boosts emotions, perceptions, and productivity.

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Topics: leadership, employees, workplace culture, progress

Using Your Health Savings Account

Posted by: Vicki Randall    Jun 14, 2018 1:49:18 PM

According to recent estimates by Fidelity Investments, a couple will incur an estimated $280,000 worth of medical expenses after turning 65 years of age. They estimate this cost every year and when they publish it, I can’t help but have an anxiety spike as I ponder the reality of that number. Even if they are off and have over-estimated by 50%, the remaining number is still very hard for me to swallow. And, as anxiety has habit of doing, it sends me into panic mode and I scramble to reevaluate my retirement planning in an attempt to ward off the eventual doom and gloom that has settled on the far horizon of my life.

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Topics: retirement savings, health savings account, HSA

The Future of the Office

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 12, 2018 1:15:29 PM

Earlier this spring, the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey revealed that while 82% of United States workers say the option to work remotely does help them maintain a healthy work-life balance, 62% of these same workers prefer to work in the office anyway. Perhaps most surprisingly, this preference is higher among millennial and Gen Z workers, despite the common perception that these groups prefer digital interactions over real-time ones.

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Topics: Benefit, workplace culture, benefits, remote work

The Hidden Liability in Group LTCi Plans

Posted by: Ryder Kimmes    Jun 7, 2018 1:21:09 PM

For those of you already offering long term care insurance to your employees, you are ahead of the curve! You are not only adding protection to each of your participating employees’ retirement and savings endeavors, you are affording employees the opportunity to maintain their assets if they should need long term care. As we know, long term care is expensive and having a tool to protect yourself against these expenses is invaluable.

As an employer, some of our largest liabilities lie within our administration of benefits. How would you like to know that someone is proactively performing quality assurance for you, thereby making you less exposed to this liability?

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Topics: Long-Term Care, LTCi, long-term care insurance, LTC Solutions, Inc., benefits administration

Can You Handle the Truth?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 5, 2018 12:57:11 PM

Direct feedback culture, according to “Mastering the Art of Negative Feedback,” from Society for Human Resource Management means simultaneously challenging someone while also showing you care. Many employees skew toward caring over candor, and that can lead to dissatisfaction.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee communication, human resources, Feedback

IRS Issues Transition Relief Notice for Plans with Male Sterilization or Contraceptive Benefits

Posted by: Karen Hsu    May 31, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Recently, some states adopted laws that
require certain health insurance policies to
provide benefits for male sterilization and male contraceptives without cost-sharing.

However, under health saving account (HSA) eligibility requirements, a high deductible health plan (HDHP) generally may not provide benefits for any year until the minimum deductible for that year is satisfied. Although an HDHP may provide preventive care without a deductible or with a deductible that is below the minimum annual amount required by HSA eligibility requirements, male sterilization and male contraceptives are not considered preventive care under the Social Security Act or any Treasury Department guidance.

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Topics: HDHPs, HSAs, IRS Notice 2018-12

Perk Up Your Benefits Packages

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 29, 2018 3:44:29 PM

What people want in their benefits package is changing. Retirement and health care still rank high but soft perks and voluntary benefits factor into satisfaction more than any other benefits, so says “Employees Increasingly Excited About Soft Perks and Company-Culture Benefits,” in Employee Benefit News.

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Topics: retirement, office culture, health care coverage, benefits

Inclusive Workplaces Benefit Everyone

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 22, 2018 1:30:50 PM

While there’s plenty of talk about work/life balance, many employees want to feel human while at work, too. Being able to bring their whole selves, according to “3 Ways to Create a More Human Workplace,” from Workforce, is an essential piece of a welcoming, inclusive workplace environment.

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Topics: workplace discrimination, workplace wellness, workplace culture, diversity

IRS Issues Updated Employers Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 17, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Recently the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued its 2018 Publication 15-B, which informs 

employers about employment tax treatment of fringe benefits.
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Topics: IRS, employee benefit plans, fringe benefits

Redefining Retirement

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 15, 2018 4:35:21 PM

Employees are working longer, whether because of increasing life expectancies or lowered confidence about their ability to retire. Longer work lives are tied to less engagement and more stress, among other negative impacts. For employers, this may mean taking time to consider shifting benefits or programming to better meet changing needs both to help employees retire when they want and stay healthier if they continue working.

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Topics: family insurance benefits, retirement security, retirement planning