United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Employers Split on Whether to Self-Fund Prescription Drug Plans

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 30, 2016 10:30:00 AM

On average, 11.9% of prescription plans are self-funded, with the vast majority (88.1%) of employers choosing to fully insure their prescription plans, according to UBA’s new Special Report: Trends in Prescription Drug Benefits, based on data from the latest UBA Health Plan Survey of more than 10,000 employer-sponsored health plans. Although self-funding has increased 9% from the past survey year, the move to self-funding is slow but positive among small groups (10 to 199 employees), while large groups are actually moving away from this model.

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Topics: self-funding, UBA Health Plan Survey, prescription drug plans, prescription drug cost, Scott Deru

Soaring Specialty Pharmacy Drug Prices Leave Consumers Feeling Rather Ill

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Jun 28, 2016 12:31:22 PM

In the early 2000s, prescription costs were around 20 percent of total medical claim spend. This number stayed relatively unchanged for a number of years. Recently, this number has been increasing at an alarming rate.

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Topics: Carol Taylor, UBA Health Plan Survey, prescription drug cost, specialty pharmacy drug prices, medical claim spend, medical claims costs, UBA Special Report

IRS Reporting: Now What?

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 24, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Applicable large employers and self-funded employers of all sizes have now completed the first round of required IRS reporting under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires individuals to have health insurance, while applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, IRS Reporting Rules, premium tax subsidy, employer shared responsibility, minimum value coverage, applicable large employers

OSHA Reporting Changes: Employer Checklist

Posted by: Nancy Bourque    Jun 21, 2016 2:55:11 PM

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued sweeping changes to record-keeping and reporting rules. Starting in 2017, employers with as few as 20 employees may be required to electronically report workplace injuries and illnesses on an annual basis, and the information from those reports will be searchable, by employer name, by any member of the public.

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Topics: workplace safety, OSHA, Nancy Bourque, workplace injuries and illnesses, OSHA reporting, covered employer

OSHA's Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Posted by: Nancy Bourque    Jun 16, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Beginning in 2017, certain employers with as few as 20 employees at a single site will be required to electronically file information about employee injuries and accidents that occurred in the prior year. This means that, for many employers, injuries and illnesses occurring in 2016 will be subject to this change.

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Topics: employee injuries, workplace safety, OSHA, employee accidents, Nancy Bourque, workplace injuries and illnesses

What Employers Need to Know about the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 14, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Beginning in early 2016, many employers received letters from the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match program. These letters are addressed to the employer and begin by stating that "Medicare needs your cooperation." Employers are directed to report information on the IRS/SSA/CMS Data Match Secure Web Site (https://www.cob.cms.hhs.gov/DataMatch/). The data being requested is often extensive, and can cover a number of years.

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Group health plans, Danielle Capilla, IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program

Extra, Extra! ACA Tax News, Read All About It!

Posted by: Jennifer Kupper    Jun 10, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) has many tax provisions written within its 906 pages. I’ll give a brief overview of the taxes, and sprinkle in some good news among some not-so-good news.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Transitional Reinsurance Fee, Jennifer Kupper, Play or Pay, Cadillac Tax, employer shared responsibility, ACA excise tax, ACA penalties, health insurers providers fee

Shining a Light on HIPAA Compliance for Health and Welfare Plans

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Jun 7, 2016 5:43:27 PM

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government became much more involved in what had always been a heavily regulated, but predominately private industry. What many people have forgotten is that the ACA was not the first legislation to be passed that involved private and employer-sponsored health and welfare plans.

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Topics: compliance, HIPAA, health plan compliance, Elizabeth Kay, PHI, health and welfare plans, protected health information, business associate agreement

Nondiscrimination Regulations Relating to Sex, Gender, Age, and More Finalized

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will take effect on July 18, 2016. If entities need to make changes to health insurance or group health plan benefit design as a result of this final rule, such provisions have an applicability date of the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, Affordable Care Act, ACA Section 1557, nondiscrimination rules, diverse workforce

Overtime Exemption Rules Arrive

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 31, 2016 10:00:00 AM

After a long wait, the Department of Labor (DOL) has released the revisions to the white collar overtime exemption rules in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new rule becomes effective on December 1, 2016.

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Topics: Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt employees, overtime, non-exempt employees