United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Leveraging Generational Factors for Overall Success

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 14, 2018 1:17:14 PM

Millennials, commonly but not exclusively defined as people born between 1981 and 1996, occupy a complicated space in today’s workplace—predominantly because they’re the youngest generation in it. While many consider this group “ambitious” and “tech-savvy,” others understand it to be “whiney,” “distracted,” or “entitled.” As with any stereotype, this is a flat, un-nuanced version of a partial truth. The most important thing to remember, says Brad Karsh, CEO and founder of JBTraining Solutions, is that each generation in the workforce—from Boomers to Millennials—has been shaped by their upbringing.

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Topics: employee communication, Millennials, Millennials in the Workforce

Cobra Liability in Mergers and Acquisitions

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Aug 9, 2018 3:58:41 PM

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires certain group health plans to make continuation coverage available to certain individuals who would otherwise lose group health plan coverage due to a qualifying event. Employers who go through business reorganizations, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), will need to know whether COBRA continuation coverage must be offered and whether the group health plan of the seller or buyer must provide COBRA continuation coverage.

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Topics: COBRA, group health insurance, Group health plans

A Real-Time Action Plan for Increased Revenue

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 7, 2018 2:42:55 PM

As HR Technologist reported recently, current best-in-class companies know that the rising talent pool is composed of millennials, people of color, and women, and so they are already working in concrete ways to leverage this shifting workforce. One crucial factor is making sure that this work is centered: an integral and shared component of marketing, sales, and operations, as opposed to an outsourced diversity group.

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Topics: diverse workforce, diversity, work performance

Habit-Forming Tech

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 2, 2018 12:54:31 PM

With apologies to singer Robert Palmer, you might as well face it, you’re addicted to technology. We all love our various smart devices, and it seems that we can’t live without them, but what is causing this addiction?

An article on CNN’swebsite titled, “How to resist technology addiction” equates digital products like social media websites, video games, and mobile apps to more traditional addictions like food, alcohol, and smoking. In fact, these digital products use a technique more closely associated with gambling in that they are engineered to keep you hooked.

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Topics: social media, technology, Technology Addiction

Solving Problems - While Increasing Employee Satisfaction

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 31, 2018 1:12:04 PM

“Design thinking” is a fairly common term. Even if the phrase is new to you, it’s reasonably easy to intuit how it works: design thinking is a process for creative problem solving, utilizing creative tools like empathy and experimentation, often with a strong visual component. The term dates from 1968 and was first used in The Sciences of The Artificial, a text written by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee satisfaction, Design Thinking, Problem Solving

Question of the Month

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jul 26, 2018 12:52:33 PM

Q.For a high deductible health plan (HDHP) to qualify for health savings account (HSA) eligibility, what is the minimum amount that an embedded individual deductible can be?

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Topics: HDHPs, health savings account, HSA, High Deductible Health Plans

Everyone Wins When Growth is the Goal

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 24, 2018 1:22:06 PM

Its a dilemma. On the one hand, todays buzzing, multifaceted working environments challenge employees more than ever before. On the other, these same working environments are often also overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes it seems like success means mania—but this doesnt have to be the case. More and more frequently, experts urge offices to focus not on performance but on growth.

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Topics: teamwork, work environment, Growth Culture

DOL Issues Final Regulations Regarding Association Health Plans

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jul 19, 2018 1:22:12 PM

On June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published Frequently Asked Questions About Association Health Plans (AHPs) and issued a final rule that broadens the definition of “employer” and the provisions under which an employer group or association may be treated as an “employer” sponsor of a single multiple-employer employee welfare benefit plan and group health plan under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

 

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Topics: DOL, Department of Labor, association health plans

Addressing Mental Health Care at Work

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 17, 2018 1:00:23 PM

Nancy Spangler, senior consultant at the Center for Workplace Mental Health of the American Psychiatric Foundation, says that one in five adults has a mental health disorder, and one in 10 has a substance abuse problem. In addition, major depression and its associated conditions cost the U.S. over $210 billion every year. Clearly, mental health is an issue we need to investigate both in our offices and across the country.

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Topics: mental health, substance abuse, work environment

Question of the Month: Penalties for failing to comply with Section 125 requirements

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jul 12, 2018 12:55:32 PM

Q.What are the penalties for failing to comply with Section 125 requirements, such as failing to follow a cafeteria plan document’s terms?

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Topics: cafeteria plan, Section 125 plan, penalties