United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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

How Well do Your Employees Evaluate Risk?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 10, 2018 12:56:07 PM

In a recent column in Human Resource Executive, Carol Harnett reminds us that humans are notoriously poor at evaluating risk. We don’t always focus on the major problem, or weigh compromising factors correctly. Quoting risk-communications consultant Peter Sandman, Harnett suggests that risk should be evaluated using this formula: Risk = Hazard + Outrage.What does that mean? Hazard is the anticipated annual mortality rate, and all other factors fall under outrage. “The public,” says Sandman, “pays too little attention to hazard; the experts pay absolutely no attention to outrage. Not surprisingly, they rank risks differently.” Consequently, experts and the public choose insurance differently too.

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Topics: employee benefits, disability insurance, disability income protection

What About Them?

Posted by: Ken Spencer    Jul 5, 2018 12:57:55 PM

The office team arrives at 8:00 AM and is there every day until 5:00 PM. They work hard answering questions for clients, doing invoicing, and other important administrative tasks. The production team often shows up at 10:00 AM or later, takes a long lunch and quite often is seen leaving at 2:00 or 3:00 PM. From the office team’s perspective, they are doing all the work and the production team is goofing off.  Over time the office team begins to talk about it among themselves, feeding the sense of unfairness and inequity of their work environment. In some instances, office team members leave the organization or reduce their output and engagement level to adjust to what they perceive is unfair.

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Topics: employee satisfaction, work performance, work environment

To Identify the Best Candidate, Ask the Right Questions

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 3, 2018 1:01:48 PM

Are the questions you’re asking potential employees truly helping you identify the best candidate? Increasingly, employers are learning that questions don’t need to be interesting, just effective. Instead of asking a candidate about their favorite superhero, which is essentially another way of asking them what their super power would be, ask them what they like to do for fun. Ask about the good they care about in the world.

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Topics: Job Candidates, Job Interviews, Interview Questions

Disability Income Protection is an Employee Benefits Rising Star

Posted by: Nicole Blodgett    Jun 28, 2018 12:52:41 PM

According to recent studies disability income is a rising star in the employee benefits market. This is due to a variety of factors. Most poignantly insurance company attempts to court and educate employee benefit advisers about the product, historically low national unemployment and financial impact of the recent tax reforms.

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Topics: employee benefits, human resources solutions, disability income, disability income protection

Let Data Deliver for You

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 26, 2018 1:04:41 PM

Using HR data can be legally and ethically complicated, but if analyzed with care, it can also be a team’s greatest asset. Because of these very real concerns, in the past information often went unused, but today, wise companies are turning facts into insight. When processed ethically, data can inform an office when employees will leave, where to recruit solid candidates, and most importantly, how to keep these candidates happy once they become employees. And this isn’t merely a suggestion: according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 82% of surveyed organizations plan to either begin or increase their use of big data in HR before the end of 2018. The crucial point here isn’t simplicity but effectiveness: when HR data is braided effectively with a company’s strategic aims, wellbeing increases across the board.

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Topics: employee satisfaction, office productivity, HR Data, Workforce Analytics

5 Ways AI Is Revolutionizing Health Care

Posted by: Meisha Bochicchio    Jun 21, 2018 1:00:56 PM

New technologies are poised to fundamentally change the HR industry as we know it. Just as the smartphone revolutionized the way we communicate, artificial intelligence will reshape all areas of HR, from employee onboarding to learning management to developing top talent. And, similar to smartphones, these changes will take place at lightning speed.

 

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Topics: benefits technology, technology, artificial intelligence

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