United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Why Care About Diabetes and What You Can Do as an Employer

Posted by: Mary Delaney, MSPT, CWP    Sep 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Diabetes is an expensive disease: $322 billon in America! Costs are compounded because diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, lower limb amputation, and blindness, and also has connections with some cancers, arthritis, gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. To add some perspective, consider these facts: Today, 3,835 Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes. Today, diabetes will cause 200 Americans to undergo an amputation, 136 to enter end-stage kidney disease treatment, and 1,795 to develop severe retinopathy that can lead to vision loss and blindness.

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Topics: wellness, Vital Incite, type 2 diabetes, disease management, Mary Delaney, diabetes, American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes

Top Wellness Program Components

Posted by: Jennifer Jones    Sep 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM

While wellness programs and offerings continue to evolve among new trends and regulations, there are seven key components that tend to drive the most successful and effective programs we have seen with our clients.

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Topics: employee wellness, wellness incentives, wellness programs, LHD Benefit Advisors, Jennifer Jones, disease management

Educating Employees on Wellness Program Options

Posted by: Kathy Ellis    Sep 20, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Adopting best practices for wellness program designs are important in successfully investing in a workplace environment focused on well-being. Finding the right partners, tools, and interventions, and creating an incentive design that hits the sweet spot to motivate employees to participate are all essential. Many organizations fall short and wellness programs often stall when employees do not understand the program. Whether they question an organization’s intent in offering a wellness program, the program components are too overwhelming or not communicated well, or employees simply do not understand how programs affect them, educating employees on wellness program options is crucial to a program’s success.

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Topics: wellness incentives, employee benefits, wellness programs, health care cost containment, Kathy Ellis, Granite Group Benefits

Cost Effective Wellness Strategies for Small Business Employers

Posted by: Lori Kunkle, RN, MSN    Sep 15, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Companies like Google®, L.L. Bean®, and Zappos.com® have the ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on wellness programs for their employees. They can build state-of-the-art gym facilities, walking trails around the corporate campus, and offer any number of wellness services to benefit their workers, as well as monetary incentives. For the average employer and small business owners, this type of programming is nearly impossible. Small business owners may not have money to spend on these types of wellness programs, but they do recognize the value of investing in the health and wellbeing for their employees. These are shared strategies you can use to offer your employees opportunities to reduce health risks, control health care costs, and improve productivity and overall wellbeing.

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Topics: wellness, small business, UBA white paper, Lori Kunkle, voluntary wellness programs, wellness compliance

Striving for a Culture Change in Your Wellness Program (Part 2)

Posted by: Heather Mills, CWWPM    Sep 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Many wellness programs start off with good intentions, offer some education and fun, but even after several years, have failed to meet their original goals or produce real culture change. We recently reviewed the first three steps to a successful, sustainable workplace program. Here we conclude with steps four through six for setting up a successful program.

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Topics: wellness, employee wellness, wellness programs, Heather Mills, benefit plan design

Striving for a Culture Change in Your Wellness Program (Part 1)

Posted by: Heather Mills, CWWPM    Sep 9, 2016 11:52:34 AM

Many of us have seen or heard about the various wellness programs referred to as “participation–based” programs. These participation-only programs continue to be the starting point for many organizations when they enter the world of workplace wellness. Participatory programs typically include a few individual and team-based activities, offer a level of electronic or onsite seminar education, and offer employees biometric screening and personal health risk assessments. Organizations may even award prizes, hold drawings, or offer giveaways.
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Topics: wellness, wellness programs, independent employee benefits advisors, UBA white paper, healthy lifestyles, Heather Mills

IRS Proposes New Section 6055 Reporting Requirements for Self-Insured Employers

Posted by: Vicki Randall    Sep 6, 2016 1:15:37 PM

Employers with self-insured health plans are facing new Section 6055 regulations regarding the reporting of minimum essential coverage. The proposed regulation requires self-insured employers to report this information to the IRS on either Form 1095-B or in Part III of Form 1095-C, if the coverage is provided by an applicable large employer.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, self funded health plans, IRS Form 1095, Section 6055 Reporting

How to Realize the Full Potential of a Private Exchange

Posted by: Michael A. Fleck    Sep 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In Part 1 of this series, I took a few shots at some of the hype around private exchanges, but I still come down firmly on the “pro” side of the conversation.

Given the right circumstances, and by taking the right approach, a private exchange can deliver a tremendous amount of value while solving many of the challenges facing employers who wish to offer a sustainable and effective employee benefits program.

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Topics: employee benefits, private exchanges, Benefits Passport, UBA private exchange, employee benefits advisors, Hanna Global Services, Michael Fleck

Do You Know Who Your Primary Care Physician Is? Well, You Should.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Aug 30, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought about many changes to the health insurance industry. As we are now in the sixth year of implementation of the Act, we are seeing more changes coming just around the corner.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, PCORI Fee

HIPAA Phase 1 Audits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Aug 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) established national standards to secure and protect the privacy of health information. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) requires the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to conduct audits of covered entities and business associates in order to ensure compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules.

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Topics: compliance, HIPAA, Danielle Capilla, covered entites, HIPAA audit, business associates