United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Bill Olson

VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

U.S. Department of Labor Updates CHIP Notice

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 3, 2018 3:00:07 PM

In March, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its model Premium Assistance Under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program notice, otherwise known as the CHIP notice. (This update is standard process, and usually happens biannually.)

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Topics: Medicaid, Department of Labor, health care benefits, health care coverage, CHIP

Why Work? For More than the Money

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Discovering the individualized reasons people work is key to helping employers understand what will motivate employees.

According to the article "What People Want from Work: Motivation" on the website The Balance, successful companies need to start with money. Paying employees fair compensation, or ideally more than fair, brings the talent in and reduces the risk of losing great employees. Money helps employees check off responsibilities ranging from taking care of the most basic necessities to enjoying hobbies to long-term planning for retirement.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee communication, employee satisfaction, employee participation, employee burnout, workplace culture, motivation, working conditions

Eat to Live Well: Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Promoting workforce wellness never tasted so good. For heart-healthy living, it turns out a great dietary option for many dates back centuries.

Based on the traditional cuisine of communities along the coasts of Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean diet is gaining increasing popularity among nutrition experts in this hemisphere.

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Topics: wellness, eating at work, healthy lifestyles, nutrition

Beware of Tech Overload

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Technology has certainly made the workplace faster, smarter and more productive. New apps and systems continuously offer new ways to create, manage and collaborate. However, just as with many good things, workers can get too much of office tech. With each digitization of traditional job and team functions comes a cost in diminishing associated skills. Many forward-thinking companies are taking heed of the potential pitfalls of tech overload. Check out some particular hazards culled from across the Web.

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Topics: workplace wellness, workplace culture, small business chronicle, technology

Ribbon Cutting for New UBA Chicago Office

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 12, 2018 3:44:26 PM

UBA Chicago Fifteen years ago, visionary UBA co-founders David LoCascio and Chris John gathered with a small group of employee benefits professionals in Rosemont, Illinois. United, they founded UBA Partners, an organization that would significantly enhance everyone’s respective practices by allowing them to retain their local entrepreneurial values, all while receiving the benefits of a larger corporate connection. Today, UBA has grown exclusive partnerships with more than 125 of the nation’s premier independent employee benefit advisory firms.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, independent employee benefits advisors, group benefit plans

Higher Satisfaction Through Higher Education

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 10, 2018 1:57:01 PM

When evaluating employee benefits, essentials such as health and dental plans, vacation time and 401(k) contributions quickly come to mind. Another benefit employers should consider involves subsidizing learning as well as ambitions. Grants and reimbursements toward advanced degrees and continuing education can be a smart investment for both employers and employees.

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Topics: employee benefit plans, recruiting, employee benefit plan design, education assistance

With Below Average Cost, Increasing Enrollment, CDHPs Have Big Impact

Posted by: Bill Olson    Dec 7, 2017 9:30:00 AM

When most experts think of group healthcare plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans largely come to mind—though higher cost, they dominate the market in terms of plan distribution and employee enrollment. But Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) have made surprising gains. Despite slight cost increases, CDHP costs are still below average and prevalence and enrollment in these plans continues to grow in most regions—a main reason why it was one of the top 7 survey trends recently announced.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, CDHPs, UBA Health Plan Survey, group benefit plans, consumer-directed health plan

Climate Leave: PTO for when the Wind Blows

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 30, 2017 9:30:00 AM

This year, much of the United States had some form of major natural disaster—hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornados—and millions of people were either directly affected, or had a family member or close friend who was affected. This life-changing disruption often meant that people couldn’t, or weren’t able to, go to work. While many companies were understanding and granted people the time they needed to take care of their issues, only a handful of those businesses kept paying their employees. Even worse, some businesses insisted that their employees report for work or risk termination.

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Topics: absence management, fringe benefits, personal time off, PTO

UBA Survey: Weary Families Get a Break While Singles See Out-of-Pocket Cost Increases

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 21, 2017 9:47:00 AM

While the rate impact of the regulatory environment plays out, one thing is clear from the 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey: employers continue to shift a greater share of expenses to employees through out-of-pocket cost increases. While this is just one of 7 mega trends uncovered in the survey, it is particularly interesting this year because singles were hit more heavily than families as compared to years past.

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Topics: UBA Health Plan Survey, health care trends, health care deductibles, out-of-pocket costs

Build It and They Will Come? Group Health Plan Prevalence Doesn’t Always Drive Enrollment (Well, Except in CA)

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 9, 2017 2:32:41 PM

Though more expensive, PPOs still dominate the market overall in terms of plan distribution and employee enrollment. However, when you look regionally, PPO plans are most prevalent in the Central U.S., while CDHPs are most prevalent in the Northeast.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, UBA Health Plan Survey