United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Carol Taylor

Director of Compliance and Health Plan Collaborative,
D & S Agency, A UBA Partner Firm

Recent Posts

Ouch! Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Jan 17, 2017 10:49:45 AM

Proposed regulations for revising and greatly expanding the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 reporting are set to take effect in 2019. Currently, the non-retirement plan reporting is limited to those employers that have more than 100 employees enrolled on their benefit plans, or those in a self-funded trust. The filings must be completed on the DOL EFAST2 system within 210 days following the end of the plan year.

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Topics: small business, Form 5500, health plan reporting, group benefit plans, small group employers, Carol Taylor

Affordability Safe Harbors May Not Be As Safe with New Overtime Exemption Rules

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Jul 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The new Department of Labor (DOL) overtime exemption rules increase the salary threshold from $23,660 a year to $47,476 annually, beginning December 1, 2016. This means that employees earning less than the threshold can no longer be considered salaried and exempt from overtime pay.

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Topics: ACA, minimum value coverage, Federal Poverty Level safe harbor, W-2 Box 1 safe harbor, rate of pay safe harbor, affordability safe harbor, overtime exemption

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

When it comes to the "Cadillac" tax, there's no escaping death and taxes

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Mar 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The 2015 UBA Health Plan Survey data reveals who will not escape the 40% excise tax to take effect in 2020. The “Cadillac” tax, now called the excise tax, was originally set to start in 2018, but legislation passed the end of 2015 delayed the start date by two years.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, excise tax, Cadillac Tax, UBA Health Plan Survey, Affordable Care Act, health care cost

Small Businesses No Longer Going for the Gold in Medical Insurance

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Dec 17, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Small employers are feeling the squeeze from increasing costs of medical care and increasing premiums for the medical insurance they offer their employees. Recently released findings from the 2015 UBA Health Plan Survey show that 54 percent of small employers are currently offering gold or platinum plans to their employees. However, with the pressure from rising medical care costs, the introduction of community rating in setting insurance rates, and the end of grandmothering, it is highly unlikely that this trend will continue.

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Topics: health care costs, ACA, health care reform, Carol Taylor, community rating, UBA Health Plan Survey, Affordable Care Act, metal level benefits

Can Employers Assist Employees with Premiums for Individual Plans?

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Nov 13, 2014 8:56:00 AM

On November 6, 2014, the collective Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and the Treasury released three Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) directed at employer payment plans for the purchase of individual insurance. While the departments had previously released several other pieces of guidance about these arrangements, this latest round exclaimed an emphatic no!

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Topics: HHS, DOL, employers, employees, premiums, individual plans, Carol Taylor, FAQ

The Story Behind Minimal Changes in Plan Designs and Premium Rates

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 29, 2014 9:00:00 AM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, a UBA Partner Firm 

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC

Skinny Plans and Minimum Value: Do these plans really pass the test?

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 10, 2014 2:39:00 PM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC

Buyer Beware: Federal and State Law Issues with the FF-SHOP

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Aug 5, 2014 9:00:00 AM

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, small business, SHOP, small business health options program

Delaying Use of the Federally Facilitated SHOP (FF-SHOP) Exchange May Save You Money

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Jun 12, 2014 2:41:00 PM

By Carol Taylor
Benefits Advisor
D&S Agency 

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, small business