United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

The “Official” Lowdown on Physical Activity

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 8, 2019 12:25:56 PM

You can read fitness magazines or online blogs, get tips from friends and neighbors, or make up your own rules and regimens for staying active. But when the federal government speaks, you should probably listen.

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Topics: wellness

Offboarding is Important

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 30, 2019 1:26:54 PM

Why does quality offboarding matter so much? After all, someone is leaving your company, not joining it. The reasons lie in shifting employee lifecycles, modern recruitment, and a need to reflect company values at all personnel touch points — especially in a tight labor market.

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Topics: employee satisfaction, HR policies and procedures, offboarding

DOL, HHS, and Treasury Publish Final Rules on Health Reimbursement Arrangements

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jul 25, 2019 1:04:44 PM

On June 20, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Treasury (Treasury) (collectively, the Departments) published their final rules regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans. The DOL also issued a news release, frequently asked questions, model notice, and model attestations.

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Topics: Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, health reimbursement arrangements

Preventing and Beating Burnout

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 23, 2019 2:20:06 PM

Burnout. It’s something people might joke about after a particularly stressful stretch at work or post memes about on Instagram. It’s also a very real phenomenon first described in 1974 and, per a recent article by the BBC, a potential work hazard thanks to a reclassification by the World Health Organization.

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Topics: workplace wellness, workplace culture, stress

IRS Releases Memo on 2-percent Shareholders’ Health Coverage Deductions

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jul 18, 2019 1:12:55 PM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a memorandum to confirm that a person who is a 2-percent shareholder (through Internal Revenue Code §318’s attribution rules) in an S corporation is entitled to a deduction for the amounts paid by the S corporation under a group health plan.

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Topics: IRS, Group health plans, Internal Revenue Service

Get Ready for the Class of 2019

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 16, 2019 12:47:31 PM

It's July, and that means that across the country college seniors have graduated and are entering the workforce. They’ve got good reason to be optimistic. CNBC reports that companies are looking to hire 16 percent more graduates than they did in 2018. In fact, it’s the biggest increase in hiring since 2007, the last class to graduate before the Great Recession.

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Topics: Job Candidates, Millennials in the Workforce, young professionals, college graduates

Health Savings Accounts: At the Intersection of Health Care and Wealth Care

Posted by: Symetra    Jul 11, 2019 1:27:25 PM

What do you think of when you hear the words “health savings account or HSA” as part of an employee benefits package? If you’re like most people, you mistakenly lump it in with the flexible spending accounts (or FSAs) offered by employers. But while FSAs have annual “use it or lose it” strictures and don’t carry over to the next year, HSAs offer tax benefits and long-term, flexible utility that can pack a powerful one-two punch. This combination can help pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses, and grow an individual’s retirement nest egg.

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Topics: health insurance, health care, health savings account, HSA

Sabbaticals Can Benefit Employees and Employers

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 9, 2019 1:08:11 PM

While many employees may be dreaming of a short summer vacation, others could have a longer block of time off in mind. Sabbaticals, whether paid or unpaid, are extended breaks from work without leaving a position. A sabbatical gives an employee the opportunity to take time to travel, spend time with family, do something meaningful or volunteer, pursue a long-held goal, learn something new, or simply recharge.

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Topics: PTO, company policy, vacation, sabbatical

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 2, 2019 12:43:10 PM

Mental Health Month in May each year is a campaign to raise overall awareness about mental health in America that started in 1949. The effort to bring mental health to the forefront of employee wellness conversations is relatively new. According to Employee Benefit News, it’s only been in the last five years that employers have more aggressively worked to inform employees about what help is available and also encourage employees to get help, putting mental health treatment in the same space as any health concern.

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Topics: mental health, workplace wellness, stress

Update on Nondiscrimination Regulations Relating to Sex, Gender, Age, and More

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 27, 2019 1:54:41 PM

On May 24, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a proposed rule to revise its regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Section 1557. OCR also released a fact sheet and press release.

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Topics: health insurance, Department of Health and Human Services, Affordable Care Act, Office for Civil Rights