United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

CMS Releases 2020 Parameters for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jun 6, 2019 1:11:48 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the following parameters for the defined standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit for 2020:

 

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, prescription drugs

Kids and Body Image

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 4, 2019 1:44:51 PM

Growing up can be tough. The challenges of school, relationships with friends, sports and other activities can be stressful for children. Peer pressure, along with what they see and hear daily via social media, TV, movies and video games, can cause them to stress out about how they look. Comparing themselves with their friends—or, worse, with supermodels, movie stars, or pro athletes—can then lead to a negative body image.

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Topics: wellness, body image, children

Protect your pet, protect yourself

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 30, 2019 3:43:36 PM

Pets bring us joy and unconditional love. But sometimes they can bring us illness. Infectious diseases can be passed between animals and humans. These diseases are known as zoonoses. Zoonoses can be spread through direct contact, sometimes through insects, and sometimes via the animal's environment.

Let's face it. Animals do some gross things. Dogs drink from filthy puddles. Cats kill birds and chipmunks. And sometimes, our pets even—gasp!—bite and scratch. All of these things and more can cause the spread of infections and diseases between animals and humans.

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Topics: wellness, health, pets

Outside-the-box ways to spend time outdoors

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 28, 2019 1:43:27 PM

Fresh air and sunshine are good for our health, and being active in the outdoors is better yet. Even if you're not an avid runner or cyclist, there are so many other wonderful ways to get the exercise you need while taking in the joys of nature, family, and friends. Here are a few ideas that might inspire you to grab your sneakers and head out the door for an activity that may be new to you.

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Topics: well-being, exercise, health, outdoors

Exercise and Health: The Mind-Body Connection

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 23, 2019 12:45:21 PM

Ever notice how you can get an overall feeling of well-being after taking a long walk, shoveling snow, dancing, or playing Frisbee with the kids? It’s not just because you can check “get some physical activity” off your to-do list. Turns out, there are physiological reasons why you get that feeling. And for people who suffer from a mental health condition like depression, anxiety or ADHD, exercise can relieve symptoms almost as well as medications, and can sometimes help certain symptoms from coming back.

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Topics: exercise, workplace wellness, health

May is Mental Health Month

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 21, 2019 2:58:35 PM

shutterstock_735156682Mental Health Month 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, exercise, workplace wellness

10 Reasons to Quit Tobacco

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 14, 2019 2:28:21 PM

shutterstock_239831578We all know that using tobacco is bad for one’s health. This is true if you smoke cigarettes, use   e-cigarettes (“vaping”), or use smokeless tobacco like chew or dip. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. But if you do, you may need a reminder of how good life can be when you’re tobacco-free. Here are 10 reasons to quit tobacco for good.

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Topics: employee wellness, healthy lifestyles

Bringing Design Thinking to HR

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 9, 2019 5:56:16 PM

shutterstock_752885209Across industries, design thinking has continued its rise in popularity. At its core, design thinking is about centering people in the creation of products. Whatever you’re designing, whether a process or a tool, connecting your work to the people who will use it makes a better solution.

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Topics: Design Thinking

Is it Time for Unlimited Time off?

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 7, 2019 5:17:23 PM

shutterstock_278288438While more and more perks — catered lunches, on-site gyms, immunizations programs — are about employee health, wellness, and happiness, they ultimately are also designed to keep workers at work. A recent article in Quartz at Work points out that more than anything, employees want more time off and out of the office. Unlimited time off, to be exact.

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Topics: personal time off, PTO, vacation

District Court Vacates Portions of the Association Health Plans Final Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    May 2, 2019 5:42:05 PM

shutterstock_149240627As background, on June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule that broadened 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, association health plans