United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Shhhhhh!

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    Oct 10, 2017 9:30:00 AM

There are places where you expect things to be noisy, such as a rock concert, and places where you expect it to be quiet, like an office. And while nobody likes being “shushed,” there are few things more annoying than trying to work when someone else is talking in the background.

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Topics: office environment, distracted workers, office noise, working conditions

IRS Releases Draft Forms and Instructions for 2017 ACA Reporting

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Oct 5, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals are required to have health insurance while applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees.

Reporting is required by employers with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees, insurers, or sponsors of self-funded health plans, on health coverage that is offered in order for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that:

  • Individuals have the required minimum essential coverage,
  • Individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, and
  • ALEs are meeting their shared responsibility (play or pay) obligations.

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Topics: Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers, ACA reporting

Are you addressing your employee’s financial health?

Posted by: Nancy Cannon, LCSW, LMHP, CEAP    Oct 3, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The importance of health and wellness in the workplace is more apparent than ever. It’s obvious why healthy individuals make better employees and the positive impact this has on your bottom line. When thinking about building a program to improve the well-being of your employees, don’t forget about the importance of their financial health.

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Topics: employee benefits, Employee Assistance Programs, financial stress, financial health

IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Sep 28, 2017 9:30:00 AM

In spite of the recent efforts by Congress to change or repeal the ACA, its provisions are still in effect. The IRS has issued continuing guidance on the affordability rate for coverage, the employer shared responsibility provisions and reporting, and the individual mandate provision.

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Topics: employer shared responsibility, Affordable Care Act, IRS reporting

VR for HR

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    Sep 26, 2017 9:30:00 AM

No matter how well traveled you are, or how busy your lifestyle may be, you likely haven’t been everywhere in the world, or done everything there is to do. There is technology out there, however, that can bring the world to you. That technology is called “virtual reality,” or VR for short, and it’s changing the way that people experience life. VR provides a simulated environment that mimics a real one.

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Topics: human resources, virtual reality, recruiting

Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Sep 21, 2017 9:30:00 AM

On August 22, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to adopt 30 percent incentive levels for employer-sponsored wellness programs under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules.

The court declined to vacate the EEOC's rules because of the significant disruptive effect it would have. However, the court remanded the rules to the EEOC for reconsideration.

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Topics: wellness, wellness incentives, UBA Health Plan Survey, employee benefit trends

Don't Put Up with the Bull of Bullying

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    Sep 19, 2017 9:30:00 AM

There’s no place for bullying and that’s especially true in the workplace, yet many employees bully their co-workers. So, how does this happen? It used to be that bullying was confined to the schoolyard, but now it’s spread to cyberbullying and workplace bullying. Now, if there’s a culture of bullying at an organization, often it’s repeated as people climb the corporate ladder even though they were bullied themselves when they held lower positions.

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Topics: human resources, bullying, cyberbullying

The Killjoy of Office Culture

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    Sep 14, 2017 9:30:00 AM

One of the latest things trending right now in business is the importance of office culture. When everyone in the office is working well together, productivity rises and efficiency increases. Naturally, the opposite is true when employees do not work well together and the corporate culture suffers. So, what are these barriers and what can you do to avoid them?

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Topics: human resources, corporate culture, teamwork

DOL Issues Compliance Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Sep 12, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The DOL issued guidance for employee benefit plans, plan sponsors, and employers located in a county identified for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) due to Hurricane Harvey.

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Topics: employee benefit plans, Hurricane Harvey

What You Need to Know about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Sep 7, 2017 9:30:00 AM

A dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent care services. The IRS determines which expenses are eligible for reimbursement and these expenses are defined by Internal Revenue Code §129 and the employer's plan. Eligible DCFSA expenses include: adult day care center, before/after school programs, child care, nanny, preschool, and summer day camp. Day nursing care, nursing home care, tuition for kindergarten and above, food expenses, and overnight camp are ineligible expenses.

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Topics: voluntary benefits, dependent care flexible spending account, dependent care, employee benefit plans