United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Can You Handle the Truth?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 5, 2018 12:57:11 PM

Direct feedback culture, according to “Mastering the Art of Negative Feedback,” from Society for Human Resource Management means simultaneously challenging someone while also showing you care. Many employees skew toward caring over candor, and that can lead to dissatisfaction.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee communication, human resources, Feedback

IRS Issues Transition Relief Notice for Plans with Male Sterilization or Contraceptive Benefits

Posted by: Karen Hsu    May 31, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Recently, some states adopted laws that
require certain health insurance policies to
provide benefits for male sterilization and male contraceptives without cost-sharing.

However, under health saving account (HSA) eligibility requirements, a high deductible health plan (HDHP) generally may not provide benefits for any year until the minimum deductible for that year is satisfied. Although an HDHP may provide preventive care without a deductible or with a deductible that is below the minimum annual amount required by HSA eligibility requirements, male sterilization and male contraceptives are not considered preventive care under the Social Security Act or any Treasury Department guidance.

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Topics: HDHPs, HSAs, IRS Notice 2018-12

Perk Up Your Benefits Packages

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 29, 2018 3:44:29 PM

What people want in their benefits package is changing. Retirement and health care still rank high but soft perks and voluntary benefits factor into satisfaction more than any other benefits, so says “Employees Increasingly Excited About Soft Perks and Company-Culture Benefits,” in Employee Benefit News.

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Topics: retirement, office culture, health care coverage, benefits

Inclusive Workplaces Benefit Everyone

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 22, 2018 1:30:50 PM

While there’s plenty of talk about work/life balance, many employees want to feel human while at work, too. Being able to bring their whole selves, according to “3 Ways to Create a More Human Workplace,” from Workforce, is an essential piece of a welcoming, inclusive workplace environment.

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Topics: workplace discrimination, workplace wellness, workplace culture, diversity

IRS Issues Updated Employers Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 17, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Recently the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued its 2018 Publication 15-B, which informs 

employers about employment tax treatment of fringe benefits.
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Topics: IRS, employee benefit plans, fringe benefits

Redefining Retirement

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 15, 2018 4:35:21 PM

Employees are working longer, whether because of increasing life expectancies or lowered confidence about their ability to retire. Longer work lives are tied to less engagement and more stress, among other negative impacts. For employers, this may mean taking time to consider shifting benefits or programming to better meet changing needs both to help employees retire when they want and stay healthier if they continue working.

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Topics: family insurance benefits, retirement security, retirement planning

IRS Changes HSA Limit for 2018

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 11, 2018 11:54:46 AM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released Revenue Procedure 2018-27 to modify the 2018 health savings account (HSA) family contribution limit back to $6,900. This is the second, and likely final, change in limit during 2018.

 

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Topics: family planning, HSA, family insurance benefits, HSA funding, health care benefits, HSAs

Your Workplace May Want to Get Moving

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Rearranging workspaces may cause grumbling around the water cooler. The return on employee time and company money invested in reorganizing has long been difficult to prove. But, when Steve Jobs famously centralized bathrooms at Pixar for serendipitous interactions meant to spur innovation, it turns out he really was on to something.

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Topics: office culture, office productivity, office environment, empolyee engagement

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