United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Do you have a choice of where you will be taken care of?

Posted by: Rob Morrow    Oct 18, 2018 1:07:37 PM

If something should happen to you or one of your employees today that required Long Term Care, do you, or they, have a choice in where the care is received? 

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Topics: Long-Term Care, long-term care insurance, Medicaid, employee benefits, long-term care benefits, senior care

How Well do Your Employees Evaluate Risk?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 10, 2018 12:56:07 PM

In a recent column in Human Resource Executive, Carol Harnett reminds us that humans are notoriously poor at evaluating risk. We don’t always focus on the major problem, or weigh compromising factors correctly. Quoting risk-communications consultant Peter Sandman, Harnett suggests that risk should be evaluated using this formula: Risk = Hazard + Outrage.What does that mean? Hazard is the anticipated annual mortality rate, and all other factors fall under outrage. “The public,” says Sandman, “pays too little attention to hazard; the experts pay absolutely no attention to outrage. Not surprisingly, they rank risks differently.” Consequently, experts and the public choose insurance differently too.

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Topics: employee benefits, disability insurance, disability income protection

Disability Income Protection is an Employee Benefits Rising Star

Posted by: Nicole Blodgett    Jun 28, 2018 12:52:41 PM

According to recent studies disability income is a rising star in the employee benefits market. This is due to a variety of factors. Most poignantly insurance company attempts to court and educate employee benefit advisers about the product, historically low national unemployment and financial impact of the recent tax reforms.

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Topics: disability income, employee benefits, disability income protection, human resources solutions

The Perk of Pets

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    Oct 12, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Companies on the leading edge of employee benefits, especially those that want to stand out within an industry, will offer such pet-friendly perks in order to attract top talent. But what exactly are these benefits?

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Topics: employee benefits, employee perks, pets at work

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

Small Employers Lead the Way in Funding HSAs

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 15, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The average employer contribution to an HSA is $474 for a single employee (down 3.5 percent from 2015 and 17.6 percent from five years ago) and $801 for a family (down 9.2 percent from last year and 13.7 percent from five years ago). There was a 26 percent increase in the number of individuals enrolled in HSAs, likely due to the increase in CDHP enrollment (which often have HSAs tied to them). Since 2013, there has been a 97.7 percent increase in enrollment, showing significant employer and employee interest in these plans over time.

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Topics: UBA Health Plan Survey, health savings accounts, HSAs, employee benefits, health plan benchmarking

Answers to the Top 4 Questions about Section 105(h) Nondiscrimination Testing

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 6, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Under Internal Revenue Code Section 105(h), a self-insured medical reimbursement plan must pass two nondiscrimination tests. Failure to pass either test means that the favorable tax treatment for highly compensated individuals who participate in the plan will be lost. The Section 105(h) rules only affect whether reimbursement (including payments to health care providers) under a self-insured plan is taxable.

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Topics: IRS Code Section 105(h), nondiscrimination testing, employee benefits, self-insured medical plan

Is Your Wellness Program Compliant with the ACA, GINA and EEOC?

Posted by: Valeria S. Tivnan, MPH, M.Ed.    May 9, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Workplace wellness programs have increased popularity through the years. According to the most recent UBA Health Plan Survey, 49 percent of firms with 200+ employees offering health benefits in 2016 offered wellness programs. Workplace wellness programs’ popularity also brought controversy and hefty discussions about what works to improve population health and which programs comply with the complex legal standards of multiple institutions that have not really “talked” to each other in the past. To “add wood to the fire,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made public some legal actions that shook the core of the wellness industry, such as EEOC vs. Honeywell International, and EEOC vs. Orion Energy Systems.

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Topics: wellness, workplace wellness, employee benefits, ACA, GINA

The Pitfalls of Online Enrollment Systems

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 2, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Online enrollment platforms are great, but communication and understanding are terribly important for the end-user.

I always say, "technology is great, when it works." Online enrollment platforms have been around for years, and the technology that powers them has grown and advanced at an exponential rate. Who would have guessed that we would be enrolling in our employee benefits directly from our own phones and tablets, without being given the huge enrollment packets from HR?

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Topics: benefit plan enrollment, employee benefits, online enrollment, independent employee benefits advisors, benefit communication

The Best Ways to Minimize Your Risk When Selecting a Stop Loss Carrier – Part 1

Posted by: Steven Goethel    Mar 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The age-old adage, "you get what you pay for," certainly holds true in the stop loss industry. I cannot stress enough how important it is to look at more than just the premium rates on a spreadsheet.

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Topics: stop loss coverage, group benefit plans, employee benefits, coverage gaps, Steven Goethel, UMR, independent employee benefits advisors