United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

How to Take your 2020 Benefit Change Rollout to the Next Level

Posted by: Bill Olson    Oct 15, 2019 9:42:00 AM

With open enrollment right around the corner, employers are faced with the annual question: how are we going to get employees engaged, while helping them make the smartest benefit decisions for their individual situations?

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Topics: employee benefits, Open Enrollment, benefits enrollment, HR Elements

Expansion of the Remote Workforce

Posted by: Bill Olson    Sep 19, 2019 9:45:00 AM

Laptop on, loafers off. 

According to one Cision study, more than 50% of the working works from home at least half of the week. Remote work is exploding in popularity, expanding by 91% over the last ten years and 159% over the last 12 years.

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Topics: employee benefits, productivity, HR Elements, Work Remotely, Work From Home

It’s Flu Season...Again

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 20, 2018 1:38:54 PM

When flu season hits, absenteeism skyrockets and productivity drops. In a recent article, Employee Benefit News points out that the first step is the "ounce of prevention,” the flu vaccine. Providing for vaccination can be a smart benefit to offer employees, and it requires navigating misinformation about the vaccine, motivating employees to act, and contending with supply issues. For employers who want to increase vaccination rates, experts suggest making the process more convenient or incentivizing getting a shot. On-site programs are more effective since they are not only more convenient but also allow employees to be motivated by seeing their coworkers getting the shot. Regardless of approach, careful planning – from scheduling to ordering to addressing employee concerns – can help an office place stay healthier.

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Topics: employee benefits, productivity, workplace wellness, Flu season, vaccination, vaccination coverage

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, employee benefits, Medicaid, long-term care insurance, 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: employee benefits, human resources solutions, disability income, disability income protection

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

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

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