United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

How to Get Employees' Attention during Open Enrollment

Posted by: Mathew Augustine, GPHR, REBC    Oct 1, 2015 12:00:00 PM

It’s that time of the year – open enrollment season is here! Insurance carriers are presenting renewals and brokers are presenting ways to alleviate the cost pressure with innovative cost management strategies. HR and benefits professionals are under pressure to think out of the box and come up with new and improved benefit programs to engage employees. Benefits administration companies are busy getting staffed, trained and ready for long hours and last-minute client decisions. And employees are getting ready for the barrage of benefits-related communications that are coming their way.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee benefits, Open Enrollment, Hanna Global Solutions, Mathew Augustine

EEOC Files Suit Over Wellness Program

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 9, 2014 1:32:00 PM

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued an employer because the penalty it applied for not participating in its wellness program was, in the eyes of the EEOC, so high that participation was not, as a practical matter, “voluntary.” Under EEOC rules, an employer may conduct medical examinations, which includes obtaining medical histories and blood draws, only in limited situations. One of those permitted situations is a voluntary wellness program. Because the program did not qualify as “voluntary,” the questions employees were asked about their health on a health risk assessment, a blood draw, and a range of motion assessment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the EEOC’s Complaint.

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, health risk assessment, PPACA Affordable Care Act, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, HRA

How The Marketing of Health Benefits Has Changed

Posted by: Bill Olson    Sep 4, 2014 12:46:00 PM

By Mathew Augustine, GPHR, REBC
CEO, Hanna Global Solutions

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Topics: employee engagement, benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, HRA administration, talent retention

Overcoming Employee Disengagement

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 27, 2014 2:31:00 PM

By Peter Freska, CEBS, Advisor
The LBL Group 
A United Benefit Advisors Partner Firm 

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, health risk assessment, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, HRA

The Road to Better Absence Management

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 11, 2014 4:14:00 PM

By Stephen Coffman, Group Practice Leader
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America  

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans

How Long Commutes Impact Workplace Productivity

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    May 19, 2014 12:44:00 PM

What do all employees have in common? They all have a burning dislike for their morning commute! Let’s face it, it’s not the actual commute that most people dislike, it’s the hassle of dealing with traffic, long lines, and rude people that make the trip so despised.

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, employee benefits, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absenteeism, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 21, 2013 4:00:00 PM

A recent article in Human Resource Executive Online shared a startling statistic: It takes about 16 years to realize a positive return-on-investment on employer-sponsored wellness programs. That’s a long time, and more importantly makes you wonder why we implement wellness programs at all? According to this article, it’s not so much about the health care dollars you gain back for your business with wellness programs, but more about how these initiatives can transform your company culture for the better.

Here’s a quick article excerpt:

“Edington believes wellness programs can't save enough in healthcare costs to make a difference – ‘maybe $200 to $300, at best’ – but he thinks a wellness program can create shareholder value.

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Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 21, 2013 2:20:00 PM

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Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits

Five Ways to Get Employees Engaged

Posted by: Holly Parsons    Jun 25, 2013 2:13:00 PM

By Holly Parsons
The Wilson Agency, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: employee engagement, employee communication, UBA, hr consulting

Developing a New Approach to Disability Management

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 18, 2013 1:48:00 PM

Most employers are, unfortunately, all-too-familar with the traditional approach to disability management: employees must prove they’re disabled. While this traditional strategy may seem effective to some, research shows that its adversarial nature actually leads to higher costs due to more medical tests needed to demonstrate disability.

Ninety-five percent of disabilities are caused by illnesses, rather than accidents (1) – for this and many other reasons, employers should reevaluate their approach in handling employee absences.  This startling statistic shows that illnesses are complex and often involve multiple factors that can, and do, prohibit a quick recovery.

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Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, employee communication, disability management, UBA, hr consulting, absence management, absenteeism