United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

The RFP vs. the Two Step Process — Choosing Group Health Insurance

Posted by: Terry Allard    Feb 26, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Many employers look at employee benefits as a commodity, bidding out their plans annually -- and who can blame them? Rising health care costs coupled with a challenging economic environment have forced many human resources decision-makers to focus heavily on cost.

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Topics: The Wilson Agency, group health insurance, Terry Allard, RFP, Two Step Process

Why Buy Group Health Insurance through a Broker?

Posted by: Terry Allard    Feb 24, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Employers have a lot of choices when it comes to buying group health insurance, including going directly to a carrier (or one of its agents), buying online, or going through a broker. Direct-to-carrier paths make it more difficult to shop the market across product lines, and buying online can leave the employer responsible for navigating “representative” quotes, difficult terminology, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) compliance and ongoing service issues. Good brokers, on the other hand, have the market, compliance, and product knowledge to help employers save money and appropriately manage risk. They will typically offer hands-on experience, free top tools and resources, and a one-stop shop for programs and services. United Benefit Advisors (UBA) is a partnership of the country’s leading independent brokers, a unique model that offers the “Wall Street” savings, resources, and efficiencies of a large centralized company along with the “Main Street” personalized service and entrepreneurial spirit of a local business. In fact, that’s why we like to call UBA Partners “advisors,” not “brokers.” There are many questions you should ask before hiring an advisor, but first and foremost, benefit advisors should have the heart of a teacher in order to effectively guide you through the complex maze of regulations, legalities, coverages, plans, and options.

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Topics: group health insurance, United Benefit Advisors, broker, cost management, advisor

The Story Behind Minimal Changes in Plan Designs and Premium Rates

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 29, 2014 9:00:00 AM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, a UBA Partner Firm 

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC

Determining If Dental and Vision Plans Are “Excepted Benefits”

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Oct 16, 2014 9:00:00 AM

By Linda Rowings
Chief Compliance Officer, UBA 

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Navigating Narrow or Focused Provider Networks (Part 2)

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Oct 14, 2014 3:04:00 PM

By Elizabeth Kay
Compliance and Retention Analyst
AEIS, a UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Skinny Plans and Minimum Value: Do these plans really pass the test?

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 10, 2014 2:39:00 PM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC

What to Include in an SBC

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 10, 2014 3:12:00 PM

A Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) must contain:

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC

Religious Objections to Covering Contraceptives

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 5, 2014 3:06:00 PM

On August 22, 2014, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury released an interim final rule and a proposed rule that provide some new accommodations to employers that have religious objections to covering contraception under their group health plans. The agencies also released a fact sheet on the rules and an alternate form that religious organizations (like religious hospitals, universities and charities) may use.

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits, religious objections, contraception, religious opposition to contraception

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, HRA administration, insurance solutions, medical plan, talent retention

Highlights of the SBC Requirement

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Aug 28, 2014 3:43:00 PM

With Fall open enrollment around the corner, most employers will need to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) to eligible individuals. Here are some highlights of the requirement (as of August 2014):

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Topics: PPACA, health insurance exchanges, employee wellness, retirement, health marketplace, small group employers, Group health plans, private insurance exchange, 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, self funded health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits