United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Small Employers Ask about Form 5500

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 18, 2017 9:30:00 AM

UBA’s compliance team leverages the collective expertise of its independent partner firms to advise 36,000 employers and their 5 million employees. Lately, a common question from employers is: If a health and welfare benefit plan has fewer than 100 participants, then does it need to file a Form 5500?

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Topics: Small Employers, Form 5500, Group health plans

UBA Special Report: 2016 Trends in Employer Wellness Programs

Posted by: Jason Reeves    Nov 18, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The latest round of regulations in the area of wellness (what employers can and can’t do) is proving to be a hotly contested topic. Employers are eager to offer incentives as a way to both encourage wellness and also lower health care costs. However, employee privacy is on the line, and some argue, at risk. Even though many employers may never see the data collected, there is a philosophical debate brewing about what should – or should not – be permitted.

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Topics: wellness, wellness incentives, Group health plans, UBA Health Plan Survey, health care trends, Jason Reeves

What Employers Need to Know about the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 14, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Beginning in early 2016, many employers received letters from the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match program. These letters are addressed to the employer and begin by stating that "Medicare needs your cooperation." Employers are directed to report information on the IRS/SSA/CMS Data Match Secure Web Site (https://www.cob.cms.hhs.gov/DataMatch/). The data being requested is often extensive, and can cover a number of years.

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Group health plans, Danielle Capilla, IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program

Top Five Best and Worst States for Group Health Plans

Posted by: Matt Weimer    Apr 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Top 5Health insurance premium renewal rates increased an average of 6.2 percent for all plans in 2015, up from the previous year’s 5.6 percent increase, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which account for five million U.S. employers, were hit the hardest—see our breaking news with the details.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, group health insurance, Group health plans, health plan cost trends, UBA Health Plan Survey, health insurance cost

Proposed Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template and Updates

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Mar 3, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Insurance document summaryA Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) is four-page (double-sided) communication required by the federal government. It must contain specific information, in a specific order and with a minimum size type, about a group health benefit’s coverage and limitations. Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed revisions to the template and related materials.

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Topics: summary of benefits and coverage, SBC, Group health plans, Danielle Capilla

How to Benchmark Your Health Plan

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Are you benchmarking your health plan correctly? If you are using data from your carrier or a small study of only large employers, chances are you are not effectively analyzing your rates. To truly benchmark your plan, you need to compare your plan to others in your state, industry, and size category.

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Topics: health insurance premiums, health plan benchmarking, Group health plans, UBA Health Plan Survey

Transitional Reinsurance Fee for Self-funded Group Health Plans

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Oct 27, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Transitional Reinsurance Program to help stabilize premiums in the individual private and public marketplaces. The Transitional Reinsurance Fee (TRF) applies to fully insured and self-funded major medical plans for 2014, 2015, and 2016, regardless of the policy or plan year. Insurers of fully insured major medical plans and sponsors of self-funded major medical plans are responsible for filing and submitting contributions for the Transitional Reinsurance Program.

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Topics: ACA, TRF, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Transitional Reinsurance Fee, Jennifer Kupper, self funded health plans, Group health plans, PCORI Fee, Transitional Reinsurance Program

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Same Sex Marriage Is Protected by the 14th Amendment

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

RingsThe Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges, that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The decision was reached 5-4. Justice Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

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Topics: Section 125, same sex marriage, group health insurance, Group health plans, U.S. Supreme Court, Danielle Capilla, change in status event, definition of spouse, Obergefell v Hodges

Cost-Sharing Limits; Provider Discrimination FAQ Released

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 25, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Recently, federal agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), issued a short five-question FAQ on two ACA-related issues: limitations on cost-sharing and provider discrimination.

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Topics: PPACA Affordable Care Act, Group health plans, cost-sharing limit, provider discrimination

Proposed Rule on Wellness Programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 5, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Federal agencies recently released a Proposed Rule to amend regulations and provide guidance on implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to employer wellness programs.

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Topics: discrimination, wellness incentives, wellness programs, PPACA Affordable Care Act, Group health plans, Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA