United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

How to Motivate Employee Participation in Your Wellness Program

Posted by: Sara Saidi    Aug 18, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Wellness rewardsHave you ever heard the quote, “If you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your business?" It’s great advice and goes beyond ensuring that they get a paycheck each month. Does your company show that they care about an employee’s total well-being? You should, especially considering that an employee’s physical and mental well-being can affect productivity and consequently cost the company money. One great way to show employees that you are invested in them, and to help them stay healthy, is through a wellness program.

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Topics: wellness, wellness incentives, employee benefits, health care, The Wilson Agency, cost of health care, Sara Saidi

Question of the Month: How is PPACA's "IRS Form W-2 safe harbor" regarding affordability calculated?

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    May 21, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Answer: Under PPACA, coverage is considered affordable if it costs less than 9.5 percent of an employee's household income. Because employers are often unaware of an employee's household income, there are three safe harbors that an employer can use to determine affordability. One is the "IRS Form W-2 safe harbor," and under it coverage is affordable if the employee's contribution for self-only coverage is less than 9.5 percent of his W-2 (Box 1) income for the current year. Box 1 reports taxable income and might be artificially low for an individual with high 401(k), 403(b) or Section 125 deferrals, or who takes unpaid leave. There are no adjustments to account for this.

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Topics: health care, PPACA Affordable Care Act, Affordability, W-2 safe harbor, affordable health care

Harvard Professors Fall Out Of the Ivory Tower with Health Care Hikes

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Jan 20, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The New York Times recently stirred up a media firestorm when it reported about Harvard University professors who were lambasting the health care increases they were facing this year.

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Topics: UBA, health care, PPACA Affordable Care Act, ivory tower, harvard, Josie Martinez, professors, 2014 Health Plan Survey

Top Health Care Statistics

Posted by: Peter Freska    Oct 30, 2014 11:01:00 AM

By: Peter Freska, MPH, CEBS, Benefits Advisor
The LBL Group
A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: health plan survey, UBA, health care, Statistics, Peter Freska, Becker's Hospital Review, 100 Healthcare Statistics to Know

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

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

Funding Concierge Medicine Costs with HSAs/FSAs

Posted by: Dave Woodruff    Feb 4, 2014 10:28:00 AM

By Dave Woodruff
The A.I. Group, Inc.

Most of us have heard of “concierge medicine” and it’s gaining popularity, especially among executives.  As more people enroll, more questions are popping up that we haven’t heard before.  One of the most frequent questions we’ve heard is, “Can I fund the cost of the concierge with my health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA)?”

The answer is an absolute “maybe!”

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Topics: health care costs, health insurance, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, health care, FSA, concierge medicine, flexible spending account, health savings account, HSA

UBA's Most Popular Tools to Alleviate PPACA Stress

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 17, 2014 10:07:00 AM

To alleviate PPACA compliance anxiety, employers need resources that clearly explain which provisions affect them so they can make the best decisions. The following four guides will help you get started: 

1. Confused About What PPACA Changes To Make When? This compliance timeline helps employers prepare for key milestones related to: 

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Topics: health care costs, health insurance exchanges, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, PPACA