United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Real Health Care Reform

Posted by: Holly Parsons    Aug 13, 2013 11:51:00 AM

Holly Parsons
VP Marketing & Business Development
The Wilson Agency

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Topics: health care reform, health care, health care costs, health insurance, employee wellness, wellness

Smoking Attestation is on the Honor System, Like Income Reporting

Posted by: Mick Constantinou    Aug 1, 2013 12:16:00 PM

By Mick Constantinou, Advisor, Employee Benefits
Connelly, Carlisle, Fields, & Nichols, A UBA Partner Firm

Provisions under the Affordable Care Act allow health insurers to charge smokers 50 percent higher premiums than nonsmokers for new individual policies sold beginning in 2014.  The question now is whether the final ruling on the tobacco surcharge will have the teeth necessary to promote healthier lifestyles.

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Topics: health care reform, health care, health insurance exchanges, health care costs, health insurance, wellness, UBA

Four Things You Should Know About the Employer Mandate Delay

Posted by: Thomas Mangan    Jul 3, 2013 10:57:00 AM

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Topics: PPACA, Thomas Mangan, health care reform, employee benefits, health care, health insurance, hr consulting, UBA

States Starting to See Premium Rate Increases

Posted by: Amy Gallagher    Apr 30, 2013 10:40:00 AM

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

Self Funding and PPACA

Posted by: David Ortloff    Feb 21, 2013 11:55:00 AM

David Ortloff, from Dillingham, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: PPACA, health care reform, employee benefits, health care, health care costs, health insurance, hr consulting, self-funding

Self-Funding More and More of an Option for Small Employers

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 1, 2013 12:46:00 PM

by Thomas Mangan
CEO, United Benefit Advisors 

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Topics: Thomas Mangan, employee benefits, health care, health insurance exchanges, health care costs, health insurance, hr consulting

Five Tools to Manage Employee Benefit Costs

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 30, 2013 12:12:00 PM

When it comes to group health insurance, it’s easy to make cost the driving factor in your decision making process. However, to truly manage health care expenditures in the long-run, cost is only part of the picture. Employers should factor in compliance with ever-evolving employment laws and regulations (PPACA), employee communication, plan benchmarking and total cost of risk (COR), including:

  • Losses below a set deductible
  • Losses with a self-insured retention
  • Losses in excess of policy limits
  • Lost productivity
  • The program’s administrative costs, including claims/loss control
  • Retraining expenses

So how do you make plan decisions more holistically? First of all, you may need more than just a broker. A benefits advisor not only shops for the best rates but also consults on PPACA compliance, COR, employee communication strategies, and more. Not sure if your benefits provider is able to give you this more strategic guidance? Use UBA’s free evaluation toolkit to rate your current or prospective broker/advisor. This five-part toolkit includes the following:

  1. Choosing the Right Advisor White Paper: Discusses why a strategy-based approach to benefits is critical and covers characteristics to look for in an advisor. Also reviews how to benchmark your plan to more accurately evaluate costs and effectiveness versus your competitors.
  2. Choosing the Right Advisor Questions and Answers: Covers the questions that employers should ask a potential benefits advisor, questions employers should answer about their internal operations and questions for an advisor’s reference.
  3. Choosing the Right Advisor Glossary of Terms: Industry acronyms and jargon can quickly become confusing even to the most seasoned human resources professionals. This glossary of terms includes definitions for some of the more common terms in the employee benefit brokerage world.
  4. Choosing the Right Advisor Scorecard: Better assists you in effectively comparing advisors, using a checklist to score an advisor's ability, between 1 and 10 (10 being the best), to address issues that are important to your organization.
  5. Top 8 Questions to Ask a Benefits Advisor: UBA Partner Firms have compiled the top eight questions that every employer should ask their benefits advisor based on years of experience working with large and small businesses, across a range of industries.

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

Top 8 Questions Employers Should Ask their Employee Benefits Advisor

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 23, 2013 9:53:00 AM

United Benefit Advisors recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary in supporting its Partners’ efforts to provide quality employee benefits advisory services to their clients. With a decade of experience responding to the ever-changing health care industry, UBA understands the biggest pain points facing employers offering health care coverage to their employees.

To commemorate this 10th anniversary, as well as continue its tradition of assisting the nation’s employers, UBA Partner Firms have compiled the top eight questions that every employer should ask their benefits advisor. These questions are based on many years of experience working with large and small businesses, across a range of industries:

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Topics: PPACA, employee benefits, health plan survey, health care, health insurance exchanges, health care costs, health insurance

Do Employees Understand the Value of Your Benefit Offerings?

Posted by: David Ortloff    Jan 18, 2013 10:22:00 AM

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Topics: employee benefits, health plan survey, health care, health care costs, health insurance, hr consulting, employee engagement, employee communication

Need Quick Summaries on the Five PPACA Proposed Rules?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Dec 27, 2012 11:42:00 AM

Sorting through the bureaucratic language of the recently released Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is tough enough while simultaneously trying to understand how to proceed in implementing these health care reform provisions.

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Topics: PPACA, health care reform, employee benefits, health plan survey, health care, health insurance exchanges, health care costs, health insurance