United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

A PPACA To-Do List

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 6, 2013 11:58:00 AM

Thomas Jefferson said it best: “Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.” And when it comes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, this lesson couldn’t ring more true. It’s easy to keep pushing compliance off to a more convenient time, but there are requirements that take effect later this year which demand preparation. The recent PPACA delays, while helpful in some ways, have erroneously caused many to think they can take a sigh of relief for a year.

But oftentimes the reasons for procrastination have to do with not knowing where to start. PPACA requirements are also affected by employer size, which adds further confusion.

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Topics: compliance, UBA, hr consulting, health care reform, PPACA, HR compliance

The Part-Timer Vs. Contractor Dilemma

Posted by: Elliot Dinkin    Jul 19, 2013 3:07:00 PM

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Topics: UBA, hr consulting, HR compliance, independent contractors

Employer Mandate Delayed But Not Going Away…

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Jul 16, 2013 12:50:00 PM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: compliance, UBA, health care reform, health care, PPACA, HR compliance

Keys to Managing FMLA

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 12, 2013 11:35:00 AM

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Topics: HR webinars, FMLA, disability management, UBA, HR compliance

Health Care Reform and DOMA – Never a Dull Moment

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 9, 2013 2:52:00 PM

Contributed by:

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, UBA, hr consulting, health care reform, HR compliance, DOMA

“Hey! You can’t ask me that!”

Posted by: Colleen Sweeny    Jun 28, 2013 1:35:00 PM

Colleen Sweeney
Compliance Coordinator 
JRW Associates, Inc., a UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: employment law, discrimination, UBA, hr consulting, HR compliance

Help Employees Make Health Care Reform Decisions

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 13, 2013 11:16:00 AM

The amount of information that an employer must understand regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is, in one word, overwhelming. What might be neglected in that process, however, is a focus on educating their employees on the law and helping them to navigate the options available to them.

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Topics: employee communication, health insurance exchanges, UBA, hr consulting, health care reform, PPACA, HR compliance

Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish: Top 6 Benefits Services You Shouldn’t Overlook

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 7, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Small and mid-size employers, in particular, often use the services of a broker to get them the lowest rates on group healthcare. Often that means they jump from plan to plan looking for the short-term gains each year. But in today’s volatile healthcare climate, employers should consider purchasing broader strategic planning and benefits advisory services from their benefits broker. Think about it. Employers turn to expert advisors in key enterprise areas, such as commercial insurance, taxes and financial planning—why should healthcare be any different, particularly when it is one of the biggest expenditures you’ll face? Consider the top 6 services below that are in hottest demand right now. With double digit rate increases looming, penalties mounting, and PPACA complexities building by the minute, you’ll be glad you did.

  • Specialized benefits expertise and solutions. You can’t get the HR, health and wellness, and compliance information you need from a one-size-fits-all insurance broker. Make sure you seek the help of a highly specialized benefits advisor who can offer unique expertise related to benefit plan design and management—and can bring a full range of benefit programs (including voluntary and wellness) to the table for a holistic solution. 
  • Strategic planning. Benefits, especially today, are highly complex with significant retention, tax, compensation, compliance, and financial implications. It’s critical to look at containment goals more strategically than just reducing coverage and shifting costs to employees from year to year. This kind of extensive workforce analysis and consultation comes with a price, but can save your organization hugely in the long term. 
  • Independent benchmarking data. As we know, choosing the right health care plan is highly localized. National or carrier data can be very misleading. Seek the help of experts that can supply objective benchmarking data for your specific region, state, industry and size. 
  • PPACA compliance support. Do you think you are exempt from PPACA because you have fewer than 50 employees? Counting employees under the law is extremely complex. Similarly, deciding whether to “pay” or “play” is a highly individualized continuum, not a black and white decision. Make sure you have the consulting, rule explanations, modeling and decision support tools that will help you make these critically important decisions. 
  • Benefits enrollment support. With exchanges, subsidies, and employer plan changes, benefits enrollment is about to get even more complex. Make sure you purchase the best programs that streamline enrollment and provide optimal support to employees. 
  • Employee communications. Talking to employees about your health plan decisions, exchange options, etc., is about to enter a whole new uncharted territory. Make sure you have the expert assistance you need to reposition your communications with cost management, retention and employee engagement in mind.

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Topics: UBA, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, PPACA, HR compliance

Skinny Plans: A Viable Option for Some Large Employers?

Posted by: Josie Martinez    May 31, 2013 10:51:00 AM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm 

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Topics: employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, PPACA, HR compliance, tax credits

The Tomato Paradox Part 2: What’s Left on the Vine

Posted by: Mick Constantinou    May 21, 2013 10:35:00 AM

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

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Topics: employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, PPACA, HR compliance