United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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

PPACA and COBRA Updates

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 3, 2014 4:11:00 PM

The regulatory agencies have recently issued two sets of guidance that affect an employer’s Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) obligations and opportunities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

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Topics: private insurance exchange, employee wellness, 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, HRA administration

Self-Funded Health Plans Must Obtain a Health Plan Identifier Number

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 27, 2014 12:34:00 PM

To meet federal requirements, large health plans must obtain a national health plan identifier number (HPID) by November 5, 2014. For this requirement, a large health plan is one with more than $5 million in annual receipts. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said that since health plans don't have receipts, insured plans should look at premiums for the prior plan year and self-funded plans should look at claims paid for the prior plan year. Small health plans have until November 5, 2015, to obtain an HPID.

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Topics: private insurance exchange, employee wellness, 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, HRA administration

Help Employees Watch for Hidden Medical Fees

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 8, 2014 12:23:00 PM

By Mary Drueke-Collins, FSA

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Topics: private insurance exchange, employee wellness, 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, HRA administration

Employers Need to Prepare for Play or Pay Requirements

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 30, 2014 11:38:00 AM

On February 10, 2014, the IRS issued final regulations on the employer shared responsibility requirements, often known as “play or pay.”  The play or pay requirements originally were to take effect in 2014, but on July 2, 2013, the White House announced that compliance would be delayed until 2015.

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Topics: private insurance exchange, employee wellness, 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, HRA administration

IRS Releases 2015 HSA Figures

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 29, 2014 1:53:00 PM

The IRS has released the 2015 minimums and maximums that apply to health savings accounts (HSAs) and related high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). These increases occur annually based on a cost-of-living formula.  Because the inflation rate is fairly low, the amounts have not increased very much from last year.

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Topics: private insurance exchange, employee wellness, 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, HRA administration

Manage Benefit Costs Before They Manage You

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 22, 2014 3:02:00 PM

Employers of all sizes are challenged to rethink employee benefits in this new world of health care reform. Tight budgets and a still-recovering economy are spurring benefits managers to think beyond health insurance and look at their benefits as a whole.

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Topics: 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, HRA administration

How to Survive a DOL Audit

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Apr 17, 2014 7:00:00 AM

By Josie Martinez
Senior Partner and Legal Counsel 

EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: 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, HRA administration

Do You Need to Amend Your Health and Section 125 Plans?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 16, 2014 11:26:00 AM

Many group health plans will need to be amended to reflect the required changes to benefits and waiting periods that take effect in 2014. Employers also should consider whether eligibility language will need to be updated to reduce the number of hours the employee must work to be eligible, to address look-back periods, and/or to base eligibility on actual hours worked instead of the “regularly scheduled to work” standard that is common now.

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Topics: 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, HRA administration

What Makes Wellness Work?

Posted by: Lisa Weston    Apr 14, 2014 12:09:00 PM

By Lisa Weston, CWC, CWPC
Director of Employee Wellness Promotion
the bagnall company, a UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: 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, HRA administration