United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

The Pitfalls of Online Enrollment Systems

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 2, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Online enrollment platforms are great, but communication and understanding are terribly important for the end-user.

I always say, "technology is great, when it works." Online enrollment platforms have been around for years, and the technology that powers them has grown and advanced at an exponential rate. Who would have guessed that we would be enrolling in our employee benefits directly from our own phones and tablets, without being given the huge enrollment packets from HR?

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Topics: employee benefits, benefit communication, independent employee benefits advisors, online enrollment, benefit plan enrollment

An Employer’s Guide to Navigating the ACA’s Strong Headwinds

Posted by: Michael Weiskirch    Apr 13, 2017 9:30:00 AM

One might describe the series of events leading to the death of the American Health Care Act (Congress’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act) as something like a ballistic missile exploding at launch. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal debate began nearly a decade ago with former President Barack Obama’s first day in office and reemerged as a serious topic during the 2016 presidential election. Even following the retraction of the House bill, repeal of the ACA remains a possibility as the politicians consider alternatives to the recent bill. The possibility of pending legislation has caused some clients to question the need to complete their obligation for ACA reporting on a timely basis this year. The legislative process has produced a great deal of uncertainty which is one thing employers do not like, especially during the busy year end.

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Topics: ACA, employer shared responsibility, Affordable Care Act, ACA reporting, independent employee benefits advisors

The Best Ways to Minimize Your Risk When Selecting a Stop Loss Carrier – Part 1

Posted by: Steven Goethel    Mar 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The age-old adage, "you get what you pay for," certainly holds true in the stop loss industry. I cannot stress enough how important it is to look at more than just the premium rates on a spreadsheet.

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Topics: employee benefits, independent employee benefits advisors, group benefit plans, UMR, stop loss coverage, coverage gaps, Steven Goethel

Are you about to run aground in calm waters?

Posted by: Michael A. Fleck    Feb 28, 2017 11:00:55 AM

An employer's guide to navigating the perils and possibilities of the Employee Benefit Advisor-Client Relationship LIfe Cycle

In the first part of this three-part blog, I introduced three concepts you can apply to create highly successful client relationships:

  1. AvoidingThe Magpie Effect”! Sometimes (too often, actually), what advisors offer and what employers find attractive are not things upon which highly successful relationships can be built.
  2. All employer/advisor relationships go through a life cycle.
  3. An outcomes-based relationship is essential for the successful navigation of the life cycle and optimal return on investment (ROI) for every dollar spent on employee benefits
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Topics: independent employee benefits advisors, Hanna Global Services, Michael Fleck, The Magpie Effect, essential advisor, client relationship life cycle

Striving for a Culture Change in Your Wellness Program (Part 1)

Posted by: Heather Mills, CWWPM    Sep 9, 2016 11:52:34 AM

Many of us have seen or heard about the various wellness programs referred to as “participation–based” programs. These participation-only programs continue to be the starting point for many organizations when they enter the world of workplace wellness. Participatory programs typically include a few individual and team-based activities, offer a level of electronic or onsite seminar education, and offer employees biometric screening and personal health risk assessments. Organizations may even award prizes, hold drawings, or offer giveaways.
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Topics: wellness, wellness programs, independent employee benefits advisors, UBA white paper, healthy lifestyles, Heather Mills

It's not that simple!

Posted by: Mathew Augustine, GPHR, REBC    Aug 2, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Exit or remain, welcome refugees or build a wall to keep them out, guns or no guns, black or white, include all or be exclusive… the list of extreme positions that people are taking goes on and on. What is driving this sudden increase in polarized thinking in the world? The world was getting smaller, technology was supposed to ”level the playing field,” and people were supposed to become more connected. What happened to the ”it’s a small world after all” thinking we hoped to grow up to realize?

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Topics: employee benefits consulting, Mathew Augustine, independent employee benefits advisors, benefits compliance