United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Survey: Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Health Benefits Offered by Employers Nationwide

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 24, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Small employers, those with fewer than 100 employees, have a reputation for not offering health insurance benefits that are competitive with larger employers, but new survey data from UBA’s Health Plan Survey reveals they are keeping pace with the average employer and, in fact, doing a better job of containing costs.

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Topics: group health insurance, small business, UBA Health Plan Survey, health care cost containment, employee benefit trends

Ouch! Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Jan 17, 2017 10:49:45 AM

Proposed regulations for revising and greatly expanding the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 reporting are set to take effect in 2019. Currently, the non-retirement plan reporting is limited to those employers that have more than 100 employees enrolled on their benefit plans, or those in a self-funded trust. The filings must be completed on the DOL EFAST2 system within 210 days following the end of the plan year.

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Topics: small group employers, Form 5500, Carol Taylor, small business, group benefit plans, health plan reporting

Cost Effective Wellness Strategies for Small Business Employers

Posted by: Lori Kunkle, RN, MSN    Sep 15, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Companies like Google®, L.L. Bean®, and Zappos.com® have the ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on wellness programs for their employees. They can build state-of-the-art gym facilities, walking trails around the corporate campus, and offer any number of wellness services to benefit their workers, as well as monetary incentives. For the average employer and small business owners, this type of programming is nearly impossible. Small business owners may not have money to spend on these types of wellness programs, but they do recognize the value of investing in the health and wellbeing for their employees. These are shared strategies you can use to offer your employees opportunities to reduce health risks, control health care costs, and improve productivity and overall wellbeing.

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Topics: wellness, small business, UBA white paper, Lori Kunkle, voluntary wellness programs, wellness compliance

CMS Provides Clarity on PACE Act Implications for States

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Nov 12, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Providing Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act amended the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and redefined small employers as those with 50 or fewer employees; it also gives states the option to expand the definition to include employers with up to 100 employees (or, practically speaking, those with 51 to 100 employees, also called "mid-size employers"). Prior to the ACA, all states defined small employers as those with 1 to 50 or 2 to 50 employees; however, many have passed legislation redefining the group size up to 100 employees beginning in 2016. States are now in the process of determining what they define as "small employer."

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Topics: SHOP, small business, Danielle Capilla, Providing Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, PACE Act

The Story Behind Minimal Changes in Plan Designs and Premium Rates

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 29, 2014 9:00:00 AM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, a UBA Partner Firm 

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Determining If Dental and Vision Plans Are “Excepted Benefits”

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Oct 16, 2014 9:00:00 AM

By Linda Rowings
Chief Compliance Officer, UBA 

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Navigating Narrow or Focused Provider Networks (Part 2)

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Oct 14, 2014 3:04:00 PM

By Elizabeth Kay
Compliance and Retention Analyst
AEIS, a UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Skinny Plans and Minimum Value: Do these plans really pass the test?

Posted by: Carol Taylor    Oct 10, 2014 2:39:00 PM

By Carol Taylor, Employee Benefit Advisor
D&S Agency, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

What to Include in an SBC

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 10, 2014 3:12:00 PM

A Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) must contain:

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, summary of benefits and coverage, SBC, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits

Religious Objections to Covering Contraceptives

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 5, 2014 3:06:00 PM

On August 22, 2014, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury released an interim final rule and a proposed rule that provide some new accommodations to employers that have religious objections to covering contraception under their group health plans. The agencies also released a fact sheet on the rules and an alternate form that religious organizations (like religious hospitals, universities and charities) may use.

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, private insurance exchange, health marketplace, employee wellness, PPACA, retirement, small group employers, religious objections, contraception, religious opposition to contraception, 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, Group health plans, small business, dependents, dependent insurance, family insurance benefits