United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

What You Need to Know about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Sep 7, 2017 9:30:00 AM

A dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent care services. The IRS determines which expenses are eligible for reimbursement and these expenses are defined by Internal Revenue Code §129 and the employer's plan. Eligible DCFSA expenses include: adult day care center, before/after school programs, child care, nanny, preschool, and summer day camp. Day nursing care, nursing home care, tuition for kindergarten and above, food expenses, and overnight camp are ineligible expenses.

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Topics: dependent care flexible spending account, voluntary benefits, dependent care, employee benefit plans

Strategic benefits communication: Five key steps to success this open enrollment season

Posted by: Kevin D. Seeker, GBA    Aug 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM

In previous posts, I have talked about several aspects of strategic benefits communication. Now it’s time to put those strategies into action. As we approach enrollment season, let’s look at five key steps to ensuring this year’s open enrollment is successful for you and your employees.

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Topics: Open Enrollment, benefits communication, employee communication, voluntary benefits

Top Misconceptions about Long Term Care Insurance

Posted by: Christine McCullugh    Jul 6, 2017 9:30:00 AM

In conversations with HR professionals and benefit brokers, we find that the topic of long-term care insurance (LTCi) is often covered in less than two minutes during renewal meetings. When I ask why the topic of conversation is so short, they tell me, “Employees just aren’t asking about it, so they must not be interested.”

If employees aren’t asking about LTCi, does it mean they aren’t interested? They just may be unaware of the value of LTCi and that it can be offered by their employer with concessions not available in the open market. Here are the top seven reasons why LTCi should be a bigger part of the employee benefits conversation.

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Topics: long-term care insurance, LTCi, voluntary benefits

Strategic Benefits Communication: Integrating Voluntary Products Into Benefit Planning – Part Three of a Five-Part Series

Posted by: Kevin D. Seeker, GBA    May 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM

So far in our blog series we have discussed measuring success in communicating benefits as well as personalizing communications to employees and their needs. This month, we will look at how voluntary products have evolved to complement your overall benefit plan design.

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Topics: employee benefit communication, voluntary benefits, benefit plan design, total rewards package

Getting the Most Out of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Posted by: Nancy Cannon, LCSW, LMHP, CEAP    Apr 6, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Many employers understand the value of having an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) since the heart and soul of organizations are employees. Employees who are physically and mentally healthy, highly productive, engaged in their work, and loyal to their employer contribute positively to their employer’s bottom line. Fortunately, most employees are positive contributors, yet even the best of employees can occasionally have issues or circumstances arise that may inadvertently impact their jobs in a negative way. Having an EAP in place that can address these issues early may mitigate any negative impact to the workplace. This is a win-win for both employees and employers.

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Topics: Employee Assistance Programs, EAP, voluntary benefits

The Changing Landscape of Employee Benefits

Posted by: Pat McClelland    Mar 2, 2017 9:30:00 AM

There is no denying our industry is changing rapidly, and it’s not about to slow down. Combined with disruptive advances in technology and evolving consumer expectations, we’re seeing consumer-driven health care emerge. Take, for example, the fact that employees now spend more than nine hours a day on digital devices.

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Topics: vision care, voluntary benefits, digital eye strain, preventive screening, employee benefits, Patrick McClelland, VSP Vision Care

Strategic Benefits Communication: How Do You Measure Success?

Posted by: Kevin D. Seeker, GBA    Feb 21, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Last fall I had the pleasure of hosting a UBA WisdomWorkplace webinar called “Success in Voluntary through Strategic Benefits Communication.” I discussed recent Sun Life survey data regarding employee engagement and understanding of the value of voluntary benefits.

In the world of voluntary insurance carriers, success in voluntary benefits can be measured in various ways. A key metric is employee participation. For carriers, this is important because the greater the employee participation in a voluntary product, the better the spread of risk, which leads to appropriate margins and sustainable pricing.

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Topics: benefits communication, employee engagement, voluntary benefits, employee participation, Kevin D. Seeker, Sun Life Financial

EEOC Files Suit Over Wellness Program

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 9, 2014 1:32:00 PM

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued an employer because the penalty it applied for not participating in its wellness program was, in the eyes of the EEOC, so high that participation was not, as a practical matter, “voluntary.” Under EEOC rules, an employer may conduct medical examinations, which includes obtaining medical histories and blood draws, only in limited situations. One of those permitted situations is a voluntary wellness program. Because the program did not qualify as “voluntary,” the questions employees were asked about their health on a health risk assessment, a blood draw, and a range of motion assessment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the EEOC’s Complaint.

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Topics: health care reform, employee benefits, health care, health care costs, employee satisfaction, hr consulting, employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, absence management, disability management, absenteeism, UBA Partner Firm, voluntary benefits, ACA, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, disability insurance, wellness programs, HRA, health risk assessment, PPACA Affordable Care Act, health care reform

Overcoming Employee Disengagement

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 27, 2014 2:31:00 PM

By Peter Freska, CEBS, Advisor
The LBL Group 
A United Benefit Advisors Partner Firm 

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Topics: health care reform, employee benefits, health care, health care costs, employee satisfaction, hr consulting, employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, absence management, disability management, absenteeism, UBA Partner Firm, voluntary benefits, ACA, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, disability insurance, wellness programs, HRA, health risk assessment

The Road to Better Absence Management

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 11, 2014 4:14:00 PM

By Stephen Coffman, Group Practice Leader
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America  

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Topics: health care reform, employee benefits, health care, health care costs, employee satisfaction, hr consulting, employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, absence management, disability management, absenteeism, UBA Partner Firm, voluntary benefits, ACA, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, disability insurance, wellness programs