United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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

Striving for a Culture Change in Your Wellness Program (Part 2)

Posted by: Heather Mills, CWWPM    Sep 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Many wellness programs start off with good intentions, offer some education and fun, but even after several years, have failed to meet their original goals or produce real culture change. We recently reviewed the first three steps to a successful, sustainable workplace program. Here we conclude with steps four through six for setting up a successful program.

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Topics: wellness, employee wellness, wellness programs, Heather Mills, benefit plan design

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

Moving from Employee Wellness to Employee Well-Being

Posted by: Lisa Weston    Apr 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The terms “wellness” and “well-being” are often used interchangeably; however, they mean very different things when applied to workplace health promotion. Traditionally speaking, employee “wellness” programs have primarily focused on just physical health. Whereas employee “well-being” programs emphasize emotional, mental, social, and financial health in addition to physical health.

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Topics: wellness, health care costs, employee wellness, wellness programs, employee health, well-being

Being Hyper Aware of Hypertension

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 26, 2016 12:00:00 PM

As wellness programs continue to flourish particularly among large employers, a discovery is being made about one of the most important health conditions – hypertension. Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is a medical issue where the pressure of the blood in a person’s cardiovascular system is constantly elevated. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Yet even without symptoms, damage to arteries, blood vessels, and even the heart continues until serious health issues, including a heart attack and stroke, happen.

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Topics: wellness, health care costs, health screening, hypertension, biometric screening

Top 10 UBA Blogs from 2015 Reveal Hot Button Healthcare Issues for Employers

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

  1. IRS Provides Details on Reimbursing Premiums for Individual Health Coverage or Medicare Part B, Part D, for Medigap for Active Employees. For many years, employers were permitted to reimburse premiums paid for individual coverage on a tax-favored basis, however, these "employer payment plans" frequently are unable to meet all of the PPACA requirements. Read more
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Topics: wellness, ACA, PPACA, IRS Reporting Rules, summary of benefits and coverage, Cadillac Tax, PPACA reporting, Medicare, UBA Health Plan Survey, Affordable Care Act

2015 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary Now Available!

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 5, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The data are in for the 2015 Health Plan Survey! See our news release with the top cost trends. Download the UBA 2015 Health Plan Survey Executive Summary with more detailed findings. For quick reference, here’s a brief punch list of the top trends:

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Topics: wellness, health plan survey, ACA, Cadillac Tax, UBA Health Plan Survey, Affordable Care Act, health plan trends, insurance costs

How to Motivate Employee Participation in Your Wellness Program

Posted by: Sara Saidi    Aug 18, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Wellness rewardsHave you ever heard the quote, “If you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your business?" It’s great advice and goes beyond ensuring that they get a paycheck each month. Does your company show that they care about an employee’s total well-being? You should, especially considering that an employee’s physical and mental well-being can affect productivity and consequently cost the company money. One great way to show employees that you are invested in them, and to help them stay healthy, is through a wellness program.

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Topics: wellness, wellness incentives, employee benefits, health care, The Wilson Agency, cost of health care, Sara Saidi

The Key to Reducing Health Care Costs – Have We Found It?

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 19, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Self-funding is a very hot topic these days for a number of reasons. For small group employers offering a self-funded plan this means they can charge a composite premium rate based on the employee population versus the community rates that are based on each individual enrollee’s age. For all employer sizes this also means that they are not subject to all of the taxes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which alone can translate into a savings of 3% to 4% of their premiums.

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Topics: wellness, health care costs, self-funding, self funded health plans, consumer-driven health plan, Elizabeth Kay, Cigna Collaborative Care Program, claims data

Congress Taking (Small) Steps for Employee Wellness Programs

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Apr 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) specifically encourages and promotes the expansion of wellness programs in both the individual and group markets. In the individual market, the secretaries of the departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury, and Labor are directed to establish a pilot program to test the impact of providing at-risk populations who utilize community health centers an individualized wellness plan that is designed to reduce risk factors for preventable conditions as identified by a comprehensive risk-factor assessment. Results will be compared against a controlled group.

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Topics: wellness, employee benefits, wellness programs, PPACA Affordable Care Act, 2014 Health Plan Survey