United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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.

Read More

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

Wellness Programs Feeling the Heat as the EEOC Increases Its Efforts - Part 2, Federal Regulations

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Dec 30, 2014 1:00:00 PM

As mentioned in the first posting, wellness programs must be analyzed under a myriad of laws and regulations. This post will discuss generally the wellness program landscape in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Nondiscrimination Regulations. This is a 30,000-foot overview of laws and regulations that are in need of microscopic scrutiny when applying them to a wellness program.

Read More

Topics: wellness, UBA, EEOC, Jennifer Kupper, iaCONSULTING, Part 2, Federal Regulations

Wellness Programs Feeling the Heat as the EEOC Increases Its Efforts - Part 1

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Dec 18, 2014 1:00:00 PM

While wellness programs have increased in popularity, according to the 2014 UBA Health Plan Survey, actual wellness program adoption has been in a holding pattern. As one might expect, the highest percentage (58.8%) of plans offering wellness benefits came from employers with 1,000 or more employees and the lowest percentage (8%) of plans offering wellness benefits came from employers with fewer than 25 employees. On average, wellness programs are down slightly by 1.3%. It’s no wonder given all the pending litigation and regulation surrounding these programs, including the fact that the health of an employee population is no longer a rating factor for smaller employers.

Read More

Topics: wellness, health plan survey, UBA, EEOC, Jennifer Kupper, iaCONSULTING, 2014, Part 1

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.

Read More

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

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 

Read More

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

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  

Read More

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

How Long Commutes Impact Workplace Productivity

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    May 19, 2014 12:44:00 PM

What do all employees have in common? They all have a burning dislike for their morning commute! Let’s face it, it’s not the actual commute that most people dislike, it’s the hassle of dealing with traffic, long lines, and rude people that make the trip so despised.

Read More

Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, employee benefits, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absenteeism, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans

Taxing Wellness Incentives

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Oct 8, 2013 2:00:00 PM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm 

Read More

Topics: wellness, ACA, employee wellness, wellness incentives, UBA, health care reform, PPACA

An Uptick in Obesity Disability Claims

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Aug 26, 2013 9:41:00 AM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm

Read More

Topics: wellness, employee wellness, disability management, employee benefits, health care

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 21, 2013 4:00:00 PM

A recent article in Human Resource Executive Online shared a startling statistic: It takes about 16 years to realize a positive return-on-investment on employer-sponsored wellness programs. That’s a long time, and more importantly makes you wonder why we implement wellness programs at all? According to this article, it’s not so much about the health care dollars you gain back for your business with wellness programs, but more about how these initiatives can transform your company culture for the better.

Here’s a quick article excerpt:

“Edington believes wellness programs can't save enough in healthcare costs to make a difference – ‘maybe $200 to $300, at best’ – but he thinks a wellness program can create shareholder value.

Read More

Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits