United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Exercise and Health: The Mind-Body Connection

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 23, 2019 12:45:21 PM

Ever notice how you can get an overall feeling of well-being after taking a long walk, shoveling snow, dancing, or playing Frisbee with the kids? It’s not just because you can check “get some physical activity” off your to-do list. Turns out, there are physiological reasons why you get that feeling. And for people who suffer from a mental health condition like depression, anxiety or ADHD, exercise can relieve symptoms almost as well as medications, and can sometimes help certain symptoms from coming back.

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Topics: exercise, workplace wellness, health

May is Mental Health Month

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 21, 2019 2:58:35 PM

shutterstock_735156682Mental Health Month is a campaign to raise overall awareness about mental health in America that started in 1949. The effort to bring mental health to the forefront of employee wellness conversations is relatively new. According to Employee Benefit News, it’s only been in the last five years that employers have more aggressively worked to inform employees about what help is available and also encourage employees to get help, putting mental health treatment in the same space as any health concern.

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Topics: mental health, exercise, workplace wellness

10 Reasons to Quit Tobacco

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 14, 2019 2:28:21 PM

shutterstock_239831578We all know that using tobacco is bad for one’s health. This is true if you smoke cigarettes, use   e-cigarettes (“vaping”), or use smokeless tobacco like chew or dip. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. But if you do, you may need a reminder of how good life can be when you’re tobacco-free. Here are 10 reasons to quit tobacco for good.

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Topics: employee wellness, healthy lifestyles

Bringing Design Thinking to HR

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 9, 2019 5:56:16 PM

shutterstock_752885209Across industries, design thinking has continued its rise in popularity. At its core, design thinking is about centering people in the creation of products. Whatever you’re designing, whether a process or a tool, connecting your work to the people who will use it makes a better solution.

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Topics: Design Thinking

Is it Time for Unlimited Time off?

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 7, 2019 5:17:23 PM

shutterstock_278288438While more and more perks — catered lunches, on-site gyms, immunizations programs — are about employee health, wellness, and happiness, they ultimately are also designed to keep workers at work. A recent article in Quartz at Work points out that more than anything, employees want more time off and out of the office. Unlimited time off, to be exact.

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Topics: personal time off, PTO, vacation

District Court Vacates Portions of the Association Health Plans Final Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    May 2, 2019 5:42:05 PM

shutterstock_149240627As background, on June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule that broadened the definition of “employer” and the provisions under which an employer group or association may be treated as an “employer” sponsor of a single multiple-employer employee welfare benefit plan and group health plan under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

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Topics: DOL, association health plans

Money Talks

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 30, 2019 3:30:25 PM

shutterstock_615761978April 1 may be April Fool’s Day, but for many workers April 2 is no joke. For 2019, it represents National Equal Pay Day, or the day up to which women have to work to make what men made the previous year on average. For women of color, the day is even later in the year every year. 

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Topics: equality, compensation, pay gap

HHS Releases Bulletin that Extends Grandmothered Plans Through 2020

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Apr 25, 2019 2:58:31 PM

shutterstock_245503777As background, in the fall of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a transitional relief program that allowed state insurance departments to permit early renewal at the end of 2013 of individual  and small group policies that do not meet the “market reform” requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and for the policies to remain in force until their new renewal date in late 2014.

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Topics: compliance

Five key facts about blue light in the workplace

Posted by: VSP    Apr 22, 2019 4:43:17 PM

LinkedIn Photo for April UBA Blog Post_1200x628A recent survey showed that 90 percent of Americans use digital devices more than two hours per day. And more than half report using multiple devices simultaneously. Blue light may be unavoidable in the digitally connected world, but employees don’t have to suffer the resulting digital eye strain in silence. Before getting to how you can help your clients’ employees, let’s separate the facts from fiction with regards to blue light. Read more here. 

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Ready to Spark Joy in Your Office?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 18, 2019 4:09:18 PM

shutterstock_134432759The hit Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has set off a wave of house organization, purging, and general tidying. Many thrift stores and donation centers report being overwhelmed with bags and boxes of items recently filling American’s homes. What, though, of the workplace? Should a similar wave of de-cluttering and cleaning be happening at desks and in cubicles across the country?

Messy or cluttered spaces can make people feel more anxious and stressed, less able to focus, and more likely to procrastinate. It makes sense, then, that workers can boost both productivity and mood with some spring cleaning.

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Topics: office culture, office environment, organization