United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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

Status of Court Case Challenging ACA Constitutionality

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Apr 16, 2019 2:52:00 PM

shutterstock_754468558As background, in February 2018, twenty states filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Court) to strike down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) entirely. The lawsuit came after the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 that reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0, starting in 2019.

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Topics: compliance

8 Ways to Better Manage Your Time

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 12, 2019 5:28:03 PM

shutterstock_1225617076Feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? It might sound strange, but you might want to slow your pace. When we try to operate at warp speed, we sometimes make more mistakes and often feel more stress. Check out these tips to make the most of your time without pushing yourself too hard.

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Topics: time management

Changing marijuana laws impact HR

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 9, 2019 3:54:37 PM

shutterstock_309992177In more and more states, the legalization or impending legalization of cannabis requires HR teams to assess, and potentially continually reassess, company policies. In some states, legalization has been limited to medical use but, in others, it has extended to recreational use. Workforce magazine has had several recent articles focused on helping HR professionals understand how new and existing laws impact their work and workplace. In nearly every state, every employer will need to consider current and future policies around possession, use, and what constitutes impairment.

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Topics: workplace safety, work performance, marijuana

The future is freelancing

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 4, 2019 4:03:23 PM

shutterstock_1241911273The freelance revolution is here, and it’s here to stay. In the past, freelancing was an option for workers between jobs with the likely goal eventually getting back into a full-time position. Today, it’s shifted into a lifestyle choice individuals make for a host of reasons, and something they may do for the long-term. Some research points to more than half of all workers identifying as part of the contingent economy, with those numbers trending upward.

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Topics: recruiting, freelance

Easy food swaps to healthy-up your diet

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 2, 2019 4:38:39 PM

shutterstock_594621377Did you know you can eat plenty of food to fill  you up, while cutting out some of the not-so-healthy stuff? It’s true. You can enjoy some of your favorite, most decadent recipes simply by doing some creative ingredient swapping.

Don’t just think about the number of calories in a food. There’s more to it than that. You get full from the amount you eat, not by how many calories you eat. It’s about replacing higher calorie foods with lower-calorie options or with foods higher in fiber that will fill you up. Some of these include fruits and vegetables, low-fat and fat-free dairy, and beans and peas.

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Topics: healthy lifestyles, diet, healthy eating

Playing in the workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 28, 2019 2:59:32 PM

shutterstock_1048652945Have you heard of gamification? To gamify an everyday activity, you add the best fun or competitive elements associated with games to help boost engagement, according to G2 Crowd. Why bother and not just slog through your paperwork? The idea behind gamification is that feeling accomplished or engaged in fun ways, whether by earning points, badges, or accolades, can help people stay motivated to stick with tasks they might otherwise abandon.

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Topics: office productivity, time management, gamification

Weight Loss: Myths vs. Facts

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 26, 2019 4:19:05 PM

shutterstock_282254006Eat this! Don’t eat that! Lose weight fast! Blast away calories with this best-ever workout routine! 

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Topics: healthy lifestyles, exercise