United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

DOL Releases Updated COBRA Model Notices and FAQs

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Jun 23, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The DOL released updated COBRA model notices and FAQs providing general information on the updated model notices. The FAQs note that the DOL provides a model general COBRA notice and model COBRA election notice that plans may use to satisfy the requirements to timely provide both of these notices to qualified beneficiaries.

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Topics: COBRA, DOL, FAQs

Key Tips For Conducting Virtual Interviews

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    Jun 19, 2020 6:45:00 AM

When quarantine officially came into effect, thousands of businesses with no remote work policy in place scrambled to piece together teleworking procedures robust enough to handle the complications of COVID-19. For many it was a learning process, a time of continual adjustment to find the right solutions for their organizations. Quarantine has now been in effect for several months now, and many departments have gone from growing pains to smoothly operating remotely.

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Topics: HR Elements, Job Interviews, COVID-19, Remote Interviews, quarantine

IRS Issues Notice 2020-29

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Jun 12, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The IRS issued IRS Notice 2020-29 (Notice) that provides increased flexibility for making mid-year elections or changes under a Section 125 cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020 related to employer-sponsored health coverage, health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

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Topics: compliance, compliance recap, IRS Notice 2020-29

How To Manage On-Site Employees During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    Jun 9, 2020 1:30:00 PM

As we continue to self-isolate, executives and team leaders across the country are grappling with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the toll it's taken on themselves and their workers—and have been handling all of this while in quarantine. But for many employees, working from home hasn’t been an option. Deborah Alvord, a senior director analyst for Gartner, told HRMorning that “Many (employers) can’t implement remote work for all of their employees due to the lack of available infrastructure, the physical nature of some … roles or union contracts.”

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Topics: return to work plan, HR Elements, Social Distancing, COVID-19, CDC

Can Companies Require Their Employees To Pass A COVID-19 Test Before Returning To Work?

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    Jun 5, 2020 2:15:00 PM

As the country gradually begins to reopen, organizations loosen their teleworking mandates, and employees return to the office, it may be tempting for companies to pick up where they left off and consider COVID-19 a non-concern. But for HR teams, the workplace challenges presented by the coronavirus are just beginning. Health authorities have made it clear that  the reopening of the country does not mean phasing out COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

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Topics: EEOC, employee, return to work plan, COVID-19

Recalibrating Your Work-Life Balance

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    Jun 4, 2020 1:15:00 PM

One of most indicative signs of a healthy lifestyle is a measured work-life balance. In fact, many candidates cite work-life balance as a deciding factor when looking for jobs. But since the onset of self-quarantine and stay-at-home orders, the physical distinction between work and home has been all but erased—and as a result, many of our work-life balances have suffered.

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Topics: wellness, work-life balance, Work From Home

Tips For Effectively Leading During A Crisis

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    May 29, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The coronavirus crisis is, in a word, unprecedented. Business executives and department heads find themselves facing challenges that even a few months ago would have seemed unfathomable. As the world grapples with the anxiety and fear of a global pandemic, one recurring theme that has arisen is the uncertainty of it all. Every message we receive from businesses and organizations seems to start with “In these uncertain times…”.

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Topics: leadership, HR Elements, Transparency, Pandemic, COVID-19

New Policies For Returning To Work Post-COVID-19

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    May 21, 2020 1:15:00 PM

As more states either re-open entirely or unveil multi-step plans to return to normalcy in the coming months, some businesses will have the opportunity to phase out remote operations and return to on-site working. But just like every other aspect of our lives when quarantine ends, the office is going to be a different place than it was before COVID-19.

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Topics: return to work plan, HR Elements, COVID-19

Long Term Care Insurance – A Personal Story

Posted by: Robyn Leonard    May 15, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Growing up in Alaska was definitely different than in other states in so many ways. One of the things you come to realize, as you age into adulthood, is how expensive things are there compared to other states. A trip to a local fast food restaurant will give you a good indication. A child’s meal pack at the local drive-thru can be as much as a $5 more compared to prices in “the states.” Everything is more expensive in Alaska.

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Topics: LTC Solutions, Inc., UBA Partners

Preserving Office Culture, Without an Office

Posted by: Colleen Kucera    May 12, 2020 11:15:00 AM

Organizational culture is one of the most crucial elements of a business and remains one of the most predictive indicators of a company’s health. It’s a major underlying factor in worker productivity, overall company performance, and employee retention. And if an employee does depart the company, a healthy office culture can turn them into genuine advocates. It’s also one of the most important criteria for job applicants when deciding where to take their talent. 

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Topics: office culture, HR Elements, Work From Home, Video Conferencing