United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jul 2, 2019 12:43:10 PM

Mental Health Month in May each year 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, workplace wellness, stress

Update on Nondiscrimination Regulations Relating to Sex, Gender, Age, and More

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 27, 2019 1:54:41 PM

On May 24, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a proposed rule to revise its regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Section 1557. OCR also released a fact sheet and press release.

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Topics: health insurance, Department of Health and Human Services, Affordable Care Act, Office for Civil Rights

What Eyewear Means in the 21st Century

Posted by: VSP Vision Care    Jun 25, 2019 1:36:29 PM

Keeping employees happy and healthy is the key to keeping them productive. Offering the right vision plan means meeting the needs and priorities for employees from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. That includes lens enhancement options, fashion trends, and shopping habits for all employees.

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Topics: VSP Vision Care, vision benefits, vision care

Mentorship Matters

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 18, 2019 1:04:53 PM

Imagine highly tailored, expert advice for both professional and personal life goals and transitions being readily available. That’s what a skilled mentor can provide. Having an engaged, intentional, and present mentor helps support and build talent. Beyond talent and skill building, research points to a trusted mentoring relationship serving to bolster emotional wellbeing for mentees as well. No wonder people seek out mentors, and that people who seek out mentors are promoted more frequently.

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Topics: mentor, mentorship

CMS Publishes 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Final Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jun 13, 2019 1:05:12 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule and fact sheet for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. Although the final rule primarily affects the individual market and the Exchanges, the final rule addresses the following topics that may impact employer-sponsored group health plans:

  • The 2020 maximum annual limitation on cost sharing is $8,150 for self-only coverage and $16,300 for other-than-self-only coverage.
  • For fully-insured plans, any indication of a reduction in the generosity of a benefit for individuals that is not based on clinically indicated, reasonable medical management practices is potentially discriminatory.
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Topics: health insurance, Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare coverage

Tips and tricks to help you stress less

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 11, 2019 2:50:26 PM

Stress. We all feel it. We all complain about it. And we probably just accept it as being the price we pay for living in today's hectic world.

 

While it's true that stress is probably unavoidable – whether it's caused by a traffic jam or a bigger challenge like a job loss or a chronic illness – it's also true that you can learn to deal with stress in a more healthy way. And that's important, because stress can wreak havoc on your health. The longer you're under stress, the worse it is for your physical well-being. Here are some things to try to help you manage stress.

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Topics: wellness, workplace wellness, stress

CMS Releases 2020 Parameters for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jun 6, 2019 1:11:48 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the following parameters for the defined standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit for 2020:

 

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, prescription drugs

Kids and Body Image

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jun 4, 2019 1:44:51 PM

Growing up can be tough. The challenges of school, relationships with friends, sports and other activities can be stressful for children. Peer pressure, along with what they see and hear daily via social media, TV, movies and video games, can cause them to stress out about how they look. Comparing themselves with their friends—or, worse, with supermodels, movie stars, or pro athletes—can then lead to a negative body image.

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Topics: wellness, body image, children

Protect your pet, protect yourself

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 30, 2019 3:43:36 PM

Pets bring us joy and unconditional love. But sometimes they can bring us illness. Infectious diseases can be passed between animals and humans. These diseases are known as zoonoses. Zoonoses can be spread through direct contact, sometimes through insects, and sometimes via the animal's environment.

Let's face it. Animals do some gross things. Dogs drink from filthy puddles. Cats kill birds and chipmunks. And sometimes, our pets even—gasp!—bite and scratch. All of these things and more can cause the spread of infections and diseases between animals and humans.

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Topics: wellness, health, pets

Outside-the-box ways to spend time outdoors

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 28, 2019 1:43:27 PM

Fresh air and sunshine are good for our health, and being active in the outdoors is better yet. Even if you're not an avid runner or cyclist, there are so many other wonderful ways to get the exercise you need while taking in the joys of nature, family, and friends. Here are a few ideas that might inspire you to grab your sneakers and head out the door for an activity that may be new to you.

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Topics: well-being, exercise, health, outdoors