Healthcare Reform

Agencies Issue Proposed Rules and Plans

November 22 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
Senior VP of Compliance and Operations

October was a busy month in the employee benefits world. President Trump announced a new Acting Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Eric Hargan fills the position vacated by Tom Price, who resigned in late September 2017. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule to delay a […]

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2017 Health Plan Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Group Healthcare Premiums

November 10 | 2017
By: Peter Weber
M.S., CAE, President, United Benefit Advisors

I’m happy to report that this year’s UBA Health Plan survey achieved a milestone. For the first time, we surpassed 20,000 health plans entered—20,099 health plans to be exact, which were sponsored by 11,221 employers. What we were able to determine from all this data was that a tumultuous Presidential election likely encouraged many employers […]

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Benefit Plan Design: Charging Employees Different Premiums

November 8 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
Senior VP of Compliance and Operations

Employers who are designing a health and welfare benefit plan for their employees often wonder about the rules relating to setting premiums for employees. Employers generally have significant flexibility in this part of their plan’s design. Common structures contemplated by employers include, but are not limited to: Charging all employees a flat amount for their […]

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President Trump Ends ACA Cost Sharing Reductions

October 21 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
VP of Compliance and Operations, United Benefit Advisors

On the evening of October 12, 2017, President Trump announced that cost sharing reductions for low income Americans in relation to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be stopped. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that payments will be stopped immediately. While there is no direct impact to […]

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October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare

October 16 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

On October 12, 2017, the White House released an Executive Order, signed by President Trump, titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” It is important to note that the Executive Order (EO) does not implement any new laws or regulations, but instead directs various federal agencies to explore options relating to association […]

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IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices

October 9 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

In spite of the recent efforts by Congress to change or repeal the ACA, its provisions are still in effect. The IRS has issued continuing guidance on the affordability rate for coverage, the employer shared responsibility provisions and reporting, and the individual mandate provision. IRS Released the 2018 Affordability Rate The Internal Revenue Service released […]

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Religious Objections to Covering Contraceptives

September 11 | 2017
By: Linda Rowings
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

On August 22, 2014, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury released an interim final rule and a proposed rule that provide some new accommodations to employers that have religious objections to covering contraception under their group health plans. The agencies also released a fact sheet on the rules and an […]

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Survey: Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Health Benefits Offered by Employers Nationwide

August 30 | 2017
By: Bill Olson
Chief Marketing Officer at United Benefit Advisors

Small employers, those with fewer than 100 employees, have a reputation for not offering health insurance benefits that are competitive with larger employers, but new survey data from UBA’s Health Plan Survey reveals they are keeping pace with the average employer and, in fact, doing a better job of containing costs. According to our new […]

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What Employers Need to Know about the Senate Proposed Healthcare Bill

July 5 | 2017
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

On June 22, 2017, the United States Senate released a “Discussion Draft” of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA), which would substitute the House’s House Resolution 1628, a reconciliation bill aimed at “repealing and replacing” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House bill was titled the “American Health Care Act […]

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The Pitfalls of Online Enrollment Systems

June 19 | 2017
By: Elizabeth Kay
Compliance & Retention Analyst, AEIS Advisors, A UBA Partner Firm

Online enrollment platforms are great, but communication and understanding are terribly important for the end-user. I always say, “technology is great, when it works.” Online enrollment platforms have been around for years, and the technology that powers them has grown and advanced at an exponential rate. Who would have guessed that we would be enrolling […]

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Well-Being Strategies for a Diverse Workforce, Building Value at an Individual Level

June 12 | 2017
By: Lindsay Simpson
Organizational Wellness Lead, The Richards Group, a UBA Partner Firm

Your organization has 312 employees, which means you have 312 different needs for well-being support. Well-being strategies should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Developing a set of flexible and responsive well-being strategies that meet changing individual needs throughout an employee’s tenure is a critical way to both attract and retain talent. A few case studies […]

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HSA and Employer Responsibilities

May 25 | 2017
By: Vicki Randall
Compliance Specialist at Compliancedashboard, a UBA Certified Solution

It’s no secret that one of the primary agenda items of the new Republican administration is to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to sign into law a plan that they feel will be more effective in managing health care costs. Their initial attempt at a new plan, called the American […]

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Factor Emerging Trends, Generational Needs Into Wellness Program

May 23 | 2017
By: Jennifer Jones
Population Health Strategist at LHD Benefit Advisors, a UBA Partner Firm

Your wellness program seems to have it all – biometric screenings, lunch and learns, and weight loss challenges. So, why do you struggle with engagement, or to see any real results? While traditional wellness components are still a large part of plans today, emerging trends, coupled with generational differences, make for challenges when designing an […]

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Beware The Emergency Room

May 18 | 2017
By: Ernie Sweat CEBS
Senior Consultant

There are many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that on the surface are controversial. There are some, however, that are truly universal in popularity, even among those with a disdain toward Obamacare. These are the sections that allow children to stay on their parents plan until the age of 26 no matter what, […]

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Handling of Retaliation Complaints under Section 1558 of the Affordable Care Act

January 12 | 2017
By: Nancy Bourque
HR Practice Leader at United Benefit Advisors

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a final rule on the procedures for the handling of whistleblower complaints under Section 1558 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The regulations protect employees (which includes former employees and applicants for employment) who may have been subject to retaliation for seeking assistance under certain […]

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Identify and Evaluate the Impact of Your Wellness Program

January 5 | 2017
By: Mary Delaney, MSPT, CWP
Managing Director for Vital Incite, A UBA Partner-Provided Solution

Measuring program value, or return on investment, is critical and imperative in managing a healthy wellness program. Further, clearly identifying and objectively evaluating the impact helps keep the vendor focused on what is critical for the employer. If these programs are not having the impact intended, then the cost of those services is only adding […]

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Emphasis on Consumerism in Health Care Expected Post 2016 Elections

January 4 | 2017
By: Michael Weiskirch
Principal & Founder, Health Cost Manager, A UBA Certified Solution

I really need to stop spending so much time reading the news. I subscribe to several news aggregators, plus a number of content sources: blogs, industry experts and other publications. I pore through news about politics, world affairs, and information related to HR, benefits, and technology – the field I work in. I sometimes do […]

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Regulations Regarding Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance, Excepted Benefits and Lifetime/Annual Limits

December 27 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively the Departments) issued final regulations regarding the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance, standards for travel insurance and supplemental health insurance coverage to be considered excepted benefits, and an amendment relating to the prohibition on lifetime […]

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FAQs on Tobacco Cessation Coverage and Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity

December 20 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

Recently, the Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the Departments) issued FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 34 and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation. The Departments’ FAQs cover two primary topics: tobacco cessation coverage and mental health / substance use […]

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Can Trump Dump Obamacare His First Day in Office?

December 9 | 2016
By: Scott E. Deru RHU, REBC
President of Fringe Benefit Analysts, LLC.

January 20, 2017 we will have the inauguration of our 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. During his campaign he stated that he would repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or ACA) his first day in office. So what is the political reality of having the ACA repealed on January 21st? The […]

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