Healthcare Reform

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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VOI vs. ROI: A Business Case for Wellness

December 6 | 2016
By: Heather Mills CWWPM
Wellness Program Manager at VolkBell, a UBA Partner Firm

VolkBell began the exploration into health and wellness about eight years ago. It was something our partners would say, “Just made sense.” At the time, health care costs were skyrocketing across the nation, particularly in our home state of Colorado, and the nation’s obesity rates were at an all-time high. In our research, we observed […]

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The Shift Away from Health Risk Assessments

November 30 | 2016
By: Sierra Sullivan
Assistant Population Health Strategist for Vital Incite, LHD Benefit Advisors, A UBA Partner Firm

Historically, employers have utilized health risk assessments (HRAs) as one measurement tool in wellness programs design. The main goals of an HRA are to assess individual health status and risk and provide feedback to participants on how to manage risk. Employers have traditionally relied on this type of assessment to evaluate the overall health risk […]

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Health Care Sharing Ministries Plans – Pitfalls Individuals Should Consider

November 27 | 2016
By: Scott E . Deru RHU, REBC
President of Fringe Benefit Analysts, LLC.

Christian Health Sharing Ministries Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), members belonging to a certain number of organizations known as Health Care Sharing Ministries – sometimes called Christian Health Plans or Christian Ministries Plan – were granted an exemption from the personal tax penalty (up to 2.5% of one’s household income in 2016 and beyond) […]

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You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

November 25 | 2016
By: Scott E. Deru RHU, REBC
President of Fringe Benefit Analysts, LLC.

In a previous blog, we discussed the exorbitant cost of drugs, even generics and the tactics that the pharmacy industry employs to keep the costs high. Well, as the 1974 Bachman Turner Overdrive hit song goes, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” Over the past few months, having participated in over a half-dozen health insurance meetings, […]

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State Guide to COBRA Supplemental Requirements

November 23 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal requirement of group health plans to provide COBRA insurance continuation coverage to participants who lose coverage due to a qualifying event, when the employer has 20 or more full time employees. Over the years, many states enacted additional requirements similar to COBRA, either for small employers, […]

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Employers and Employees Teeter on Healthcare Cost and Coverage Tightrope

November 22 | 2016
By: Elizabeth Kay
Compliance & Retention Analyst - AEIS Advisors, A UBA Partner Firm

Over the past few years, we have seen the cost of health care steadily increase – a trend supported by the latest data from the 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey. During the recession, employers implemented health plans with higher copays, higher deductibles, or offered multiple plans with a variety of deductibles and pushed the cost […]

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