General

Seven Ways to Relieve Stress

May 24 | 2019

We live in an amazing modern world where technological advancements have made a distinct shift in how we live, work and play. The birth of the internet and all that has transpired since offers us a fantastic way to connect and experience the world like nothing ever before. We, humans, are quick to absorb these […]

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8 Ways to Better Manage Your Time

April 18 | 2019
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Feel 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. Log your Take […]

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Proposed 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Rule

March 5 | 2019
By: Karen Hsu
Director of Compliance at UBA Benefit Advisors

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. CMS also released its draft 2020 actuarial value calculatorand draft 2020 actuarial value calculator methodology. According to CMS, the proposed rule is intended to reduce fiscal and regulatory burdens associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) across […]

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In Pursuit of a Better Meeting

March 5 | 2019
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Groans and sighs often greet the ping of a meeting invite hitting an inbox. While it may be impossible to make meetings more fun than the office holiday party, it is possible to lessen the dread, increase morale, and improve the results of a meeting. Complaints about meetings are often justified, including wasted time, the […]

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Your Voluntary Benefits Plan May Lead to a Tragic Result

January 2 | 2019
By: Mitchell Nelson
Executive Consultant, Secura Consultants

The end of the open enrollment season is in sight, and human resource professionals are breathing a sigh of relief as they close the door on the 2019 enrollment. Smart benefit managers are already beginning to assess new products and services for the next enrollment season and looking at how to improve their programs and […]

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Culture Question

January 2 | 2019
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

With unemployment continuing at historically low numbers, it’s up to employers to win sought-after candidates. During an interview, employers are likely ready for the culture question. When asked about culture directly, according to an article in Fast Company, interviewers are quick to offer pat or polished answers. Interviewees are being encouraged to dig deeper, asking more specific […]

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It’s Flu Season… Again

November 29 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

When flu season hits, absenteeism skyrockets and productivity drops. In a recent article, Employee Benefit News points out that the first step is the “ounce of prevention,” the flu vaccine. Providing for vaccination can be a smart benefit to offer employees, and it requires navigating misinformation about the vaccine, motivating employees to act, and contending with supply issues. […]

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Giving Thanks in the Office

November 14 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

While our personal lives may offer plenty of opportunities to give thanks, it’s also important to make a habit of it in our professional lives, according to an article in the Cobb Business Journal. Few people in a study cited expressed gratitude for their work, and that might be because a culture of gratitude needs to be […]

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8 Ways to Relate to Time as a Realist

November 14 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Productivity and time management expert Julie Morgenstern believes people can be grouped two ways when it comes to time management: Time realists and time optimists. Time realists consider how long things take and what is going on in any given day. Time optimists are guided by what they hope to get done. Morgenstern argues that […]

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Be the Boss You Want to See in the World

November 7 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the traits that make someone become a leader aren’t always the ones that make someone an effective leader. Instead, efficacy can be traced to ethicality. Here are a few tips to be an ethical leader. Humility tops charisma A little charisma goes a long way. Too much and […]

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Tri-Agency Proposed Rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements

November 7 | 2018
By: Karen Hsu
Director of Compliance

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the Departments) released their proposed rule regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans. The DOL also issued a news release and fact sheet on the proposed rule. The proposed rule’s goal is to expand the flexibility and […]

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11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You

October 24 | 2018
Registered Dietitian

From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products. Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake. In the US, added sugars account for up to […]

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Making a Remote Team Work

October 24 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

In a tight labor market, a candidate’s potential commute can make a job more or less attractive. HumanResources reports that a quarter of employees surveyed had left a job because of the commute. When looking at just Millennials, the number jumps to one third. Employees can be choosy, selecting a job that offers more of what they […]

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Yes, Boss/HR/Your Honor, That’s My Email

October 8 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Ever hear of the acronym “CLEM”? That stands for career-limiting email and is a reminder to reconsider sending anything out in writing when a phone call may be the better option. If you have to think twice about hitting that send button, then you shouldn’t hit it. In an article titled, “For God’s Sake, Think […]

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Know Your Coverage Options: Group vs. Individual Health Insurance

September 27 | 2018

What is group vs. individual insurance? This question is one of the most commonly asked by individuals and employers researching their health insurance options. A simple answer is that group insurance is a policy purchased by an employer while individual insurance is bought by a single person or family. Each option has distinct differences and […]

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Final Rule on Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance

September 27 | 2018
By: Karen Hsu

On August 3, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Labor (collectively, the Departments) published a final rule that amends the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance. HHS also released a fact sheet on the final rule. According to the Departments, the final rule will provide consumers with more affordable […]

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Leveraging Generational Factors for Overall Success

September 27 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

No matter what your office looks like—in a gig economy or a more traditional one, with or without AI—interviews will be a part of the culture. Learning about best practices benefits everyone, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee. Especially at busy times, it can be easy to forget that an interview isn’t simply […]

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Get Moving…To Live!

September 17 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

The phrase: “If I’m lying, I’m dying” should be changed to: “If I’m sitting, I’m dying” even though it doesn’t rhyme. If you haven’t heard by now, sitting for long periods of time increases the chance that you’ll die early, regardless of your race, gender, age, body mass index (BMI), or even if you exercise. […]

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Tools to Support Working Parents

September 4 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Today, balancing career and family is no longer a women-only issue. Employed parents of all genders say their primary concern is not having enough time for their children.While every family is different, employers can still take an active role in supporting working parents (sometimes, their teenagers too).   Rising trends include onsite childcare, dependent care flexible […]

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6 Reasons Self-Funded Plans Are Gaining Popularity

September 4 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Since the ACA was enacted eight years ago, many employers are re-examining employee benefits in an effort to manage costs, navigate changing regulations, and expand their plan options. Self-funded plans are one way that’s happening. In 2017, the UBA Health Plan survey revealed that self-funded plans have increased by 12.8% in the past year overall, […]

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