General

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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Solving Problems-While Increasing Employee Satisfaction

August 15 | 2018
By: Bill Olsen
Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

“Design thinking” is a fairly common term. Even if the phrase is new to you, it’s reasonably easy to intuit how it works: design thinking is a process for creative problem solving, utilizing creative tools like empathy and experimentation, often with a strong visual component. The term dates from 1968 and was first used in The […]

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Can You Handle the Truth?

June 5 | 2018
By: Bill Olson
VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors

Direct feedback culture, according to “Mastering the Art of Negative Feedback,” from Society for Human Resource Management means simultaneously challenging someone while also showing you care. Many employees skew toward caring over candor, and that can lead to dissatisfaction. The feedback employees want can be very different from the feedback delivered. Direct, real time feedback is highly […]

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Perk Up Your Benefits Packages

May 31 | 2018
By: Bill Olson
VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors

What people want in their benefits package is changing. Retirement and health care still rank high but soft perks and voluntary benefits factor into satisfaction more than any other benefits, so says “Employees Increasingly Excited About Soft Perks and Company-Culture Benefits,” in Employee Benefit News. When considering a job offer, these types of benefits are top of […]

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Your Mouth Matters: The Importance of Dental Insurance

May 25 | 2018

You probably know the feeling well. Another six months rolls around and then one day you glance down at your upcoming week’s schedule and there it is, your bi-yearly dentist check-up. But don’t panic! The dentist really isn’t as bad as it seems and there are actually some very important reasons to have a dental […]

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