General

Employer Considerations When Offering Health Coverage Under the SCA or DBA

November 3 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

Employers that are subject to the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis-Bacon Act (DBA), and Davis-Bacon Related Acts (Related Acts), and who are considered an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) must ensure that they meet the requirements of all three acts, despite the fact that the interplay […]

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Are Opt-Outs on the Way Out?

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

Opt-out payments or cash in lieu of benefits have been a staple in the employee benefits industry for many years. Employers offer individuals who are eligible to enroll in their group health plan a sum of money, typically paid monthly, to those who waive enrollment in the group health plan. Employers who offer group health […]

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Controlled Groups and Affiliated Service Groups: How They Apply to the ACA

October 25 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a penalty on “large” employers that either do not offer “minimum essential” (basic medical) coverage, or who offer coverage that is not affordable (the employee’s cost for single coverage is greater than 9.5 percent of income) or it does not provide minimum value (the plan is […]

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Fully Insured vs Self-Insured vs Level-Funded: What Does It All Mean To The Small Employer?

July 14 | 2020
By: Nathan Shumate
Account Coordinator - Fringe Benefit Analysts

  Small employers looking for ways to control their group health insurance costs are more closely examining what it means to be “fully insured.” These days, employers with as few as ten full-time employees are exploring other funding arrangements which can allow them more control—or at least more accountability—over their annual premium increases. Fully Insured “Fully […]

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Employment Eligibility: How to Handle Questions about Worker Identity

October 17 | 2016
By: Nancy Bourque
HR Practice Leader at United Benefit Advisors

Reports submitted to the U.S. government that include both names and Social Security numbers (SSNs), such as 1095 and W-2 forms, are filtered through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In some cases, employers will receive a No-Match Letter or an Employer Correction Request from the […]

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Top Wellness Program Components

September 23 | 2016
By: Jennifer Jones
Population Health Strategist at LHD Benefit Advisors A UBA Firm

While employee wellness benefits programs and offerings continue to evolve among new trends and regulations, there are seven key components that tend to drive the most successful and effective programs we have seen with our clients.more Biometric Data Collection Whether in the form of a biometric screening event or annual physical exam with a primary […]

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Draft Forms for 2016 6055/6056 Reporting Have Been Released

September 22 | 2016
Senior Consultant

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service released the long anticipated 1095 forms required to comply with ACA Reporting requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056. This is significant in that there will be many more companies required to file these forms in 2017 (for filing year 2016) versus the amount that filed in 2016. First off, […]

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Striving for a Culture Change in Your Wellness Program (Part 2)

September 14 | 2016
By: Heather Mills
Wellness Program Manager at VolkBell, a UBA Partner Firm

Many wellness programs start off with good intentions, offer some education and fun, but even after several years, have failed to meet their original goals or produce real culture change. We recently reviewed the first three steps to a successful, sustainable workplace program. Here we conclude with steps four through six for setting up a […]

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Do You Know Who Your Primary Care Physician Is? Well, You Should.

August 31 | 2016
By: Elizabeth Kay
Compliance & Retention Analyst, AEIS Advisors, A UBA Partner Firm

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought about many changes to the health insurance industry. As we are now in the sixth year of implementation of the Act, we are seeing more changes coming just around the corner. Generally speaking, most health plans can be classified into two categories: HMO and PPO. With an HMO […]

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HIPAA Phase 1 Audits

August 26 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) established national standards to secure and protect the privacy of health information. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) requires the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to conduct audits of covered entities and business associates in […]

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Salary Conditions Under The New DOL Standards

August 19 | 2016
By: Nancy Bourque
HR Practice Leader at United Benefit Advisors

On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) will implement changes raising the minimum compensation for exempt employees to $47,476 annually. While salary is just half of a two-part equation that includes a duties test of essential job functions, scrutiny is under way to analyze compensation and find solutions to avoid conflict with the […]

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ALE Employers Ask: Should Benefits Be Offered to Variable Hour Employees?

July 18 | 2016
By: Danielle Capilla
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

UBA’s compliance team leverages the collective expertise of its independent partner firms to advise 36,000 employers and their 5 million employees. Lately, a common question from employers is: How does an applicable large employer (ALE) determine whether or not a newly hired variable hour employee should be offered benefits? The answer depends on how the […]

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Enrollment Deadlines Are NOT Just Guidelines

June 24 | 2016
By: Nathan Shumate
Account Coordinator

Due to increased federal oversight, health insurance carriers currently have a lot less “wiggle room” than in the past to enroll employees beyond their official new hire enrollment periods. Local and national carriers frequently find themselves audited by one of several federal and state agencies to ensure that the carriers are consistently applying policies regarding […]

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OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

June 20 | 2016
By: Nancy Bourque
HR Practice Leader at United Benefit Advisors

Beginning in 2017, certain employers with as few as 20 employees at a single site will be required to electronically file information about employee injuries and accidents that occurred in the prior year. This means that, for many employers, injuries and illnesses occurring in 2016 will be subject to this change. Employers of as few […]

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DOL Issues 31st FAQ on ACA Implementation

May 26 | 2016
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its 31st FAQ on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), dedicated to coverage of preventive services, rescissions of coverage, out-of-network emergency services, clinical trial coverage, cost-sharing limitations, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. Some highlights […]

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Employer Liability Under Health Care Sharing Ministries Plan

May 20 | 2016
President of Fringe Benefit Analysts, LLC.

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) for not having a qualified […]

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Employers Ask: What Prevents Me from Reimbursing Individual Health Insurance Policies?

May 17 | 2016
Chief Compliance Officer at United Benefit Advisors

In serving 36,000 employers and 5 million employees, our UBA Partners get this question frequently: What federal guidance prohibits employers from reimbursing individual health insurance policies? Answer: The IRS has issued extensive guidance prohibiting employers from reimbursing individual health insurance policies on an individual basis. It issued two notices in 2015 that addressed this issue. […]

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Why are Utah Health Insurance Rates on the Rise?

May 11 | 2016
Fringe Benefit Analysts Senior Consultant

In July of 2016, Utah will be seeing small group rates from some of the largest Utah health insurance carriers increasing 20% or more. Rates are just now being filed for 2017 and the indicators are not pretty. We are expecting to see an additional double digit increase in small group Utah health insurance plans, […]

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As Dragnet’s Joe Friday Would Say, “Just the Facts, Ma’am.” Get the Facts on COBRA Coverage – Who, When and How Long?

May 3 | 2016
In-house Counsel & Compliance Officer for iaCONSULTING, a UBA Partner Firm

As we mentioned in the first edition of this mini-series on the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), “marketplaces” or “exchanges” created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not make COBRA coverage obsolete. Rather, COBRA is still going strong. And while the general rule of COBRA coverage is […]

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Taxation of Identity Protection Services

April 26 | 2016

According to the IRS, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for 15 consecutive years. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 17.6 million people were victims of identity theft in 2014. Organizations at every level are trying to protect employee and customer personal information from computer hacking […]

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