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Health Care Reform: Options, Obligations and Opportunities

On Thursday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. ET, “Health Care Reform: Options, Obligations and Opportunities” will be presented by UBA as part of the Wisdom Workplace series.

"Open Enrollment is Over — Now What?"

The December edition of UBA’s Employer Webinar Series will be Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. ET.

Insurers Given Permission to Renew Policies That Don’t Meet PPACA Requirements

By Linda RowingsChief Compliance OfficerUnited Benefit Advisors
Last week (Nov. 14, 2013) the White House announced that insurers will not be required to meet most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) if they ren…

How Data Mining Can Be Crucial

It seems you can’t look at a business-oriented website or go to a conference these days without hearing people talk about big data.

HR Elements – PPACA Update

After a month and a half of working through startup issues with its HealthCare.gov online health insurance marketplace, the Obama Administration turned heads by announcing on Nov. 14 that the federal government will not enforce many of the Patient Prot…

Distraught Employee’s Viable FMLA Claim

Kris was forced to endure the unthinkable: her daughter had just become the victim of a sexual assault.

How Voluntary Benefits Are Rising to the Top

describe the imageHealth care reform and the shift towards a defined-benefits model have moved voluntary benefits from the fringes of corporate benefit plans into the spotlight. Skyrocketing costs and ballooning compliance duties have pushed more employers to a tipping point, and companies are slashing or eliminating their medical plans. Those shrinking benefits, though, can crush a company’s ability to recruit and retain a top-notch workforce. To remain competitive, many employers are turning to ancillary (voluntary) products as a way to lighten the impact of reduced health care coverage and to broaden the overall appeal of their compensation package.

Policies like flextime, corporate and social responsibility charters and voluntary benefits may become the cornerstones of your recruitment and retention strategy. In fact, United Benefit Advisors predicts, based on results from the 2013 Ancillary Products Survey, these policies will be a greater differentiator in 2014 than ever before.

In an upcoming Employee Benefit News webinar, The Hottest Voluntary Benefits for 2014, UBA CEO Thomas Mangan and Dale Alexander of Alexander & Company, a UBA Partner Firm, will explain the significance of this shift and how businesses can use voluntary benefits to their maximum advantage.

The presentation will cover:

  • What are the different categories of voluntary benefits and which ones promise the greatest benefits to employees and clients
  • Why voluntary benefits should be an important part of a corporate benefits strategy
  • How voluntary benefits can increase the ROI on employee benefits
  • How to use voluntary benefits to increase employee loyalty and satisfaction

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and will feature a live Q&A.  Click here to register.

Health Care Costs, Benefits and Reform

Forthcoming changes to the insurance market landscape in 2014 and 2015 will bring many employers to a crossroad.

Open Enrollment is Over — Now What?

While there have been delays on some key provisions of PPACA, employers will need to start planning now to ensure compliance in 2015.

Is the Advent of the Marketplace a Change-Of-Status Event Under Section 125 Plans?

iStock 000016745994XSmallThe IRS does not consider the availability of the health exchanges/marketplaces a change in status event that would allow an employee to make a mid-year change under a Section 125 plan. However, the IRS has said that it will allow an employer with a non-calendar year plan to amend the plan to allow employees to make mid-year election changes to move from the plan to the marketplace, to allow employees who previously declined coverage to enroll in the plan as of Jan. 1, 2014, or both. (Because coverage purchased in the marketplace will be effective Jan. 1, 2014, calendar year plans should not have this issue.) There had been some question about whether this option was only available to large employers; the IRS has now clarified that employers of all sizes may amend their plan to allow for mid-year changes because of the new marketplace coverage.

The IRS has delayed the individual shared responsibility requirement for individuals who are eligible for coverage under an employer-provided non-calendar year group health plan to the start of the employer’s 2014 plan year, so obtaining coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, is not as urgent as previously thought. Employers may still wish to allow employees to enroll in their plan mid-year, and with the required plan amendment (most likely to both the Section 125 and group health plans) this will be allowed. An employer considering a mid-year enrollment option may want to get the approval of its insurer or reinsurer before offering this opportunity – insurers are not required to allow mid-year enrollment.

Download the complete UBA summary of this notice called “IRS Liberalizes the Health Flexible Spending Account ‘Use it or Lose It’ Rule” here.

Read the full text of IRS Notice 2013-71.