Archive for Blog’ Category

Understanding EAP Confidentiality | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

9

2017

Understanding EAP Confidentiality | Houston Benefit Advisors

When it comes to Employee Assistance Programs, confidentiality is a concern for both employers and employees. As an employer, it is helpful to understand the terms and processes your EAP uses to keep information confidential and ensure that your employees and your workplace are safe. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules apply to EAPs and their affiliate providers. All information that is…

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What You Need to Know about Health Flexible Spending Accounts | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

6

2017

What You Need to Know about Health Flexible Spending Accounts | Houston Benefit Advisors

A health flexible spending account (FSA) is a pre-tax account used to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs for a participant as well as a participant’s spouse and eligible dependents. Health FSAs are employer-established benefit plans and may be offered with other employer-provided benefits as part of a cafeteria plan. Self-employed individuals are not eligible for FSAs. Even though a health FSA may be extended…

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The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors
Aug

29

2017

The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) allows qualified beneficiaries who lose health benefits due to a qualifying event to continue group health benefits. The COBRA payment process is subject to various rules in terms of grace periods, notification, premium payment methods, and treatment of insignificant shortfalls. Grace Periods The initial premium payment is due 45 days after the qualified beneficiary elects COBRA….

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Separating Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Long-Term Care Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors
Aug

23

2017

Separating Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Long-Term Care Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

Few people are prepared to handle the financial burden of long-term health care. In fact, many people have a false sense of security when it comes to long-term care. Let’s separate fact from fiction: “Medicare and my Medicare supplement policy will cover it.” FACTS: Medicare and “Medigap” insurance was never intended to pay for ongoing, long-term care. Only about 12% of nursing home costs are…

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Aug

17

2017

Strategic benefits communication: Five key steps to success this open enrollment season | Houston Benefit Advisors

In previous posts, I have talked about several aspects of strategic benefits communication. Now it’s time to put those strategies into action. As we approach enrollment season, let’s look at five key steps to ensuring this year’s open enrollment is successful for you and your employees. 1. Determine your key objectives What do employees need to know this enrollment season? As you review your benefit…

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Aug

15

2017

Wellness Programs – Getting Started and Remaining Compliant | Houston Benefit Advisors

Where to Start? First, expand the usual scope of wellness activity to well-BEING. Include initiatives that support more than just physical fitness, such as career growth, social needs, financial health, and community involvement. By doing this you increase your chances of seeing a return on investment (ROI) and a return on value (ROV). Qualitative results of a successful program are just as valuable as seeing…

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Aug

7

2017

Government and Education Employers Offer Richest HSA Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

Across most industries, HSA contributions are, for the most part, down or unchanged from three years ago, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. The average employer contribution to an HSA is $474 for a single employee (down 3.5 percent from 2015 and 17.6 percent from five years ago) and $801 for a family (down 9.2 percent from last year and 13.7 percent from five years…

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Aug

3

2017

Best Practices for Initial COBRA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide notices to covered employees and their families explaining their COBRA rights when certain events occur. The initial notice, also referred to as the general notice, communicates general COBRA rights and obligations to each covered employee (and his or her spouse) who becomes covered under the group health plan. This notice…

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Jul

28

2017

Employer Strategies for Managing Prescription Drug Costs | Houston Benefit Advisors

Modern medicines have resulted in longer, more productive lives for many of us. Prescription drugs soothe sore muscles after a strenuous workout or manage the conditions of a chronic disease. Unfortunately, this use of prescriptions drugs can come with a hefty price tag. Americans are spending more money on prescription drugs than ever before and the United States as a nation spends more per capita…

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Jul

25

2017

5 Things Millennials Need to Know About Life Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

Being catapulted into the adult world is a shock to the system, regardless of how prepared you think you are. And these days, it’s more complicated than ever, with internet access and mobile devices being must-have utilities and navigating tax forms when they aren’t as “EZ” as they used to be. Maybe you’re still living with your folks while you get established. Or maybe you’re…

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